My name is Ana and I come from Portugal. I’ve joined CICD in April 2011, starting with Gaia program and later joining Development Instructor 14 month’s program with placement in Mozambique.
The moment I found CICD I knew I had to go for it. I had graduated in Tourism two months before and I was definitely looking for something rather different than getting a regular job. I knew there was something more out there than starting the “real adult life”. I’ve always thought of joining a mission one day, but that thought was never that close to happen.
Few months later I started Gaia with my new team. Everything was new, interesting, tough and challenging. Most of my time in CICD I worked as a promoter. I had the chance to organize several info meetings and travel often to my country. It was a very interesting job and to be honest quite easy for me, as I just had to tell people about how things work and how I felt about it.
In CICD you definitely grow and change a lot. You need to adapt, be tolerant and respect others. You’ll also hear this hundreds of times, but it’s the truth. It can be very hard for you if you like to do things in your own way, but you’ll learn to be humble. Many challenges imposed by the teachers will seem to be unfair, however they will test you, and you’ll understand that as soon as you get in the real situation and need to solve everything by yourself. And yes, there is a real point for such a long training.
CICD is also a place of many hellos and goodbyes. You will see many people close to you leaving and new ones coming all the time. It’s not always easy and the way is not that smooth, but if you have good intentions and motivation, you’ll do it till the end, with no regrets.
My time in Mozambique was simply amazing. It was hard and challenging with lots of changes and new places. I’ve absolutely had the chance the meet so many local people and so many places around the country, get to know the organization better and understand how things work. I had to tolerate many things I’d never agree with and that were beyond of my understanding.
It’s beautiful to see how things change since you started till you leave, but even if your intention of joining the program is to help others, you’ll actually be the one getting helped the most– I don’t think there’s a shame on that, as when you change yourself you’ll always change things around you.
Back in the UK and after sharing my experience around the country, my future plans were a bit different. I moved to Estonia to live with my today’s life partner that I met in the College and started a new life. Although I still do volunteer work here in Tallinn, it’s more like a hobby. First I started working for a fun historical sailing ship where I stayed for two years and now I work for an amazing company that intends to revolutionize the banking system. Even though what I do is not related to my CICD experience, I’m definitely sure that I wouldn’t be where I am today without it and without everything I’ve learnt.
CICD is not for everyone, but it’s also not for just a certain kind of people. It’ll be in you no matter what you do for living, what you have done before or what you want to achieve in the future, as that is only up to you to decide, but I can guaranteed you that it will influence everything.
I’d definitely do it again, but now I’d be wiser and try to take the most of it. You’re very welcome to contact me if you wish to know more about my experience and project.
All the best,