Return to work: state of mind, debriefing.

Hello hello, I’m back for a new article. Indeed, we came back to work last week. It was so long so I’m really happy to be back. This vírus fucked up everything: our summer, the work, our project and our freedom. But here we are. Finally!

The last few days or weeks or maybe months were really tiring and sometimes difficult. I will do a recap since I arrived.

Indeed, first, when I came here in January I was so happy to be here for this first experience abroad. However, it was really complicated for me because of my shyness. I was probably that shy because I was the new volunteer in the organization, I didn’t know anything about computers and my english was not very good. Actually, my english was fine but I was too scared to make mistakes. This shyness was really annoying, it kept me from having a good relationship with other because I didn’t express myself and I was too stressed when I talked. So of course, it kept me from being happy with myself. As I said, the language was an obstacle for me at the beginning but finally I think it’s only because I was to shy and scared to say something wrong, to misunderstand or to be misunderstood.

Then, later in my project, almost 2 months after I arrived in Portugal, I had some health issues, far from my family and since my language prevented me from speaking well to express myself, it was really difficult.  I spent two difficults weeks during which I was abble to visit three hospitals. The pain started on Sunday February 2 when I came back to the beach with Rosa, another volunteer. My throat hurted a lot and I was very tired. Next day, I tried to go out but I couldn’t because of the pain. So I sent a message to Justyna to told her that I suffered. So she told me not come at work and that she would bring me medicine. And she did but this medicine didn’t work, the pain was still here and maybe it was worst. The pain was insupportable, my throat was very swollen, I couldn’t swallow and it was very painful to eat and even to breathe so of course I slept very badly. I was also a bit scared because I went in 2 hospitals and no one knew what I had but finally in the third one, after 10 hours waiting with Monica they found what I had: a kind of vírus. When they finally found it was so much easier for me. However, even if it was super hard, I had a really good support with people from Rato-ADCC and also Monica’s mother. I didn’t feel alone and I know that I was lucky to have them, they took care of me and they spend a lot of time coming with me in hospitals.


Then we had the Covid-19 so like everyone we had the quarantine. I don’t know if I can say that it was difficult for me because I know that it was so much harder for some people, for exemple people who worked in hospitals, in the shops, in agriculture, for the homeless persons… Since I know this I really can’t complain about my situation. Only because I was far from my family, I missed them and I was scared for them. But again, I was lucky to have people from Rato- ADCC who often asked about us especially Justyna, she understood us and was so nice to us. And also, I was really lucky to have Rosa, I was not alone and she really helped me to stay positive and to find motivation.


The last thing I would like to talk about which was really difficult was the bedbugs. Indeed, this was the last problem I had here and not least. I really don’t know when they appeared because apparantly they were already here since they had this problem before I arrived. They had one intervention at this time. Then when I was here, the company came 3 times because the bugs were really strong.  It was so difficult for us because we had to change the house 3 times, then when we came back we had to clean a lot everywhere, the floor, the clothes, the sheets: absolutely everything. This period was really tiring first because of this cleaning but mostly because we were paranoid so it kept us awake, we didn’t sleep well at all and when they bit us it was really disturbing because it was very itchy. Finally we got rid of these insects thanks to Rato-ADCC who really took care of everything with the company.


So this was the biggest problems and inconvenience I had since Im here so almost 7 months. Of course, they are other things like all what I miss from my country, for example the food, cheese or meat, my family, my friends and also the language because it’s still easier for me to talk in french even if my english improved a lot. I know that it seems a lot of negative points. I swear, next time I will talk about what I like and why I’m happy to be here and you will see, there is so much more positivity.