Funny interview with Lelde, the latvian volunteer from Riga

Hi Lelde. This is your second month in Bulgaria. What were your expectations before coming in this country for the first time and what do you think now?

Well, I have to admit that before coming here I didn’t know much about Bulgaria. I just knew that it was a southern country so I expected nicer weather and people to be warmer than in Latvia. And yes, I can say that these two expectations have been right. So other than these two things everything is kind of new for me here.

What can you tell about the personal aims which brought you to choose the EVS experience as a part of your human and professional path?

EVS has been my dream since high school, although I decided to study in university and not to do voluntary service the thought never left my mind. And last year when different circumstances changed I understood that this is the right time to do my EVS and find some answers to important questions in my life. So right now I’m kind of living my dream and also trying to figure out my future.

In the last weeks you had a three day session of training workshop in the city of Shumen. Did you find it useful, interesting or funny? What were the most remarkable moments in your opinion? What elements stroke you more about the city, its historical heritage and its natural environment?

I have to say that for me it was useful, interesting and funny. I can’t describe it in just one word. We had really great time in the workshops and also visiting the city. It was nice to spend time with all the volunteers and get to know them better.

I guess for me the most remarkable moments were visiting Madara and Monument to 1300 years of Bulgaria. Views from these places is remarkable and the struggles with yourself you need to overcome was definitely worth it.

Do you see many differences of lifestyle, habits and traditions between your original country and Bulgaria?

The first thing what comes to my mind is cuisine, of course. Bulgarians seem to love cheese way more than we do. Also coffee definitely means a lot to them as you can find coffee automats on every corner.

As Latvia has some slavic influence it may seem that Bulgaria reminds me of home and in some way it does, but they also have this southern country way of living where one of the important words is “чакай”  and that is whole new world for me.

You work four days a week for the hosting Association FOR YOU. What is your opinion about your everyday tasks and the undeniable and stakhanovite professional skills of your colleagues?

Here I have feeling that I’m in the right place, because  I have the opportunity to meet new, different people and have these dynamic days and also have some routine tasks who let me just to relax and organise some thoughts. And of course I love my 3 day weekends!

After first two months I can’t say anything bad about my colleagues – I can see that they love what they do and it is a big part of their lives and I admire it. That with this much work you still have the time to enjoy life and be positive.

Are you thinking about what would you like to choose after the end of your EVS experience? How you might see yourself in 5 years from now if things went exactly as you planned?

Well, right now my 5 year plan is a bit vague. At this moment I don’t have clear vision about my plans after EVS, but I sure know that after 5 years, if everything went exactly as I planned, I would be working in the field of non-formal education. Creating my own organization, becoming a trainer or maybe doing something else in this field –  I don’t know, but time will show.

And also I have set my eyes on Japan and New Zealand – I know I want to visit them in next 5 years!

Tell me something about interesting or nice experiences of life outside the EVS working environment.

If we call working environment the hours I spend in office and my responsibilities, than outside it there is a other EVS world with all the volunteers, events and parties. And this other world is part of every EVS and it is amazing. I can’t describe how lucky I am to have met all the people here!

Of course I have to mention living in a flat with girls I knew nothing about before arriving here and how awesome it is. It has been just 2 months but I already feel close to them and that after this year I will definitely miss them and all the nice moments we have.

What’s your opinion about the self-referential and ironic questions?

Haha. Well, I have to say that I totally hate them. I hate irony and sarcasm.

Really? I’d have never guessed that! Thank you very much for your answers. Enjoy your pyjamas parties out there.