Serena Lisai – Italy.
March 2018 – September 2018
I was looking for a new experience to make me feel more connected with the environment and to “dirt my hands” with the environmental public awareness issue. – Serena, March 2018
I arrived in Murter during the night, it was cold and it was raining. Six months on a small island, volunteering. All my family thought I got crazy, my best friends knew that it was the right place for me. I didn’t know what Murter was going to represent to me. Only one thing was sure in my mind, that place was full of magic. I chose to follow that sparkle. I fell in love with the beaches, the sunsets (some sunrise too), the brilliant green of the trees, the water of the sea (so salty which left my lips white), and that weird sound the local people made talking too (yes, Croatian).
When I decided to do this experience with Argonauta, I did not expect to gain relevant skills for my professional future. I wanted to do it to be useful to somebody else. For once, I did not care about my curriculum and my career. I wanted just to stop, take a breath, be unselfish, be young, and take my time. Well, I also wanted to visit Croatia! In the end, I learnt so many things that it’s hard to write all of them down (and yes, I travelled all around this wonderful Country). With Argonauta, I got a family, several mums (girls power!), lovely friends, amazing workmates. I had the opportunity to put my personal and professional skills under the service of the association. I could not imagine how being a landscape architect could be so useful inside an NGO. Well, it would be a lie to say that everything had been so simple. I had my tough times. Moments when I didn’t have any clue how to face a task, such as making a promotional video, or interviews, creating workshops from nothing, being creative (always, every day!). Those moments, I realized, more than ever, that I was not alone. I could count on Argonauta’s team, my EVS friends and that beautiful island (being in nature gives you all the creativity you need). I learnt how to face any kind of challenge, always keeping the stress under control (eating a burek or an ice-cream).
I can say that EVS saved me. After the university, it’s common to be scared. Everybody is asking you what you are gonna do now. The most negative person is yourself. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know if I was ready to be a real person (students are not persons, we know that). Murter helped me to gain the right amount of courage, insanity, and creativity to face all the challenges this world will put in front of me. I am back on my island know, in Italy, looking for a job which could give me the same amount of happiness that working in Argonauta gave to me (big challenge eh?). I am back to my field of expertise, working with Climate change and environment, aware that maybe the path to reach my dream job will be a bit longer. But, I will not stop before to find a way to be in peace with myself and with this beautiful planet.
Murter and the work with Argonauta can give you a lot. So, follow the magic of the island. Allow your creativity to explode and go to see the bioluminescent plankton in Podvrške beach (in a night without moon), you’ll love it! – December 2018