Another week, another blog post from our UWC volunteers! Today, you will have the chance to read Marianna’s reflection on her favorite activity.
”I know that usually the first isn’t the best, but the first event I got to attend happened to be my favorite one. That day, as usual in me, I was late to the meeting point in which I would start my first tour guide experience around the center of Maastricht. When I arrived I was nervous since I had to be quick while registering the people in order to start the tour in time. Fortunately, I managed to get the names of the people attending the tour and didn’t forget to take my camera with me, which allowed me to start taking photos since the very first moment.
Lucy, the tour leader, took us in a walk around the city center by places that I barely had visited nor heard about. Along the beautiful and important places we visited, I had the opportunity to converse with such interesting and diverse tour members. They were mostly expats, tourists and University students who wanted to have a different view of the Maastricht that’s often portrayed. What I found in that experience was unique. I discovered the hidden history of a place that seemed strange for me and that experience helped me to feel closer to it.
As I had only spent 2 months in the city when I started volunteering in Meet Maastricht I was not familiar with the context and the relevance of the place until I participated in that tour. Maybe that’s why it is so special to me. I will never forget all the nice people I had a chat with, in which we shared our experience as foreigners who miss home but are learning to love their new one. Also, every time I walk by the places we visited such as the Vrijthof, Maastricht University and the Marres museum, I remember all the details and fun facts Lucy told us about it.
After we finished the tour, I warmly said goodbye to all the attendants and closed the tour in a fresh and dark afternoon. Lucy took me to drink some coffee and she told me more stories and curiosities about Maastricht that surprised me and made me know more about Dutch culture. I have had more opportunities to join different activities that I found amazing such as a Vlaai workshop or a Brouwerij tour, however I got fascinated by that calm and fun walk around the center that, even though seems small, has a lot of things to discover.”