I’m Paul, and this is the place where I’m going to write articles (mini-articles) regarding my internship. I hope you will enjoy it!
First things first: leaving the Langenlois Friendship Camp was hard, very hard! But in a way, our internship started there. We got an overall idea of what the Austrian Red Cross is doing from our new friends that are also volunteers at the Youth Red Cross and from the outside speakers.
Early in the morning, on our first day, we left the camp with the direction Wien. More precisely, the Austrian Red Cross headquarter. There, we met Mr. Johannes Guger, the Head of Youth Division, who gave us more information regarding the next days. After a short two and a half hour train trip we arrived in Graz, where we met Mr. Patrick Lackner, Coordinator of the RK youth groups. Meeting such an enthusiastic and full of joy person woke us up from the tiredness that the 2 weeks camp embedded.
First things first: a short walk through the office. Then, a diner. A perfect diner in a beautiful restaurant near the office. At dinner, we met some very kind and interesting people from the Graz and Styria branches, and had a cultural exchange that was fueled by the fact that four of them were in an exchange in our country, Romania. After this, we went home, at a beautiful house where we are staying in the next 7 days.
The second day started with a workshop in which we learned more about all the programs that the Red Cross does in this region. Following this, we left to see the Graz Branch Building, from where the ambulances depart in case of emergency. For us, it was something new. In Romania, this part is done by a different organization called SMURD. So, seeing so many ambulances with the Red Cross emblem on them was impressive. After this, we left to the blood donation service, where we met someone who speaks our language, so it was easier for everyone to understand. We learned a lot. Blood needs to be kept at 22 degrees Celsius before it goes to the hospital where it’s kept at a lower temperature, 4 degrees. This is just a piece of information from the many that we learned in our second day.
In the third day, we left to the training center in Laubegg where we talked about social services, migration and social integration. This are part of what the Austrian Red Cross is doing to improve the life of people that are not that fortunate as others, either by moral support, physical exercises or by providing much needed goods such as food or clothes. Furthermore, we visited the training center for paramedics. To say it’s impressive is an understatement. I wouldn’t mind attending an 1000 hours training there, and this says a lot for me. The rest of the day was free time, that we spent relaxing and enjoying the beautiful city of Graz.
Forth day came and we went to Markt Hartmannsdorf where we visited the rural side of Styria. This markt is really beautiful and modern. It’s school, town hall and red cross buildings (this is what we managed to visit) are impressive. The second part of the day we spent visiting a chocolate factory. Nothing more to add to this, you can imagine the rest. In the evening, we arrived in Fürstenfeld where we had dinner in the central part of the town, where a beautiful festival was taking place.
Today was the fifth day, a day that started with an ambulance shift. The two guys that were with us explained everything they do in detail and we got the chance to experience one day of their life.
Now, we’re back in Graz, looking forward for the next day and the days to come.