I’ve been in Belfast since the 16 th of November 2017. I would split my report into two main parts: work in a workshop, free time.
So, work in a workshop.
Our working place is a big enough warehouse with loads of shelves with tools and sewing machines inside.
All the work divided into two main fields: sewing machines and tools. In first one volunteers repair and check all kinds of sewing machines (Singer, Brother, etc), test them and complete the paper work for shipment.
The volunteer from tools section do instruments of all kinds. I am in sewing machines section.
We work from 9.30 to 17.00, with two tee breaks at 10.30 and 15.30 for 15 minutes, and one lunch at 12.30 for 30 minutes. We cook for everybody in a workshop, so there is always somebody "on duty".
Despite I had some basic knowledge about sewing before I came here, I had no clue about what inside is. So, basically, I was nub in refurbishing sewing machines.
However, our leader John had patiently repeated and shown all the steps in checking and fixing. We had started from very old Singer machines (20-30ies).
After I’ve completed and fixed first a few models, my leader switched to another one model. That one is more modern, Brother, (Made in Japan), from 50-60ies.
I was just wondering, when I’ve opened it, cause inside it was the same constructed as Singer machine. The only thing that was added by engineers - was the electric module for pedal.
As far, as this type of machine has connection to electricity, John went with me through the basics of electrotechnics. Honestly, I’ve stucked on the first part, the introduction to UK socket. These three things "Live", "Zero", and "Earth" just could not exist together with Ukrainian standard "Live" and "Zero".
Despite this fact, now I know how to check the electrical equipment before you plug it in. (Actually, I ve called to my dad, who explained me the difference between standards in sockets).
I do remember something from uni course of electrothechnics, but it wasn't enough for real practice.
In a nutshell, from the written above, you can see, that my learning progress goes more or less fast, sometimes very challenging, but always extremely interesting.
Most of my free time I spend in our house or going out to the city centre for a walk.
We live in a house with 6 more volunteers. Mostly all are from EVS program. and the only guy came here with ERENE program. The geography of us is spread all over Europe: Italy, Spain, France, Germany and Ukraine.
We all work for the Tools For Solidarity, and we are like big family. ;) In the house there are also schedule for cooking and cleaning and common money. We put every week each 8 pounds for buying food and stuff for house (washing powder, bread, milk, etc).
Often we grab together in a common room in front of fireplace and TV and watch films on DVD or Netflix. Recently we ve done the cycling on weekend to the Giant Ring - nice place near the Belfast.
From time to time we go to pubs. (Yes, you cannot escape this place in Northern Ireland). Local Guinness and "13" are good, however you should try the ale. The funniest thing is, that your Northern Irish accent becames better and better from one pint to another ;)
Also, I am trying to participate in events in the city, in another NGOs. So, no so long ago I went to the Queens University to participate in Food Security lection for the 3th year students of Political Studies.
Together with our another leader Stephen and volunteer from Germany, Nico, we went to Erasmus+ anniversary to Derry. It was interesting, however the most interesting thing was that fact, that it was the day, when the first snow had felt down.No more than 1-1.5 sm in total. But it caused the closed auto roads, closed schools, ans even closed airports! Can you imagine that?)) And, yes, temperature outside was about +1...0 C =))
Welcome to Northern Ireland ;)
Iuliia Avetisian, 29 years old, Kyiv