“I want to feel empowered”

When she arrives in Skopje with six other Spanish volunteers on the 7th of June, it is the first time in her life Sheila comes to Macedonia. She does not know the language, and has to integrate fast into a society that is completely unknown to her: the VET program she enrolled indeed finishes at the end of July. 

However, our Spanish intern is determined to make this experience a success. Despite her previous past experiences (work in a pizzeria, in a kindergarten, and a supermarket), she is young: She is only 19, and she has her whole life ahead of her. This new experience can be used, according to her own words, “as an opportunity to learn new things, be more outgoing and independent.”

“At the beginning of my stay, I was introduced to the activity of the company, the environment, and my colleagues and felt more relaxed. The project is called “Inspection of the electrical network with the help of drones.” It will be the first time in my life I will fly a drone, and I feel thrilled about this. I have previously taken an online pilot course on the Yudemi platform, studied the drone manual, and got acquainted with the drone and its equipment. My work with the drones involves how to operate them, that is how for example, to use them to take aerial views and pictures about the infrastructures”.

She is also in charge of the marketing part of her firm; in other words, she has to think about the posts, the slogans, the presentation of the company, and the promotional actions on social media, along with her colleagues.

A normal day at work can be described as the following: “I take the bus at 10:30 a.m., and I arrive at the office at 11:00. At 12:00, I discuss with my colleagues how I can improve the company. I finish work around 3:00- 3:30 p.m., and then the bus takes around 15 minutes to get me home. When we fly the drones, the pattern of the day can be very different as my colleagues, and I get up very early, then we go in a room to check together the photos taken by the drones”.

I also ask her about her relationship with her coworkers, and she does not hesitate to describe it as “excellent” and “reciprocal.” When she has time, she teaches them some lessons in Spanish while her workmates teach her Macedonian language.

As her stay comes to an end, I ask her about her stay in Macedonia and if she regrets leaving this place for Barcelona, the town where she comes from. 

She admits her life in Skopje was comfortable and insists on the quality of food, which is (like many other things in Macedonia) much cheaper than in the capital of Catalonia.

We decide to leave on these words. Sheila will go back to Spain at the end of July, but we believe that her stay in our unusual Slavic country will be memorable!

Yvan Barbeau

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