Patricia: EVS experience in VT17

How to put into words all my experience about EVS project? I can try first to explain the reason why I decided to get way from home and embrace a project like this. I felt a huge need of change and to move away I was to quite without doing nothing special and my body and spirit were asking me for new adventures new challenges, so I decided that I needed to travel, but where do I go and to do what? At that time I remember to meet a friend that just arrived from her EVS project in Poland and I was so curious about the program of volunteering work that I decided one week later to look for the organization that could help me to know better about this. I got a meeting in Associação Mais Cidadania (Lisboa) with a very nice and warm person that explained me all that I needed to know and exactly in the same day she told me that was an open call to Romania more exactly in Bucharest. And this is here I’m now, but about to leave in 4 days, after 6 months of project.

It was a crazy experience. At the beginning was a bit scared to arrive in a city full of snow with a whole organization A.C.T.O.R waiting for me and for my help. Soon, I needed to start to develop plans of work and be part of trainings and meetings. The first task I had was to cook for a seminar with teachers. Did I cook? No. I did Sangria with Porto Wine (with the help of “mama” Tiago, of course). This was the way of introducing myself to them. They loved it, I remember it! I don’t even noticed the first month passing day by day and we started to do non-formal activities in schools and clinical animation in the hospitals for kids. Catastrophe! What do I do now? – I was asking to myself – How will I manage to be alone in a class with more or less 30 kids without speaking a word of Romanian?! (I already was having romanian classes every week, but calm.. it’s a little complicated to learn a new language for me) But was super okay! This big stress immediately stopped and I got very comfortable because I was doing something with the kids that helped me a lot to have a good communication. I taught them a little of Portuguese language (colors) while they were teaching me Romanian too; I played with emotions and feelings asking them to express them through body language and drawings; and I asked them to create their own planet. Can you imagine the creativity and imagination that these kids have? It was beautiful for me and super interesting!

In the hospitals my experience was more or less the same, but with a different atmosphere and different types of work. I met a lot of kids there in such difficult situations, but always with a smile and ready to play with us and move! I was not alone in the hospitals, I had the help of my team of volunteers from the organization. We developed an awesome work with the kids. We did theatre shows for them, we played music with them, we teach songs in a lot of languages, how to do origami, how to reuse recycle material and turn into nice super works, we painted and colored a lot with them, we played football, we did some relaxing moments with soft music, we danced a lot!! But the one I enjoyed more was the ones were I could turn myself in a little kid and be as a kid as they are. It was so funny! Such good moments!! After all I found that Im a big crazy kid!

But all of this project was not just about work! It was about traveling, discovering another culture and places. And about having fun with my friends. Friends these ones who I have worked and lived with. I call us the “kids lost in the time”. I had a lot of good moments with them. We shared and played a lot with each other. We danced together in the “worst” clubs of Bucharest. They are all in a special space in my heart. Because life is about this, meeting people and sharing a lot of feelings and moments.

I’m very happy with this experience! I go home with my heart full of love and joy! With the motivation to create new projects. With the mind and spirit united and relaxed. It’s time for new challenges and more adventures!

Patrícia Martins from Portugal


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