Carlos Álvarez Completes PPI-NI Internship

This week, we hear from Carlos Álvarez who has completed his current season of work with PeacePlayers – Northern Ireland (PPI-NI). Carlos Alvarez comes to PeacePlayers NI (PPI-NI) from Galiza, Spain for a three-month internship. We all hope there is more to come! 

Carlos (left) with International Fellow Chris Schumerth after a PeacePlayers activity that involved painting each other's faces.

Carlos (left) with International Fellow Chris Schumerth after a PeacePlayers activity that involved painting each other’s faces.

I want to share what it meant to me to be a part of PPI-NI’s staff for three months. When I started, I thought my responsibilities would be few and not very important. But from the beginning, I was thrown into the daily work of twinning’s programs, first just as an observer but later as a coach. I lacked experience in leading community relations (CR) games so I was very nervous about how I would do. But I adapted quickly to the work dynamic and my role.

I expected to improve my professional skills in physical education and sport, and I did, but I gained experience in areas like program evaluation and my writing in English.

The first month-and-half was quite challenging because the accent here in Northern Ireland is quite strong and they have different words and colloquial phrases so I wasn’t able to understand so much of the conversations that my mates had in the office.

Sometimes, I still can’t understand their jokes! But I feel that my English improved enough to lead a a basketball or CR session with kids from different age groups. I wish my grant lasted longer, so I could continue working with PPI-NI and working on my English, but I value this experience as a great step in my professional future, and if it works out for me to return to Northern Ireland after Christmas, I’m going to work with PPI-NI during the spring semester.

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