18th of April, another day almost over. This little crazy estonian has been in Romania for 1,5 months. What has been happening, what has she been doing?
Firstly, for a long time now, I have been trying to decide what to write in my blog. It is not so easy as it looks like! Should I describe what I have been doing here all this time or maybe just explain why did I choose to come here at all? I have more questions in my head than I have answers. It is difficult to decide what information is more important- the volunteering part or my own personal life including changes in my emotions, behaviour, stress level and so on. Since this blogpost is not gonna be the last and the next one will probably be better, then I am just going to explain why did I choose Romania, why did I choose EVS in general.
Being a special education teacher for people with disabilities can be the best job you could ever have! Imagine being surrounded by people who are always sincere and are always honest with you. Also seeing them finally learn something that you have been teaching them for months, maybe even years, can actually bring tears in your eyes. This job is challenging and incredible, but can also be something that makes you fall apart.
During those 4 years of working as a special education teacher, I have had few opportunities to also take part of Erasmus+ projects: Training courses in Poland, Portugal and Turkey and a youth exchange also in Turkey. Those few weeks abroad, meeting with dozens of people from all over Europe, made me realize that life is not only about doing 24 hour shifts at work, continuing work at home and only finding time for myself and my friends sometimes in the evenings. If I’m lucky!
Don’t get me wrong, I love everyting about my job, my people, only I was the one losing myself in the process.
Doing EVS has been in my mind for atleast 3 years, since the first time I went to Portugal for my first project ever. This project changed my life, changed my thinking and changed a lot what I believed in before. You, who are reading my blogpost right now, may have a question now, like: „Why did it take You three years to actually pull Yourself together and do an EVS?“ . If you were asking that in your head right now, then I have the answer for you: I HAVE NO IDEA! But I can give you some excuses that I used for three years.
As you may know, estonians are known as „hard working people“. Well, this is the only thing I agree with, when talking about estonians. I, also, was unable to pull myself away from my work, and instead took more and more responsibilities to myself. You think I am crazy? You are right..
And this may actually be the reason I am here now. Feeling my stress level rising every day, not enjoying my work anymore, just dreaming about living in another country, remembering all the great, awesome, perfect experiences in Erasmus+ projects, were just driving me crazy. So about six months ago I decided that this was it and I am not doing this to myself anymore. I decided AGAIN that I am going to do an EVS. And then I lost myself in my work.. AGAIN! Sounds stupid, I know…
Ofcourse when my parents and friends asked my, why am I still in Estonia, I could give them millions of reasons, starting with problems with my apartment and my dog and so on.. Just an excuses, nothing else! Even though people are not satisfied with their lives, it is still much easier to keep everything the same than to face the fears and actually move on! But that is what I finally did! I pulled myself together, made plans for my job, apartment and dog, and started sending applications!
For a second I went nuts again, so I applied to an EVS project in Portugal cause I really wanted to keep doing my thing.. working with children with disabilities. The best thing that could ever happen to me was that I didn’t get chosen there. So the next application went to Romania, Timișoara! And only few days later I was accepted to join the European team in Romania. The overflowing feeling that I got from that news, is probably one thing that is really hard to forget! And.. only a day after the good news from Zury I also got an e-mail from Portugese organization, who decided they want me there after all. This was the time that I made the best decision of my life.. No to Portugal and ABSOLUTELY YES to Romania!
And on that day my new life begun and I haven’t regretted my decision since. I have my Romania, I have my Timișoara, I have my healthy life project and I have my people. It is great to be a volunteer!
As You, person, who is reading this at the moment, can see, I am really into jabbering about different things and probably not even making the point I was trying to make. But I promise You, next time I will try things differently.
So, why should anyone take part of an EVS?? C’mon, if you want something great in your life, then that is just the way!