Wednesday, August 30, 2017

SAYING GOODBYE IS HARD

We, Sandor, Sophie and Brigita had a unique and inspiring year in Atlantic Bridge. It was a year where we learned a lot about crossing cultures and about the various parts of the Christian faith. As we look back, for each of us it was a different experience. So we would like to give you a brief overview of what this year has meant for each of us. Not for Leo, though, as he started later and will continue till November. This photo puts us at the front of the City Hall of Hermsdorf, Germany, where our adventure started! Leo was not with us then!

Sandor

It is really hard to summarize a year just in a few sentences, but since the time is here, I will try. I have written another blog post where I mentioned how different were my first insights I had with Atlantic Bridge from that I experienced before, which was due to the organisation’s Christian background and due to the fact, that I didn’t have this background. My grandparents were Christians before the Communists got in power in Hungary after the WW II, but I couldn’t say about me the same anymore. My curiosity drove me back to their faith, but for a really supportive community which helped me to learn about Christianity I had to leave my country. Thanks to the projects and the experiences I gained together with the other interns I got closer to something unique, something really valuable.

But this year wasn’t all just about Christianity. I got time for myself, tried out things, fell and stood up and all this in a way that I could be sure nothing could go wrong. It is hard to pick specifics I learnt, but if I had to I would mention that I developed my language skills which will play an enormous role in my future and had time to rethink the priorities in my life.

But all this couldn’t have happened without the other three interns I now, without any doubts, can call my friends. Friends, who understood me at the end almost without saying anything and who will never forget that “broken glass is actually fun”.

Sophie
When I left Northern Ireland for the Netherlands I had no idea about what Atlantic bridge was or what I was getting into and an entire year seemed like a very long time. However, now I’m reflecting on what was possibly the craziest year of my life, it seems like my time in Kruiningen was all too short and I can’t quite believe it’s over.

Working with Atlantic Bridge has taught me so much about Youth, different cultures, working in the middle and of course being flexible! Over the course of my time there I met so many amazing young people who I formed relationships with and got to know on a deeper level. Not only did I meet young people but I also became part of the larger network which is the Atlantic Bridge family. Therefore the Youth Work Factory was the perfect way to finish off my year by spending time with so many wonderful people who I have come to know and love over my time with AB.

Looking back I have done things I never would’ve imagined doing in my lifetime from teaching Dutch students about Northern Ireland’s political history to sailing down the vltava river in Prague whilst eating a rather delicious pizza. This year has been one of exploration, travel, self discovery and growth and I am a more rounded person because of it. I love Atlantic Bridge’s vision and I am excited to see how this develops and grows in the coming years.

However, my time with AB wouldn’t have been the same without the other interns: S├índor, Brigita and Leopold. We became work mates, house mates and best mates all merged into one. We have entirely different taste in food, taste in music, religious beliefs and opinions on current affairs but this is how we learnt from each other and opened each others eyes to different slants on life. I have learnt lots from them and I’ve hope they’ve also learnt something from me, even if it’s only understanding sarcasm. I can’t thank them enough for all the good times over the past year and for making me laugh every day. Although life in Northern Ireland is a lot more straight forward, I will miss the madness of the vierslag!

So thank you to Atlantic Bridge and everyone whom I have met over the past year for teaching me so much, I will remember this year fondly. Who knows you may see my face pop up again in the future, but until then, keep on building bridges!

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