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The portrait of a nightmare

Once I had a very weird dream, I was in another country, outside of home and alone. This was my dream

I woke up at 9 in the morning, and immediately I realized that I wasn’t in my bed, or my room, or my house and suddenly I saw through the window (in this strange room there were 3 beds and 1 window) and I saw that I was even further of my country, just there in the middle of a big square there was a flat that I didn’t recognize it was green and red and with some weird symbols in the middle, suddenly someone entered in the room there was a very tall man with the palest skin that I have seen of my life and he said, “blah blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah”, and I said “WHAT?”.

I went out of this room, maybe I was rude with this guy, maybe he wanted to be polite but I couldn’t understand him I just didn’t speak his language. I found several people, but I had the same problem with all of them, I could notice that there were several words and maybe those corresponded to different languages but how could I know it?

I was thinking about my situation and I crashed against a beautiful girl, the first thing that I noticed was that she had a very long hair; it was so beautiful, like a horse! Suddenly I apologized in my language and I was very happy when she answered me that there wasn’t any problem, OMG, she spoke my language it was so cool finally I could get the answers to my questions, yupiiiiii and them I fall down.I woke up again, but in this time I was in front a guy, however I wasn’t so afraid because this girl that speaks my language was beside me so I felt more comfortable.

I met this guy, he was my boss and he said me all his expectations about me and what I supposed to do, he also spoke my language but he wanted me to speak another language as fast as it was possible, but this girl, my new friend, offered me her help and by the way she helped me a lot with this and all the things that I needed. It was so hard but I thought I could overpass everything because she was beside me, she was helping me to learn this new language, she was guiding me through this process but unfortunately I fell down again.

Then I woke up, my friend was embracing me very hard and I felt very bad because she was crying, I couldn’t understand anything so I just say her “don’t worry, everything will be alright”, (I wanted to make her feel alright, despite of I didn’t understand what was happening) suddenly she said me something that destroyed me, something that made me cry, something that made me feel lost again, something that pulled me down, she said me “bye”.

This was so painful, I was crying for hours, I was alone again, despite of now I could manage my situation in a better way I wanted her to be beside me, however she had to say goodbye. When I fell down again I remember that I had only one thought HOW COULD I CONTINUE WITHOUT HER?

I woke up again and surprisingly I could continue with my experiences, and as part of her legacy I could communicate with more people and created new friendships but always at the end there was a painful farewell, in the last one, I said goodbye to this tall guy and I fell down again but this time I came back to the reality

Everybody consider me a happy person and in fact I’m a happy person, but sometimes I feel bad and sad because those things. “The portrait of a nightmare” is a representation of what this experience has been for me; of course in order to present my monthly text I separated the worst things of my experience. This doesn’t mean that I have been sad my whole experience, even this is just a 10% of my whole experience and the 90% is full of good things, good people, nice places and delicious food.

Why did I decide to do this?

I just wanted to talk about this 10% because just because this, the 90% have been sweeter and more enjoyable. And also I wanted to show how it would be my experience here without all the good things that are around me.

Andrés Espinosa, volunteer from Spain.


Erasmus+ is a programme of the European Commission embracing the fields of education, training, youth and sports during the period 2014-2020. One of the major aspects is the cooperation between the different fields where the programme acts, hence contributing for a diverse and rich Europe.

Amongst the several goals of the programme, the following are prioritised: the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy, including the headline education target; the aims of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020), including the corresponding benchmarks; the sustainable development of Partner Countries in the field of higher education; the overall goals of the renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018); the objective of developing the European dimension in sport, in particular grassroots sport, in line with the EU work plan for sport and the promotion of European values in accordance with Article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union.

In order to achieve these goals, the Erasmus+ has several action policies. The Key Action 1 (KA1) is directed towards the mobility of people; Key Action 2 (KA2) for the cooperation for innovation and the interchange of good experiences; and Key Action 3, which is for the support of reformation policies.

European Voluntary Service

Since 1991 the University of Madeira Students’ Union has developed a wide incentive policy for voluntary work. In 2013 the Students’ Union started the process to receive, send and coordinate Erasmus+ projects of the European Voluntary Service, in order to have a larger influence in the volunteering field. The Union received its first volunteer withing the ambit of a KA1 project in 2014. Many efforts have been done to allow young people from Madeira to take part in several initiatives in Europe, as well as propose several projects allowing young people from several countries to work in the projects of the Students’ Union of the University of Madeira. The main goal of the voluntary work is the contribution of the volunteers to the communities and places they will be staying, being their work not rewarded with payment.

We believe that the European Voluntary Service is a mechanism full of experiences, allowing the approved candidates to have the privilege of taking part in these projects and benefit the places and communities where these volunteers will be staying.

Since 2013, the University of Madeira Students’ Union has received volunteers that have collaborated in several activities and initiatives. Besides being able to enjoy a wonderful experience which will contribute to their personal and professional growth, they are able to contribute in a unique way to the community in which they are inserted and to join dozens of volunteers from the University of Madeira.