EVS volunteers from Armenia and Rumania – Liana

karogiIn Latvia will be from 2nd October, 2015 till 27th September, 2016

Liana(EVS volunteer)

How EVS has changed my life

LianaThe world is smaller than you think
Taking a decision to leave everything what you have and take a deep plunge into something unknown is never an easy one. I took such a decision, left my job and decided to take one-in-a lifetime opportunity to do my EVS in Jekabpils NGO in Latvia. It took me some time to grow to this decision, but finally I made it.
My EVS showed me that if you take risks, if you get out of your ‘comfort zone’, it pays back. You only need to open yourself to new people, new experiences and new opportunities.
As an EVS volunteer I understood that Europe or even the world, is very small. The adventure usually starts before you even leave your country – you meet other people like you on a meeting before the departure, or sometimes through mailing lists, facebook groups, etc. You get to know their stories and their motivations and then you understand that you are not alone, that there are other people who want to do something ‘unusual’ or even ‘crazy’.
The adventure continues when you come to a new organization, meet new people and have to communicate in a language that you thought you had known quite well. Or learn a new one in order to be able to work for your organization in a more efficient way and be able to communicate with the society that has welcomed you. EVS is a great opportunity to learn languages and get more confidence in their everyday use.
And the most important part: while doing an EVS you get to know many people. Many different people, very often coming from different countries, different backgrounds and this is I think the most valuable part of EVS experience. Suddenly you can have friends everywhere, be able to stay at ‘friend’s place’ in any town in Europe, because you are all members of a great community, the EVS family. To me this a great thing and even though I was travelling quite a lot before my EVS, I only then understood how easy it can be, even when your budget is tight. EVS was a turning point for me in discovering Europe. And its inhabitants, because a town in a local’s eyes is always more interesting than when you visit it with a guidebook in your hand. I am still in touch with some people from my EVS and it doesn’t matter where we meet: whether it’s Latvia, France or Romania. I want to let you know that I love you very much and you are very special for me.
And finally the most ‘serious’ part – job. Having EVS experience in my CV, especially in an Jekabpils NGO was a great chance to develop a career that I was dreaming of. It was also a turning point for me, because while I was working for my organization I had a chance to get closer to the EU institutions, meet some people who work there. Thanks to all members in my hosting organization, thanks for being next to me, thanks for helping and supporting, thanks for your welcoming and finally thank you that you gave me a chance to be a part of you.
My final thought is: don’t be afraid of your dreams and take any opportunity that comes to you. The next one will follow

First impressions about Latvia

After I was accepted for an EVS in Latvia I was really excited to go and at the same time really happy. I arrived at the second day of October, full of emotions. At first, I had a bit time to see Riga before getting to my living place in Jēkabpils. During my first week, I started to meet new people, to visit historical places in Jēkabpils and let me say one thing – I like this place. In the end of my first week in Latvia I had a good chance to visit another beautiful place in Latvia – Liepāja, I liked it very much. I was in Liepāja just 2 days but I saw many beautiful places and met many good people who changed something in me. I met people who have disabilities but I am happy to know that they live as you and me. Yes, they can’t see but they can feel as much as we can. This is nice to me to understand that they are making life more beautiful not only for themselves but also for ourselves. They can feel everything – the sun, the sea, the sky, everything. May God bless all of them and everyone. On my way back to Jēkabpils, I was full of emotions and realized that life is so beautiful. Thank goodness that I have this chance to see more in my life…

So this is a month that I was in Latvia and during these days, I experienced many emotions. I met many people with different cultural backgrounds and it was nice for me to understand that I can find some ways to be like friends and work with them. After finishing this month, I spent two beautiful days in Rēzekne with Ukraine society and I liked them very much. I participated in a little theatre with them and I wore their traditional dresses and danced with them. As for finishing, I want to say that really this is nice to me to hear and be the part of this project.