“La revedere, București!
I remember saying hello to Bucharest not long time ago. I still remember trying to figure out how to get to different places in such a big city. Today after I had my last lesson in kindergarten, I remembered my first lesson and how messy it was. I guess life really goes in a circle because my last lesson was in the same kindergarten as my first one.. I remember my struggles to try to speak Romanian in front of a class like it was yesterday but here I am at the finish line already. The time goes fast indeed and without using brakes!
During my last days in the project I was thinking and reliving in my mind many beautiful and valuable moments while volunteering in ACTOR. And what can I say..? I had to think a lot because there were so many of them!
At the same time these moments were very different. Some times you go out of the hospital after clinical animation and realize that you made someone smile who haven’t been smiling in a while. Sometimes you go to school and children are very interested in your class, and give you a lot of insightful questions. Then you realize what a colorful generation they are becoming. Also, while working in a big group you cannot avoid misunderstandings and disagreements, but at the same time you realize that everything is in your power and you can always solve things in a peaceful way, and like this create beautiful moments by yourself.
Before I came to the project, I did not have a lot of experience working with children, even more with children in the hospitals. Organization was a very good platform to try myself in this field giving many different possibilities. During my last visits in hospitals and kindergartens I could evaluate myself and the progress I have made. Moreover, during last months I even had a chance to pass the experience I gained here to the new volunteers. I wish them all the best!
An important thing to realise is that EVS is not a way to learn something in a formal way. In my opinion, the essence of EVS is learning by doing, freedom to do mistakes and it is a space for personal initiatives. That means that you do not need to be a professional, in ACTOR case, in children education. The only thing volunteers choosing to do this need is to be open to new opportunities, new experiences and more importantly new challenges. The best advice from me would be – don‘t be afraid to do mistakes because you can learn the most from them. In the end, just try to enjoy all the moments you will have during volunteering here because they will pass very fast!
Dovile Valanciute, Lithuania (A.I.R. project, 2018)