Monday, October 26, 2009

Iruna de Oca, Archaeological project, Spain - Summer 2005

Before the work camp I had feelings of anxiety but it ended as perhaps the most amazing experience of my life! After a day of travel I arrived at the meeting place in the Basque Country and gradually the other volunteers arrived one by one, all very relaxed, friendly and welcoming. Despite the varying levels of English it was still possible to communicate, whether it be through mime or actions, or through others as translators, and everyone could still have fun together. Conversation was so good, everyone and everything was so much fun and so interesting. Work was short but relaxed, and finding bones, pots, pottery, metal nails and even some bronze was incredible, others even found coins and baby skeletons! The afternoons were very chilled, an opportunity for a siesta or to visit the nearby swimming pool or sunbathe. The evenings and weekends were always well organised with local places of interest to visit, walks, hikes, excursions to towns and coastline, wine tasting, many fun games and even a night of massaging. The summer festival in the village/town included live music and an opportunity to let your hair down in the fiesta whether through dancing or a few drinks. The 23 volunteers included seven nationalities, many of which I feel I will keep in contact with and meet again in the future. On board were four autistic boys who despite their handicap managed to integrate just as everyone else. From this camp I have discovered it is the people that really count the most and I now recognise the importance, despite a difference in nationality or language, of the learning, enjoyment and understanding that can exist between us”

Oliver Pitcher

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