So I’m Miriam and here I am in Carcassonne!
I’ve already spent a few months as an ESC volunteer in this city from the South of France. I had already heard about this program, however, even though I am a determined person with several international experiences « up my sleeve », I had never thought I’d embark on such an adventure again.
I had already finished my studies, spent a few years moving around, and I was telling myself I should find a job and settle down. But when I saw a social media ad coming from a cultural association in search of a volunteer to help them with the organization of concerts and musical composition events, I didn’t hesitate in sending them my CV and application form. I found it was a great opportunity to work in my field (culture), especially with it being in an international environment.
A week later I was called for a Slack interview and had to get my bearings when, at the end of the conversation, they told me I had to pack my bags. They wanted me to arrive in 2 weeks!
I arrived in Carcassonne 3 days before the local confinement – what a lucky girl! Even though I was « trapped » in a city I didn’t know with people I had never seen in my life, I lived every moment as if it were the last. I learned to love the tiny cobbled streets of the citadel, I enjoyed a drink out (when possible!), I met many people and I managed to find my spot in this city, and more importantly, in the association.
My volunteering year has surely been quite uncommon: a year under the weight of a global health crisis that stopped the world from running its course and that has deeply damaged the field of culture; a year that has taught me how to be more patient, that has emphasized my ability to adapt and my team player attitude, and a year in which I made peace with technology! When you’re not allowed to get closer than a meter distance to someone, Zoom can turn out to be quite a useful tool!
I am almost at the end of my volunteering program now and I can only be thankful to life for having given me this opportunity! 🙂