Pitali smo Ninu Kemeru, volonterku u organizaciji IntermediaKT u Patrasu (Grčka) da nam nažvrlja nešto o svom volonterskom angažmanu, kako bi inspirisali i druge ljude da se upuste u ovo neponovljivo životno iskustvo. Njena priča je u nastavku, ovoga puta dostupna samo na engleskom jeziku. Ako vam je potreban prevod – trk na google translate! 🙂
Nina in a Wonderland
I started to think about doing an EVS after one youth exchange in Germany where I met some people who were on their EVS in Serbia and found out more about this opportunity. The point of this EVS thing is that you go to a foreign country from couple of weeks up to one year to volunteer in an NGO. The costs of travel, insurance, accomodation, money for food and some pocket money is covered by Eramus+ programme.
Firstly I was looking for projects in Denmark simply because I wanted to spend some time there, so I wasn’t choosing the project but the country. After participating in some youth exchanges and youth trainings, and after gaining some knowledge in the field work of NGOs, I started to choose projects by the topics I’m interested in. I started to think about this opportunity as spending some time in a foreign country, learning new things and improving the skills in the fields I am interested in. One sunny day while I was supposed to study for my exams, I was scrolling on Facebook and found a post where it was said that an NGO in Greece is urgently looking for a volunteer. First thought-Greece, nice! As soon as I checked out what an EVS is about, I instantly new this thing is for me.
My interests are diverse and I’m curious about everything around me, and I am able to find something interesting in everything I do, this project also had diverse activities, tasks and opportunities. While applying and answering those questions, I was completley myself, I didn’t think about what they might like or what they might not like. After a couple of days I got my first email from them and few days after that email we had the first interview. Few days after an interview, on Monday, coordinator announced that I was accepted for this project.
I was extremely happy and overwhelmed and very soon I started to prepare all necessary documents, to pack my clothes, photographs, my life in one big and one small luggage. So, that’s how I started my adventure, I was on my way to Patras, city on the Peloponesse, 3 hours away from Athens, just next to the sea. And I love sea so much. I was very excited, this was beginning of something new in my life, and I wasn’t even aware of that at the moment when I was riding on the bus from the airport to the main bus station of Athens. I knew that I will live with one Spanish guy, but I had no idea who he was, how he was, how the life will look like, at that moment I didn’t even think so much, I was just enjoying this beautiful November sun
on my face.
Winter in Greece is amazing, I was wearing coat for like 2 months or so, there is a lot of sun and waking up with the smell of the sea in my room is just mesmerizing. Talking about my tasks in IntermediaKT, they fullfiled my expectations, I have a feeling like as soon as I step in the office I learn something new. It is really interesting how at the beginning of a new task where you are facing something unknown it seems so scary and distant, but after a couple of days working on that new thing you can see improvements and you just feel better.
I can freely say that I have learnt a lot in the meaning of technical things such as graphics, web development, making posters etc. All guys and a girl from the office helped me a lot, each of them is an expert in a different field therefore I had a chance to hear and learn many different things from different fields. But not just from their fields, I got to know many new things about Greek and Spanish culture through talks and through celebration of many holidays. Communicating with people who have different cultural background, different values, language, tradition expanded my mind, heart and soul, helped me to accept some differences
we all have.
But the most important thing is that I’ve learnt a lot about myself. This opportunity provided me to discover some new parts of myself, my strength, weaknesses and potentials. I’ve pushed some boundaries I didn’t even know I have. When I was coming here I didn’t have any fears, except gaining some weight of Greek sweets, but I had many expectations, some things have met my expectations, some didn’t, but that is all okay.
I have 3 months more till the end of my journey through the Wonderland called EVS and I realized that this programme, at least for me, meant a huge personal growth.