EVS Diary

Mid-term, mountains and amazing time

Today I’m sharing with you my mid-term training experience. This time the destination was… suspense… in Poprad! Youhoou! We were all excited, because Poprad means High Tatras > Mountains > hiking and maybe staying a little longer to discover the Slovak Paradise. And you know what? It’s exactly what we did, more or less.

So, with Ivan (France), Elena (Greece) and Tsarimir (Bulgaria), we took the train together from Bratislava. We were so excited! At least during the first 3 hours of journey, the two last ones were more about impatience and hunger. What a pleasure when we arrived at Poprad station.

The hotel was very near by, just 5 minutes of walk and we could enjoy the air conditioner. Because yes, it was super hot there, more than in Bratislava (and it was already hard for my little French body to handle it). But actually, you just forget about it when you can see these mountains. Lucky us, with Elena we had a room with view on it (okay, with Billa on the forefront but still, we were so happy!).

After resting a little in our room, taking a marvelous shower, we finally met our lovely trainers and the other volunteers! So many things to talk about and to share with, after all we didn’t meet each other since 4 months. :-) For the evening we went to the Italian gastronomy festival to enjoy the mood and the concert. I ate my first zmrzlina (understand ice-cream) in Slovakia, was tasty and cheap, I forgot that the price in Bratislava are higher than the rest of the country (but compare to the French the price is still cheap).

For the second day, the serious things began. We presented our respective project with what we achieved and what would be our next steps. The afternoon was a good opportunity to play with the Youth Pass competences outside and to discover another historical part of Poprad, very charming by the way. Thanks to these little games, I understood better how to fill the Youth Pass (the certificate which presents the competences we are developing during our ESC). On the way back we took a cute path near a lac, to be honest I didn’t really enjoy it. I was more focused to save my feet from some hungry (HUGE) ants — they bite quite hard compare to the cute and gentle French ones!

The third day was amazing. We hiked all the day long in the High Tatras to Popradské Pleso lake. The landscapes, the fresh air, everything were here to fresh my mind. I really loved this day. When we arrived at the lake, even if it was crowded, I felt it peaceful. We had one free hour to eat around the lake and I lost the others when I went to the restroom (of course). But actually I’m glad of it because I went around the lake alone, find a calm place with a nice view and started to read the letter I wrote to myself few months ago during my On-arrival training. After eating we went down slowly to catch the train to the city.

Sunday was already our last day. This time we knew we would maybe not meet again, at least for some of us, because they will leave their project before us, because we live far from each other or just because we would not find a good timing. But it’s fine, I mean, we had very good time all together and for me it’s the most important thing. We have an expression in France : « Ce qui est pris n’est plus à prendre », what is taken doesn’t need to be take anymore. We enjoyed the present together, let’s see what would it be in the future. :-) But still, for Ivan, Elena and me it was a weird day because we decided to stay a little longer to enjoy the Slovak Paradise (very close from Poprad). So we were the ones who stayed and looked the other leaving.

For the Slovak Paradise, I have to be honest, it was a failure. First I realized that I forgot my hiking shoes. This could be okay if the weather were wonderful like the one we had in Poprad. But of course the only day of rain (storm actually) was the day we decide to hike. We tried anyway to hike but arrived at the trail entry, we needed to cross a watercourse. I gave up at this moment because with my little sneakers it wasn’t possible to continue. The others met me up 20 minutes after. Even with hiking shoes it wasn’t possible, the road was too slippery and dangerous. First disappointed, we realized we still have 5 months to come back! If there is one thing we can’t control is for sure the weather. Anyway this few days were awesome with amazing people and wonderful landscapes! After this training I feel I will be more in the action than before to achieve my goals. This is one of the good point of these trainings, you come back with so many positive vibes and a lot of motivation! Thank you for all of this and see you soon. :-)

Text: Morgane Le Tennier
Foto: Lea Pillot - Colin/ Morgane Le Tennier

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