Theo's trip to Porto

Theo, 10/12/2021


I had my on-arrival-training from the 1st of December to the 6th of December. The training was in Porto so me and Pasquale had to leave the house around 6.30 to arrive in Porto on time. At the train station of Lisbon, we met Lidia, Giacomo, Kris and Lois how all are volunteers at partner organisations of Rota Jovem, so we went all together.

After a 3.5-hour train ride we arrived in Porto and we took an Uber to get to the Hotel. At the Hotel, we had to do a covid Test, and I saw the first other volunteers that also participated in the training. We were one of the first volunteers that arrived in the Hotel, and we saw more and more volunteers were arriving and it felt like it wouldn´t stop anymore. At the first day all the volunteers that participated in the on-arrival-training arrived, which were 3 groups with ~25 people each group. At the second day 2 more groups arrived, who were participating in the mid-term-training, so as you can think, there were quiet many people in the hotel, which was quiet overwhelming in the first moment (in terms of socialising), but pretty cool in the second moment.


The structure of the day was every day the same:

8:00-10:00 Breakfast

10:00-11:30 Program

11:30-12:00 Coffee break

12:00-13:30 Program

13:30-15:00 Lunch

15:00-16:30 Program

16:30-17:00 Coffee break

17:00-18:30 Program

20:00Dinner (and free time after)

After the dinner I personally went to a bar with different groups of volunteers, depending who I spent the day with. The bar was a great place to get to know new people. For example, in the second night I went to the bar with a group of volunteers that participated in the mid-term-training, so I didn´t spent too much time with them during the day, but I really enjoyed that night.

The goal of the on-arrival-training is to inform the volunteers about the rights and duties, talk about experiences and expectations and to talk about the different projects. So, all in all its for the volunteers to meet other people who are in the same situation as they are, and to have people to talk with if there are problems in the hosting organisation. According to that we spent the first day with getting to know each other and talk about our projects, and the other things I mentioned but also doing team building, where we had to fix problems in a group.


But for me the best part of the training was the huge number of volunteers that where participating. It didn´t matter when or where you were going but you had always the chance to get to know a new person, which was very exciting. On the other side, at one point it became quiet annoying to always ask and answer the same questions.

Beside the “normal” activities there was one activity that I kept especially in mind.

The first one was the boat ride on Saturday night. At 5:30, all of us met in the hotel and were driven down to the river, by busses. There we had to wait a while, as there were groups coming from different hotels. After about one hour of waiting everyone finally arrived and we were good to go on the boat. We had the whole boat for the ESC volunteers, and the leaders, but still it didn´t felt like, because there were so many people I never saw before. At the boat we seat all in little groups together, and we enjoyed a good dinner while seeing the city and having a nice talk. I really enjoyed the night, and it was great because I had the chance to talk to people that weren´t in my hotel.