11 April 2017

Geo's adventures: On the unknown paths of Malta

This week is special. Our colleague, Georgiana goes to Malta. No, she is not Italian although she can speak fluently Italian (everyone knows the Italian man that went to Malta, isn't it?) and she is participating in an Erasmus+ training course organized by our partners from Prisms Malta.

Hello everyone and warm greetings from this small Island, Malta. Small in size, but not in history, traditions and customs. Every international experience is a step forward in knowing myself, getting to understand different cultures and people and create bridges between them. 

Traditional house in Malta

When I heard that I will go to Malta, I was very excited, but with this opportunity came a lot of responsibilities and some barriers to overcome. I was the only one to represent my country together with young workers from different parts of Europe like Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia, Greece, Slovakia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Poland, Albania, Malta. With most of these countries I did not have the occasion to get in touch. But how could it be the easiest way to overcome your fears and to keep away the stereotypes. It’s really simple: taking part in different international projects. 

From the beginning this island looked very mysterious to me because I had a first contact with it during the night, when I felt that ll the historical elements from the past came back to life thanks to the outstanding old architectures and fortresses ; but also of the interesting language, the Maltese language (I’ve heard it for the first time in the airport in Catania and it is a mix of Italian and Arabic words). 

 The first day was the cornerstone of the project because it was the day when the participants got to know each other and to share stories and moments that contributed to the feeling of a second family. Even though we came from different cultures with different backgrounds, we found the proper Tools to understand and collaborate in an harmonious way. And not to forget about it, the topic is Achieve Communication Excellence and how we can overpass different barriers that obstruct communication.

Yesterday it was a really intense day because I realized that the way we perceive the world it does not really reflect the reality because we do it using our filters. And how did I end up with this conclusion? We had to draw at a certain point a map of the world and everyone had a different image on the size and the position of the continents. After that we had to imagine ourselves on an island and we have to choose 5 things that are vital for us in order to survive. It was really interesting and strengthen our group because we had to communicate and collaborate in the proper way for the same purpose. And if we started so intense, we finished the day in the same way. Are you curious how? We had different situations and according to them we had to present ourselves, our life and the weaknesses that characterize us. Sometimes it is easier to talk about the others, about situations and things that surround you, But when it comes to your fears and what you would like to change at yourself, it is such a though test. 

Nonformal education is the main methodology during Erasmus Plus projects
The next day helped us to be focused more on ourselves, on our core qualities and challenges that we think we have and face in the everyday life. We mingled in a perfect harmony the theoretical and the practical elements. At a certain point the music guided our steps to find the balance and the trust in ourselves and in the others. The eye contact was an important key point in all the activities. 

Erasmus trainees discovering Malta
The second part of the day we spent it in an unique way. We took the pulse of Malta by visiting different touristic places with a long history behind. Some of us chose to visit the first capital city of the Island, Mdina, and Rabat and the others went to the Popeye Village, where the famous movie was shot. Every time when I have the opportunity to visit a new country, I have a special focus on people, how they behave, what are their traditional food and everything that is related to history. 

But that is not all. There are two days more, with different challenges and situations that will, for sure, make this experience a special one. So keep watching! :D