#BRAVOONTHEROAD: Youth Exchange in Gasbustua, Norway

I spent a beautiful 9 days on the program in Norway. During the exchange I gained unforgettable experiences and made new friendships. I had the opportunity to meet people from Morocco, Jordan, Ukraine, Lithuania, Poland, Norway and Turkey. During the presentation of their country, participants from each country created great presentations, quizzes and brought various treats. It was a real pleasure to try sweets from Jordan, coffee from Morocco, and because of the victory in the game organized by the Lithuanians, I returned home with a sweet gift. This was my first exchange of this type, but I am already preparing an application for the next one and I think that says enough. The participants from BiH were really great people who taught me a lot about BiH itself and the cities they come from. As for the organization of the project, I was placed in a room with 5 other girls. The accommodation was okay, but the food was very bad. Food was the only downside to the whole organization because we ate the same thing all the time, and one meal consisted of pasta, bread, potatoes and so on every day. Everything else was great, every day was filled with various interesting activities and I am really grateful for this great opportunity and I recommend it to everyone.

From the first day when I randomly bumped into other participants from Bosnia and Herzegovina somewhere in a little city in Norway, I could tell we were going to have a great time. The people I met opened my eyes and taught me so much, everybody was so open to share their experiences, knowledge and they were all ready to help with anything. That is why I am really thankful that I have gotten the opportunity to go to this Scandinavian country and explore it with amazing participants who showed me the beautiful places and cultures from the countries I have never had an opportunity to interact with. On the other hand, the organizors, although they were super friendly and fun, did not really do much in the workshops and the experience with food and kitchen was really bad till the end even with our everyday complaints. We were also expecting to explore more of the Nordic nature or cities, but that was not on our timetable, as well as to see and learn about Norway as a country, its culture and people but non of the participants or staff was from Norway so we did not get the experience. Overall experience was unforgetable, I spent amazing ten days with with lovely motivated youth which I cannot wait to see again, and I am looking forward to many more exchanges.

The eight days spent in Gasbustua in Norway was filled with much joy and entertainment. The region was indeed welcoming, especially to many solitary spirits craving loneness amidst the sounds of the forests. Personally I found the creeks and the woods soothing, the same could be said of the sharp cold wind. It’s howling kept me focused on my treks upon the marked paths, as well as during the times I strayed and got myself lost within the forest. Luckily it is not hard to find a way back, you should decide to wander on your own. As much as I had fun hiking and feeling the cold of the north upon my bare skin, it was the comfort of strangers and newly found friends that made the trip truly memorable. Under the sun, shadow and rain, many a tale was told. Tales of sorrow, of loss and of fear, but also those of hope, of joys and of goals yet to be pursued. Individually I will remember many names, kindred spirits I shall strive to see again, but as a whole it was truly the value of history and the past that we reminded ourselves of during nights of dance and song. Sadly we did not meet any teams from Norway, but when compared to the plethora of people already met, it is a minor blemish to an otherwise pristine experience. While I’m a person capable of going with the blandest of meals and the smallest of portions, those whose stomachs have been used to excess and specific diets, they didn’t fare as well. My biggest complaint would be the lack of cleanliness and the cramped accommodations that allowed a cold to spread among all of the residents. To conclude, I found counsel and contentment from this trip, for it was a chance to see new beauty, both of nature and of other human souls. And if chance could present itself, I would like to see more of our world with the BRAVO organization, hopefully with a longer period abroad.

The hospitality of the organization was great, the accommodation was wonderful. Some people have complained about the fact that 50 people are under the same roof, but for me, this project made it even more special. The food was delicious but not particularly nutritious and varied. The participants were great, we functioned great as a group. I was hoping for a little more concrete and instructive activities related to the project itself because there were not very specific tasks related to the topic we applied for. My experience is more than positive and I hope that there will be more similar projects in the future.

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