Leaving my country for the first time was one of the biggest decisions I’ve ever made in life. Yet by the time, I realized that it was the best opportunity that ever came to me. I’ve been in several voluntary projects before, but to be a volunteer abroad with all brand new people? This is the first time and I dared myself to take the challenges. My first time as a volunteer was unexpected. It was the period of the time when I had to force myself to be more independent, ignore homesick that I felt, and adapt to the new circumstances at the same time. I felt like it was so hard but then it made me realize that I could beat the challenges and went pass through it. I feel more confident and cannot not believe myself that finally, I beat my fear to leave my country and start this wonderful journey. The other challenge is that I am working with handicapped people which I’ve never experienced before, and did not know the language, thus made me have no idea about what I supposed to do. Lucky me I have a lot of people either from my hosting organization and my hosting project that always there for me to help anytime I need them. I started gaining skills to work in this area, joining German classes, acquiring new languages, and getting to know the people I’m working with. I realize that they are such a lovely and inspiring people. They taught me that no matter who we are, we deserve the same rights, love, happiness, and even sometimes they are like the funniest people I’ve ever met. From these people, I learn how to be more creative and proactive in every project we had so that I could learn something new from them and vice versa.
Being here in Austria and being in touch with the culture directly get me more understanding of diversity and more open-minded thoughts as well. That culture is not only what we see outside, but also what is deep down inside; it is not only about how people are dressed, but also about attitudes, moral values, and even manners toward others. Of course, it is completely different from the culture in my home country, but it doesn’t mean that it’s bad. On the contrary, I could see more things from another angle of perspective, and get more understanding about them. It changes me about how I see the world, that sometimes we just have to see and listen more before judging and putting any label on someone or something we don’t know yet.
During my time here I also joined some seminars and training where I met more inspiring and great people. I met other volunteers from around the world and made connection with them. We shared experiences and inspired each other. From my hosting organization, I have incredible mentors that more than capable in helping and handling the program I am working on right now. They taught me that there’s always result in every hard work, even the small one. And at my hosting project, there are so many people that work with their full heart and passion, makes me not even brave to think about giving up with my dreams in my future career and life goals. From them I learn that whatever I am going to do in the future, I just have to make sure that it is fully from my heart and passion, I could be whatever I want as long as I am not giving up on it and keep the track on the hard work. I do not have to change the world to be a great person, but I can make a good difference that affect others to make one as well.