Rise and fall (or more accurately EVS – school of life)

Hello again friends :))

Some time ago I shared with you my experiences and impressions at the beginning of my EVS project. Now, just a couple of months later, I gained so many new things that you simply will not believe the two-volume novel I have to recount… :)) But let me start – as I decided to name the article “School of Life”, I would like to share some important things I learned in my EVS project, which for sure will represent a very valuable experience for my  future (and perhaps yours as well 🙂

At this point I would like to clarify something. I dedicate this article to all current and future volunteers. Certainly you won’t experience exactly the same things as I do, but maybe more or less quite similar. That’s what I want to share with you and what I have learned today – maybe it will be helpful;)

As I have always said – the European Voluntary Service is a great opportunity that I absolutely recommend  to everyone who would like to enrich oneself to learn new things, to travel, to meet new people, to broaden the horizons. But like absolutely everything EVS has its little things that are not as cool as we would like them to be – just like the life we ​​live and which awaits us after the end of our project. Here it is what happened to me. After the initial euphoria “Yaay finally went EVS”, I began to look at things from a more critical perspective – the project as a whole, what we do and so on, turned out to be not really like so many projects. The tasks were a lot less than the ones described in the activity agreement I signed, and the few things we did were far below my capabilities. Thus, I was generally bored). I didn’t  like so much my “colleagues” (the other co-volunteers). At the beginning I thought that the girl from Italy who is in our project was a very cool and positive person. But she was a great stickler not only when organizing our common activities, but also  with the housework: when and how to clean and arrange the apartment, where to put the clean dishes or even how to put toilet paper in the toilet o.O), while the coordinator was one of the strangest, most uncomprehending and- I could even say- rudest people I know.

I began to wonder if this is what I’ve been waiting to do since 2006. To come to these “ужасни” horrible people (in Bulgarian “ужасни” means terrible but in Slovak “užasny” means “beautiful”: D), in this tedious project where I waste my time instead of doing more useful things in Varna. And basically I just asked myself and started wondering, wondering – whether or not to leave Slovakia – there is not much to learn here, just wasting time and nerves and deal with uncomprehending people.

At one point something happened suddenly and strangely – one day, the third volunteer in the project (Dan from England, with whom I got along pretty well and we were complaining to each other about the coordinator and the other volunteer) had a really big argument with the coordinator. The next day he booked a flight to England and two weeks later went back home. Yes, he left the project (it is possible, as it says in the guides – in extremely critical situations). It was a shock for everybody (especially for me – what do I do from now on alone with these two? (the pedantic volunteer and the coordinator,with whom I did not get along).

But then again events turned out to make me understand what the problem was. A few days later I received the second evaluation report to assess the project, whether I find it successful and useful for me (I guess this report is only made by our organization for internal control as we do it two times and no other volunteer in Slovakia has filled in something like this). Of course I described in detail how disappointed I feel, why I did not like the project and the coordinator’s manners: how he communicates and behaves sometimes us – generally not appreciating anything that happens here.

On the other hand, I also received an evaluation (again I think it’s just an internal practice of this organization). If the volunteers wish, they can receive an assessment by the coordinator where he assesses the work of the volunteers, the inclusion in the project activities, along with language skills and other stuff like that. My evaluation was surprisingly good (“I read it and I could not believe my ears,” as a popular gentleman would say :)). After being evaluated, both sides we had a long-long-long discussion with the coordinator, to clarify the things that were written in both forms. It was a tough time, of course, but a lot better (you know – the good things are not easy!).