Experience of Andreea Ionita in the youth exchange Hackers of Life (HoL) that took place in Lorca, Murcia from the 20th to the 26th of August 2019.

A really good Youth Exchange it’s hard to find: you need an interesting topic, talented facilitators, high quality accommodation, great food and indeed a nice weather. Even if all of those are assured, the participants also matter as you spend a whole week with them. Sounds difficult to meet all these requirements but Hackers of life had everything.

First of all, the topic. I find it very important to know the risks of using technology, so the subject we addressed was not only useful but also interesting. Guess it was also a bit frightening to see what is happening with our personal data. The interviews we took from the people of Lorca put us in charge of the fact that most of them are not aware of anything that happens in the ” back” of our computers and phones, as most of the users around the world, including very important people who even run countries.

Second of all, THE PEOPLE. God bless the people because it felt like all of us were simply meant to be there. I think it was a project of contrast, as I have never seen such differences between people who yet blended together like the vegetables in the delicious food we ate.

Usually, I really look for something that did not went wrong, to sound more realistic, but after slept a week in “Doctor Who” room, and woke up with the smell of the strong coffee behind the violet door of friends, I can’t look back and find something wrong.

The element of surprise for most of us was by far the young facilitators. It never had occurred to me that even after many many non-formal education sessions I never had a facilitator of an age not that far from mine. Is there a difference the age makes? Yes! Indeed! I never knew how it is to have a facilitator that is just like us, who shares this whole experience not only during the activities but also during the free time, who are just like us but yet with a lot much experience then us. I strongly believe this is how it should be in every single project. Maybe sometimes it was easy to see that maybe they did not have all the time everything together, but that’s what makes them humans.