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“Don’t be afraid to be free, and be you”- thats the EVS

My name is Verónica, I am from Madrid, Spain, and I was an EVS volunteer at CABUWAZI, a social circus in Berlin.
I arrived exactly 343 days ago.
343 days ago, I arrived in a city which rhythm was so fast that I couldn’t even imagine myself riding a bike through the chaos of the streets of Neukolln, next to dozens of big luxurious cars which owners played loud Turkish trap music and big vans containing enormous amounts of Turkish bread. Now my beautiful old bike, my wheeled Pegasus, is resting in the backyard, waiting for the next time we ride together.
343 days ago, I couldn’t even pronounce the name of the streets. Now I have one memory in every corner. That bridge where I found out I was in love, while the sun, dressed in a variety of oranges, reds and yellows, was making the last performance of the day .The way back home after the never ending nights of private dancing with the moon. That graffiti that I used to read every morning on my way to work, because it was written in Spanish and was the only one I could understand.
343 days ago, I was looking hopeless at the always grey sky. Now I don’t even look at the window. As someone that used to work with me at the circus said, you are the architect of your own reality. The producer of your thoughts and the director of your life. Everything comes from inside you, everything that can affect you is inside you, and never outside.
343 days ago I started to work in a circus.
In the circus we had various disciplines:
The tight rope is a metal rope that pinches your feet while you are trying to walk on it, every step counts if your goal is to arrive to the end of the rope, and you are balancing always on one side and the other. The tight rope has taught me that’s exactly how life works. A continuous balance, trying to find an equilibrium that leads to the end, one step after the other, every step
as important as the last while some of us walk the rope easier than others, who have it more difficult and have to juggle with balls, claws and on one foot.
In the circus there are also clowns.
343 Days ago I was coming from very specific area of the planet, a very tiny one. With me, a suitcase, an enormous suitcase, bigger than me, full of ideas, prejudgements and behaviours set by the context I had been living in for years.
After this year working with children of different backgrounds and meeting so much different people in this multicultural city I have gained knowledge about how people behave. There is no good, no bad in the emotions we feel, and that is what makes us humans. Like clowns, we can run from a variety of emotions, and cause pain, happiness or anger to the others around us. I have learned to love myself and set limits, say no when I didn’t want and yes when I wanted. To identify conflict and find ways to solve it in creative ways.
I have learned that my ideas can grow with me, and adapt to my personal growth. I don’t need any more to have full certainties.
Aerial silks are teaching me that when you really want something you must make an effort, the biggest goals aren’t achieved instantly, and I have learned there is beauty in going through all the challenges that it takes to accomplish something, and the difficult path will be always the most interesting and worth experiencing.
After this 343 days I see Berlin as a city that has gone through a lot. In the monuments and buildings you can still see the wounds of the wars that ruined people´s hopes, you can walk next to the wall that ripped apart people´s lives. You can bike through the airport that was designed for the war, that now it is the home of community gardens and of hundreds of people fleeing from the armed conflicts happening not so far away from here.
Berlin has leaked its wounds slowly, flowers and trees have grown there where there were tanks, kites fly there where military planes landed, and tourists visit every day the murals painted on the wall that divided the city.
Berlin has taught me a valuable lesson: you can change, take a different path, reinvent yourself, and grow flowers where you have scars. Don’t be afraid to be free, and be you.
Life is a show…and the show must go on.
Forever grateful to the EVS.