EVS Diary 2012
..I guess that this is my last post in the INEX EVS diary.
My going back to Bulgaria is coming closer and closer. In my heart there are a lot of mixed feelings– from one side I really don’t want to go back and from the other I feel that it is already time after almost 11 months to see how my home country has changed… how I have changed. Somehow I already have my life here, my friends, now I am strongly connected with Slovakia and Bratislava. But I know I have just half year at my university in Bulgaria and after that I will be free to choose my way. I’m thinking a lot about my future now, what are my opportunities, what I want to do, I am trying somehow to plan what I will do be when I finish university.
One thing I know for sure – I have changed a lot, my small world has become bigger, I discovered aspects of life that I would never be able to discover in Bulgaria. I believe more in myself, I know that I am able to do what I want, I feel much more self confident. EVS did help me a lot with finding myself and somehow that was my goal when I came here. I’m thankful to everybody who were with me for this time, who were supporting me, helping me. During this year I passed through very different periods – some harder, some more beautiful, but I know that every each of them helped for my self – development.
It is interesting that from one side I don’t want to go back home but from the other I’m really in harmony with that, because I know that it will be so good to meet my friends and family after such a long time without them. I ‘m curious how I will be looking back to this experience once when I do back and after some time passes. What I know is that I will see it as one of the most important periods of my life.
Somebody once said that life after EVS finishes – what I can tell is that life after EVS just starts:) Just in a different light!
...10 months in Slovakia have passed for me as if it were just 4 or 5! Being EVS volunteer is connected with so many strong and colorful experiences, that you just forget about the normal way time is passing. I am always having the feeling that I live in a world that is offering me all the time something new, something not experienced before. Only in the last two months I was in three different countries, on three different trainings, with three totally different groups of people from all over the world. I learn with everything I do and for sure it is not in the way that you usually learn at your home. I learn the language with every conversation I’m involved in, I learn about the people, about how t communicate with people from all over the world, about how to believe more in myself. I believe that staying at my home country would never bring this kind of experience for me, would never give me such a view about the world. EVS makes me more opened, more confident, more positive about the future. I discover myself, I discover what I want, what I’m good, I discover that the world is beautiful and that being curious about it’s beauty is one the most precious things you can have in life!
...3 days after the end of our project in Banska Stiavnica with Natalia I still feel a little bit not knowing on which world I’m and what exactly I am doing there :)
The youth exchange that we organized was maybe the most important part of our EVS project. And for sure the hardest one :) Writing the project was one thing but organizing it… that was really something different. When you are just a participant in a project like this you have no idea how many small things are hidden behind the “organizational curtains”. I realized that the role of an organizer is a really responsible one and not just when you are working with people from all over Europe. You need to know everything - to be able to answer to every possible question, to be able to explain things in every situation, to be able to decide. This was not my first experience of being leader, but organizing an exchange is much different from being a workcamp leader… At least in my opinion :)
In those 9 days I learnt a lot. And the most important things I learnt are definitely not the ones connected to the topic. Every project I go to I believe enriches me, but this one was the one that maybe gave me most experience. I cannot say that I am fully satisfied with my work, if I say it - it means that I don’t want to improve and grow. And I do want to improve in this area, because I simply love it. Working with people with totally different cultures and way of thinking I find as one of the most important things in my life.
I am wondering what I will be thinking about my first exchange when some time passes and when I am coming back to it :) It is a funny thing when I imagine it :) I just know that when it finished I was so full of emotions, ideas… Somehow I hope that “Change 4 Life” will not just be a name and that it really influenced the people, it showed them a bit different way, a way not just to live a bit better but another point of view of the world. A way that is connected with more opened communication and a way that is full of opportunities to get to know other people and cultures. At least one thing I am sure in – that I did change because of Youth in action and that I am thankful for that :)
…After more than 2 months absence:
Sometimes I regret that I don’t really have a real diary – one that I can always bring with myself and write it in. Anyway even if I had one, I guess I’m too chaotic to remember that I need to write in it. The reason for having this thoughts is that in the past 2 months so many things happened that I think I don’t remember even the half of them. And even I didn't have time for writing.. If I had a diary maybe I could make some notes and now it would have been easier to write here..
Anyway where to start first…
Maybe with the thing that finally I met in July some friends from Bulgaria – people some of whom I haven’t seen for more than one year.. It was a really emotional and strange meeting – just for some hours but we all had the feeling that we have been never separated. I guess distance and time just doesn’t matter for the one you love :)
Another new thing for me was traveling to the East in Slovakia and realizing how different the people from the East are from the ones who live in Bratislava. Till then I had just heard that life there is different but at last by going to two workcamps as INEX Messenger I had the opportunity to see it :) Travelling and making workshop by being INEX Messenger was really nice because I could meet a lot of new people in a short time.
The other super important thing that happened was that I was a leader on a workcamp in Zamarovce – a village near Trencin. About that I’m almost without words – for the first time for a long time now I felt I could totally free myself, be absolutely natural in the communication with those people. These were the totally best weeks for me in the last year. I think on the workcamp we had the coolest people and we created the best Euro-Asian mix J Of course it was not abosulutely perfect because we had some problems with organization of work and other things, but it made the experience even stronger and more.. interesting :)
A week and something ago we had a meeting of the leaders for our exchange for which we are preparing now. It was really useful for use to meet the leaders, get their opinion about the exchange and the activities, share ideas. Now we have just few days till the beginning of the exchange, I am a bit worried about it, but believe that it will be a really good experience too!
I am really looking forward to it!
Going back to the reality is always hard. But this time for me it is even harder... After spending a wonderful week on a workcamp in a place in the middle of nowhere and hitchiking for two days with a new Polish friend around Czech, the reality in Bratislava felt on my head with all its weight. For you to understand why I have this feeling, I need to tell a bit more about that workcamp. I think it was a very special experience, because it was held in….an Ashram Yoga Center. I think it is a quite unusual, but in the same time a perfect place for a workcamp. People from Japan, Hungary, Poland, Britain, Czech, Slovakia got together in Zdarec, a small village in Moravsky kraj in Czech, got together to help the people from the Yoga center with building an eco house from straw and mud, praparing a meditaion labyrinth, bulding a shelter for children and some work on preparing wood for the winter. When I am trying to write about it now I really can’t find the proper words, just because in my heart it is like a very emotional and private experience. Just it seems to me that whatever I write won’t be strong enough to describe it. I already miss that place, miss the people, the meditation, the yoga, which we were practicing every day, the vegetarian food, the atmosphere, the nature… And the energy… the energy created by the commucation between people from such different cultures in this magical place. Voluntary work always brings satisfaction and a good feeling and I guess that this Ashram center just made this feeling stronger. Bratislava is so different from that.. unreality. The contrast between the green fields surounding us back then and the roads full of cars here is so big… After the workcamp finished nobody actually wanted to leave… Me and Flo (the Polish girl) decided to visit some cities and of course we decided to make in the cheapest way – by hitchiking! So we visited a castle in Nove Hrady, went to Olomouc-city a big historical center, where a biiiig red truck took us to, slept in a tent near Brno and finished our trip in Brno, visiting the castle there. Tomorrow I am going back to Inex, where a lot of things are happening so I really need to get back in the rhytm.. somehow. So wish me luck with that and me… I wish you a good night!
The last week for me passed like less than one day.. I just can’t remember when the days were starting, when was night and what in which day I was doing. It is funny because this week started for me actually on Saturday, when I had to travel for the mid-term meeting for volunteers from Slovakia. We, the volunteers from Slovakia, were so lucky because the meeting took place in Maly Fatry, which is a beautiful mountain in Central Slovakia. I think it is just impossible to describe this place – totally idillyc, away from civilization, without even a shop in the village where we were. We were just surrounded by the harmonious view of the mountains. These EVS meeting are just a great opportunity to get to know other cultures, to see how the projects of the other volunteers are going or just to meet again with them and to share experience and amazing time together. My happiest moment are the ones which I can spend with people from all over the world and these trainings for EVS really give me this opportunity, and of course are a good way to create a network not just for your stay in the country where you are making your EVS, but even for whole life.. And our EVS group is actually a really colorful one because there are people from Kenya, Australia, Finland, Spain, France, Latvia, Romania, so you can really feel the differences between the cultures and the points of view those people have. At the end I was totally unable even to think that I have to go to Bratislava after meeting them and staying for almost 4 days in that beautiful place…. Anyway somehow with a lot of sorrow in our heart we had to say bye to some people, whose projects are finishing and to go back to our “real life”.. For me this going back was not for long, because in the next day (I mean already yesterday) we started another trip – this time to Snina, which is a town in 20 km from the border to Ukraine. So in one night we had to travel through whole Slovakia and at least we were lucky because there were free places in the sleeping wagons :D The aim of our trip with Peto and Olga was to make a presentation about volunteering and INEX at a school in Snina. The funny thing is that the students we were presenting INEX too didn’t know English very well so I just had to speak in.. Slovak! Imagine my Slovak after being just for 4 months here – it is really not the best but I hope that at least they got something from what I was speaking about :D Anyway in my opinion it went quite well and in the end after being just 3 hours in this small town we had to start our travel back. Luckily we decided on the way back to take a train in Kosice, which is like the capital of East Slovakia and the second big city here. The idea to spend some time for sightseeing there was a really good one, because I discovered one amazing city, with a lot of old building, green parks and beautiful small streets inside the city. If you even plan to go travel through Slovakia Kosice is definitely worth visiting, because it somehow shows you a different view of Slovak life and culture. We really didn’t have a lot time to spend there but I think it was enough to get into that atmosphere and to feel the spirit of the town. So in the end the three of us, feeling happy from what we have seen, took the train back to Bratislava. After all this travelling in the last 24 hours I am just sitting in front of the computer at home and still having the feeling as if I am in a train and travelling! I hope that the normal sleep in a bed, which is not moving, will clear up this feeling, because tomorrow a new day is waiting for me :)
…A lot of things happening these days at INEX. And somehow I got the muse to write in the blog today during the night so here I am now just putting everything what is in my head in it. You can never know when the muse will come to you just because it simply never asks...:)
Why am I saying a lot of things are happening around us recently?:)
Well, it all started with the tea meetings last month, which we organized for the volunteers of INEX and continued with our participation in the amazingly good demo camp training for leaders for workcamps –we were even a bit helping for preparing it. Now we are working on preparing some event for Integra for the Childrens’ day (and yes it will be actually tomorrow, because here it is like 00:30 and I really have no idea how I have will and power to write…) . The tea meetings went pretty well, or at least that is my opinion – the people were pleased with the opportunity to spend some hours with discovering some new tastes of tea during the tea meeting about tea(it is pretty hard to understand explained in this way) and learning more about different types of tea. The other meeting was more unofficial, because we just went to see a new Slovak movie. The democamp I enjoyed really a lot – Banska Stiavnica is INDEED a magical place, just like everybody is saying. The program was really well organized thanks to our great training team and thanks to Olga’s cooking we were a bit more happy than usually we are:)
It is crazy now at INEX because we have a lot of events in the few next weeks. And next week we are travelling to a small town in the East for promoting INEX and before that starting in this weekend we will be having our mid-term EVS training (Horrraaay I will see the other volunteers!!). The training will be in the mountains which I think is the best part.. And we are having meeting for first timers on workcamps (again next week OMG) so we need to prepare some presentation for it too.. If I have to express my feeling in one sound it will be something like AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA :D Too much things, but I will be so happy when we finish successfully with all of them :) The more crazy it is – the better it is for me. As Jarka said – you are having your EVS just once so live it fully. This is definitely a good advice in my opinion. I somehow remember that about one year ago when I was reading the description of the project it was written that sometimes life in the office is hectic.. Yeah but definitely not now!!! Now is the time to be active, creative and positive! So in order to manage to wake up tomorrow ( in which I am not very good and I am always late) and try to be all these things I wish you a good night now and see you at INEX office where you are very welcome to help with whatever you want and have time for!!!
Demo camp in Banska Stiavnica
It took place last weekend and it was really great - our demo camp for future leaders in Banska Stiavnica!. In Ukraine I have already had a possibility to be a leader in one work camp but unfortunately we didn’t have such a good possibility to try to live 2 days of a real work camp and to practise how is it to be a leader, what he or she has to do during work and free time and how to manage to be a good leader-friend for all the volunteers, who will come from abroad for two weeks to be with us hear, in this perfect little big country Slovensko ;)
We had a lot of different activities, learnt how to give a first aid, work with partner, manage conflicts, create a good atmosphere in the group and make that 2 weeks to be great and enjoyable for everyone.
We also had a possibility to visit a night of museums, which is really great in Banska Stiavnica with a beautiful performance making you feel like in previous centuries. Of course we enjoyed a lot the win of Slovak hokey team against Czech Republic and perfect night quiz from Olga and Julia, that helped those of us who were first time in Banska Stiavnica to get known with this gorgeous town.
But still the best in all the activities organised by INEX is people, perfect good team, better to say family of volunteers, with then time is always great passed and full of good memories.
So thanks to everyone who had been with us last weekend in Banska Stiavnica and big THANK for our training team ;)
A happy Bulgarian is living her Slovak fairytale and exploring the world around her! And
as far as I got some positive feedbacks on the part 1 of my observations on the differences between Bulgarian and slovak culture, which I posted in the diary, I decided to continue them. So this time we start with...
Somehow I was living with the impression that the dressing style of the Slovaks is much more conservative compared to the one I‘m used to in Bulgaria... WRONG! Spring has come and what you can see on Bratislava streets is shorts, short skirts, sometimes even 15 cm high heels! What is missing is the bit spicy elements what you can find in Bulgaria and the ones typical for the Balkan region! Anyway I guess that no mater where you go people are people and fashion is not so different as I thought.
2.The popular music
That’s one pretty painful topic for me when I am in Bulgaria. Here (thanks god) I‘m missing the popular style of Chalga music. If you ask wikipedia what’s that it will tell you that it is a „blend between Bulgarian, Balkan, Arabic, Greek and Turkish influences“..And if you ask me... Well my opinion is a bit more.. extreme - it is the most popular super low quality something like music combined with something like singing from unnaturally blond „stars“ :D The similar thing with music is that even here when some song gets popular, you can hear it on the radio at least ten thousand times a day and in the end of the same day you already know perfectly the lyrics in slovak even though you still don‘t speak that language!
Here I need to forget about some of the things I really like and I‘m used to eat – the famous Bulgarian yogurt (still haven’t find something smilar here), the amazingly tasty fruits and vegetables.. In Bratislava you can hardly find natural ones – those sold in Tesco taste more like napkins or plastic (for example the mutant strawberries or the green tomatoes), so they are really not the best choice.. Anyway here I have the chance to try the traditional Slovak dishes, which are really tasty!
4.One really simple thing – the way people are greating
The way people here are greating is really different. I‘m already for 3 months here and still don’t get the logic of it! Sometimes it is kissing on the cheeks (do you really need to kiss or you just pretend????), sometmes they give you a hand, sometimes they hug you and sometimes you just don’t do anything and the saying goodbye for me seems so.. unfinished!!! In Buglaria it is easy – no kisses, I just hug and know that nobody will have something against it... I hope I will get the logic of that soon because sometimes it is just driving me crazy!
I love the part of Slovakia where there are hills and mountains, somehow they remind me of the Bulgarian ones, but in the same time they are so different. I guess that can’t be expressed by words, but must be felt and seen. And what makes a big impression for me is that the lowland is really LOW!!! I have grown up in the part of Bulgaria, where are the lowlands and still there are some high rocks and hills for example. Here it is really not like this. It is simply... flat :D
Beautiful houses in the villages, for which the owners are taking care – painting them, keeping them clean, taking care for the gardens, making them reals homes, full of life, childrens‘ laughter and hope. In Bulgaria life in village is somehow synonym of poverty. Here the villages are alive, people like their life there, even though they can be working or studying in the nearest bigger town. In Bulgaria it is totally difeferent - villages are empty, or just some really old people live there, bearly surving, nobody takes care of the gardens, houses are getting more and more ruined... It is really a sad picture, which I don’t know if it is possible to get some brighter colors...
7.Sofia and Bratislava
Well that’s a hard one. I can speak a lot about the similarities and differences between the two capitals – the one where I was living before and the one I am living in now... If I should describe Sofia in one world it should be diffinatelly „chaos“. Chaos in the way the city is structured, chaos in the metro, chaos in the buses, chaos on the streets, chaos in peoples‘ minds, just chaos everywhere! 2 millions of people trying to build somehow their lives there, hoping to find better work, studying, living in small flats, masses of people, entering the metro every morning to go for work.. Bratislava on the other hand is much more smaller, much better structered, not so stressful, people are somehow keeping some order on the streets and in the buses. The thing I like is the old part of the city, which we just don’t have in Sofia, there are beautiful old buildings, with totally different architectural style than the Bulgarian ones. Compared to Sofia, Bratislava seems much more clean and in a better order. Even though a capital it is a much better place to live in, in which you are not risking to go totally crazy after the second or third year...
About Bratislava’s students‘ town – it surprised me that Slovaks say that it is a really big one... Well I will just tell you that in our students‘ town in sofia there are about 60 dormitories for students... and not to forget to mention the 50 bars, discoes, pubs! So welcome to crazy Bulgaria!
Waking up at 6 o‘clock on Saturday morning doesn’t really sound like the perfect start of the weekend, but when you know that a day full of surprises is waiting for you, then somehow you just open your eyes, get out of the bed and go to INEX office. Modra, the small town, where we were having event with the organization “Up-down” is a beautiful place, not so far away from Bratislava. During the traveling I was just falling in love with how the nature has woken up – green trees, hills and fields, blooming flowers everywhere! I’m already sure that Slovakia is amazingly beautiful in the spring and you can just feel this with every breath you take when you are in the nature :) As far as in the country has very various areas- some are hilly, others are just agricultural fields and some are with very high mountains, somehow I see Modra as the border between the lowland (where for example Bratislava is situated) and the hilly and more mountain part, which is more in the East. We arrived to the appointment place – a nice chata, near the town, just in time to discover that the families, with the children, to whom we would be helping during the day had already arrived. Up-down organization is working with children with Down syndrome, so we had to help the families with carrying for the children, while walking in Modra’s forest, we were helping with organizing some sport activities, painting, playing… We were all simply enjoying the time, spent together, the great weather and the beauty of the spring nature! It was a day full of laughter, sun rays and positivism :) In the end of it, after running with children, playing football, and being just a child myself, I was a bit tired but happy :) I hope that soon I will have the chance to see those kids again and to explore the area of Modra more :)
Since I have been an „alien“ from the Balkans in Slovakia for more than two months I would really like to share some of my observations about the people and culture :) I guess this will be just a small part of them, because there is still a lot more to see and a lot to experience!
1 . One of the first thing that surprised me is the „tea culture” in Slovakia – in every house you go there are at least 3-4 types of tea they will offer you! The only problem for me is that people here are really not used to drink good (and a lot of) coffee, so sometimes I just miss so much the good espresso we have in Bulgaria :)
2. The other thing that surprised me a bit was the distance between the people when they speak – I think this is the first time I exprerience what is written in the books - that more the north you go the bigger it is. On the Balkans when speaking people don’t really respect this personal space :)
3. Good food here is something really important – people like evenings spent together when they can try or offer some good meal.
4. Slovaks are a sporty nation- they would invite you to do things together like skating, skiing… And everybody is doing sports! You almost can’t see men who are not in a good shape – I think that in Bulgaria every self respecting man in his forties has a belly already. Maybe this is due to the 1-2 hours sitting on the table for a lunch and then 3-4 hours sitting on the same table for a dinner...
5. Slovak nation is a really calm one – in the buses people are not bumping into each other, on the streets everybody is walking is some kind of an order, even if they are in a hury!
6. Bus system is working. Actually it seems like almost everything is working (maybe it just seems for me like that, Slovaks say it is actually the opposite, so who knows where is the truth..)
7. There are no homeless dogs on the streets. Really!!! But there is something else which is strange – you can see dogs with their owners in shopping centers, in shops, in the busses…just everywhere!. Oh and you are not waking up in the night from homeless dogs’ barking. So 1 point plus for Slovakia :D
8. I have the impression that people like their lives and their jobs. For real. And they are not complaining about everything all the time. In Bulgaria is something like a national sport to speak about how awful is everything.. I actually am not so sure if it is really that awful or people jut like saying it is..
9. People are friendly and when you don’t know something they are putting a lot of effort to explain you. Even if it they don’t know English.. So you just say „ďakujem” (thank you) you even if you get even more lost with the explanationJ)
..I guess this is more or less for now, I am sure that the list of strange things will get bigger in some time:)
Yesterday we with volunteers from Inex were in Integra and organized for them 1st of April circus show.
It is second time when I visit this place, but these so nice, opened and tender people already recognized us, and were so happy to see us again in their place. We prepared some simple games for them, ballons figures, collage for photo and of course after all this we had perfect concert of Tomas, our guitar star! Thanks for all who came with us we had really good time =)
When i am in Integra I think a lot, i see how they enjoy things, that we never enjoy, how they feel life, how thankfull are they...
After Integra it always time to analize and, i hope, become better!
I want to say thanks again to all my friends from Integra, hope to see you soon =)
It is Monday again...
Usually people say that this is the worst day of the week just because it is the start of the working week. But for me it is different! I start my work at INEX today with a lot of positivism and full of energy. Here comes the question „why“ :) During the weekend was my frist training for workcamp leaders! It was 2 days long training for the ones who are planning to be leaders for a workcamp in Slovakia during the summer . For me it was a really good training because we didin’t waste even one minute in doing something not useful. The activities were prepared in an alternative, interactive way and the trainers were really into them, so they just passed their enthusiams to the participants. A lot of new information about how to deal in different situations during the workcamps, about responsibilities of workcamp leaders, about the formal part of being a leader and a lot of practical tips and games were included. The other great part were the people – some new people, people, opened to learn and share, people just enjoying their time together. At the beginning I thought that this training would be a kind of the challenge for me because it was all in Slovak, but it came out that even this was not a problem because I was able to understand almost everything and even when I had some trouble with getting the point of some activity there was always somebody who was ready to help :) So now I am just looking forward to the second training for leaders in May!
Last Thursday in Inex we had our tea meeting about Time management. I choose this theme because it was a topic of my studies for 5 years in University =) To say the truth, for me it was quite hard to choose information and to prepare this presentation, because from my personal side i was wondering which information will be interesting for people, what is Time management for them.. But finally it was really great, we spend perfect time discussing about obstacles for organising efficiently our lives, ways of making it more productive, painting our wheels of life ets. I was so happy to see again my Inex friends, to learn their news and plans for this summer.... I hope to see you all soon again and.. i hope you will use my time management advices =)
Hello from rainy Bratislava!
Before leaving Bulgaria the coordinator from my organisation mentioned that my on-arrival EVS training (this is the training where you meet the other EVS volunteers in Slovakia, who started their projects approxiamatelly the same time as you did) will be one of the most singificant things during my next year. Of course I didn’t really take seriously these words back then. Indeed now I understand what she meant:)) The training was last week and now I can say that it made me think about so many things, connected with the different cultures, way of thinking living, perceptions... It was great because we had the opportunity to meet people, not only from all over Europe, but from all over the world – Kenya and Australia included!!! Communicating with those people, getting involved in their way of living in Slovakia was a really amazing experience! Getting a lot of new information not only about EVS, but about Slovak culture, language and trying to speak in Slovak with the local people I see as something really significant now, something that enriched me. Our trainers were saying that our free is a part of the non-formal learning, so I really think that even in my free time by communicating and getting to know more about the other EVS volunteers in Slovakia gave me a lot of new knowledge! So thank you guys for the smiles, the motivation, fresh ideas and positive energy you gave me!
So, exactly two weeks before my train arrived to Bratislava main station and Kika, Maria and Mišo picked me up to my new home... Two weeks have passed and I totally agree with Maria that it was more like two days!
Maria has already written about visit to Integra, presentation at school and our first tea meeting – three most memorable regards from last week so i maybe can write about my own experience...
I have already get used to public transport system and can orientate in the city so i am happy to call Bratislava with very sweat word Home =)) Thanks to super inex-girls Kika and Jarka I discovered the beauty of yoga and thanks to the best man Mišo I have spent perfect weekend in Tatranská Lomnica skiing =)) I am waiting for tomorrow to go with my lovely mentor Julka to swimming pool, he he yes I start to be like Slovak people – very active in sport ;)
With Maria we already have had our first Slovak language lesson and I can’t wait for our next one… I feel more and more happy learning each new word in Slovak… and hope very soon I will write my diary here in Slovak =))
Work in Inex is very interesting and every day we do different things so I never know what task I will receive tomorrow…. Maybe that is it what people are used to call Full and Happy life ;)
Two weeks in Slovakia have passed as if it were two days. Our life here is much more busy than I expected it would be. There is always something to do, so I'm enjoying my every minute here. INEX gives us chance to meet a lot of new people and every our day is different from the previous one. Last week was a really colorful one – started with an improvised presentation for promoting INEX’s activities in a school almost in the end of the world (okay, maybe just at the end of Bratislava) and continued with a great experience in Integra and with our first Tea meeting. Some more words about Integra... This is a center for people with physical and mental disabilities. For me it was more than amazing the time we spent in the center with them. I think we reached the aim of the organized event – we brought a piece of happiness to the people there and left the center with good feeling in our hearts. Maybe this piece is a small one, but it is still a good step. One of the greatest parts of the event for me was the part where they were singing together (my Slovak is still too poor to sing Slovak songs) and enjoying the music played by Tomas. I would recommend every one who hasn’t had the chance to spend some time with the “different” people to search for opportunity and to do it :)
About our Tea meeting… We had to present our countries and ourselves in front of friends and volunteers from INEX. It went quite well except for some small accidents caused by my totally not controlled awkwardness – somehow the projector for the presentation just flew from it’s place. Luckily it was still working! It was our first meeting with a big part of the volunteers for the organisation, so it was realliy nice just to get to know them better:)
The good week had a good end too because on the weekend we went for a concert in a restraurant and tried some typical Slovak dishes. The musicians were a bit lazy, but at least they played in a way that touched in some way every each of us. And on Sunday I had my first experience with ice-skating. I was quite afraid of this but at the end it came out that staying stand on the ice with skates is not the worst and hardest thing in the world :)
So now I am just looking forward what will be next, just because life here is full of surprises :)
Hello, my name is Nataliya and I will do this year an EVS at Inex together with Mariya from Bulgaria. I am 23 years old ukrainian girl from Lvov, very beautiful old city protected by UNESCO and it’s actually the closest big town near the polish-ukrainian border. I have already done my Master in Management and now I am very happy to have an opportunity to make my EVS at Inex because I am really interested in work at volunteering non-governmental organisations! My arrival was great, a lot of new emotions, new friends, our perfect new home and of course Inex, nice and thoughtful stuff and so homely cozy atmosphere in the office. So, I came here with a lot of enthusiasm and expectations and hope our cooperation with Mariya and Inex for next 11 months will be great and effective!
Honestly I just don’t know where to start from. Maybe first a few words about who I am and what I will be doing in my next 11 months in Slovakia.
My name is Mariya and I am from beautiful Bulgaria. As maybe you already can guess I am an EVS volunteer in INEX! I am 22 years old, student in International Economic Relations.
Maybe you are asking yourself why I choose INEX for my EVS experience. The answer is really simple. When I read the description of the project I just adored it. It was a moment of true happiness when I got the answer that I am approved to participate. So now I am here in Slovakia with my friend Nataliya already as a part of INEX’s team! Everything for me here is new. For example this is even my first experience of writing a diary everJ In the last days I had a lot of things which I did for the first time. I just love it! Starting a completely new life is challenging and full of positive emotions. Luckily we have great people with us helping us to get to know better Bratislava’s life, showing us how to deal with public transport, where to buy food and other practical issues. Everybody is really kind and helpful, but we are still feeling too lostJ Everything surrounding us is positive, as you can imagine the first days are full of emotions. Together with Nataliya we are sure that our life in the next year will be full of laughter, new people and happiness just as it started!