During my stay as a volunteer I have had different activities, but without any doubt, visits to people with diseases have been the one I liked the most and the one I enjoyed the most. Although I didn’t have the opportunity to go to many visits (only to three to be more precise), they have been an incredible experience.
My first visit was to a Croatian woman named Aleksandra with sclerosis who didn’t speak English but understood it. I went with another volunteer from Croatia who had been living in Zagreb for five years and thanks to her I was able to communicate with the woman. In this case, all she really needed was company and a little air, and not being able to do it alone, we helped her out of the house and went to a nearby bar to get some juice and some fresh air. The truth is that it was a very nice experience because she looked happy even though she didn’t have it easy.
The second visit I made to a lady named Slavka who was in a wheelchair. This time I went with my project partner Fede, and the woman did not speak or understand English, but as all I needed was a ride and inflate the wheels of the wheelchair was quite easy communication. Besides, the lady was the one in charge at all times and she was very funny because we communicated by signs and she seemed to be the leader, but she was a very nice and nice lady.
The third visit without a doubt has been the one that has taught me the most and the one that has made me appreciate what I have in Spain. It was with Sanda, a woman with Parkinson’s who recently lost her husband. I went again with Fede and since it was our first visit to this woman none of us knew exactly the address (on google maps it is quite badly situated), however as she spoke English she showed us how to get there and although we took 20 minutes, it was worth it. When we arrived she offered us fruit and juices, as well as anything we needed (even some pasta she had cooked). We helped her with basic household things like setting up the washing machine and putting in a new one and cleaning the dishes, and we also went shopping for her. Sanda explained her situation to us, that she had been an artist before, and that she has a daughter who loves Spanish (we made Skype with her and sent her a video speaking in Spanish) and always with a smile on her face. Sanda had a visit the next day to the hospital and they still had to cut her feet to avoid developing tumors or some worse disease, and yet you saw her value life in an enviable way. I suppose this has been the best experience while I have been here because it made me learn so much with so little, and the courage that it showed me I will apply them from now on in my life.
In short, I would have liked to have had the opportunity to have more visits and even to visit Sanda more times because she was really happy that we were there, she thanked us more than necessary because we should really be the ones to thank her for the life lesson she gave us without even knowing it.