“Erasmus – My Comfort Zone” • Mako Kurtanidze

Hello! My name is Maia Kurtanidze. I participated in an Erasmus+ project “Aiming For Equ(ALL)ity” in Vila Nova De Tazem, Portugal. It was my 3rd international project. Besides the fact that project lasted just for a few days, there are so many things I want to share.

The first thing I noticed during my participation in this program is that local people are so generous and friendly. Even the ones who couldn’t speak English tried to communicate with us with body language, trying to tell us some stories or to show the right direction… They welcomed us with a big smile, tasty traditional food and lots of “tangerines”. We were honored to visit traditional cheese factory and local winery, where we learnt basics of wine tasting and tried some good ones.

We had 2 extra days before the project, that was more than enough to fall in love with Porto. Old colorful buildings, beautiful green areas, eye-catching views, and the majestic Ocean. I will remember it as one of an amazing adventure of my life.

Vila Nova De Tazem_ the place we stayed, the small peaceful village with a big heart, full of colors, sun, positivity. Also, we had a chance to go sightseeing to another beautiful city of Seia. A few hours were enough to fall for it.

While the program I couldn’t even realize that I was far from my family and friends, that’s because I had my new family there – participants from Hungary, Lithuania, Belgium, Greece. All of them were very caring and lovely. I gained many new friends, improved my communication skills, and collected unforgettable memories with them. The project was the great experience, full of activities, energizers and mind games. While my participation I realized the situation regarding gender equality in different countries. We created some plays to express stereotypes and discrimination that exists in society in reality. After we discussed solutions and different methods how these kind of problems can be fixed. In another activity each of us was given a role of a person with specific background. And we had to imagine and discuss the life of this person, problems, feelings, steps, opportunities, what was quite interesting. Also, we had a chance to create activities for high school and university students, what was really exciting for me, because I gained some leadership skills, communicated with young local people, got acquainted with their culture, traditions, views….

All in all, after each Erasmus+ program I become a better version of myself. Each program is an inspiration for changes. I feel that leaving the comfort zone for Erasmus+ is my comfort zone. I’m really proud to be the part of this amazing project and thank u for everything.