A letter from Amsterdam

Who am I - in English

Mona (right) with another volunteer


My name is Mona Gnan, I am 18 years old and I come from a village in Baden-Wuerttemberg, in Southern Germany. I live in a 10-person shared apartment in Amsterdam in a student dorm together with eight Dutch and one roommate from the Caribbean.

 Currently, I do my peace service at the Verzetsmuseum Amsterdam (Resistancemuseum Amsterdam), where I work at the reception desk and in the educational department in the creation and evaluation of educational programs. Soon I will also be giving guided tours in the museum.

 Covid-19 has affected us in the Netherlands more and more, as we went from "lockdown light" mid-October to a more serious situation. We had to keep our travel and leisure activities as low as possible, were advised not to meet a lot of different people and therefore, unfortunately, could not get to know our host country as well as we would have liked. In the Verzetsmuseum also came less and less visitors and groups. In November, museums and public institutions were even completely closed for two weeks. Many of us had to work at home in their home office. Often someone from our ASF group was in quarantine because a colleague at work or a roommate tested positive for Covid-19. Most of us went home for Christmas and want to recharge a bit

before starting our service in 2021. We are optimistic, that things will get better in the spring and summer and that we will be able to take full advantage of our time in the Netherlands!

Mona not only volunteers but, in her free time, also writes interesting blog entries for the Youthreporter, an EU organization that connects youth throughout Europe. In one of her entries, she reflects about what it means to live in a different culture and new language and she muses how this experience changes one’s identity.