“ Sharing your life on a level that you never had the chance to do before”
Spyros Kypraios - originally from Greece - lived and worked as a volunteer at Oudezijds 100 from September 2014, till June 2015. For him, living at Oudezijds 100 meant sharing his life with people in a way he had never experienced before.
Who are you? Please introduce yourself briefly
‘Hello my name is Spyros Kypraios, I am 29 years old and I was born and grown up in Ermioni which is a small village located in Southern Greece. My parents have a farm on which I was raised until the age of 15 till I moved to Athens to continue school and studies. Finally I stayed for 13 years since I decided to have my Gap year or the Crisis made the decision for me.’
How did you get to know Oudezijds 100?
‘After spending lots of hours searching for projects in all over Europe through European Volunteer Service I found the Oudezijds 100. A Christian community in the center of Amsterdam helping people to find their ways. After this description it was already in my mind as real challenge that I wanted to face.’
What were your main activities as a volunteer in the community?
‘In my opinion tasks in the community were split in two categories. The practical tasks that I had, like my main responsibility which was to maintain the kitchen in a functional level, keep it clean, organize the logistics of the basic needs for all the meals and also cooking for the people of the community. I was also helping our technician John to his work, repairing whatever was needed. But except for the practical tasks there were also the ‘living’ ones. These tasks were in my opinion more important than everything else. Living in the same house with other people makes you share your life on a level that you never had the chance to do before. Exchanging advices, experiences, feelings is exactly what turns this project into a living community.’
What were the most important experiences during your stay here with us?
‘This is difficult because every small experience has a lesson for me, so important is the hole project. But if I want to mention something will be, when a guy came to my room to thank me for what I ment for him during his stay, describing things of my personality that I had never thought about, that helped him to take strength. This is something unpayable that make us learning to learn ourselves little bit more.’
In what sense your time at Oudezijds 100 was 'joyful living'?
‘In general as a project is easy, not so busy and people respect your personality and your needs. Brotherhood and people who are staying in the community making the living climate, so every year the feeling is different. For me it was a joyful experience that if you take the advantage of the tasks you will meet the Dutch culture and not only as people who are staying are from all over the world.’