“Experience of BYOS: “Build Your Own Surrounding” -Youth exchange, in Italy
10 days in a dreamy eco-village, spent with 35 people from 5 different countries; strangers who made a big impact in our life, but 10 days prior they were just strangers who lived in another part of Europe. These 10 days we learned how to cooperate as a team, during the day we cooked plant based meals together, made a biodynamic pond to diverse the ecosystem, worked and helped eachother in construction work around the eco village and maintained the garden. But in the afternoon we had workshops that helped us to reflect on ourselves and on our team members. We had chance to bond on a deeper level through creative tasks, making theater plays and art works. Evenings were also very fun because we sang karaoke, made eurovision contest, played quizes, had movie night and watched documentaries,
Maybe the most significant impact on us as individuals was something we did throughout the whole stay at the eco village. We were given a task to randomly select our “secret friend” to whom we should show little acts of appreciation like writing letters, giving little presents, being kind to them, making them coffee, saving extra fruit for them and that kind of small things, without that person noticing and making it obvious. It gave us the opportunity to connect with a person with whom we might otherwise not have made contact, but with this we learned how we can find a common language and common interests with everyone and bond on an emotional level.
This kind of experience and impact of it on our life is hard to explain to someone who werent there but all in all it is experience that i would recommend to any young person who is maybe struggling, feeling misunderstood or lost at this moment in their life and this kind of environment is proof that we are all one of a kind, special and that at the end of the day we had chance to make friendships for life with people all around Europe.
Sara Betlach, Croatia “