Read the testimony of Andrea, who came from Italy to take part in the second session of the ELIX workcamp in Amvrakia.
“During Summer 2019, I took part in the workcamp “Sustainable Paths in Amvrakia" organised by ELIX. For me, this was the best opportunity to visit Greece and see the not so tourist parts of this country.
Amvrakia is a small village in the south-west part of Greece, a group of houses built in the mountains. Before this project, I didn't know neither the place, nor Greek, but everything was very easy, thanks to the detailed infosheet and the Facebook group we created in the previous days with the other volunteers.
Our accomodation in Amvrakia was an abandoned school made up of toilettes and three rooms. Two of them were used as sleeping rooms and the third as a kitchen. The organization provided us food, working gloves and ELIX t-shirts. Everyday the home team (made up of two volunteers) had to clean the rooms and prepare meals for the group, while all the other people had to go to work.
The aim of the camp was to help the local community in building white stones walking paths. First of all, we had to prepare a texture of concrete, sand and water. Once lied on earth, it would have become the basis of the path. Then, we had to break large square white stones in small irregular pieces and to fill them in the background. We had to learn to behave like a team, since the work was hard and all the materials were moved only passing them hand to hand, like a human chain. We had to work five days per week and during the weekends, we made two trips, one along a torrent, one in a very nice bay. All our differences, of nationality, language, cultural background were delayed by the will of belief in a different world, where people are able to dialogue between them and this idea that volunteering is something normal.
The villagers really loved us: they prepared more than one cake and other things during the two week camp. They were also very curious and interested in our personal stories. Once, for example, the headmaster invited us to his house to share lunch with his family. After work, nearly everyday I remember we used to go to a waterpool created by the nearby torrent to have a relaxing swim. It was a special place since it was surrounded by mountains. I can't describe the feeling, but for sure I have never seen anything like that before. In the evenings, after washing up and cleaning up, we generally played games or sang old songs thanks to the accordion music played by the coordinator. I don't know what the other volunteers will remember, but I loved so much showing them the basis of italian cooking style, like pasta with sauce or preparing grilled vegetables.”