The decision to join EVS was probably one of the best decisions I have ever made. I had been thinking about it from the moment I found out the opportunity like this exist. That means something around two years ago. After a few youth exchanges and training courses I attended, there were nothing more to question. I also finished my studies and my current job was only for a fix-term contract. So I started to look for a project with a suitable topic. After a one trip around Balkan, I was somehow attracted to that location. Then I found an offer to spend 3 months in Macedonia, with a perfect topic, so I immediately sent my CV and a cover letter. If they won’t choose me, at least I tried. I said to myself.
To my big surprise, I get a positive answer. My parents shake their heads in a disagreement for a moment, but they could not really do anything about it… On 2. March I landed in Skopje. Slightly uncertain, but happy that I survived my first flight, I get outside the airport. The taxi driver was already waiting for me, holding a sign with my name on it, exactly like in a movie. All the pressure fall out of me, from now, there were only better things about to happen. I spent my first night in a hotel in Kumanov. They sent me so much food for the dinner that two people wouldn’t be capable of eating it. All the other participants were already looking forward to meeting me in a multi-culti centre the other morning. I finally met even a net Mila, the leader of the project. Then we went to see the rooms. Right after I accommodate myself, the other two volunteers from France come. First few days with them were really interesting, as far as we did not know how to communicate. Their English was not really good and my French neither. However, after a two months, as they were leaving, it was not that huge problem anymore. That is one of the advantages of EVS. It will teach you English.
When I was finally able to understand frenchlisch, the girl from Turkey came… I had to learn to understand Turklisch. We spent a lot of time together, so I got used to their accent, anyway, the other people did not. We joked around and say that I am a translator from their English to real English. Priceless experience.
Except them, there was a girl from Finland, my unique roommate from Poland, Welsh boy and one Moldavian girl. Also, two boys from Turkey, who came later. We were a great team. We travel together, spent our free time, cooperate in a multi-culti centre. I was a little bit afraid, how would I speak to the kids there, but luckily, many of them understand English, so my problem solved itself. We were making a program, which I have to admit, was equal entertaining for me, as well as for the kids.
The other part of the project was volunteering in a refugee camp. Many people had asked me if I was not scared, before I left for Macedonia. No I am not. Why would I be? We spent a lot of time talking to refuges and sporting together. There were moments, in which it seems that they were there for us, more than we did for them. There are many things for man to realise at a place like this. When someone asks me, if I am happy, I would say yes. No matter that I have no job right now, or I had bread for breakfast, instead the roll I wanted. The same as these people who have lost so much but even though, they can laugh and be happy and to share their food or stories. I was not considering going home, not even for a moment. Other way round, I would stay longer if I could.
And there is so much more that EVS can offer. It fills your free time reasonably, you’ll meet new people, discover new culture, new places. And I finally learn to read Cyrillic! And also to lead a common conversation in Macedonian language, due to a language course included in a project program. We had really no time to be bored. In our spare time, we travel around. We saw the Macedonia, made a trip to Prištin in Kosovo and discovered Kustendil and Sofia in Bulgaria. For example Ohrid (Macedonia) is a place like from other world. Pure beauty. I met a lot of great people, learned about the beauties but also the everyday life of Macedonia. I learned about locals, about their troubles and wounds as well as about their way of having fun.
Was it worth it? Sure! Thank you ADEL.
Video from project here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ag3Y_axCA1U&t=3s