“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” – Charles Dickens wrote once. And that’s what I can say about my EVS 🙂 Now I’m finally ready to draw some conclusions and here they are.
It was the best because… The combination of time, place, people, events and some simple magic was perfect. I enjoyed every little bit of it and I’m eternally thankful to everyone, absolutely everyone, who surrounded me – people I loved made me happy and full of life, people I didn’t understand (read “hated”) made me more tolerant and open to different types of behaviour. This project was perfect also thanks to its imperfections sometimes – I learnt to cope with problems.
It was the worst because… it’s over and it’s never happening again.
In EVS, they say, in the end you get Youthpass and this is certification of your knowledges. In a way – it is. But there’s so much more inside, inner changes which are sometimes imperceptible even to you yourself, let alone – others.
What did I learn?
I learnt to live with people. People, very much different from me and from my perceptions of “right life”. I was meeting them very intensively, learning to cooperate, to find a way with them. I met so many truly amazing personalities!
I learnt to be more patient. Earlier I could never wait for things to happen. In this project I learnt to give time and space for things to happen themselves.
I learnt to find my way in a city and in a country which I don’t know.
I learnt to cope with school children 🙂 Even really big groups.
To cut juniper trees…
And to enjoy every single moment of my life.
To say the least, my horizons broadened!
I can say for sure that Tallinn was (and I hope still is, just not permanently) my place and even though I always told people that they should choose project based on type of work and not on location, in my case it was different – first I loved the city, then I loved my project. Many locals want to run away from there, but I guess it’s the same for everyone – we always think that it’s better in some other place, where we are not living. But I found this place very comfortable, charming, very different (20 mins drive and you’re in completely different area) and simply the city where I could breath very well. Yes, breath! The moment I got off the bus a year before my EVS, I thought to myself “Oh, it feels very nice. Maybe I should stay here longer”. And I did 😉
There’re 2 most important things in EVS – people and the fact that it’s possible to do only once in a lifetime. People who surround you will be the most important assets. The fact that it’s once in a lifetime will make you do things you’ve never done before, get out of comfort zone, not waste any time.
Everybody says that EVS is a programme for all. It’s open for everybody, it gives great opportunity, unique chance and bla-bla-bla. After years of working with the program and now after finishing my EVS service myself, I have to say that I don’t agree with this statement.
EVS is for those who have the guts, who have inside power within themselves not to waste this chance, to use this time to the full. For those who are ready to take a challenge and enjoy its benefits.
For those, who are ready to have 2 homes after finishing the service and not knowing which one you appreciate most.
Do I miss it? Oh, yes. At times I think I dreamt it all and it never happened to me, that it’s just in my head.
But I will come back in July. See you, Estonia! See you, all the dear people!
Musi musi from Russia 🙂
Не могу не добавить в конце на русском – спасибо всем читателям за это время! Писала редко, тем не менее.. Если вы сейчас на проекте или собираетесь туда, знайте только одно – поиск, оформление визы, подготовка – все фигня! Главное – то, что происходит на проекте, и все происходящее (почти) зависит от вас и только от вас! Будете лениться и ждать, что классная работа и активная внерабочая жизнь свалятся на вас сами – проект не понравится! Будете копать землю под ногами, активничать, искать, знакомиться и ничего не бояться – все будет НЕ-ЗА-БЫ-ВА-ЕМО! И помните – только вперед!