It’s 2:30 in the morning. I have traveled a total of 18 hours in the last 2 days. I go down to Autobusni kolodvor and my adventure begins. I tried not to have any expectations about my EVS experience and I am very happy because these 2 months have surpassed any expectation I could have had.
EVS is an unforgettable experience. There is no lie in the strong feelings you have for people there. You live together, eat together, watch movies together, laugh, weep, dance, fool together. There are no parents and friends, only all of you – all-the-time. It makes you close. It made us close. Sometimes you fall into a bad mood or you do not feel well, you experience a fear you had or realize a dream you didn`t suspect you have… Or you find out what you want to do with your life. Every one of us went through something like that.
Some experienced all of their fears and restraints, others found out some truths about themselves or did things for the first time, and through all of this, we knew there was at least one, if not ten, people that had our backs. These were the people from our organizations – the OAZA Team, whose support we felt all the time, as well as CVS Bulgaria and all other sending organizations from different countries.
We spent most of our time at our hostel, we only went out once to Medika – for everyone who prefers alternative “clubs”, beer, strange music and art, to discos – that is the place for you. But even though we had only one night of partying outside of where we lived, I do not regret the beautiful nights spent in Mali Mrak. This is the coolest hostel ever. Location with a character – a house with 3 floors and a garden. Filled with drawings on every wall and all free spaces, Mali Mrak was also distinguished by the feeling of being at home. This was what every guest we met in those 2 months said, and it’s also what all of us- the volunteers- are saying. There are no words to describe this place that would do it justice, apart from a second home.
Zagreb itself fascinated me with its interesting architectural style, with its fresh atmosphere – attributed by the many young people who live in the city. We were surrounded by nature and we trained, in non-traditional ways, the children about the importance of being close to nature. I would describe this experience as one inspiring hope for the new generations. With lifted sleeves, jumping on shovels (I didn’t make a lexical mistake, we really jumped on shovels), shooting water at each other – muddy, tired, but very pleased with the job well done, we returned home every day – happy. And by the way, those meals after working in the garden – the most delicious ever!
We experienced many beautiful moments, and in the end, there was no one left dissatisfied with having spent two months this way. It was an adventure, madness tangled with moments of truth, sunrise at 5:30, cookies in a bag – sitting in the mud, drinking kompot, chasing each other around the hostel while the owner is gone, splashing with water, singing in the streets and in the tram with our voices the highest they can be, dancing rock&roll, blues, and Macarena in the garage, sunsets, wine, conversations, people, falling in love, falling out of love, dreaming, road trips. These are the moments that will continue to brighten my memories. The strangers turned into family. A group of 12 young people, not adults quite yet, no longer children.
For a short while we became those kids we were at ten years old – without the restrictions of adulthood, or the burdens of the future, we only had the now to worry about and live in and we did. Remembering who we were, we got a step closer to becoming those we dream to be.
Author: Lora Kerankova, Bulgaria