EVS Diary

Gap year

Gap years - one of a spontaneous decision I have been making "prophylactically". With all my heart I believed that the next step after finishing high school will be studying (necessarily in Lithuania). However, life is so unpredictable you never know what is coming ahead. I have found myself constantly asking, ''why not?". Beyond everything, I want to turn my life upside down and take a roller coaster ride along winding loops.

European Voluntary Service. That was my final decision which required patience and determination. I did not believe what I am doing. Therefore I was convincing it to myself again and again. It was absolutely a big deal for me and, of course, a significant step forward.

After all, I am here in the capital of Slovakia. To be honest, I am not able to calculate how many times I said to myself, "I am living here". I came from a small town where everybody knows everybody. It is quiet there because trams are not passing by while you are trying to fall asleep and tourists are not taking hundreds of thousands of photos (three months blow over already, but I do not have most of the photographs of famous objects). Bratislava is my new home. Honestly, it won my heart already (even Slovak language is not scary anymore)

„Help us to serve warm coffee with our warm hearts!“ – the name of a project which caught my eye. At that moment I unconsciously realized - this project is in my "scale of priorities" without any concurrence. The community center Dom Quo Vadis (cafeteria) – my volunteering place in the heart of Bratislava. The cafe is based on volunteering and has approximately more than 50 volunteers. At first, I was very surprised because the majority of volunteers are coming there after work. Once more I realized that volunteering and working are two compatible things. Well then, with all my courage I am taking orders from customers, making coffee, tea and different types of hot chocolates. Besides, we are organizing events (already had "Finlathuania" and "The Weird World Quiz") and helping with Quo Vadis activities. The most important - this is a place where I can implement my ideas while going through the road of self-improvement. Also, I am "learning how to learn".

Self-confidence, patience, a different relationship with myself, strict and critical attitude, self-listening, analytical thinking, multitasking, and ability to stay calm in stressful situations - my volunteering treasures. And it is just a beginning, a drop in the ocean. The more I learn, the more I realize how much I do not know (Albert Einstein). That is how am I living. I would like to say for each of you – do not afraid.

I often say to myself, "Silence before the storm", but it does not mean that I will hide and wait for "something". Enjoy the silence. When the storm will come, look at the sky. We are looking at the ground too often.

Foto and text: Ieva/ EVS Volunteer

Ieva is volunteering for 10 months in Dom Quo Vadis. BDC is coordinating organization for this project.

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