Day 1: The Beginning

I don’t remember where I should start from. I haven’t slept since 2 days and I was running from a place to another all the time like a crazy dog. Well let’s try to sort things out:

I arrived to Rio GIG airport around 5:30 am. It was so busy and dynamic although it was quite early in the morning. I managed to find two Argentinian volunteers who arrived at the same time. It took me some time to find my orientation axes and we succeeded to find a regular bus which goes to Copacabana, where the Argentinians live.

They suggested that I drop my luggage at their place and go get our accreditation and uniforms together. They were a guy, Luis, and a girl, Chiara. The guy had to leave us and head to the Olympic Village. He has been here since a couple of days and his shifts started already. Chiara can’t speak English, and I can speak neither Portuguese nor Spanish. But we managed anyways to find our way to the UAC (Uniforms and Accreditation Center) and have some fun in the meantime.

I loved our uniforms. The colors are deliberately meant to be super attractive so that we can be easily recognized when somebody needs us: Orange for “Operations” Volunteer, Green for “Transport and Logistics” Team, Red for “Medical” people and Blue for “Technical Officials”. As an NOC/NPC Assistant I had the Orange one.

After we got back to Copacabana, I had to face my second challenge: find where I am supposed to live. I had only one incomplete address and transportation is a little bit chaotic because of the Games. With the help of Chiara’s who can speak Portuguese I found the first bus to take. I had a lot of luggage because of my camping stuff but I could make it through to huge number of people hanging out around. Honestly Rio reminded me of Jakarta and how crowded this city was. Fortunately I had only great memories over there.

I took afterwards the BRT after some time looking for it. It’s some kind of Bus Rapid Transit which come like every 10-20 minutes and has its own lanes. So efficient, although it’s always overcrowded. 2 hours later. I found my station, it was already 16:30 and I started to feel dizzy because of the long day I’ve had. Last challenge: walk the 1000 meters which separate the station from Barra Village 2, where I’m supposed to stay for my last week.

It’s almost evening but I wanted to go and see the Olympic Village anyway. Screw exhaust, let’s make myself on the way. 3 hours later, after getting lost in the middle of nowhere, I was in, and I was speechless…

To be continued…

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Ahmed says:

    Hi ! Congratulation for being selected as a Volunteer in Rio .
    I just wanna know how did u get there? Application nd why they selected you in person .
    I’m planning to apply for russian world cup volunteering opp nd still don’t know exactly what they look for .
    Best of luck.
    Ahmed Jomaa

    Like

    1. Achraf says:

      Hi Ahmed,

      I just found the application call by chance. It’s not complicated at all just apply online when it’s open and wait for them to invite you for a couple of interviews ;)

      Like

  2. Nouha Belaid says:

    Good Luck dear friend. It Seems to be an interesting experience.

    Like

    1. Achraf says:

      Thanks a lot Nouha :-)) trying to make people live it virtually because it’s worth it ;-)

      Like

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