To be or not to be? The question I asked myself a lot during the training to become a guide with Free Sofia Tour. When I first saw the ad that the Free Sofia Tour are looking for new volunteers I asked myself the question “To be part of all this or not to be?” and answered it right away: “Of course!”
[We asked our new volunteers to tell us what they thought of the selection process and this is Radina’s story. You can read also the first part of the series with Dessi here, the second one with Stefan as well as the third one with Yana.]
I sent my CV (apparently necessary to become a volunteer nowadays :)) and on the next day I had a meeting with Deni. The meeting was two hours and Denitsa told me quite a lot. The organization was doing all these projects, everything was so well organized. Denitsa made me smile, I could not believe her enthusiasm and also I was very confused: was this a volunteer undertaking or a full-time activity?! We talked about the training period and I had to take notes, because it was 4 months long. Then again that question popped in my head…And the answer was: “I will try.”
The first phase of the training started and we were going on tours with different guides for a month. First I went with Boyko and I thought “amazing”. Then I went with Filip and it was inspiring. After the last tour with Dima I was full of admiration for her. I had great time and learned so much, but am very doubtful of myself and the question came back to me and I thought “I want to, but can I do it?”
Then, we had an “exam”: simulation tour where we had to speak and 3 of the guides gave us marks. 16 people showed up and after it only 13 passed.
Believe it or not, the training didn’t end there. We had three more “exams” but this time that wasn’t a game, it was real. We had to do tours with tourists with three different guides watching over us.
My first one was with Vanya, I was so excited, so inspired, so nervous and happy at the same time that I was ready to start my tour 10 minutes before 11:00. The tour was more than successful, I had great time, was really happy with all of my guests, spoke loud and confident of myself. Everyone listened to what I had to say and that was a big deal 🙂 It was about my city, the city I am proud to say I live in, the unique capital of our country – Sofia. I was starting to like the whole deal with the tours. From my second tour with Kiril and third one with Deni I tried to be as prepared as possible and learn as much as I could. After this phase the answer to the question was “Yeah! I can’t wait to start doing tours” This time I was certain.
I became part of Free Sofia Tour (thank you all) and I am more than glad I didn’t give up, because being part of FST team is very special for me. Giving tours is one of the best feelings ever. It is very hard to express it with just words, it is a mix of emotions, feelings and experiences. Giving tours gets me naturally high.