EVS rather is a life experience than a work experience. This is probably the main outcome of my evaluation. Until now I have found myself in conditions from very bad to very great – I think this is what I was aiming for when I started my EVS: To experience how the life of an adult is like. But I didn't only experience it; I actually grew in social, professional and mental matters. Here is my analysis of the first semester and I hope you find it informative and/or entertaining.
The first impressions in this warm first week of September 2016 were amazing. I found Bratislava in a cosy and charming mood with lots of places to see and go to. I went to a giant pillow fight to promote volunteering and to taste the first impressions of what BDC actually does. I continued to do so within the 'Week of Volunteering 2016' where I volunteered for various organizations.
The 'EVS on-arrival training' was brilliant and helped me a lot to find connections and friends not only in Bratislava but also in the rest of Slovakia. The 'EVS family' is super nice and welcoming – so far we met on birthday or Christmas parties and travelled together to various destinations all over Europe. It helped me a lot to settle down as I am a person who needs social contact nearly all the time.
Until the evaluation of the first three months work was a bit biased and monotonous but it all changed when we figured out that I was only covering half of my actual work. My project work, the 'EVS book' which collects and shares experiences or thoughts in order to show how EVS really is like and to work as a tool or adviser for upcoming volunteers, is going on good. I will not go into more detail at this stage as it will be published by the end of June (hopefully). So far things were a bit blurred but now I am trying to focus on my EVS project as stated in my 'Volunteer Agreement'.
I feel like I got into a certain routine here and actually feel home despite all of the worries I had to experience.What I expected was the ultimate life experience and to get in touch with the life of an adult. What I got are tons of new friends with who I spent incredibly funny days but also down-days where nothing could help me out. This is life I guess and it is the same for everyone so it might be an advantage for me to experience it now when I am young even though sometimes I wish I would be elsewhere. Right now I am looking forward to the second semester which will be stuffed with lots of travelling and success at work – hopefully ;)
Luka Paul Vethake
P.S.: The picture shows my squad and me at the mid-term evaluation meeting of EVS. I found this to be a suitable picture as it also marks the middle of EVS.
Quote of the day:
"Wherever a man turns he can find someone who needs him."
~ Albert Schweitzer
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