What a privilege. I recently had the opportunity to be spontaneous and dive into an entirely unknown world.
I had no clue what to expect, but I think it is “life-affirming” to once in a while do something completely different from what you typically do. The RecrearMagnify conference in Armenia was exactly that experience. So how did it go?
From the very first day I was met by open and friendly Armenians who inspired me to mirror their openness and made me keen to explore the people, the culture and the country. In short – I was moved to get the most out of my twelve days in Armenia.
It might seem overly ambitious to learn a language that is only spoken by very few people. Still, it didn’t require a lot of effort to learn a couple of basic Armenian words while on a 2.5 hours bus drive. Add my Danish-accent and “Barev, vontses?” (hi, how are you?) proved a good way to make people laugh or spark an interesting conversation with one of the few English speaking Armenians.
As for the conference, it turned out to be a mix of exploring Armenia, organizational work and personal development. I must say that I, as someone who values efficiency, was dying to get started and know more about Recrear. As a result, my patience was challenged as we launched ourselves into a three day long personal development course where we were introduced to the discipline of meditation and silence. Nevertheless, the combination of exploring the beauty of the countryside in Stepanavan and the space provided to reflect on my personal values motivated me even more to start working.
My experience of working with the Recrear team gave me a handful of cool friends and access to an exciting network. It also gave me a new and enriching perspective on how else to approach development work – an area I had given up on due to some discouraging experiences.
You can be a completely open person, but sometimes you just get sucked into your everyday life. Spending two weeks in Armenia with the Recrear crew and a lot of friendly Armenians reminded me of the importance of being open, curious and responsive to new people and experiences. You never know what you will find, whom you will meet or where they will take you, but its certain that you have nothing to lose!
– Jonas Sylvester Kaspersen, Denmark
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