A volunteer’s story – Gonçalo Viana

The volunteers and the Carnaval de Nonformal. Two concepts, two sides, two story lines. I think we can look at them as a couple in a relationship, as two subjects getting to know each other, as two identities that find themselves in the same room, in the same space and time, and feel the mutual interest. One of them with a strong background and inside feelings, and the other just trying to add something different and exciting. A special scenario.

We, volunteers, started with a joke, a feeling of mystery that we wanted to hold on while there was still time to play around. The Carnaval didn’t care about it, it showed himself slowly and careful, without spoiling any surprises. It tried to scare us with affirmations of “out of the comfort zone”, but we just enjoyed even more the time without it. But then, the idea of a real meeting between both raised the excitement. Nothing was going to ruin this. We had to meet him. But what if it wouldn’t correspond to our blur ideas. What if it would not like us. All of us.

a-volunteers-story-goncalo-viana (3)I think we can all agree that it was a bit of a shock. We can do this and this, but we can’t do that? Not how we wanted? Why? The Carnaval proved to be merciless towards it’s objectives and guidelines. It was clear in some points, but more faded in others. The methods were exposed. The dates. The targets. The people. It was the beginning of a relationship, but it felted more like we had just come out of a fight and time was the best choice.

So, like volunteers in the role of volunteers, we asked for some time. The Carnaval had no choice, but I still think it didn’t liked the idea.
And after some fun outside the commitment circle, we approached the Carnaval in a sweet and gentle way. But the answer was harsh and imposing. It asked of us more than we thought we could give. The time was jumping the days. The days were jumping in time. No one was quiet. And, besides the stress, I think most of us liked it. The Carnaval was finally there for us, and we were there for it. The relationship was building up, with some downs from time to time. We had help, that is true. Very good help. But it was still feeling like it was just the two of us. Back in the same room.

We made the first move. Starting with the spreading of our union, making the others curious about this connection. And the connection itself grew up with it. The Carnaval was getting bigger and it took us with it. Suddenly, the feeling of proudness started to evade our expectations and the actual work in it was showing that. We started to raised our efforts because we wanted to make them visibly raised. Up was the only way, even when the speakers didn’t work, or the people didn’t let us perform in the right place. Not even the numerous calls to the police stopped the surprises that the volunteers had prepared for the Carnaval. It was feeling right, it was achieving results, there were sureness that we liked it and it liked us. All of us.

So, in the end, I can say I’m proud to be one of the volunteers that took part in this love story. I feel now that we could have done some things in a different way, started with other parts, making more “first moves”. But like in every real relationship, mistakes happen and it’s your job to make the other feel like it was a mistake, and next time you’ll try to avoid it. So I can’t wait for the next time.

See you soon, Carnaval de Nonformal

Gonçalo Viana

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