EVS of my life

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EVS is like life, you get it only one time. There was nothing like this before and there would be no other one. Doesn't matter for how long is your project, it would be anyway too short. And after you would think that some things you could change or improve and some you would wish never end…

It was a difficult time in my life when I decided to go for EVS. But it became even harder, because when I got my approval for the project in my country started revolution. Revolution, which ran into war…
I used to live in a big city in Ukraine and when I was applying for my project in the small village of Hollókő with only 200 people, it promised to be very quiet and peaceful. And eventually, it was like that. And I would say that's the most precious thing I got after all. Even if you live in a big country and a war is somewhere far away, it doesn't let you feel safe. Those who didn’t know would say that I was running from the situation in Ukraine, those who knew, that I did this decision before everything started, were saying "you are lucky" or "how did you feel it?". Yes, I made a decision to go away before our tragic events, but I am sure if I didn't, I would do the same after. And it didn't matter that the war was far away. Every time I heard news or watched TV, I kept crying. And like this I lived every day… Every single day since the first day of revolution I was crying after I heard news. I didn't want to believe that somewhere very close people of my country were dying because of politicians, because of stupidity of government, because of corruption, because of power and money. This all was such a big pressure on me, that all I wanted if I can't change the situation anyhow just to get away from this…
I came from Ukraine to the project in Hungary in April 2014, now is May 2015, we still have war and I am still in Hungary. But let me tell everything step by step.
Five of us, volunteers, we were living in the small wooden houses. At first it was pretty cold back in April, but later it became amazing – to wake up with the sounds of singing birds and buzzing bees. The main idea of our EVS was work with children in the villages of our Nograd region, to teach them English in a playful way. Most of these children were from big and poor Roma families. At first it was hard to understand how to communicate with them, what we can teach to them. But after all I saw that just spending time with them, showing that we come here to work with them, play and laugh makes happy everyone, even if it's just for a small time.
Except of work with children we were also helping to run the training center, a huge house, where we all were living. Well, we were living in the wooden houses around it, but kitchen and our work place we had in this big amazing house. And by the way the village of Hollókő is a unique place, protected by UNESCO. This small village with an ancient castle on the hill has such a great view on the surrounding hills, that it feels like time stops there. And we all had an opportunity to have a touch to this eternity for all 7 month of our project.
We also had a lot of free time, which I used for travelling. I hitchhiked to Balaton and visited several cities in Italy. I had my first hitchhiking experience, and it was great and fun. I was also first time in Italy and for now, Venice is the most beautiful city, which I ever visited in my life.
Sometimes during EVS I started to feel that it's too artificial, that it can't give me anything, because in real life I would never live like this. But then I couldn't give up thinking why only now, during the project I started to feel like I really live, I did things which I liked and enjoyed. And no one was there to judge me. Finally I could live as I wanted. And the life felt so real, like it was never before.
So, how is it possible that life looks more colorful in some project then before? And I could say that it happens because in our lives there are too many people and rules, which they created and you follow them unconditionally and think that that’s how it should go. It is usually very hard to go out from the frames created in society and finally to do what you really want.
That’s for my mind the biggest aim and idea of EVS – to give everyone time to realize themselves, to understand what, how and where they want to do.
Well, at least that's how it worked for me.
We all had common goal of our project, but no one told us exactly what to do. At first it was weird for me. I couldn't imagine how unprepared young people without pedagogical education can teach and play with children, because I had this education and I knew how hard is to work with children in general. And after my 4 years work in non-profit organization in Ukraine as a project manager I was also always waiting for concrete tasks, that someone would tell me what to do.
But it was not like that. We were working with children twice per week and every time should prepare the 2 hour play session by ourselves. And again, 2 hours seemed so unprofessional time for me, because children can't concentrate so long at some theme.
But after a while, struggling with all my beliefs, I saw how much our job was different from the job of some "professional" teachers, who seemed to come to their job just to open and close the youth center. The life and drive we gave to our play sessions gave a way too much to children to my mind.
During our EVS we also had opportunity to participate in several trainings, conducted by our organization, which also gave me a lot for self-development.
Of course, the highlight of all project was a 3 weeks international voluntary camp, conducted by our hosting organization "Egyesek". The place, where people from more than 10 countries from different continents arrive, becomes a great platform for creativity, international communication and new experiences. Three weeks during summer we were going to the for us well known villages to spend this time with children. But the difference was that we spent there all day, 5 days per week!
So, after the camp was finished I understood that I want to work with children more than just 2 days per week. So, I had negotiations with the youth center in the village of Rimoc, where I was working before, that I could come more often to them. And they not just agreed on that, they made a special volunteering agreement with me and I also could go for 2 camps with these children. And it's totally different emotions and atmosphere, just to visit children and play with them or to live with 40 of them together in one building, to wake up every day for morning exercises, to go to swimming pool and teach them to swim or just to hang out in the yard in the evening. It was amazing experience for me.
One of the main achievements on the project was my ability to be more patient, calm down, not to take all leadership on me, but also listen to other people.
The project has greatly influenced my life. I have decided to move from the city to a village and totally change my lifestyle. Now I feel more comfortable and happy.
Also at the project in one of youth centers I have found my future husband, or present one. We got married during the last month of the project and now live together in one of the villages of Nograd county. I still work with children in the same organization, where I had my EVS, now as a group leader for new EVSers. I have a house, a beloved man, a cat and a small garden. And the life became meaningful as it never was…

Fifth Edition

5While closing the 4th edition of Scriptamanent, after the final meeting in Izmir, we are already preparing the new call for the next edition of the project. Stay tuned!

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