What has been for me my EVS experience? Well, in short, one of the best experiences of my life…
Before I go to Palermo I thought that EVS would be a kind of Erasmus-language course: the fact of working only 35 hours a week, to go with so much help (in the sense that somebody pays your rent, gives you money to eat and for your expenses…), the full health care for free… It didn’t look the real life. However, since I finished my project, I can say that an EVS is real, as real as life itself.
I have learned many things. Simply to go and live in a foreign country makes you grow: to open your mind, to be more mature, to be more tolerant. I’ve lost many fears. I’ve caught myself reacting in a very “normal” way in totally surrealistic situations. I’m pretty surprised how I acted and I feel much more able to do things I may not even imagine… It is clear that if you do not test yourself you will never know what you’re able to do.
This experience has served mostly to know how to approach my future. Before volunteering I was not sure what I really wanted to do and I was a little lost, I liked so many things at the same time… Now I have discovered what I am passionate and I know clearly which way I want to continue.
One thing I remember before I left was when Santa told me who has done an EVS then can not have a normal job. And now that I’ve had taste it I can not leave. One day, discussing the motivations why we were volunteering, I said that the main motivation for me would be the pleasure, because, as I see, for the volunteerthe EVS is an experience that makes you feel accomplished, serves you to learn, helps to better understand the world and yourself. Volunteering is also an act nobly selfish. Although it may seem that you do it for others, actually you do it for yourself. Even if you think you do it without expecting anything in return you’re getting much more than you thought. Volunteering is definitely a very pleasurable act
During the five months that has lasted my project I have met a lot of interesting people. And a pair of authentic volunteers. Not European volunteers but true volunteers. People who protest peaceful but are able to adapt to different situations and claiming their rights without ever seek conflict. People who are sensitive to the reality around them, to people, to the environment. Interested and motivated people who want to change the world. People who are not materialistic because they have discovered that the true meaning of happiness is not money.
In short it has been a wonderful experience. What are you waiting for to try it?