My EVS in the south of Berlin.
"Whether one is old or young - he is man. And man shall face helpful love".
That's what Friedrich Karl Otto Dibelius, first bishop of Berlin, said after Second World War and that's why the senior residence where I am doing my EVS, Wohnstift Otto Dibelius, took his name.
It was founded in 1971 and it hosts almost 500 residents.
As you can imagine, it's quite impossible to know everyone, but during these four months of volunteering, i´ve been entering in contact with the most part of them.
So, what am I exactly doing here? Or, what's an italian girl with a very basic German knowledge (at the beginning at least) doing in a senior residence in Berlin?
Well, in the morning, twice a week, i´m working at the reception.
My job consists in talking a little bit with the residents, trying to solve their problems, trying to answer to their questions and trying to give them their post :D
Even if there's been always someone else with me (a competent person, I mean), the first days it was a shock!
And GERMAN NUMBERS were, of course, the greatest shock.
Can you figure out my face when I heard for the first time the word ZWO? Eins, zwo, drei. Gut.
Now it's getting better, likely, and I manage to remember some residents apartment numbers too. Ich bin zufrieden.
On Tuesday and Thursday, I use to help the physiotherapist in her Lauftraining. That's a great chance to know the elderly people who are living here and, above all, to make them knowing me.
Finally, in the afternoon, I take part in some "hobby circles" organised by the residents themselves.
The "reading circle" is the best one, I think. People involved are so nice, and it is a big opportunity to improve my language skills.
I'm the only european volunteer in the residence, and German is the only language I can speak here. At the beginning it was very, very difficult to understand, to speak, to communicate with the others, but now, after four months, I can say that it was the best way to "immerse" myself in the german culture.
The first of december I'm coming back home, coming back to Naples, and I will miss everything, every word I can understand, every word I can't.