"All my life I have liked to travel, see new places, meet new people, experience new sensations and learn from all of it. At age 18, I wanted to pursue a study-free year in a foreign country in order to improve my English, so I got in touch with Dianova Canada. After a lot of paperwork and an 8 hour flight, on Sept. 28, 2012, I arrived and began my experience as a volunteer at Dianova's addictions treatment center in Terrebonne, which is located near Montreal.
A year ago, like many of my Spanish friends, my life was full of tests and worries about my studies. Today my situation is very different. I am having my first experience working as a member of a team in which everyone's work helps to support people at the center, so they are able to feel the best they can. And the truth is, my adaptation has been really good. Very soon I was perfectly integrated into the dynamics of the center: rooms reviewing in the morning, workshops or meetings throughout the day, snack at 4:00 PM and after dinner, planning for the next day's activities.
Being my first experience of this kind, my view on people with drug problems has changed completely. I always thought that it only could happen to people living in an unsuitable environment. But when I got here I realized that the vast majority of residents could conceivably be relatives or friends of mine. For various reasons, using drugs became their main focus in life. Where once I used to see a stranger in the street begging for money, I now see a person who really needs help.
During my time in Dianova I hope to get to know cities like Montreal, Quebec, Boston and New York. And in addition to trying new food like the typical "poutine," I will soon start practicing typical Canadian sports like cross-country skiing or ice skating, all sports that are difficult to practice in Spain."