Carlos and Jose are both European Volunteers...
Carlos and Jose both work as Volunteers at the for the
“Technology Education Sports” organisation. They make up the Spanish division. Few in number but strong in force they supervise the tables, keep an eye on the needs of 50 hungry people ready to attack Penelope’s delicious meals and show their unexpected skills as professional egg painters, for instance.
Carlos comes from a small town close to Lleida and Barcelona and has been living in Greece for one year now. Carlos remembers that when he left from Spain his relatives didn’t agree on his project, now the situation has changed.
Jose wanted to try voluntary work and the country of first choice was Greece. He wanted to get to know the culture and he has friends in Athens. An NGO in Madrid found this project for him. After four months he can say that the work really pleases him. He’s been already working in a company for a while, but voluntary work offers instead of money another level of satisfaction.
The Spanish guys both miss special habits from their country. Carlos would love to eat delicious paella on Sunday and could kill for a good “espresso” after lunch. Jose speaks with nostalgia about the siesta between 2 and 4 p.m. Only then he’s entirely ready for a wild night in the bars of Madrid. In the weekend he used to wake up late and go for canas y tapas. Later he would visit his parents and appreciate his mothers’ food. Tortilla potatoes, cocido, chorizo… the Spanish accents in the Mediterranean kitchen. Carlos is a big fan of the Spanish music and humor. Jose has a love-hate relation with Madrid: when he lives there he’d like to just get away but when he’s abroad he always misses the city. The perfect alternative would be to live in smaller, quieter cities in the north, like Gijon, or San Sebastian in Bilbao. He used to see the Spanish people as slow, quite… not to use the word lazy, but says that his perspective on this changed since his stay in Greece. Jose is very proud of his country. Only the independency discussion presents a serious problem. He hopes that the younger generation will be more open minded and that the Spanish people will see themselves as one country.
The guys both see religion as a private matter between God and the person. Carlos is member of the catholic religion, but he doesn’t go to church. Jose’s father is catholic and he went to a catholic schools ruled by priests. His belief evolved independent from the church. Spanish people in general are very religious although this is decreasing among the youth. Easter is the religious feast which is the most related with feelings. On Thursday the last diner is remembered. The priest washes the feet of some members of the community. After the service they light a fire of the branches of olive trees, to symbolize Jesus’ prayers on White Thursday. People go qround with candles. On Friday evening “procesiones” take place in the south of Spain, Andalusia. Jose describes big cars with icons and people carrying statues of Jesus and the Virgin Mary. The atmosphere is very sad. People walk through the streets on the rhythm of he drums. Suddenly one person can stop the procession and start singing the saeta, very dramatic songs. On Easter Day, in contrast, you’ll see happy people singing to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. During the Vigilia on Friday evening, some people stay awake whole night to pray in the Church. Saturday is the day of the big celebration because Jesus is alive. After a ceremony, a very nice procession with two groups of people, the men carrying a statue of Jesus and the women the Virgin Mary. They meet each other in the middle of the town at the church. Then a Judas puppet is thrown from the tower. Sunday people celebrate that Jesus has risen. Chocolate eggs also found there way to Spain, people give them as presents on Saturday and Sunday.