In April showers bring May flowers. Or at least that’s what I try to think when it starts bucketing in Belfast as if there were no tomorrow. Here you can experience the four seasons in just one day but it’s remarkable to see how the climatic circumstances never prevent people from doing what they had planned for the day. It was one of these changeable and unpredictable afternoons when I went to see an exhibition that showed photos of some of the participants that regularly attend one of the weekly drop-in events in the Black Box. The objective of the artist was to display the expressions of her models’ faces just the way they are, without artificial poses. When I was directing all my attention to the photos, identifying most of the faces, a familiar face that regularly attends the group ‒this time in real life‒approached me and said with a broad smile: “Hi, Lucia! Welcome to my exhibition!” It was at that precise second that I understood the value of minor details that actually make a difference in an EVS volunteer’s daily life.
I’ve learnt a lot during the last months and fortunately there are still many things coming up, involving Black Moon, the Kidnap group and the Creating Connections group. It’s in this last project where we are now developing activities based on drama and fairy-tales with which we are trying to promote creativity and communication skills. Lately I also attended a course in Makaton, which is something that I found extremely gripping as I have always been interested in sign language and now I am frequently in contact with people who use some of these signs and symbols, which are designed for individuals who cannot express efficiently by speaking. It was immensely rewarding for me to get to communicate with them by just using our arms!
In short, this is a brief explanation of how my life in Belfast goes by, trying to do my bit in the Black Box while still struggling to understand all the ins and outs of the English language.