My name is Alex and I’m a 19-year-old EVS-Volunteer from Bavaria.
Now I’m already ten months here in Lithuania, almost a whole year, and still it feels like I arrived just yesterday. Yet on the other hand some of the friendships I established here seem to exist already for ages. These friends are one of the reasons why I enjoyed my time here so much; and so I’m luckily still waiting for the predicted “down-period” of my EVS. Of course there have been a few moments of moodiness, but usually they didn’t last longer than a couple of hours; but exactly with an hour like that my EVS has started: I didn’t know a lot about Lithuania before I arrived, but I did know it would be damn cold, wherefore I wrapped up myself as warm as possible with all my winter clothes. Stupidly I didn’t consider that was September, but noticed it clearly: muggy 25°C with not a single cloud in the sky welcomed me as soon as I left the airplane. And since I wasn’t able at home to decide what to take with me and because suddenly I had only favourit-clothes left, my luggage has not been too light either. So after arriving finally in the fourth floor totally sweaty, I saw my “luxury suite”. Honestly I really didn’t expect a lot, but the flat I should live in for the next twelve months could surprise me even more than the weather did. From this moment it could only get better. And it totally did.
Meanwhile I got used to my modest habitation and I realized that my life in Germany was full of luxury. Luxury, that you don’t need at all. Luxury, that is superfluous. From time to time, of course, I would have been happy about a microwave, to be able to eat a warmed-up meal without frying it before. And neither I would argue against a slightly bigger fridge, so that I wouldn’t need to go to a shop every second day. And to be honest, I wouldn’t even miss the window that is connecting our kitchen with the toilet. But all in all I’m quite glad about my small villa, and actually very grateful that I never have to air my room, because the windows are able do this independently.
My project is taking place in a children day care center for kids from social disadvantaged families. I enjoy my work a lot and like spending time with the kids, but of course there are some days where I am just happy to finally get home, because the kids, as I’ve noticed fastly, have a lot of energy, way more than I do or could imagine. Kids are adorable! Kids are the future! But kids are easy to influence and kids are fragile. And that’s why we should be more careful with them, spend more time with them, try to teach them the right values and treat them with a lot of patience. A lot of patience is what you need, if you’re working with kids. But while spending time with them I’ve noticed they are far better and more sociable people than adults are. I’m just admiring it, how less it needs for kids to be happy, how fast they are able to forgive and how honest they are. In my opinion adults should use kids as an example in points like that, because even if we don’t want to admit it, they are a step ahead of us in quite many issues.
Summarizing I can say that I made the absolutely right decision coming to Lithuania to volunteer for one year, instead of directly starting to study after high school. Since I am here I had so many great experiences, that taught me a lot about life and about myself.
I learned how to be open-minded, how to share, how to maintain myself, how to say “No!” to things I don’t really want to do; I learned how to love myself, I learned how to do what makes me happy and how to be happy even without a reason, and - what is most important for me - I learned how to enjoy my life to the fullest.
Since I am here I met so many wonderful people; people that inspired me, that believe in me, people that helped me to widen my horizon, to see the world from a different perspective, people that made me leaving my comfort zone, people that I surely will stay in contact with in the future. Since I am here I went through so many beautiful moments that never in my life I will forget this amazing time.
Looking forward to the last two months of my EVS, I really hope they won’t pass as fast as they did until now, so that I can enjoy the time even more, and that the predicted “down-period” won’t be just delayed, but will stay away at all.