EVS Diary

What is on- arrival training?

During your ESC you will have for sure two highlights, the on-arrival training and the mid-term training. These few days are part of the program to help you to have a reflexion about your volunteer experience, about what already happened and what will come next. If you have some questions or you need a clarification about the program, your project or something related to it, it could be the right place to talk about it. But these trainings are also a great opportunity to meet the other volunteers who arrived at the same period than you in all around Slovakia.

My on-arrival training was at Trenčianske Teplice, in the north/west of the Slovakia, around 3h by train from Bratislava. It happened one month and half after my arrival here. I was very excited because it was a way to meet new people and visit another area of Slovakia. At this time, instead of my flatmates, I haven’t meet that much volunteers. It’s during the workshop about leadership organized by BDC that I had the opportunity to meet the INEX volunteers who arrived in the same time than me in Slovakia and who live also in Bratislava. I realized that Ivan, one of the three INEX volunteers, is French (that is not a big surprise, there is a lot of French people in Slovakia) and came from the same area than me (Bretagne power). BUT what is really crazy is that he is from Quimperlé, around 10min by car from my own town! Can you imagine my face when we realized it? :-)

So, we decide to travel all four together to Trenčianske Teplice, and the adventure began! These few days were very refreshing for me, I met a lot of people from different countries : France (I told you, French people are everywhere), Greece, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Siberia (!!!), Estonia and Bielorussia. Of course we were a little shy during the first meetings but our amazing trainers did a great job to make us feel confortable. Our days were full of interesting informations about the Erasmus + program, energizers (I discovered this concept during this same time), various visits with very interesting historical comments of Martin, one of our trainers. On the evening it was swimming-pool time (yeah, lucky us), and chilling time all together.

By the way, because Trenčianske Teplice is well know for spa, I wanted to try the famous Turkish bath. Here an extract of the Slovak.travel article about it: «The spa was founded by Paladin Štegan Zápol’sky during the 16th century. The reputation of this spa derives of five medical springs of hot (36 to 40 °C) sulphur water that yield in total 22 litres of water per second. Disorders of locomotion apparatus and neurosis are treated here. Architecture of the bath Hammam in the spa building Sina decorated in oriental style of Turkish bath from the end of the 19th century, above all its lavishly ornamented arcade is interesting.»

Sounds interesting, right ? But don’t imagine the playful and relaxing spa (what I had actually in my mind). I felt the place more as a medical place to enjoy all the benefits of this spring water than a recreative spa. Most of the customers come here in cure with the purpose to health some diseases. But because I didn’t get it at first, the experience was a little weird for me. When I arrived in the bath/water-pool, I joined a 30min session with other people. When the timer started, the light were turned off. So you are in the water, wearing a shower curtain dress (at least the texture was the same), without the permission to talk and just waiting the end of it. It wasn’t exactly what I was expected to be honest. But was an interesting experience and, with the massage at the end, I was very relaxed and happy.

Four days, it’s almost a week but it’s also very short, shorter if you enjoy completely the time like we did! So of course the last day came and we all said «see you soon!» with the mid-term training already in our head. If there is one other memory I want to share with you it would be one of the day before the departure. We were walking on a « little hill » (understand big one when it’s a Slovak who talk about the hill), the weather was very nice. When we arrived on the top our trainers gave us a paper and a pen with the simple indication to write a letter to our future myself. For me, this letter was a way to take the time to think of my goals, what I’m expecting for these 10 months and how to do it. It was also a way to said to myself «it’s okay if don’t achieve all of your goals for the mid-term, take the time you need, and be kind to yourself».

Foto a text: Morgane Le Tennier/ dobrovoľníčka na projekte Európske zbory solidarity v BDC

Dobrovoľnícky program Európske zbory solidarity je financovný z finančných prostriedkov Európskej Únie v rámci programu Erazmus +

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