Usually I was writing my blog in russian. It’s more easy, faster anf of course I’m too lazy to write in in english:) But this time I want to make exception. Because of one reason: last post about EVS. I want it to be special. And for sure emotional! Ok, let’s back to the topic. Actually after project I feel comfortable to express myself in english and also I think the story of EVS should be written in english)
So how everything started?
From idea. Just an idea that I want to change my life. To be honest I didn’t even think about to work with kids or elder people. I iwsh I could do it but my character is different, I’m not suitable for this job. That’s why I was searching something special. And I found it. EVS project at radio for almost 1 year. Good challenge, isn’t it?
I will not desribe HOW I came to the project. It’s enough that 4 crazy days, night in the train stations and lack of possibility to sleep. When I came to Nyiregyhaza I was feeling lost. I remember how I was tired, destroyed and mentally lost. My thoughts was like mosaic: my family, friends, ordinary life. What will be the next? I came exactly at weekend, so I had time to rest liitle bit and restart my energy. I knew that in the city are already 3 other volunteers but I had so much stress last days, I was so nerveous about everything, that I was shy and afraid to wtite them first. At monday I was ready to go to the job. But universe decided to start my work day in another way:) Heater boiler was broken. It was totally waterfall in my bathroom (Hm, that moment it was really my bathroom, because I came first to that flat for volunteers). For 4 hours I was trying to save bathroom. Unsuccessfully… Our neigbours were very «happy» when water start to drop from their ceiling. Fortunately this problem was fixed and I went with my mentor to the radio. It was really strange to feel to much emotions inside and didn’t expect anything. I was just simply curious about my job and colleagues because it will be part of my life for 1 year! City was small, especially for me after my big russian city, it was unusual to see small houses in the street. We cross several streets, 10 minutes and we are going inside the office. 10 minutes from home? Really?! We went inside the office. I was so nerveous when I saw guys… It wasn’t first time when I met people from another countries but I felt that this is different: I have to work with them. I was shy to speak english thinking that it’s awful (hm, compare to some people it was not so bad:) Everybody introduce each other so confidently that my phrase «Alina from Russia» was so quite. At that day my new life started…
In the beginning everything was interesting. Weather — strange (for me february it’s -20 at least, snow and wind. But when I saw green grass, little bit of snow and +1 degree my reaction was like: «you kidding me?!»).
Comment: No, really, THIS is winter?! Please, come to Siberia and you will see real winter:))
Flat. I think our flat deserve one big post because I love it) It’s big, with a lot of space, huge kitchen (where I have cooked too much sometimes)), amazaing living room and my one love — balcony! It’s small, open and for other people didn’t mean anything. But for me — a lot of memories. You can’t imagine HOW mant stories were talled there, how many secrets were shared in the night, which private talks were there and which topics were discussed;) I remember how I was freezing in spring there under the rain, how I was speaking so loud that my friend came down ant told me to shut up (hm, obviously nobody will be happy if somebody staying under your window and speaking very loud), how I was sitting under the first sun streams at summer time. I think the most interesting talks were at this balcony in any kind of weather)) But I need to stop it, this post not about our balcony)
City. It’s small. No, no it’s really small for those who used to live in big cities. After several months you can say that you know almost half of citizens and all interesting places in the city. For sure for experince, for one year it’s good, but for a long time it’s different. There are two lakes (maybe more?): one in the city, another outside. The lake in the city nice but small. I was there several times reading book and having some sport. Another one — Sóstó lake. It’s better and bigger but you can get there only by us or car (we didn’t have it so just sometimes went there by bus). There are some pubs and clubs which are typically hungarian (with «Soproni» beer and rock music). I have different memories about this places: excellent, good and not perfect, but for sure these memroies are unforgettable and almost always crazy, especially some of them)).
Cultural exchange. How many stereotypes are in our mind! Especially about other countries. Almost every time when I met someone I was answering to their questions like this:
- «Yes, I came by train. Yes, 3 days I spent in the train. Yes, there is no internet in our trains»
- «No, there is no bears in the street in Russia»
- «Yes, I know this famous russian drink vodka»
- «No, we are not leaving with temperature -30» Hm, actually yes, but only in the winter so it’s not counting:)
- «Yes, I know Putin». «No, I’m not interested in politics.
So after several months I was not even expalining anything))
Work. When I came at project I didn’t have any idea how it’s working. Fisrt time I was feeling uncomforatble to speak at microphone, every time thinking what I’m saying, controlling grammar (speak in english first weeks was little bit challenging). After couple of months I realized that I can speak at any topic easily. BUT not about world politics! It was one programme at our radio which I always try to avoid just becuae I don’t like it. Also that year was important for Russia: war with Ukraine, sanctions from Europe, problems with Turkey and more things. And I didn’t want to speak about this in the programmes. In generall everything was fine. Some topics were interesting, some of them too much serious but we were free to express out thoughts — I appreciate this opportunity. As well it was great chance for me to improve my english skills. Before project I passed TOEFL exam, it was hard for me and I really dissapointed about results because I knew I could do it better! TOEFL exam it’s a lot of academic words, grammar and speaking. After a while I forgot about grammar, I didn’t use any rules but I really improve my speaking skills. Come on, speaking 24 hours a day in english it’s the best practice ever. Ok, to be honest little bit less)) I had great Georgian and Azeri neigbours who could speak russian)) Miss you girls*)
Comment: my god, it was more than year ago! How we changed after that time…
Trips. It’s even should be written like this: ADVENTURES! Part of volunteer’s life which everybody likes. My first trip was to Debrecen, it’s nearest to Nyiregyhaza city. If somebody told me that day which trips I will have I will not belive, I swear! So, let me introduce one the most colourful part of my life like a volunteer:
- Bratislava, Slovakia. 3 hours by bus from Budapest, beautiful and comfortable city. I think the most beautiful it’s old city center, as always) This city for me associated with something like calm and quiet trip. Hm, first and last «calm and queit»:)
- Prague, Czeck Republic. Everything in this trip was little bit crazy. We arrived at midnight, went to the hostel which was in 6 zone (far-far-far away from center), took not right tram, back and change it, found the hostel and… The owner of the hostel told us there is no any booking with our names and she diddn’t have any place for us. After 1 hour speaking in strange mix of russian-czeck-english she gave us room downstairs for 1 night. We were sleeping in clothers because windows were broken and outside were cold spring. The next day we found great hostel more expensive but 15 minutes from the city center. Prague is amazaing! It’s big, beautiful and have this atmosphere of european old cities which I like. A lot of tasty food and good places where we celebrate Natia’s birthday)) «Say hello to Prague»;)
- Moscow? Yes, suddenly it was added to my list. I was thinking to come home for 3 days and it was the most fast trip in my life! Firstly I stayed all night in the Budapest’s airport which I hate! It’s absolutely not adapted for people! If you are staying there several hours it’s doesn’t matter BUT for all night it’s small hell. Everything is closed, no lights, no coffee, no people… I was feeling myself like in TV show. Horror TV show. I understand it’s stupid to compare this airport with Moscow but there in the night there are a lot of lights, noise, normal seats to stay (ok, not everywhere but mostly). So I stayed one night, went home and back in hungary in 3 days. On my way back I had two different flights with just 2 hours difference between departures and it was in 2 different airports! Who was in Moscow can undersatand how many hours you need to get from 1 airport to another) It was marathon. Hopefully I didn’t miss the flight but I was so close to did it.
- My lovely trip across the Europe (Budapest, Vienna, Germany, Switzerland and Italy:)) I will not describe everything because it’s truly a lot to say about that trip. My friend organized it perfectly, we visited a lot of cities in short period of time and saw amazing places! So, we start from Budapest. I can’t not say how it is beautiful. I have visited a lot of eauropean cities and can say that it’s truly amazing! Magnificent architecture, especial charm of the city and for sure incredible amount of different nationalities. «Sunny Budapest» «Aristoctratic Vienna» «Brutal and strong Munich» «Cool Zurich» «Bergamo — comfortable and pretty nice»
- What was the next? You will not believe. Also me. I still diddn’t belive that I was there)) So… I want to introduce you — Palermo, Sicilia.
No more words. Just pictures. Just enjoy. More? Not, enough. For sure it’s incredibly beautiful nature and views. Also I’m mad of sea, you can imagine what I was feeling when every day I can see the sea… It was like one film. By the way, on the way back we almost lost the flight because of strange system in Rome’s airport showing departures. But hopefully we came back home. Hm, sorry, in Hungary. But wait… It really was our home for 1 year. Ok, let’s move further. After Sicilia we came back for 1 day and after we moved to Sziget Festival!
- Sziget Festival. Maybe it should be one big-big post about this becuase everything what happened there it’s… hm… absolutely crazy. In the start everything was good. Obviously a lot of people, noize, music and drinks. All day we spent really cool — great artists, good concerts, also warm weather. But at midnight like in that fairytale «Cinderella» everything totally changed. It started heavy cold rain, all people start to run. Festival wasn’t so good organized so there was no places even to hide from rain! Everything is open. After half an hour we were wet totally and freezing because suddenly became really cold. Our way back from festival was awful because of waiting train in the train station, wet clothers and absolutely tired. For sure it’s not the best end of festival but it’s unforgettable experince:)) This festival was almost my last funny trip. After this I went to Spain with my family but it’s another story)) Also in the autumn I have visited Poland for some days but it was too fast and short trip. Honestly I hope it was last time when I travel 20 hours and changing 3 trains in the night…
On-arrival training. Like all volunteers in EVS projects we had training. It was in Budapest. We lived far away from city center but our group was amazing and inspite of a lot tasks from our trainers we had fun, spoke a lot, playing games and just have a great time all together.
Also it was more events that year which I didn’t mentioned. A lot of people, events, parties and fun. Maybe after this post you have feeling that everything was so perfect, amazing and incredible but truly for sure no. It’s life, sometimes it’s good, sometimes a lot of probems and stress. Living in another country it’s challenging in all spheres of your life. Another mentality, different way of thinking, it’s not so easy to become part of community and feel youself comfortable. For me EVS year — year of meeting people. Some of them were appearing in my life and dissapering very fast. Another people suddenly become not just important for me but the most close to my soul, whom I believe and who will stay with me all my life.
It’s a lot of opinions about EVS as a programme, about projects and everyday life. But for me EVS was more than just programme. It was people (not only good and nice, they were different); trips (easy or very difficult with a lot of problems like almost sleeping on the street but it was challenge); events (interesting ot too much crazy but really unforgettable:)). Now, after project I miss a lot of things.
I think I didn’t even say a half from all my thoughts. But it’s paragraph of my life. Honestly it’s not easy to back to ordinary life, it’s a big difference which dissapoint you anyway. During year I was doing interesting things, travelling, improving my english skills, having great time and step by step finding myself and started to feel self-confident. After this sittinig in the office and working at boring job sounds like a hell, isn’t it? But I’m trying to save in my heart everything what important for me, to keep in touch with MY people (who become part of my heart forever) and keep moving forward. And never give up! Life after EVS exist, you just need to try to find your own way doesn’t matter how difficult and hard it will be.