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scr ipta man ent ----------------------------------every volunteer has a story to tell


scr ipta man ent -----------------------------------every volunteers has a story to tell


Link | Book

© 2011 - Associazione Culturale Link www.linkyouth.org - www.scriptamanentproject.eu Partner internazionali / International partners creActive (Macedonia), Intercultura (France), La Vibria Intercultural (Spain) NeViSo Foundation (The Netherlands), RATO-ADCC (Portugal), RED - Radošu Efektu Darbnīca (Latvia), Young Leaders Youth Association (Romania) Coordinamento / Coordination Mino Vicenti, Associazione Culturale Link Ringraziamo / Thanks to Birgit Atzl, Claudio Barata, (aka Chob), Lucia Creanza, Carles Cunill, Jules Davidson, Raffaele Lamacchia / Amici del Parco della Murgia Materana, Pierre de Bellevue, Henrieta Pivkova, Jessie van Erp, Imke van Rees

Progetto grafico / Graphic design Michele Colonna Composizione tipografica / Typesetting PT Serif e PT Mono – www.paratype.com, 2010-2011, RossaniStencil – Giuliano Chimenti, Silvio Lorusso, Filippo Taveri, 2008. Stampato su carta / Printed on paper Freelife Cento e Sirio Color delle Cartiere Fedrigoni This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.


Scriptamanent #3


indice

6 Introduction / Introduzione 10 Anete Ratniece [lv] 20 Anita Galvan [it] 24 Anna Szmigiel [en] 28 Anna Francenko [en] 32 Carmen Sacchetti [it] 35 Claudio Barata [en] 38 Elena Inceu [en] 44 Elodie Louarn [fr] 48 Evita Eglite [lv] 54 Filipa Silva [pt] 62 Francesco Romano [it] 72 FrĂŠdĂŠric Chasselin [fr] 78 Georgios Ampatzidis [en] 81 Henrieta Pivkova [en] 85 Ionitza Cosmin Constantin [ro] 88 Iveta Zdravkova Kuzeva [en] 92 Jana Siskova [en] 96 Jessie van Erp [en] 99 Karolina Zarzecka [en] 102 Kristina Malinauskaite [en] 105 Laura Pourtier [fr] 111 Lukas Heimes [es] 114 Mara Zadina [lv] 118 Marcella Guido [it] 126 Mariam Khubulava [en] 4


129 133 137 143 146 149 154 158 160 165 168 171 174 177 182 185 190

Marino Brandoli [en] Martins Mamis [en] Mette Pabst Andersen [en] Michelangelo Mastrosimini [it] Nataliia Tsekhmestruk [en] Natalija Vanagelyte [en] Nicola McCabe [en] Paulina Jaskulska [en] Rebecca Waterhouse [en] Reeli Jantson [en] Roger Margalef Gonzalez [cat] Saivara Isakaite [en] Sandra Ābele [en] Sara Andrade [pt] Stella Hannemann [en] Tatiana Retunskaia [en] Tommaso Menna [it]

195 196 198 199 202

Glossary / Glossario The project / Il progetto The promoter / Il promotore The partners The Europe for citizens program / Il programma Europa per i cittadini 206 Travelling notes Appunti di viaggio 5


Introduction Every volunteer has a story to tell. And a story can be told in many different ways, even with words! Every story is a story of personal discovering and development, but also a story of contribution, solidarity, exchange of cultures, active participation, a practice of dialogue. After two self-made editions, the third chapter of Scriptamanent is the result of the cooperation with seven European partner organizations and the financial support of Europe for Citizens Program. And, of course, it’s the result of the efforts of many European young people who decided to share with us their experience of active citizenship through international volunteering. This edition has been supported by the European program “Europe for citizens” and promotes the “European year of Volunteering”. It is a recognition for the vthousands of volunteers working around the world and their stories. Enjoy your reading.

Note: It was a purpose of the editor to publish the stories in the original language because any attempt to translate them would have been a distortion. We also did not change anything of those texts written by some authors in a language different from their own. The linguistic variety in this book has to be understood as cultural richness, rather than a limit. 6


Introduzione Ogni volontario ha una storia da raccontare. E una storia può essere raccontata in tanti modi, persino con le parole! Ogni storia è una storia di sviluppo e crescita personale, ma è anche un contributo di solidarietà, scambio di culture, partecipazione attiva, un esercizio di dialogo. Dopo due edizioni autoprodotte, il terzo capitolo di Scriptamanent è il risultato della cooperazione con sette organizzazioni partner europee e del supporto finanziario del Programma Europa per i Cittadini. E, naturalmente, è il risultato degli sforzi di molti giovani europei che hanno deciso di condividere con noi le loro esperienze di cittadinanza attiva attraverso il volontariato internazionale. Questa edizione è realizzata con il sostegno del programma europeo “Europa per i cittadini” e promuove “l’Anno europeo del volontariato”, un riconoscimento dovuto alle migliaia di volontari che operano in tutto il mondo e alle loro storie. Buona lettura.

Nota: I racconti sono stati volutamente pubblicati nella lingua in cui sono stati scritti. Qualsiasi tentativo di traduzione avrebbe rischiato di snaturarli. Allo stesso modo coloro che hanno utilizzato una lingua diversa dalla propria, hanno in alcuni caso commesso errori che ci siamo guardati bene dal correggere, per lo stesso motivo. La varietà linguistica presente in questa pubblicazione va intesa non come un limite ma come un elemento di ricchezza culturale. Scriptamanent #3

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---------------------------Scriptamanent#3 / stories


Eposs dienasgrāmatas veidolā 8 septembris 2010 gads, Ogre (Latvija) Atceroties trenera Marchika sacīto par runāšanu ar sevi, kas aug intensitātē, pavadot laiku brīvprātīgajā darbā, līdz pat pazīmēm par prātā sajukšanu, es izveidoju blogu. Ja ņem vērā, ka arī ikdienā viss vairāk runāju pati ar sevi, tad negribu nemaz iedomāties, kas darīsies Itālijā. Skype būs pārdedzis, blogs pārpildīts un ciemiņi mainīsies pa dienām! Vēlētos arī vietējā Ogres laikrakstā (piemēram, Ogrēnietis) likt nelielus rakstiņus par manām EVS gaitām ik mēnesi, lai radītu cilvēkos (īpaši vecākā gājuma) izpratni par brīvprātīgo darbu, par 21.gs. jauniešiem un iespējām, ko paver mums Eiropas Savienība. Gribas pozitīvismu sniegt! 22 septembris 2010 gads, Dolo (Itālija) Stāvot lidostā ar visām savām 5 somām, teicu sev, ka līdz tumsai neķeršu kreņķi - te tak Itālija! Nepagāja ne stunda, kad izdzirdēju vārdu: “Anete?”. Tad tik cerēju, ka neieraudzīšu FIAT 500, jo tas nozīmē: būs jāsēž uz manām somām. Satraukumi lieki, lai gan FIAT bija, bet busiņš. Dolo ir patiesi maza pilsētiņa Brentas upes krastā, kurai cauri vijas ceļš, kas savieno Padovu ar Venēciju. Es Itāliju redzu kā Sicīliju. Dodoties uz Itāliju iepriekš vienmēr aiz lidmašīnas durvīm ir bijusi mana Sicīlija, bet ne tagad… Tad šeit arī ir mans LIELAIS sarūgtinājums - te nav Sicīlijas! Jā, saule silda un es varu izlasīt “Gelateria”, bet nav sicīliskuma. Tādēļ daudzi manī manīja skumumu, patiesībā es vienkārši domāju un analizēju. Kur ir mana Itālija, mana Sicīlija? Sicīlijā katra piektā mašīna nav FIAT, bet te katra piektā tikai ir! Runājot es vairāk izmantoju žestus, nekā vietējie! Ēst gatavo uz maiņām organizācijā, ko tas nozīmē? Nav sicīliešu virtuves burvīgumsv Eh, kā es ilgojos pēc Katānijas mājas mīļuma, kas ielikts ēdienā. Dzīvojam tipiskā itāļu mājā. Mums ar Lidia ir 10


sava istabiņa un maza pie griestiem viesu istabiņa, un sava vannas istaba. Tas mūs abas apmierina, toties puišiem viss ir kopīgs ar pārējiem organizācijas viesiem. Kas ir organizācijas viesi? Šobrīd tie ir seši cilvēki, kas nonākuši grūtībās, nemācēšu izstāstīt kādās, bet šķiet diviem ar prātiņu nav īsti labi, tad viens imigrants - vecs vīriņš, kam ir bijušas problēmas ar alkoholu. Nedaudz skarbi, vismaz man. Esmu virtuvē izveidojusi “Tējas stūrīti”, kur saliktas visas latviešu tējas un pa vidu medus burka cēli sēž. Izlikusi lielo Latvijas karogu istabā, gaidu, kas būs šovakar! Sapulce par mums par pienākumiem, par uzdevumiem, par noteikumiem. Un vakarā došos saldējumu provēt! Esmu uzzinājusi, kur ir viss labākais.

------------------Anete Ratniece 26 years / Latvia ►►EVS in Italy 2010

24 septembris 2010 gads, Dolo (Itālija) Jā, lielākā sāpe: no 7 ēdiena reizēm 7 ir bijusi pasta. Ak, Dievs! PASTA, visi šeit jau zina, ka man ir apnikusi PASTA! Ir kāds vecāks kungs Claudio, kurš iesteidzās sapulcē ar PROBLĒMU: “Mēs plānojam taisīt pastu, bet Anete tak vairs nevēlas to i redzēt!” Tas bija tik mīļi! Vēl jo vairāk es no šī kunga baidos – viņš ir tāds īsts bubinātājs. Lai kā arī nebūtu, es atkal ēdu pastu! Tagad šuju sev pārvalku segai. Lūk, viņi pārvalka vietā lieto palagu, tā nu tiku pie diviem jauniem palagiem un ar rokām šuju kopā. Arī šorīt bijām tirgū. Tā kā mūsu kabatas nauda ir 115 EUR mēnesī (Latvijā likās nav ne vainas), tad tagad izrēķinot, ka dienā var tērēt tik 3 EUR, tad kļūst čābīgi ap sirdi - vai pietiks līdz mēneša beigām? 15 oktobris 2010 gads, Dolo (Itālija) Jautājot, kā Jums (ar to es domāju mūs 4 brīvprātīgos) klājas? Tad atbilde ir tik viena: esam pieņēmuši lietas, kas mums iepriekš ir neapmierinājušas, esam atklājuši mīļākos ēdienus, iecienītākās vietas, savas istabas padarījuši par mājām, ieguvuši savas lietas - savu riteni, Scriptamanent #3

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savu krūzi, savu pirmo vēstuli un draugus (nosacīti draugus, jo pēc viena mēneša es nesauktu to par draugu būšanu). Mēs sākam piederēt šai vietai, un dienas kļūst par ikdienu. Ar nepacietību gaidu 21. datumu - diena, kad tiks izsniegta kabatas nauda. Šobrīd manā makā ir 13 EUR, bet tas nav iemesls, lai šovakar nedotos pasēdēt. Es jau smeju: izklaidējos/atpūšos it kā man būtu nauda; ap manu vidukli ir uzaugusi picas, pastas un baltmaizes riepa, bet nespēju atteikties no saldējuma ar putukrējumu. Svētdien devāmies lasīt kastaņus uz kalniem. Tā kā mēs ar mammu no rīta posāmies sēņot, tā šeit - pēc kastaņiem. Tik atšķirība, ka mēs sēņojam sēņošanas pēc, viņiem tas ir kārtējais socializēšanās veids. Tā nu viena pati ieniru kalna nogāzē un lasīju. 24 oktobris 2010 gads, Dolo (Itālija) Dolo esmu jau nedaudz vairāk kā mēnesi, bet vēl nevienu dienu neesmu jutusi kā strādājusi. Katrai nedēļai tiek iedots darba plāns. Šis plāns nedēļā nepārsniedz 30 stundas un divām dienām nedēļā jābūt brīvām. Mana darba pienākumos ir apmeklēt itāļu valodas nodarbības divas reizes nedēļā pa 2 h. Tās es apmeklēju ar lielāko prieku. Manī patiesi ir ieviesusies panikas kripata, ka es neiemācīšos itāļu valodu - cenšos, bet kaut kā neiet uz priekšu. Protams, “plinti krūmos” nemetu, un sakot: jau pēc 2 mēnešiem sāksim vervelēt. Papildus katru nedēļu ir iedalītas vēl 2 h kopīgam itāļu valodas mācīšanās procesam. Protams, itāļu valodai veltam daudz vairāk laika, nu ne katru brīvo brīdi. 17.novembrī būs “Latvijas” prezentācija. Izcīnīju šo datumu posmu par godu 18.novembrim. Mans plāns izveidot foto izstādi par/ap Latviju, filmu-prezentāciju, kurā salīdzinātu Latviju un Itāliju, sagatavot uzkodas, kas ieskicētu Latvijas virtuves kultūru un, protams, mūzika (te palīdzēs Iļģi, R. Pauls un Prāta Vētra). 18.novembrī iemācīt tautisko deju un 19.novembri veltīt latviešu valodas apguvei. Tad nu gatavošanās norisinās jau tagad un tam man šajā nedēļā tika veltītas 8h. 12


Katru nedēļu divas dienas divi no brīvprātīgajiem gatavo ēst visai mājai (tas ir ap 10 cilvēki) un pēc tam protams visu novāc (arī tiek ieskaitīts darba pienākumos). Ēšanas jautājums ir mans (un spānietes) viens no lielākajiem problēmu jautājumiem, bet par to citreiz. Priekš manis obligātas (jo pati vēlējos) ir mākslas nodarbības, bet tās pilnībā neatbilst manis gaidītajām. Cerēju, ka darbosimies dažādos mākslas sektoros, bet aprobežojāmies ar zīmēšanu. Šīs nedēļas darba pienākumos ietilpa arī brauciens uz Padovu un tikšanās ar citiem brīvprātīgajiem neformālā gaisotnē pie glāzes spridz. Patīkami satikt mūsējos un pārrunāt dzīvi, iespējas, un ceru, ka daļa arī apmeklēs latviešu dienas. IL PORTICO organizācijā ir divas jau iesakņojušās tradīcijas trešdienas vakari un svētdienas izbraucieni. Trešdienas vakaros sanāk cilvēki (pārsvarā cilvēki ar īpašām vajadzībām) un kopīgi pavada vakaru par kādu tēmu. Svētdienas izbraucieni ir gan garāki, gan īsāki kā, piemēram, kopīgs kino apmeklējums. Katru nedēļu šajā braucienā piedalās divi brīvprātīgie. Tā arī skaitās strādāšana un tiek ierēķināta darba stundās, lai gan strādāšana ir nosacīta - kaut ko palīdzēt, kā piemēram, ēdiena pasniegšana, invalīdu ratiņu pastumšana vai futbola spēlēšana. Taisnība! Jau pirms došanās brīvprātīgajā darbā uz Itāliju, zināju, ka būs ļoti daudz brīva laika. Bet dzīvē ir smagāk nekā Latvijā par to domājot. Nav jau tā, ka sēžu bezdarbībā, nav neviena stunda, kuru pavadītu nīkstot - atrodu! Lasu, šuju, skatos filmas, apbraukājam apkārtni, aktīvi iepazīstam visu, ko mums sniedz. Tā sāpe ir tajā, ka apzinos, ka varētu daudz vairāk un ir sajūta, ka zaudēju laiku. Vēlos uzrakstīt iniciatīvas projektu programmā “Jaunatne darbībā” par brīvprātīgo darbu, bet Eurodesk atbildi uz jautājumu, vai var iesniegt projektu angliski Itālijas Nacionālajā aģentūrā, jau risina trīs nedēļas, turpretī par Latvijas situāciju noskaidroju ar viena e-mail palīdzību pateicoties Līgai. Tā te tas darbs notiek vai pareizāk - nenotiek! Esmu sapratusi tik vienu: te viss jādara pašām un nekaunīgi Scriptamanent #3

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kā krievam, lai sagaidītu kaut ko no citiem, ir jāgaida un var ar nesagaidīt, pašam jācīnās un jādarbojas iespēju robežās! 30 novembris 2010 gads, Dolo(Itālija) Viena no lielākajām problēmām manā brīvprātīgajā darbā ir ĒŠANA. Jau Latvijā zināju, ka mūs baros, un par to biju ļoti, ļoti priecīga, jo dievinu Itāļu virtuves burvību, bet pat labas lietas cilvēka roka spēj sabojāt. Tad nu jau divus mēnešus cīnāmies (es un Lidija) par ēdienu, kurš atbilst kaut nedaudz mūsu prasībām. Pastu jāēd vismaz vienu reizi dienā, ja godīgi esmu tuvu izmisumam ēšanas ziņā, jo ēdiens nav labs, kvalitatīvs, bet gan vislētākais un visvienkāršāk pagatavojamais! Tad nu esmu jau mēnesi pieteikusi karu pastai. Tā vietā izdzīvoju kā māku, proti, ņemu no pieliekamā sieru! Tad nu, lūk, vakar augstā tonī tik paziņots, ka jāēd ir tas, kas ir uz galda. Jā, arī “pīīī” gaļa man, retas gaļas ēdājam, esot jāēd. Un, kad es SKAĻĀ balsī pateicu, ka es neēdīšu šo gaļu, kā arī steiku un cita veida gaļu, kas neatbilst manām prasībām, tika runāts un diskutēts ap 2 stundām. Līdz es pateicu, ja netiks izbeigtas šī kņada ap ēdienu, lai dod man naudu, un es pati parūpēšos par savu vēderu; arī to es nevarot darīt, jo dzīvojot šeit organizācijā; tad nu es ķēros pie pēdējā salmiņa: “Es tad nedzīvošu šeit!” Katru otro nedēļu vienreiz gatavoju es; tad nu galdā tiek celti kartupeļi (un tā ir vienīgā reize, kad šeit tiek ēsti kartupeļi, dažreiz vēl kāds uzvāra ūdeņainus kartupeļus). Tā nu mēs cīnāmies - ēdot zupu vai pastu ar baltmaizi par 300 EUR mēnesī. Paldies, Eiropa! 8 decembris 2010 gads Diseldorfa (Vācija) Nekad nav gribējies tik ļoti doties uz lidostu! Ja iepriekš esmu teikusi: “Ja nepaspēšu, tad lemts”; šoreiz tas nedarbojās! Mana vēlme bija tik spēcīga, ka likās aiz lielās gribēšanas plīsīs orgāni, it kā tos kāds stieptu uz pretējām pusēm. Stāstot, ka dodos uz Latviju, mans smaids un dzirksts acīs liecināja, ka esmu pats 14


laimīgākais cilvēks uz pasaules, jo tā patiesi ir! Tās nav ilgas pēc lietām vai konkrētiem cilvēkiem, tās ir ilgas pēc manas Latvijas! Vienmēr esmu bijusi patriote, bet tagad pēc diviem mēnešiem izjūtu to tik spēcīgi, ka pat politika un lietus vairs neliekas tik dramatisks. Atdzīšos, Veneto reģions nav mana vieta, nemaz nejūtos laimīga šeit. Kādēļ? Atbilde tiek meklēta, ņemot vērā, kāda mīlestība man pret Itāliju bija iepriekš… Paceļoties lidmašīnai, jautāju sev: “Kādēļ esmu tik laimīga redzot Itāliju paliekam aiz lidmašīnas spārna???” 29 decembris 2010 gads, Dolo (Itālija) 20 decembrī pamostoties un saprotot, ka man Ziemassvētki un Jaunais gads jāpavada Itālijā kā “pirkstam”, saprotot, ka pastāv ļoti liela iespējamība, ka šie būs vieni no vientuļākajiem svētkiem manā mūžā, jo Ziemassvētku noskaņa šeit ir tuvu nullei, ieniru interneta pasaulē un jau pēc pāris stundām manā e-pastā gulēja lidojuma apstiprinājums 23.decembrim! Šo gadu es pavadīšu LATVIJĀ! Viss notika spontāni, bez konsultēšanās ar vadību (jo vēl pirms divām dienām, jautājot darba grafiku, tika atbildēts: “darāt, ko gribat”, lai gan uzzinot, ka esmu nopirkusi biļetes neko nejautājot, tika diskutēts par manu rīcību vairāku stundu garumā, bet, ja godīgi, tā bija/ir viss īstākā bēgšana no mana projekta un organizācijas; arvien vairāk saprotu, ka man prieka sajūta par šo projektu ir kripatiņas apmērā). Ziemassvētki Itālijā ir sižets filmām, bet ne dzīvei! Pilsētas rotājums neizmaksā dārgāk par pāris simtu eiro, noskaņojuma pilnīgi nav un neko labāku kā 26.decembrī doties uz kinoteātri cilvēki nespēj izdomāt! Atdzīšos: labākais rotājums ir veikalu skatlogos izliktās preces ar Ziemassvētku emblēmām. 14 janvāris 2010 gads, Dolo (Itālija) Nevar, protams, tikai viņus vainot, kaut kur jau esmu vainīga arī es. Bet man grūti saskatīt, galvenais iemesls, kur esmu vainīga Scriptamanent #3

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- esmu latviete, Anete. Ja nebūtu tik mērķtiecīga, tad patiesi daudz nopietnāk domātu par šī projekta pamešanu. Gribas zināt precīzāk, kas tad mani sāpina visā šajā pasākumā? Kopš esmu atgriezusies šogad 6 janvārī katru dienu galdā tiek celti makaroni. Jā, man arī garšo makaroni, bet ne jau katru dienu (labi, ja tikai vienu reizi). Piemēram, trīs dienas ēdu vistu, kas izcepta bez nekādām garšvielām un no dienas uz dienu tiek uzsildīta. Izvārīti-sautēti dārzeņi - kaut kādas lapas vai pliks puķkāposts. Labu apetīti! Es vairs nespēju tā! Mans darba grafiks nedēļai ir aizpildīts ar 30 darba stundām, ir ko darīt, bet tas ir, lai es aizvērtos un nesūrstētos, ka nav ko darīt! Es daru lietas, bet pa lielam māc lielas šaubas, ka tas ir kā spļāviens vējā, bez mērķa! Un man pašai vairs nav nekādas motivācijas kaut ko darīt, izdaru tādēļ, lai man neko neteiktu, bet negribu vairs neko ierosināt, mainīt vai uzņemties iniciatīvu. Pēdējais notikums: mūsu tā jau mazajā istabiņā šad tad paliks vēl viena brīvprātīgā, nevainoju viņu, bet gan kāda komunikācija ir ar mani vadībai, viņi pateica man par šo faktu, es atbildēju, ka es apdomāšu, bet turpinājuma nav. Meitene vienkārši palika, un nevienam neinteresē, kā es jūtos, ko es domāju un vai tā būs labi! Šī ir tik viena situācija, bet savstarpējā komunikācijā dzīvē jau nekas nemainās! Daudzi teiks, lai eju runāt par savām izjūtām. Man žēl, tas viss ir darīts, bet veltīgi, tā ir cīņa ar vēja dzirnavām! Ir kliegts, ir stāstīts mierīgi, tikai raudāts vēl nav! Bet nekas nemainās un šķiet arī nemainīsies… 23 marts 2012 gads, Dolo (Itālija) “Atbraukšanas apmācībās”, iepazīstoties vēl ar 30 brīvprātīgajiem, izlēmu, ka ir kaut kas jāmaina savā projektā - nozīmīgi, uz labo pusi! Bija iespēja aprunāties ar Itālijas Nacionālās aģentūras pārstāvi par iespēju samainīt projektu. Atbilde bija viennozīmīgs NĒ! Nu labi, skatīsimies, kā savādāk varu padarīt manu projektu tā, 16


lai nestu man prieku! Atbraucot uz Dolo, tuvākajās trijās dienās, tika sasaukta sapulce, kurā paziņoja: “Mēs ar Aneti, izbeidzam projektu, šodien nosūtījām vēstuli Nacionālajai aģentūrai par projekta samainīšanu!” Izdzirdot šos vārdus, biju nedaudz saskumusi - kā nekā man jau ir šeit ko zaudēt, bet sapulces beigās biju patiesi priecīga! Vēlējos redzēt šo vēstuli, biju ļoti ieinteresēta, kas tajā rakstīts. Bet to atstāsim uz vēlāku laiku. Tā es dzīvoju nedēļu ar domu, ka mans projekts tiks samainīts un došos pēc iespējas tuvāk dienvidu Itālijai, citā sabiedrībā, citos cilvēkos, bet tepat Itālijā. Ikviens redzēja, ka esmu laimīga par šādu notikumu maiņu! Līdz uzzināju: tomēr projektu nav iespējams samainīt! Mana doma: “Nu labi - dzīvosim šeit!” Gan jau pārdzīvosim! Bet šai domai dzīvības dvaša bija ļoti īsa. Anete, valde ir izlēmusi, ka tev jāatgriežas Latvijā, mēs izbeidzam ar tevi projektu! Tas nu gan ir interesanti - kādēļ? Manā galvā izmalās visi pieci mēneši pa minūtēm, meklējot atbildi. Jāpiemitina, ka šo vēstuli, kura tika nosūtīta nacionālajai aģentūrai vēl nebiju i redzējusi! Es dzīvoju pilnīgā informācijas vakuumā, jo nezināju neko; dzīvoju savos minējumos, likās, ka esmu zem mākoņa, kurš sit mani ar savām lielajām lietus lāsēm. Uzrakstīju iepriekšējam brīvprātīgajam gruzīnam Romam, kurš savu brīvprātīgo darbu realizēja arī šeit, uzzināju daudz interesantu faktu. Sapratu, ka esmu rīkojusies šeit nepareizi nevienam neinteresē, ko tu gribi, ko tev vajag, vēl vairāk - kaut ko mainīt! Tev jāpriecājas par to, kas ir, un par visu pārējo jāklusē! Viņiem nevajag jaunus, motivētus, zinošus, darboties gribošus jauniešus, bet aitas, kas nepateiks vairāk kā “mēēē”. Kā teica Roma: “Ja vēlies palikt šeit, tev ir jāsaka, ka Itālija ir labākā valsts, pasta ir visgaršīgākā un šī organizācija ir ideāla!” Jābūt laimīgai priekš viņiem, izturēt šo pieredzi un pēc tam atgriezties uz neatgriešanos. Visi apkārtējie cilvēki raidīja manā virzienā negatīvo enerģiju tādos apmēros, ka likās kļūšu radioaktīva! Man tik ļoti gribējās būt vājai un aizlidot prom no šīs vietas, no šiem Scriptamanent #3

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ļaudīm! Bet nezinu kādēļ likās, ka tas nav pareizi, ka tas nav situācijas atrisinājums. Man jāpaliek šeit! Bet spiediens bija tik spēcīgs, ka domāju, viss - atgriežos Latvijā! Lai viņi visi iet pie velna! Jau informēju ģimeni un draugus par šo pavērsienu: es atgriežos dzimtenē. Saprotot, ka man ir pilnīgs atbalsts Latvijā, ka esmu fantastiski laimīgs cilvēks, jo man ir ģimene, draugi, cilvēki un Latvija, kas mani gaida un jau ir gatavi svinēt manu atgriešanos, lūdzu Dievam, palīdzību, lai saprastu, ko man darīt? Vai patiesi atgriezties Latvijā būtu pareizākais? Viennozīmīgi emocionāli vieglāk, jo, ja iedomājos, ka man jādzīvo starp šiem cilvēkiem, kas man ir nodarījuši pāri, šermuļi skrien. Jā, iegriezos baznīcā pēc lūguma dot man kādu zīmi, lai saprastu - ko darīt? Lidija par šo manu “zīmi” izteicās negatīvi, ka tādā veidā var visam atrast zīmes. Viņa ļoti gribēja, lai es atgriežos Latvijā. Tā ar nesapratu vai sava labuma pēc, vai patiesi manis dēļ. Nezinu! Lai tas paliek viņas ziņā! Bet vakarā redzot ziņās, kas notiek Japānā, kad pa maniem kauliem skrēja tirpas par skumjām, par briesmām, par bēdu, kas ir apmeklējusi šo valsti. Es sapratu, ka manas problēmas šeit ir nieks, vienas skudras kakiņa, nekas tāds, ko es/mēs nevarētu atrisināt, pārvarēt un nekas tāds, lai es nevarētu izdzīvot visu laika posmu savā brīvprātīgajā darbā! Tā nu izteicu gatavību mainīties (nezināju pat īsti ko, jo nebiju joprojām izlasījusi šo vēstuli), bet izteicu, ka vēlos palikt šeit! Es nepārspīlēju, jutos kā noziedzniece, kas izdarījusi ļoti smagu noziegumu pret tautu! Vēl pirms piecām dienām man nācās stāties “tiesas priekšā”, kuri gaidīja manu atvainošanos (īsti nezinu vēl joprojām par ko), nožēlu un kuri mani nosodīja (ja tas būtu noticis viduslaikos, tad stāvētu Dolo laukumā un tiktu nomētāta ar akmeņiem). 16 janvāris 2012 gads, Ogre (Latvija) Maniem draugiem un ģimenes locekļiem šī drāma, ko sauc par Eiropas Brīvprātīgo darbu, kur galvenajā lomā biju es, likās nu 18


dien cienīga Oskaram. Es pasmejos par to visu: par necieņu, par pārdzīvojumiem, par pārmetumiem, par meliem, par skaudību, par krāpšanu, par necilvēcību, par makaroniem, par konservētiem ēdieniem 9 mēnešu garumā un ēdiena zagšanu. Lai Dievs ir ar jums tur Dolo! Nobeigumu tomēr atstāšu pozitīvajam. Paldies, ka caur visu negatīvo, sapratu un ieguvu: cik Latvija ir laba valsts, cik neizsakāmi dārga tā man, jo mana! Man ir patriotisms ne tikai futbola laikā, bet redzot, kā Latvijā zāle zaļo, kā sniegs pārklāj zemi, kā jūra šalko par godu man, par godu tev! Līdzcilvēki Latvijā ir tik labi pat tad, ja dusmas sanāk, tie pasniegs roku - tam ticu es! Ģimene un draugi - mazumiņš pasaulē, bet mana pasaule ir viņi. Tik skaisti ir saprast, ka esi tik ļoti mīlēts cilvēks. Mūžam atcerēšos to prieku, ko nekad nebiju piedzīvojusi, kad skrēju kā mazs bērns, ieraugot brāli pie organizācijas durvīm Itālijā. Es skrēju, apķēru un raudāju no prieka! Tik ļoti gribējās… Lepna par omi, kas atbrauca apciemot mani. Tēti, kas atbalstīja mani un līdz pat pēdējam brīdim teica: “Brauc mājās!” Visi, visi - manējie. Un protams, Santazaurs, kam izstāstīt par kārtējo (…), nu, tas lai paliek mūsu ziņā! Itāļu valoda, lai kā ar nebūtu, tā pinas pa manu muti. Reiz Omei gados 18, solīju: es reiz iemācīšos Itāļu valodu. Iemācījos! Regbijs un es? Nemūžam! Itālijas spriedze man deva tikai šo iespēju, un es iemīlējos tajā. Attiecības. Mīlestība. Cieņa. Kad ļoti vajadzēja roku, to sniedza, kāds puisis (ne jau nu itālis) aiz labas sirds palīdzot. Un sniedza arī savu sirdi. Es bieži EVS laikā jautāju Augstākiem spēkiem, kādēļ esmu šeit? Kādēļ mans ceļš ir atvests uz Dolo? To sapratu, kad iemīlējos un tā pārtapa par mīlestību.

Scriptamanent #3

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Macedonia: dove tutto è possibile “Vado in Macedonia” “Va bene, ma perché in Africa?” hanno chiesto a Manu volontario spagnolo a Struga, quando ha detto che partiva per lo SVE. “Dov’è che sei stata?” “In Macedonia” “Ah” dicono a me, mantenendo uno sguardo interrogativo. La Macedonia, oltre ad essere uno stato il cui nome si presta a un’infinità di battute, è una repubblica che faceva parte dell’ex Jugoslavia, confinante a ovest con l’Albania, a nord con il Kosovo e la Serbia, a est con la Bulgaria e a sud con la Grecia. Giusto per chiarire i dubbi geografici che anch’io avevo prima di partire. Per più di cinque mesi ho abitato in una città chiamata Bitola. Dice la canzone: “Bitola, moj roden kraj, Jas te sakam, od srce, znaj”, “Bitola, mia città natale, sappi che ti amo, dal cuore”. E io sottoscrivo, Bitola è la mia seconda casa, l’ho percepita subito come tale. Proprio a casa però non ero. Non ero mai stata in un paese che usa il cirillico ad esempio. Mi ricordo con che perplessità guardavo gli scontrini o i menù al ristorante all’inizio. Sembrava di essere in una pubblicità progresso contro la miopia: vedevo che c’era scritto qualcosa, ma non sapevo cosa fosse. La mia prima lezione me l’ha data Robin, uno svedese mio coinquilino, nel suo pub preferito. Leggere equivaleva a decriptare un codice segreto. La P è una R, la H è una N, per citare due delle trentuno lettere dell’alfabeto. Ordinare la cena era un’impresa da spionaggio internazionale. Col passare dei mesi fortunatamente le mie capacità di lettura miglioravano, così presto ero in grado di leggere un intero menù, senza però avere la minima idea di cosa stessi leggendo. Anche le mie conversazioni in macedone erano ridotte all’osso, con largo uso di gestualità. Il banco dei formaggi era anche il mio banco di prova. Al supermercato dovevo dire che volevo quello giallo, scegliere una delle cinque varietà, a caso, e dire quanto ne 20


-----------------Anita Galvan 24 years / Italy ►►EVS in Macedonia

volevo. Facile, in italiano. Ma dato che al mercato, si sa, i prezzi sono più bassi, era là che andavo a comprarlo di solito. Musica da film western. Io di fronte all’entrata dell’arena dei venditori di formaggi. Entro e inizia una sparatoria di “povelete” (che in italiano potrei tradurre con “prego”) dei mercanti che da destra e sinistra e di fronte a me cercano di attirarmi alla loro bancarella. Ma io ho le idee chiare: voglio il kaškaval, e solo uno di loro lo vende. Va da sé che la mia scarsa dimestichezza con la lingua locale non passa inosservata, quindi cominciano le domande: “Di dove sei? Cosa fai qui?”. È una soddisfazione capire cosa mi chiedono, come rispondo però? Mi sembrava di essere in quel gioco in cui non si può parlare ma gli altri devono indovinare cosa vuoi dire. Qualcosa di comprensibile riesco in ogni caso ad esprimere, perché la volta successiva mi riconoscono come “l’italiana” e si forma un capannello di signori intorno a me che ci tengono a capire da che città vengo. “Da Vicenza, vicino Venezia, al nord” dico loro con parole e gesti. “È vicino a Trieste? Mia sorella abita là!”, “Quanto è lontano da Milano? Ho dei parenti che sono andati là a lavorare”. Incalzano “Come ti sembra qui, è più bella l’Italia, vero?” e io “Sakam Makedonija”, mi piace la Macedonia. Tuttavia non è semplice descriverla. Goran, un mio amico di Bitola, la prima volta che mi ha visto mi ha detto “Benvenuta in questo paese pazzo”. Non posso dargli torto, la Macedonia è davvero un posto assurdo. Come dice Oriella, anche lei volontaria lì, “Ma ancora ti stupisci? Qui siamo in Macedonia, dove tutto è possibile!”. La versione balcanica dell’american dream insomma. Molte volte mi è sembrato in effetti di essere in un sogno, non in senso metaforico, veramente mi sentivo immersa in uno scenario che sarebbe potuto esistere solo nel mio subconscio, o al massimo in un libro. Non solo il paesaggio è degno di un quadro impressionista, Scriptamanent #3

21


ma i colori brillanti sono ovunque, anche nelle porte delle case, nei vestiti stesi ad asciugare, nelle insegne o nelle vecchie auto riverniciate. D’altra parte non è difficile neanche trovare potenziali personaggi per un romanzo. A cominciare dai miei amici. Oltre a Goran, che rispecchia in pieno il significato del suo nome, ossia “uomo delle montagne”, per la sua tendenza all’ermetismo e alla vita eremitica, c’è suo fratello Zoran, che lavorando sulle navi da crociera è diventato ormai un cittadino onorario di Bitola, essendo più spesso in viaggio che a casa. Poi Zdravko, l’attore di teatro chiamato anche “Enrico V” per la sua presunzione di saperne una più del diavolo, Goce, il rapper che studia per diventare “Businessman”, appassionato di calcio, dell’Inter in particolare, e Joji, il rapper arumeno. Gli arumeni, come ho imparato nel mio periodo lì, sono una minoranza che secondo lo stereotipo è ricca e tirchia, per cui gli amici ogni tanto lo prendono in giro ma lui sta al gioco. Quando lui e Goran venivano a trovarci chiedevo cosa potevo offrire e Goran solitamente voleva un caffè. Io mi ero portata la mia moka dall’Italia, ma in casa c’erano solo tazze grandi, così la quantità italiana di caffè sfigurava al punto che scherzando mi diceva “Anita, cos’è questo? Caffè arumeno?”. In effetti il caffè a Bitola è quasi una religione. Sulla strada centrale, Širok Sokak, è tradizione trascorrere ore seduti ai tavolini fuori dai bar, finché le condizioni climatiche lo permettono. Tale costante affluenza è data dalla mancanza di lavoro, per cui si preferisce passare la giornata ad ammirare le ragazze che passeggiano su e giù per il corso e che secondo la leggenda sono le più belle della Macedonia. Non sono sicura che questo detto corrisponda a verità, di certo ho visto molte di loro agghindate come se cercassero di emulare “Lady Gaga”, il che ora mi ricorda la canzone dei Bernays Propaganda dal titolo “Namesti frizura i gladuvaj” che significa “fatti i capelli e muori di fame”. 22


La precaria condizione economica di questo paese non compromette però la generosità dei suoi abitanti. Un giorno sono andata a Niže Pole, il paese dei nonni di Joji, per un barbecue (vegetariano per me) con lui e gli altri. Mentre li aspettavo una signora ha cominciato a parlarmi, chiedendo dove dovessi andare, di dov’ero e a raccontarmi la storia di suo figlio che era andato negli Stati Uniti a lavorare, ma ora doveva tornare. Mi ha invitato diverse volte a casa sua a bere un caffè. Io non potevo accettare, perché i miei amici dovevano arrivare di lì a poco, ma il fatto di invitare una sconosciuta, straniera per di più e con limitate capacità di comunicazione in casa propria, ti fa capire quanto sia di buon cuore questa gente. Per non parlare di Sofia, la nonna di Joji, che non stava ferma un minuto e continuava a chiedere se avevamo bisogno di qualcosa, o di sua zia che doveva assolutamente darci il suo formaggio. Ma anche della madre di Zdravko, che ricopre di cibo chiunque varchi la soglia di casa loro. È per l’accoglienza, i colori e il surrealismo tipici di questo posto che, adesso che sono di nuovo in Italia, vedere immagini di Bitola, leggere una scritta in cirillico, sentire una lingua anche simile al macedone ha un impatto emotivo su di me. Non era la prima volta che vivevo all’estero, ma è stata la prima volta che mi sentivo così a mio agio in un paese straniero. Ci tornerò!

Scriptamanent #3

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Girl from the North They called her Girl from the North. Although she was from Poland, direction - Central Europe, but she didn’t deny. They could say that she was from a different planet, if they wanted to. She was different. She felt different. Always, since she was a child. Every time she was going out, she was putting on her the armor. It was to protect her from people staring at her, their harmful comments. It gave her strengths to cope with obstacles, but at the same time was blocking her movements and emotions. She learned to live rationally: no risk, wise choices, studying, but though she was dreaming to climb the trees and live life to the fullest. She loved people, though she was scared of them. She was 28 years old, living on her own in a big city, making a career, when finally she admitted: “I am tired of holding my breath. I want to live. I want to make my life extraordinary. To follow my dream. It was only possible by starting to live for others, to help them, leave a trace in life. First time she thought about EVS a few years ago, when she had got some experience with voluntary work. And here we have 2010. And here we have her - completely torn out and tired of constant battle between her Head and Heart. And when the headaches start, the Heart starts to rule by making routine gone away and let dreams lead her. Way to Tortosa Veni A Girl, resident of the 1.7 million city went to the town with 35 thousand people living there. A resident of a quiet and fully secured residential area found herself in immigrants’ neighborhood, multicultural blocks of flats where there was one main rule: meaning “no rules”. Noise was 24


her fourth roommate, totally uninvited. A flexi-working girl was thrown into a regular schedule and what’s even worse - working mostly during afternoons. A girl didn’t know how to organize her lazy mornings, and rather than doing sports, learning Spanish (stop! – Catalan language) she was sleeping until 10 a.m., watching movies in her pajamas and… it was time to go to work. Having came back home - she was only dreaming about sleeping. And so, time that was to be her time of rest became a time of notorious fatigue. A young girl who used to communicate abroad easily because of her good command of English and basic one of Spanish, suddenly jumped into a Catalan world, where she felt as an Alien, because she couldn’t understand anyone and felt like nobody could understand her. Sometimes she wanted to scream: “wake up Tortosa, it’s about time to speak English”, but frankly, she wanted to speak her mother tongue language. First day. Girl from the North stayed home. She was scared. Our Alice in the Wonderland, but not so wonderful. 

And then, slowly… She starts to appreciate a charm of a small town - short distances passing on foot, small shops run by people from all around the world. It starts to turn her on, indeed - living in this multi cultural world, maybe sometimes exotic and risky with bad reputation, but at the same time non-anonymous, full of children and singing. She slowly starts to manage her time and money etc. Yes, now she knows that she was trapped by consumerism, materialism, workoholism. She realized that sometimes “more means less”, because cost that we pay in the pursuit of money might be too high. Scriptamanent #3

-----------------------Anna Szmigiel 32 years / Poland ►►EVS in Spain 2010/2011

Vidi

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But still it is too early to say that she feels good. Problems with communication causes her to take a step back, she prefers not to speak in Spanish, meets with people who speak English, does the routine work in the library that doesn’t require a direct contact with the library’s visitors who speak Catalan. One day, she passes the bridge. There are still strange faces, she cannot understand people. And then she can feel a gust of wind. Wind still warm, but heralding autumn. She feels inside the inevitability of change. Somehow subconsciously knows that her efforts to settle down in Tortosa, based on her imagination, will come true. A smile shows on her face. Vici In fact, the wind meant that it got cold in the apartment. But it will soon become irrelevant. Because, at last, she opens up to change with the help of her friends. Her voluntary work will become for her a real university of life. This is first time when there will be “I” instead of “She”. I always used to look at myself through the prismat of a disabled person. Surprising how simple lack of forearm can affect and define your life. I couldn’t see who I really was. But in Tortosa I have discovered my true talents, passions, etc. Everyone deserves the chance to live happily. It started with my workshops with children. Anna - la dinamizadora. The plans were ambitious, I wanted to teach English and to encourage my pupils to read. Just their expectations were opposite. They were “special” students: children of the streets, coming from immigrants’ families, with problems to focus, sometimes reacting with aggression. I haven’t had any experience in working with such challenged children before. Every day I was coming back tired after work, but it was for them, that I was waking up the next day. I trusted my instinct. 26


Maybe we were from different worlds, but I knew what it meant to be labeled as “the worse one”. I knew that I was to praise them for every completed task, that I had to talk to them as equals, that sometimes it was just enough to notice them. They paid me back thousand times (with their smiles), doing a great work, teaching me Spanish, supporting me, passing the exam of tolerance with high marks. While working on their creativity, I was able to wake up mine. Then there was a theater, at which I was directing, writing scripts, doing scenography, and performing (along with my friends – other volunteers Davide, Claire, Erika, Laura, Kristina, Hafsa). I opened to the people, I talked more with them, I did my daily work joyfully. I got accustomed to my fears. I discovered my talents. I stopped to think stereotypically. I learned not to judge “by cover”. I stood up to defend the weaker. I made friendships for life. I became more adventurous and traveled alone - though my heart was pumping from fear before each journey - I always was leaving. Volunteering has changed my life. All my previous achievements I owned or dedicated to others. But this EVS was just mine. I feel proud of myself. So what about Girl from the North. She felt like snow started to melt, sunlight touched her and her frozen body felt alive again. She left her Iceland going towards a new way of life.

Scriptamanent #3

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EVS Killed me or Filled me Have you ever felt a panic attack before making big decisions in your life? Stunned by all the choices that you have? I didn’t know for sure what I wanted to do next with my life. I was quite confused but at least I had some ideas. It was after getting my Bachelor’s degree in chemistry. A point in my life when I wanted to have a break - break from studies, learning and work. I needed a change from doing a lot of “have to do” things into doing something that I really wanted and had a desire for. And I had some decisions to make as well. So I joined EVS - in Germany working in a school and institute for mentally disabled people - children and grownups. I feel I could write a book about my EVS-year. About all the new things I’ve learned, about all the places I’ve visited, about everything I’ve learned at work, about everything I’ve learned about myself and about all the amazing people I got to know. But I will give you some insights into the challenges and the way I coped with them. Challenge nr. 1 - Language My advantage was that I could speak German quite well already but I’m the kind of person who needs explanations and communication as much as water. So I was asking a lot of questions, stammering and searching for words. I was trying to understand what people were talking about around me, trying to keep up with the tremendous speed they were talking and thinking (or so it seemed at the time). Now I speak quite fluently and can even have discussions about themes that I’d never heard of before my EVS. Understanding. Of course I was ready that people would not always understand me, because German is still a difficult language for me. My accent and my disability to pronounce some letters (my beloved ä ö ü) correctly is sometimes just killing me. 28


I’m usually having a lot - A LOT - of patience and I stay calm while explaining or pronouncing something several times. And most of the time I have fun doing that, or I feel really proud that I can explain something so well. But sometimes it drives me crazy trying to pronounce words over and over, and OVER again!

Challenge nr. 3 - Work with mentally disabled people It was something that I had always been curious about. I had worked with kids before, but I had never had any contact with disabled people or people with mental disabilities. But once again I had a desire to try. At the beginning I was really scared. I had no idea Scriptamanent #3

--------------------Anna Francenko 24 years / Latvia ►►EVS in Germany 2010

Challenge nr. 2 - Culture Germans are well known for their order and punctuality. A big challenge for me because I enjoy freedom, small doses of chaos and staying up late at night. It was almost a mission impossible. As I soon found out, my EVS project was one of the best opportunities to improve these skills. I had to be at work at 8.30 or even at 7.00 a.m.! That was mean, really mean… Sometimes I could manage it pretty well but at times even putting my alarm clock in the other corner of the room, or setting it 3 or 5 times could not get me out of the bed on time. But I discovered that I could go really fast - almost fly when I was late. Punctuality. Imagine the situation. After some days of struggling with punctuality I had at last managed to be on time - to be somewhere at 8.00 a.m. sharp - feeling all happy and proud of myself. But, unbelievably, I was late again, because other colleagues had decided “Since we are all here already (at 7.55 a.m.) let’s start v” So maybe you can understand me if I try to be on time, because it’s something essential for work, my colleagues and friends but I still enjoy it so much being a little bit late for something. 

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how to talk to these people (in German!), how to act and react. Now I am able to help them, talk to them, somehow understand them and I really care for them. In a lot of cases working with disabled people involves doing everything for them – dressing up, brushing teeth, eating with them, changing diapers and a lot of other daily activities. Plenty of things I had to learn and accept. And, believe it or not, I’m a living proof of that it’s possible! I still love a phrase that my friend once said when we were talking about changing diapers: “It wasn’t easy for me either but I got used to it, and now I change diapers as if they were socks.” There are countless other stories and jokes about our work, but I believe only people who are doing something similar would understand them truly.  Challenge nr. 4 - Decisions I know some of you would agree that sometimes EVS felt like a vacation. Vacation for a year. And really often the decisions that were made during this year were not the cleverest, but the most enjoyable. Sometimes there were questions: “Spend money on something useful or go to a party (AGAIN!)? Go to sleep early or have a great time with friends?” Guess what was my choice most of the time? Maybe it’s nothing new for some of you but so many people who have known me back at home would never believe that I’m the person writing this.  Decision of the year. As I mentioned before, I had some decisions to make during this year. The toughest one of all was to answer the question, what I wanted to do next with my life. At one point I even thought of giving up my dream to be a clever scientist and rather start working in the social sector. (There you have to know that I’m the kind of person who is sometimes willing to try all kind of jobs, even if it’s only for a day or a few weeks).  And now I have made my decision. Now I know that I really want to continue my studies in chemistry. I have no idea how it will turn 30


out, or for how long I will actually enjoy being a scientist or if I’ll change my mind in a year but I know, I’m completely certain that I can do it, and that I can cope with different outcomes. And this kind of strength and way of thinking is the result of my EVS-year. I would definitely advise anyone to go on EVS because it doesn’t really matter what your project is, or in which country you are. What matters is what you do with what you have.

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Un’altra casa nel mondo Madrid, 2008 “Pero es sorda?”- chiede Gerardo a Guillermo, dopo che per l’ennesima volta l’ho pregato di ripetere quello che mi aveva appena detto. “No, no es sorda, es italiana!” Già, capita anche questo se hai deciso di partire per la Spagna, con il Servizio Volontario Europeo, e ti sei trovata a convivere in una residenza che ospita persone con varie disabilità. Gerardo per esempio ha la sindrome di down, ma ai sui occhi in questo momento appaio certamente io quella che ha bisogno di una mano. Sono passati quasi quattro anni ormai, ma certe sensazioni le porterò per sempre con me. L’arrivo a Madrid e il sentire che tutte le incertezze svanivano, incantata dall’architettura dell’aeroporto. Una volta nella residenza, sono stata circondata da un gruppo in camice bianco, gente che mi abbracciava, mi baciava, e io lì in mezzo senza sapere che fare, chiedendomi perché mi fossi cacciata in quella situazione. Ma poi quando, dopo una breve presentazione, i “chicos” hanno accolto me e l’altra volontaria con un applauso, beh, mi è scesa la lacrimuccia e ho pensato che non fosse così male. L’arrivo in un altro paese ti consente di rinascere, tutto è una scoperta. Sapevo di avere sei mesi davanti a me per conoscere questo nuovo mondo e tutto ciò mi dava una sensazione di euforia. Ricordo quando durante il mio primo giorno libero sono andata a visitare il centro della città: un senso di meraviglia assoluto, poi quella strana illusione ottica che faceva sembrare che alla fine della strada iniziasse il mare. Sapevo benissimo che a Madrid non c’è, però lo stesso ho allungato il passo per correre verso il mio 32


------------------Carmen Sacchetti 31 years / Italy ►►EVS in Spain 2008

miraggio. I primi giorni per dire una frase intera in spagnolo ci mettevo un po’ di tempo, me ne rendevo conto dal fatto che i miei interlocutori dopo qualche minuto si defilavano. Allora passavo i pomeriggi al parco, davanti al lago, ad imparare le coniugazioni dei verbi. Solo quando non si conoscono si capisce l’importanza dei verbi coniugati. Il Servizio Volontario Europeo mi ha cambiata. È difficile riassumere quello che ho ricevuto con questa esperienza. Aver condiviso quei mesi con altri ragazzi che arrivavano dalla Lituania, Portogallo, Germania, Finlandia, Ungheria… mi ha permesso di pensarmi in un’altra prospettiva. Adesso io mi sento europea prima che italiana. Vedere la faccia incredula della volontaria tedesca quando le dicevo: “Ma sai che Madrid è una città ordinatissima, a Napoli c’è molto più caos!”, oppure sentire la volontaria olandese, mentre tra italiani e spagnoli si parlava del dovere di visitare i genitori per il pranzo domenicale, ribattere sdegnata: “Nooo, non si può, vado a disturbarli la domenica???”, mi ha permesso di immaginarmi tra le immacolate strade teutoniche oppure tra gli indipendenti giovani di Amsterdam. Sono stata in Spagna ma è come se avessi conosciuto i paesi di mezza Europa, ora so che in Lituania non ci sono montagne e che Sarkozy è considerato il nuovo imperatore di Francia. La vita nella residenza era dura e magica allo stesso tempo. La mia stanza era attigua alla sala comune dove i pazienti facevano colazione. Una decina di voci all’unisono che gridavano, piangevano, ridevano è stata la mia sveglia quotidiana. E la cosa divertente era che la ragazza muta faceva più chiasso di tutti. Già, un’altra cosa che mi ha lasciato il Servizio Volontario Europeo è la capacità di sdrammatizzare la disabilità. Dietro ci possono essere dei problemi di salute, a Scriptamanent #3

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volte non ci rendiamo conto che persone che noi consideriamo semplicemente un po’ fuori di testa debbano essere curate, ma a parte questo la vita nella residenza era felice: facevamo la gara di velocità con le sedie a rotelle, quando qualcuno chiedeva: “Chi ha visto il telecomando?” la ragazza non vedente diceva tranquillamente :”Io no!”. Facevamo quatto chiacchere con Carlos, il fratello immaginario di una ragazza con la sindrome di down - e tra parentesi questo fratello aveva un marito, la Spagna è o no il paese delle libertà civili? Un giorno i chicos mi chiesero come mai quel giorno non stessi scioperando come gli altri operatori sociali, io spiegai che stavo lì non perché quello fosse il mio lavoro ma semplicemente perché ero contenta di stare con loro. Il calore dell’abbraccio che seguì lo ricordo ancora oggi. Quando si stava avvicinando il giorno della partenza, Wilson ebbe un’idea geniale per non farmi andare via: “Ti rompo una gamba, così rimani qui alla residenza!” D’altronde anche lui aveva una gamba sola! Tanti giorni a girare in metro, a piedi, in autobus, ma non ero una turista, ero parte attiva della città. Ancora oggi per me è naturale quando cerco lavoro mettere anche Madrid tra le mete possibili. E poi cercare negli altri paesi europei. Questo mi ha dato il Servizio Volontario Europeo: l’Europa non è più estero…è semplicemente il mio paese.

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Dreaming in Italy

------------------Claudio Barata 24 years / Portugal ►►EVS in Italy 2011

You know that person that is always there for you, but instead of giving you support, is always showing you a hundred reasons why your dreams can’t come true? There’s always a point in life where we all meet that person, and by luck or misfortune, I met a lot of them on the path to my life. But one night, I got drunk, not only with the cheap beer from LIDL, but also with the will to prove those people wrong. It’s not easy to get an idea like that in place, but it IS easy to try, and that’s what I did. And after that, the luck of finding EVS volunteers around here made it also a possibility. All it took was a childish wish to find again those people I went on a youth exchange with, and the first step was Turkey. Turkey didn’t work, so I convinced myself I wouldn’t find the beautifully humble Elif, so France was the next step. It took a lot of praying and 2 weeks to finally get an answer… and it was a “no”. So, third time is the charm, right? So let’s try Italy, maybe there will be Rita Priore, the Italian arquitecture student but wait. This time there will be no “no” for an answer, so let’s make something new: a video presentation letter. All it was necessary was 5h of shooting on my messy room, another 12h of editing in order for it to make any sense, and send it. “If you don’t like this video I made for YOU, and JUST for YOU, then there’s clearly something wrong with me and I’ll just rot with my ideas in my basement” was the only thought that went through my head. Let’s just flash forward: I was told a yes and my parents, my boss, my sisters, my friends all either laughed, yelled or mocked at my new “Next plan”, but very little people were really understanding the need for something new. After that it was a really smooth race ignoring everything, only counting the Scriptamanent #3

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hours left to start.. Litterally! I remember going to countdown sites at night to see how much time was left until I went. And then the dream started. And then today arrived. The day I came back from Altamura after one year. The day I remember that Ice Cream we took before discovering the packets of 10 Cigarettes, the day I met Ponja, Birgit, Lucia, Mariagrazia, Mino. They were too good to be true, and since Portugal we say “It’s better to give and to receive”, if you complement that with another Portuguese saying “You always get what you deserve” you see those in action with them, so that just made the experience so much easier. They made a reset become a re-shape, and all they had to do was to smile, that smile that they and everybody at link had, stressed on busy days, sad on depressing days, but always a smile, that smile. You will wish to see that smile from everybody, because even if it’s mixed with many emotions, all it wants to say is a “It’s good to have you here”, a welcoming smile. The project itself? Well, it was nothing special, just like… I don’t know… a MIND BLOWING EXPERIENCE or something.. It went to the limit of everybody around creative. I was very happy to see how everything Link done always had a mind bending effect on anyone around them, and to be a part of waking people up to their own limits, remembering about what they are capable of. And all of this starting by folding every of a book 3 times for each, creating an hedgehog. Then all you have to do is to learn how to say hedgehog in Italian.. Nothing special, just a process that takes you 5 years of university or something to learn.. or 5 seconds of google translate, but in none of the above you have the chance to talk about them with people from 7 different countries while taking a cappuccino in the hot italian summer. 36


Join this with the work in Multimedia I always wanted to do and litterally dozens of people I met and the result is a perfect experience, I never tought I would be dancing with a disabled woman, but it happened and I kind of embarrassedly like it.. Until one day on of the guys grabbed my hand so hard that I wanted to hit him.. they said it was normal but i preferred not to go there again so I don’t get the same fury I got there. Luckily I was not alone, Natalija was there on the same adventure as me, but she worked at school.. But still, she had her own life style, she was vegetarian, she recycled, she knew europe almost better than google maps itself and… she was there. Together we made a lot of travels, and the computer activities became more that just something I was doing, it was something that I was doing before goin’ home and cook with her, and watch Friends episodes every day for like almost 4 of the 6 months. Of course people always are real quick to take things for granted, and in time, I was no exception and Natalija quickly became someone I had for granted, everytime she helped I thought like “ :) ” but only showed her like “ :| ” ‘cause I never thought it was necessary, but like in every EVS project, some questions just never get their answers. There are so many things that I would like to write here, but just writing them would never have the value they deserve.. So before I wake up let me tell you something.. this story shouldn’t be for you to read, but for you to want to live it and one day, write it. And then the dream was over. The only things I didn’t like in my experience were two: the how I’ll never be able to tell this story to anyone, and the how people forget of how much they are able to, if they just want. But the only thing I will miss… Those smiles

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Time is a one way ticket A beautiful smile, a cold teardrop, a ray of light, a precious moment…photo frames that enrich daily our experiences. There comes a time in our lives when we look back in our past trying to understand why we have made a choice that completely changed our existence. There comes a time in our lives when we feel proud of the decisions we have taken during the past years, asking ourselves: “How come did I act that smart?” Finally, there comes a time in our lives when we want to share our story with those who are ready to follow their own path in life, being guided of the actions and emotions of the people that have already been there. Dear readers, This is my story. My name is Elena and I come from Bucharest, Romania. If you are wondering where this country, you have never heard before, is located, you can easily find it in Europe. What is that special about this country? The answer is easy: the people. Smart, hard-working, ambitious to overcome the difficult situation Romania is facing, happy to take advantage at a glance of every opportunity that comes in, willing to develop both personal and professional. 2 years ago, I’ve been so lucky to find these people in AIESEC, an international platform for young people to explore and develop their leadership potential. That time, I was following a mastery program named “Experiential Psychotherapy and Personal Development” and I wanted badly an international experience. My wish was to find a place where I could have been useful, where 38


----------------------Elena Inceu 23 years / Romania ►►AIESEC in Greece 2010

I could have worked and still have fun, a place where I couldn’t have known anybody. That was the moment when I decided to join AIESEC Bucharest. I didn’t know almost anything about this organization and still I felt that it was the place I was looking for. The basic was enough; this organization was able to facilitate my future international experience, helping me to volunteer abroad. Outside was late spring. I was looking day and night for an international traineeship. My first choices were Czech Republic and Russia, but these two countries were searching for a person able to spend more than one year abroad. My time was limited, I had to graduate my masters and I had only the summer available. I always think that when something doesn’t happen to you that’s because you are not ready yet to receive it. Maybe Czech Republic and Russia couldn’t offer me anything in that particular moment, but the world is so vast, I just needed to continue my research and to do my best for fulfilling my dream. And this is the way I found Greece! I had a Skype interview with the Incoming Exchange vice-president in AIESEC UoM Thessaloniki and after a couple of days, I finally got my answer; I was about to spend 2 months in Sunny Halkidiki, in a summer camp for normal children and children with disabilities. I had never in my life been that excited! I started packing two weeks before. I said good-bye to friends and family and that was it: I was about to live one of the greatest experiences in my whole life! I felt warmly welcomed in Thessaloniki’s airport. Another girl from Poland was there and we were supposed to work together in the project. It was my first time in Greece and my first impression about the country and the people was great. We spend a day in the city and we arrived in the Scriptamanent #3

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summer camp in the following day. The view was amazing, the place was situated somewhere between the green forest and the blue sea. The sun was shining and the temperature was really high. 500 kids of all ages were chatting in their mother tongue, looking at us curiously, having a lot of questions to ask. We were provided accommodation starting the first day, so even if we were volunteering, we had everything we needed. The first weeks in the summer camp went by so fast. We met a lot of kids and even if most of them didn’t speak English, somehow we tried to understand them by non-verbal communication. We were leaders for groups of kiddos and we had to join them in their activities. We were playing a lot of games during the day, we were swimming in the pool and sometimes in the sea, we were jumping on the trampoline, we were creating puppets and rings and wristbands, we were painting and dancing and watching movies. Sometimes we even had barbecues on the beach, surrounded by joyful moments and laughter. A lot of fun, but in the same time, working with kids meant a lot of responsibility. And we had to prove it day by day. In the evening we had an entertainer who was playing a lot of team funny contests with the kids (they were blind folded having to taste mixed spices guessing the flavors, they were split into teams having to eat a whole watermelon before others and so on). Every evening was different. At midnight the kids were going to sleep, but before that they were having few dances and they were innocently singing a prayer. I met there a special boy, Teo. He was only 17. He taught me the Greek Alphabet and I taught him Romanian words. We became very close friends in a short amount of time. We shared a lot of memories and funny happenings. Unfortunately he is gone with the angels now, never coming back to Earth. But still, he will be forever my special friend from the summer camp. After all, life is a one-way ticket‌ 40


Because the camp was placed far from the cities, we didn’t have internet access. Whenever we wanted to talk to our family and friends we had to go to a village, 4 km away. Most of the time, we were walking to reach our destination, because those who had cars didn’t use to leave the camp too often. I had a friend from Austria in the camp who was taking care of a blind boy, and we used to go together in the village. The road was really fun, even if we were tired we were telling jokes and make fun one of each other, so the time was flying so fast. After a month, the kids had to go home to their parents. Together with them, most of my friends left too. The girl from Poland had chosen to go back to her country because she couldn’t get used to the people from the camp, to the fact that almost no one from the kids was speaking English, to the Greek culture and people, to the food sometimes. I was feeling a bit sad because all my friends were leaving. I was expecting the kids with special needs to arrive in the camp. The gates opened and little by little they began to come. When I started to see them, I felt something was wrong, they were not kids at all, but adults, mature people. The view was really scary: wheel-chairs, people that couldn’t move, people that were making strange noises, hitting themselves, shouting, crying, people who had strong physical or mental disabilities or in some cases both. Most of them were not capable of feeding themselves or going to the bathroom without being helped. I was absolutely shocked. I felt alone and sad and scared. Why didn’t they say the truth? What was I supposed to do for these people? Was I able to deal with this situation? When I talked to the leader of the group she told me I will take care of a 44 years old woman. She was not able to see, to hear or talk. She was spending her days in a wheel-chair. The leader of the group said that she thinks this won’t be a problem for me Scriptamanent #3

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because anyway, I don’t speak Greek. I said I knew before arriving in the camp that I should work with kids and not with adults and her answer was something: “but they are kids, they cannot take care of themselves”. I felt very furious. I told her I didn’t come there to become a nurse, but to have a meaningful experience. And I left. That evening the director of the camp came to talk to me. He asked me what happened, I explained him the situation and in the end we decided I can stay until the end of the program, but do something different for these people. For me, leaving in that moment was like giving up to everything I had worked until then and this was just not me. I was sad, disappointed and a bit scared, I was really far from my comfort zone, but I decided to stay, to try to meet the people with special needs, to try to understand their lives. And this was the best decision I had taken during my traineeship. Little by little I started to get used to my new world. I was leading a small team of 4 teenagers and we were responsible with having the meals set, playing different games with the people, helping them when necessary, being around for providing the things they needed. During the evening, everybody was participating to talent contests. Dancing with a man in a wheel-chair, holding the hand of a deaf person while he was trying to feel the music, stealing a kiss on the cheek from the people that got used to you and like you and smile whenever they see your face, these are all experiences you need to have in a life time. I feel very lucky I had the amazing opportunity to work with people with special needs. They are so kind and grateful for every small thing they succeed to do by themselves and they have so much love to offer. You just need to open your arms and to receive it without fear and resistance. This is priceless for them. So small and simple things and yet, so important! 42


After the summer went by and the camp was closed, I returned to Thessaloniki. I spent there 2 more weeks surrounded by brand new friends from AIESEC, tasting Greek food, seeing beautiful places, knowing their culture and customs. We followed our motto “work hard, party even harder” and we spend such an amazing time together! When I came back home to Bucharest I needed some time to digest my experience, to understand what happened, what I have done there, what was the purpose and what were the results. I didn’t want to wake up from my dream, to land on Romanian Reality. To conclude, the most important thing I have learned volunteering abroad is the fact that you mostly learn from the things you are afraid to do “a person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it”( Jean de la Fontaine). But once you have done it, you become that person that doesn’t get scared anymore.

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Voyage de nuit à Riga Cʼétait un samedi soir, et mon copain arrivait en Lettonie le lendemain pour une semaine. Cette nuit là, jʼétais invitée à une soirée dʼadieu dʼune volontaire Autrichienne. La soirée commençait bien, tout le monde était là pour Laura, une bière, un thé à la main, peu importe. La conversation était à propos de lʼavenir après le EVS, Pako mʼavait expliqué sa façon dʼenvisager le futur. Il se préoccupait dʼavantage de quel pays il pourrait découvrir lʼannée dʼaprès plutôt que dʼenvisager comment il allait se débrouiller financièrement. Pour moi cette conversation était importante. Jʼai passé mes trois dernières années dans une faculté de droit à écouter des gens ne parler que dʼargent, dʼavenir brillant, de costumes à 3000. Les professeurs dans ma faculté font un travail sournois et remarquable sur lʼesprit des étudiants : en trois ans jʼai fini par penser que je ne trouverais jamais un job convenable en dehors de cette branche. Pako nʼa pas mis beaucoup de temps pour me réouvrir les yeux. Il mʼa remis en tête que ta richesse cʼétait ce quʼon était et non pas ce quʼon avait dans le porte monnaie . Les volontaires ont commencé à se bouger et chercher quelque part ailleurs pour danser. On a tous mis nos manteaux, nos bonnets, nos gants et tout ce que tu voulais pour pas crever de froid. Se fut une succession de bar sans grands succès. Le premier était le Lenningrad, cʼest un bar à ambiance soviétique, cʼest une reconstitution dʼun appartement de lʼépoque soviétique. Puis, en route vers un autre bar, on a perdu Laura et dʼautres nanas sans trop sʼen rendre compte, elles voulaient probablement aller ailleurs. Pako, Anna, Giorgi, Konstantin, Stella, Andrea et moi avons 44


------------------------Elodie Louarn 22 years / France ►►EVS in Latvia 2011/2012

continué notre route dans la nuit de Riga jusquʼà ce que nous trouvions ce sous sol avec un bon Dj (certains diront que non). Une putain de faim m’ai venu au ventre après ça. Il était 4 heures du matin. Qui nʼa pas faim après ça sérieusement ? Nous avons donc tout naturellement trouvé le Hesburger du coin. Jʼy ai commandé un magnifique menu mexicain tout nouveau. En quinze minutes jʼétais dans les toilettes dégueulasses du Hes sans loquet, à vomir. Il me devenait tout à coup impératif de trouver les urgences de Riga sinon jʼallais continuer à vomir lʼestomac vide toute la nuit et jʼétais morte dʼinquiétude. Pako a accepté de mʼaider à trouver les urgences de Riga avec ma coloc Stella. Les autres sont rentrés dormir . On a sauté dans un taxi dans kungu iela. - Labvakar, we would like to find an hospital . - Kas ? - Hospital ? Emergency ? - Vina ir slima ? - Ya . - es nezinu kur ir Slimnica. - Oh la la! Really?… Il nous a finalement déposé dans un hôpital à lʼextérieur de Riga pour 9 lats. A la réception : - Hi, Iʼm looking for the emergency because I canʼt stop to throw up, I need something for stopping it. Le gars derrière son bureau commença à rigoler. - Mhh you need to go in another hospital, we donʼt take care of it there. - Really? Etrangement le chauffeur de taxi était toujours là à nous attendre, il nous a conduit dans un autre hôpital 5 lats plus loin. Scriptamanent #3

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La secrétaire était terrible, totalement impolie. Elle nous a juste dit dʼattendre. 20 minutes plus tard et cinq rendez-vous express avec les toilettes, quelquʼun est venu me chercher. Une infirmière mʼa allongé dans un lit dans un couloir. Le docteur est venu me regarder rapidement. Lʼinfirmière mʼa ensuite traduit quʼil me donnerait des médicaments après avoi rempli des papiers administratifs. Jʼai attendu sagement, contente dʼêtre enfin au bon endroit! Ou pas… Aussi mignonne et gentille quʼelle était, lʼinfirmière ai revenue en me disant quʼil ne voulait pas faire les papiers donc que je nʼallais pas avoir de médicament. “Mais ne vous inquiétez pas, me dit- elle, yʼa un centre pour les maladies infectieuses qui sʼoccupera de vous, il vous suffit juste de traverser toute la ville “ . Il nous fallait donc encore un taxi. La secrétaire nous indiqua du bout du doigt ou était écrit le numéro de taxi. Qui nʼétait plus valide. Elle n’a pas voulu nous croire cette ingrate, elle nous a envoyé chier . En réalité, la personne qui nous a le plus aidé dans cette hôpital cʼest une jeune fille qui passait là par hazard. Elle a appelé un taxi pour nous, a montré où il allait se garer et elle lui a dit où nous avions besoin dʼaller. Cʼest agréable des gens serviables dans des moments comme ceux là. Le troisième hôpital… qui nʼen était pas un mais plutôt une clinique de soin était à lʼautre bout de Riga effectivement, puisque cela mʼa coûté 15 Lats. Nous avons fait le tour de tous les bâtiments sans trouver lʼentrée. Finalement nous sommes tombé sur une petite sonnette et quelquʼun nous a ouvert. Ici, mon statut dʼétrangère à la lettonie les inquiétaient un peu. 46


“Pourquoi êtes vous en Lettonie ? Depuis combien de temps ? Où travaillez-vous ? Où habitez-vous ? Avez vous une carte dʼidentitée?” Elle voulait bien mʼaccepter à condition que jʼy passe la nuit… Après négocations, elle a accepté de me faire ausculter et ensuite de me laisser partir . Elle mʼa regardé le blanc de lʼoeil et lʼétat de mes dents. Moi qui pensait que cʼétait comme ça que dans les films! Bref, tout ca pour du Smeca. Nous sommes finalement rentrés à 8 heures du matin. Je me suis levée un peu plus tard pour aller chercher mon copain à lʼaeroport, Smeca à la main. Ce jour là, la directrice de lʼécole à appeler ma coloc en lui demandant comment jʼallais parce que la clinique lʼavait appelé pour signaler que jʼétais malade. Le lundi toute lʼécole était au courant de ce qui mʼétait arrivée, visiblement lʼinfirmière ne sʼétait pas gênée pour tout raconter à la directrice . Autant dire que le système de santé letton est completement désordonné, cahotique et que le secret professionel nʼest quʼune rumeur dans le milieu médical. Pour info, AXA rembourse tous les frais médicaux, mais pas les 30 lats de Taxi qui mʼont valu une fin de mois très serrée. Je suis enfin rentrée chez moi saine et sauve avec mon copain. Je crois que le meilleur moyen pour survivre en Lettonie cʼest de ne tout simplement pas tomber malade mais si jamais cela vous arrivait, ne vous attendez pas à un accueil préoccupé et chaleureux des médecins. Demandez plutôt à votre colocataire de vous faire un lait chaud et de vous raconter une jolie histoire. Ca ira tovmieux!

Scriptamanent #3

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Domāt franciski, bet labāk iepazīt Latviju Tas laikam ir tāds bieži sastopams sindroms: ja vienreiz ir būts tur “ārā”, tad nevar nosēdēt uz vietas un gribas atkal kaut kur doties. Tā sākās arī mans EBD, jo gribējās redzēt kaut ko jaunu, darīt kaut ko nezināmu un pieredzēt kaut ko lielisku. EBD koncepts man uzreiz iepatikās, jo gribējās paņemt brīvu gadu no mācībām un tā laikā caur neformālo izglītību apgūt kādu jaunu sfēru. Mana uzņēmējorganizācija ir neformālās izglītības asociācija, kas man piedāvāja veicināt jauniešu mobilitāti strādājot ar jauniešu projektiem. Mans projekts norisinājās 9 mēnešus Francijas Centrālrietumu daļā, pilsētā Tours, kas atrodas Luāras ielejā. Viens no maniem kritērijiem bija, lai projekta norises vieta neatrastos kādā nomaļā ciemā. Šajā pilsētā ir ap 300 tūkt. iedzīvotāju, kas ir tieši laikā ne par lielu, ne par mazu. Tours ir izteikta studentu pilsēta. To īpaši var manīt, kad vasaras brīvlaikā ielas un kafejnīcas piepilda tūristi, nevis studentu bari lekciju pauzē. Daudzi man vaicājuši, kāpēc es pēc sava Erasmus Francijā atkal devos uz to pašu valsti, ja tā vietā varēju atklāt kādu nepazīstamu reģionu? Toties es nejutos tā, ka pazītu Franciju, jo Erasmus man bija vairāk starptautiska pieredze. Es biju gadu tur nodzīvojusi, bet ne ciešā kontaktā ar francūžiem. To es meklēju savā EBD un man izdevās atrast. Es satiku daudz dažādus cilvēkus, kuri man deva savādāku (reālāku) redzējumu par savu kultūru, nekā to pierasts dzirdēt. Projekta laikā piedzīvotais man dod iespēju salīdzināt citas valstis ar Latviju. Iepazīstot citas kultūras, es labāk saprotu un pazīstu savējo. Mērķtiecīgi projektu meklēju frankofonā valstī, lai nostiprinātu 48


savas franču valodas zināšanas. Šos mērķus es pilnībā sasniedzu. Šķiet, jau no kāda trešā projekta mēneša pieķēru savi domājot franciski. Un tā tas arī turpinājās. Dīvaini ir konstatēt, ka par ikdienišķām situācijām un pat vienatnē esot domas ir franciski.

------------------------Evita Eglite 24 years / Latvia ►►EVS in France 2010/2011

Ar uzņēmējorganizāciju man tiešām bija paveicies. Algotie darbinieki gan tikai ir divi, bet ir ļoti, ļoti daudz aktīvo biedru, kas bieži apgrozās birojā un piedalās pasākumos. Visi tādi easygoing cilvēki, ar kuriem ātri nodibinājās labs kontakts. Man bija divas mentores - viena, ar kuru kopā strādāju, atbildēja par darba lietām, bet otra - par sociālo dzīvi. Tajās pašās telpās, kur atrodas mana organizācija, birojus īrē arī citas nevalstiskās organizācijas. Pateicoties tam, ikdienā tikos ar daudziem citiem cilvēkiem, ieguvu kontaktus. Visjaukākais socializēšanās moments bija pusdienas laiks, kad kopīgi kaut ko improvizējām pusdienām mazajā darba virtuvē un kopīgi ieturējām maltīti. Sākumā bija diezgan grūti noformulēt savu misiju. Oficiāli mana misija saucās “Eiropas mobilitāte un interkulturālās aktivitātes”. Projekts bija, bet tas bija ļoti vispārīgs un precīzi uzdevumi netika definēti. No vienas puses, tas pavēra visas iespējas izvēlēties, ko tieši gribu darīt. No otras puses, man tas likās sarežģīti, jo es nesapratu, ko no manis īsti gaida, kāda ir mana loma utt. Visi iespējamie darbiņi bija diezgan abstrakti, jo nebija konkrēta uzdevuma un mērķa. Tad nu es palēnām apjautu kādās sfērās es varētu darboties un sāku īstenot projektus. Principā, kā teica mana mentore, es pati izveidoju savu projektu. Manai uzņēmējorganizācijai es biju pirmais brīvprātīgais, tāpēc ne vienmēr viss gāja gludi. Bet kaut arī bija dažādas grūtības (kas ir pilnīgi saprotami, jo viņi nekad iepriekš nebija ar to nodarbojušies), viss vienmēr tika pēc iespējas ātrāk un efektīgāk atrisināts. Scriptamanent #3

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Es pat projekta vidū mainīju dzīvesvietu, ko uzņēmējorganizācija piedāvāja nokārtot. Projekta sākumā mitinājos tādā kā hostelī jauniešiem, kas mācās profesionālajās skolās vai sākuši strādāt, bet saskaras ar grūtībām (pārsvarā finansiālām) īrēt atsevišķu dzīvokli. Šis te centrs ir domāts, lai palīdzētu viņiem iekārtoties dzīvē. Mana organizācija bija pārliecināta, ka tur dzīvojot es spēšu nodibināt kontaktus ar vietējiem jauniešiem. Bet tas izrādījās ne tik viegli izdarāms, jo tomēr katra istaba ir diezgan nodalīta un iespējas satikties ir diezgan ierobežotas… Vēl bija grūti pierast pie obligātās ēdināšanas ēdnīcā. Tā projekta vidū kopīgi ar manu organizāciju meklējām kādu citu dzīvesvietu. Rezultātā atradām ļoti mājīgu istabu 18.gs. ēkā, vienā dzīvoklī ar divām Erasmus studentēm. Un mans Erasmus nr.2 varēja sākties! Projekta otro pusi es patiešām izdzīvoju no labākās puses, jo darbā viss bija zināms un dzīvoklī bija jaukas kaimiņienes. Nevar nepieminēt, ka mana organizācija, kas visa projekta laikā bija uzdevumu augstumos, man nodrošināja lieliskus apstākļus. Patiešām par mani rūpējās un gādāja, lai man nekas netrūktu un es justos labi. Bet ne jau vienmēr viss bija lieliski. Kāpumi un kritumi, sava darba jēgas meklējumi - tas arī manā projektā bija. Dažbrīd bija grūti, jo es jutos vientuļa. Savā organizācijā es biju vienīgā brīvprātīgā, daudz laika pavadīju strādājot viena pati. Sākumā arī dzīvoju viena pati. Bet palēnām viss mainījās uz labo pusi. Sāku pavadīt laiku ar darba kolēģiem brīvajā laikā, iepazinu jaunus cilvēkus, uzņēmu ciemiņus vai pati braucu ciemos pie citiem brīvprātīgajiem. Tā kā manai organizācijai nav tiešas publikas, ar ko viņi strādā, tad nereti man pašai vajadzēja to meklēt, lai īstenotu avus projektus. Jauni izaicinājumi - jauna pieredze. Mazliet konkrētāk par manu projektu. Es iepazinu neformālo izglītību un pieredzēju daudz dažādas aktivitātes šajā jomā. 50


Mana uzņēmējorganizācija darbojas neformālās izglītības sfērā un strādā ar jauniešiem, bet aktivitātes ir ļoti dažādas: jauniešu līderu apmācības, brīvā laika centrs, interkulturālās aktivitātes un ekoloģiskās vasaras nometnes. Tā kā mana misija nebija stingri noteikta, tad man bija iespēja piedalīties un veidot pašai dažādas aktivitātes. Daudz nodarbojos palīdzot organizācijai pildīt EBD nosūtītājorganizācijas funkcijas (ikmēneša informatīvās sapulces, individuālās tikšanās, brīvprātīgo sagatavošana, e-pasts utt.). Piedalījos Eiropas nevalstisko organizāciju kontaktu seminārā un jauniešu apmaiņā kā grupas vadītāja. Kā arī piedalījos apmācībās, lai pēc tām (un vēl 2 nedeļu prakses) iegūtu jauniešu līdera diplomu. Francijā to sauc par animatoru. Tāds ir vajadzīgs katram, kas Francijā vēlas strādāt jebkādā ārpusskolas iestādēs ar nepilngadīgiem bērniem (interešu centri, brīvā laika centri, nometnes utt.). Izrādās, ka Eiropā ir tikai kādas 3 valstis, kur šāds diploms pastāv. Pārējās valstīs tas viss saistīts ar pedagoģiju vai definēts kā nekvalificēts amats, toties Francijā tas pieder pie neformālās izglītības. Tā kā mana organizācija rīko šos kursus, tad man piedāvāja iegūt diplomu bez maksas. Prakses laikā vienu nedēļu strādāju dziļos laukos brīvā laika centrā, otru nedēļu - ar romu bērniem. Tieši pieredze ar romiem ir mana visinteresantākā pieredze EBD laikā. Francijā romu tematika ir īpaši “jutīgs” jautājums pēc 2010. gada notikumiem, kad prezidents lika izsūtīt romus no valsts, kas izraisīja skandālu Eiropas instancēs. Francijā šiem cilvēkiem ir speciāli izveidotas apmešanās vietas, tādi kā kemperu parki. Parasti diezgan nomaļā pilsētas vietā, kur pilsēta mijas ar lauku teritoriju, norobežoti ar sētu, noasfaltēti, ar sarga mājiņu pie ieejas. Tours pilsētas apkārtnē vien ir 14 parki. Par kempera novietošanu diennakts maksa ir 2 EUR. Turpat ir izbūvētas dušas un ūdens vietas, par kuru izmantošanu jāmaksā papildus atkarībā Scriptamanent #3

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no patēriņa. Vienā laukumā ģimene var atrasties maksimāli 2 mēnešus. Protams, tur ielaiž tikai romu ceļotājus, parastajiem kemperiem ir savi laukumi. Man tas bija īsts kultūršoks! Es savu praksi strādāju nevalstiskā organizācijā, kas izveidojusi brīvā laika centru romu bērniem. Tas ir valsts atbalstīts un pārvietojas ar kemperi, kurš pielāgots normāla brīvā laika centra vajadzībām: virtuve, galdi, krēsli, spēles, bumbas, utt. Vienā dienā parasti tiek apbraukāti 2-3 parki, atkarībā no bērnu skaita tajos. Katru nedēļu visus parkus apstaigā arī sociālie darbinieki, lai būtu lietas kursā, kas tur uzturas un kas notiek. Skaidrības labad jāprecizē, ka pamest valsti liek tikai tiem, kas dzīvo ārpus speciālajiem parkiem un novietojuši savus kemperus publiskās vietās. Romu cilvēki ir ĻOTI dažādi: bagāti un nabadzīgi, izglītoti un analfabēti, tīrīgi un atbaidoši netīrīgi. Toties gandrīz visiem ir jaunas un dārgas mašīnas, kaut arī lielākā daļa pārtiek no minimālā pabalsta. Es ne tikai iesaistījos organizācijas rīkotajos projektos, bet arī īstenoju pati savas iniciatīvas, piemēram, savā organizācijā rīkoju stereotipu vakarus par dažādām valstīm un Eiropas mājā piedāvāju konferenci par Latviju. Kā arī piedalījos Eiropas dienas rīkošanā un izstrādāju personisko projektu par jauniešu mobilitāti. Un tas nav viss. Vēl bija daudzas mazākas aktivitātes un pasākumi projekta laikā. Īpaši jāatzīmē konference par Latviju, jo pēc tās es ieguvu daudz jaunu kontaktu. Tours pilsētā darbojas asociācija Touraine Baltique, kas rīko dažādus pasākumus saistībā ar Baltijas valstīm. Projekta laikā bieži ar viņiem tikos gan formālā, gan neformālā gaisotnē. Mans projekts izrādījās daudz interesantāks nekā es gaidīju. Es nebiju domājusi tik daudz iemācīties, atklāt, uzzināt un piedalīties tik daudzās aktivitātēs. Manā projektā bija ļoti liela dažādība (cilvēku, resursu, notikumu), kas tam piešķīra dinamismu. Es ļoti daudz uzzināju par nevalstisko organizāciju 52


un asociāciju lauciņu, ko iepriekš pilnīgi nepazinu. Liels ieguvums bija arī pieredze ar dažādu publiku - bērniem, pieaugušajiem, jauniešiem, specifisku publiku - , kas man deva daudz pārdomu par citām kultūrām, dzīves veidu un dzīves skatījumu. Tā kā mūsu sadarbība bija abpusēji liels ieguvums, tad pēc projekta beigām es turpinu iesāktos projektus un sāku jaunus šajā pašā organizācijā paralēli manām studijām :)

Scriptamanent #3

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Percorrendo novos caminhos e descobrindo um novo sentido… Olá, O meu nome é Filipa e tenho uma história para vos contar. Sou uma jovem de origem Portuguesa, de uma pequena cidade á beira-mar chamada Setúbal, situada a 40 km de Lisboa. Eu não gosto muito de falar sobre mim, mas tenho necessidade de partilhar convosco a minha experiência como voluntária. Eu sempre tive vontade de sair do meu país e ver coisas novas, queria conhecer algo diferente, exterior a mim, ao meu mundo, ir mais além. Queria saber mais sobre os outros, abrir horizontes, entrar em mundos novos e criar novos laços. Estava eu com 23 anos completamente perdida, sem saber quem era e o que poderia fazer por mim própria e pelos outros. Queria ir além de tudo o que eu conhecia, tinha sede de algo novo, algo diferente, algo que fizesse sentido. Não demorei muito a chegar á conclusão que poderia tornar-me voluntária, para chegar mais longe como ser humano, contribuindo com algo, em suma, ajudando de alguma forma e ao mesmo tempo descobrindo lugares e pessoas nunca antes explorados. Comecei uma nova vida no dia 2 de maio de 2011. Voei até Luxemburgo, e fiquei lá durante três meses com a missão de cumprir um Serviço Voluntário Europeu sobre o projeto “S’inscrire c’est être citoyen!” para a organização CCPL. Esta, tem por objectivo ajudar na integração da comunidade emigrante portuguesa na sociedade luxemburguesa e foi a minha organização de acolhimento. A minha aventura no Luxemburgo teve como missão consciencializar as comunidades emigrantes a participarem activamente no sistema eleitoral de Luxemburgo, para tal, bastava que essas comunidades 54


-----------------------Filipa Silva 24 years / Portugal ►►EVS in Luxembourg 2011

habitassem no Luxemburgo há mais de cinco anos, se dirigissem ao município da sua freguesia e fizessem a inscrição para poderem votar, até á data previamente estipulada. Este projecto deu-me espaço para a criatividade e improviso na procura de desenvolver maneiras de atrair a atenção das pessoas que circulavam nas ruas e, ao mesmo tempo, eu estava a conhecer um novo país, novas pessoas e novas regras. A minha equipa de trabalho era constituída por voluntários oriundos de Portugal, Roménia e Hungria, erámos seis jovens a tentar dar o nosso melhor. Aprendi muito com eles, porque todos nós tínhamos competências diferentes, o que nos permitiu juntar pequenas partes de cada um e criar algo maior. As nossas principais atividades consistiam em delinear ideias para realizar animações de rua três vezes por semana e seguir os eventos mais importantes no Luxemburgo, para chegar ao maior número de pessoas e passar a importância do voto. Dentro do projecto, viajámos muito por todo Luxemburgo, no sentido de alcançar igualmente pessoas que viviam noutras cidades fora da capital, e percebi que muitas delas não sabiam nada sobre o sistema de voto no Luxemburgo e nem se preocupavam com isso. Foi irónico para mim saber mais informações sobre um país que eu não conhecia do que as pessoas emigrantes que lá viviam por largos anos. Considero que o meu trabalho como voluntária para este projecto em específico foi importante, mas não o suficiente para criar o impacto que a causa assim o exigia. Pois, eramos apenas seis jovens a lutar por uma causa, que na minha opinião, necessitava de mais alicerces. Além das animações de rua, em que andámos mascarados, com cartazes, jogos, tintas, flyers, t-shirts “je peux voter”, tendas, placas com números, em que cada número representava uma das regras para votar, tivemos outras responsabilidades distribuídas por cada um de nós: newsletter, boletim, programa Scriptamanent #3

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de rádio e a mim coube-me a tarefa de divulgação do voto na internet. Para tal, usei o Facebook como meio de informação e criei uma página sobre o assunto. Eu estava encarregue de ir actualizando a página sempre que necessário, colocando registos fotográficos da nossa presença nas ruas e incentivando a todos a votar, explicando sempre como funcionava todo o processo de voto e onde iriamos estar presentes para informar a população pessoalmente. E toda essa informação que eu divulgava, era partilhada em três línguas: Português, Inglês e Francês, para que chegasse a todas as comunidades emigrantes. Considero que o ponto mais alto do projecto foi a ideia de um voluntário criar um flash mob, juntamente com outros voluntários que aderiram á nossa ideia, dançámos em apelo ao voto. A música escolhida foi: “Begging” dos Madcon, passando a mensagem de “Begging you for Vote”! Foi muito interessante trabalhar neste projeto e ter tido a possibilidade de partilhar a minha cultura com outros voluntários de diversas origens. Foi igualmente excepcional conhecer Luxemburgo, um micro país onde tudo é tão perto e organizado. Luxemburgo está geograficamente localizado entre a Bélgica, França e Alemanha, o que nos permitiu viajar pelos países vizinhos e conhecer mais do que um país. Este minúsculo país, que aparece no mapa como uma pinta, recebe influências dos seus países envolventes, onde me deparei com o facto de existir três línguas oficiais: francês, alemão e luxemburguês. Conheci a língua Luxemburguesa como fruto da língua francesa em junção á língua alemã, e surpreendi-me com o facto do idioma Luxemburguês não ser o mais falado, porque a língua mais falada é a francesa e por poucas vezes o alemão. Na escrita, as informações já eram quase sempre dadas nos três idiomas. Concluí que, apesar da sua minúscula dimensão, Luxemburgo é enorme na sua cultura. Porém, com tantas línguas oficiais para comunicar, a minha 56


integração no Luxemburgo foi bastante fácil, porque para além de haver uma grande quantidade de emigrantes portugueses, partilhei quarto com uma portuguesa e vivi também com uma francesa. E ainda tinha o extra de poder falar Português na minha organização de acolhimento. Logo, conheci imensos portugueses e encontrei inúmeros espaços com a presença da minha cultura: lojas, alimentação, supermercados, bares, etc. Tentei tirar partido de tudo isso para mostrar muito da minha cultura aos outros voluntários de diferentes nacionalidades. Durante todo o meu período de voluntária, não tive acesso a suporte linguístico, o que me obrigou a estar mais atenta e esforçar-me ainda mais para cumprir a minha missão, tentei apreender algum vocabulário francês, e hoje sou capaz de compreender melhor essa língua, mas ainda não me sinto confortável para ter uma grande conversa em francês. Quanto á língua Alemã, o meu conhecimento é zero, logo, usei e abusei dos meus conhecimentos de Inglês e Português para me expressar. O que mais gostei de Luxemburgo, já referido aqui algumas vezes, foi a existência de uma grande riqueza cultural devido á enorme quantidade de emigrantes que por lá habitam. E posso dar-vos um exemplo, eu aprendi mais sobre a Roménia do que propriamente sobre Luxemburgo, porque no meu grupo de projeto convivi com três pessoas de origem Romena, portanto, tive uma grande presença sobre esse país no meu dia-a-dia, sobre o qual descobri uma série de semelhanças entre Roménia e Portugal. Antes da minha experiência SVE, eu nunca tinha vivido nada assim, nunca tinha entrado num avião, nunca tinha falado intensivamente outra língua se não a minha, nunca tinha vivido e conhecido pessoas de outras nacionalidades tão distantes da minha, nunca tinha tido a oportunidade de partilhar a minha cultura através de gastronomia, história, piadas, jogos, música, entre outros. Esta riqueza cultural abriu o meu espírito e absorvi tudo o que pude. Fui para o Luxemburgo completamente sem Scriptamanent #3

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saber o que esperar dali e voltei para Portugal com tantas coisas a flutuarem na minha cabeça, vim com ideias novas sobre o que sou, o que posso fazer pelos outros e por mim. Senti que estes três meses no Luxemburgo representaram seis! Sinto que fiz muita coisa em tão pouco tempo! Eu fui, eu fiz, eu partilhei e aprendi! Claro que nem tudo foram rosas, senti saudades dos meus amigos em Portugal, senti falta do oceano Atlântico e senti alguns choques culturais no início, em relação a hábitos alimentares por exemplo, descobri que na Hungria e na Roménia só se come uma a duas vezes por dia, mas em Portugal isso não funciona assim! Eu tinha a necessidade de comer de três em três horas como faço no meu país e isso gerou muita confusão no início do projecto, porque eu precisava de parar para comer e o resto do grupo, excepto um voluntário português, não conseguia entender isso e muitas vezes saltei refeições dos meus hábitos alimentares para tentar acompanhar o grupo, e isso levou-me a uma perda de peso que afectou, de certa forma, o funcionamento do meu organismo. Os meus colegas demoraram algum tempo para perceber isso, mas acabaram por aceitar que eu tinha mesmo que comer várias vezes ao dia. Tivemos outros problemas, no que toca a habitação que gostaria de partilhar convosco. Os rapazes do meu projecto viviam separados das raparigas, numa outra cidade em Bettembourg e foram morar com uma família de acolhimento portuguesa que lhes estipulou mil e uma regras que eles tinham que seguir religiosamente: 1)Tirar os sapatos á entrada; 2) Não fazer barulho depois das dez da noite; 3) não abrir a janela da cozinha, porque entra barulho do exterior; 4) Não fumar dentro de casa; 5) Não tomar banho todos á mesma hora; 6) Fazer a reciclagem, etc… Era uma lista enorme de regras escritas em português, que só um voluntário entendia! E nas entre linhas esqueceram-se de mencionar que 58


não queriam raparigas lá em casa! Só o mostraram mais tarde, quando deram pela minha presença na casa deles! E tiveram a coragem de me expulsar, durante a noite, só porque sim! Só porque sou rapariga e a casa era deles! Senti-me descriminada e impotente, porque nunca me tinha acontecido tal coisa. No meio disto tudo, ainda consegui apanhar o último comboio para Luxemburgo a poucos minutos depois da meia-noite, se não, teria de ficar á espera do próximo que só passava às seis da manhã! As infinitas regras provocaram muitos conflitos, e penso que a minha expulsão originou a gota de água. Além das regras, eles tinham uma enorme falta de privacidade, pois os donos da casa estavam sempre lá metidos a mudar as coisas de lugar e esqueceram-se de colocar uma porta na zona onde os voluntários moravam! Passo a explicar: antes de entrarem para os quartos, eles tinham uma espécie de entrada com a zona da porta, que seria a suposta divisão entre a área dos voluntários com a área dos donos da casa, mas essa porta simplesmente não existia! Era impossível fazer o que fosse naquela casa! Somando isto tudo, os voluntários decidiram mudar de residência, dois deles conseguiram encontrar uma nova casa, um deles não se importou de continuar a viver em Bettembourg e um outro voluntário, que era português, não conseguiu encontrar outra casa e teve a ideia de ir viver para o sótão da casa onde eu habitava! Pediu uma cama e um aspirador á CCPL e fez daquele sótão o seu quarto! Eu, comparando-me com os rapazes, não tive esse género de problemas, mas tive um outro incómodo que me causou um enorme stress durante três meses! O facto de nunca me terem dado as chaves de casa! Porque aquela chave era “especial” e necessitava de um código especifico, não se faziam cópias daquela chave em qualquer sítio, nunca entendi muito bem esta explicação que a organização me deu, e como consequências, senti-me muitas vezes presa em casa ou presa lá fora, na Scriptamanent #3

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rua, ao frio, de noite, de dia, á chuva, ao sol, tinha que andar constantemente a telefonar para as minhas colegas a perguntar se estavam em casa para me abrirem a porta! E muitas das vezes a comunicação por telemóveis falhava e só me restava esperar… Isso tirou-me alguma liberdade de mobilidade. Continuando a falar nos espinhos da minha história, gostaria de ter tido mais tempo para saber mais sobre Luxemburgo. Nunca entendi o processo de reciclagem daquele país! Tinham dias e horários específicos para deixar o lixo á porta de casa, e mais umas regras acerca do local exacto onde poderia deixar os sacos! Ao pé de casa, no passeio, mas não ao lado, nem atrás! A própria separação era confusa, porque não encontrei nenhuma indicação onde mencionasse reciclagem de papel! Acho que precisava de um minicurso para entender todas aquelas regras de reciclagem. Enfim… Fiquei com pena de ter conhecido apenas uma pessoa luxemburguesa durante a minha estadia no Luxemburgo! E só consegui aprender três palavras em luxemburguês: “Moien” que significa “Olá”, “Merci” significa “Obrigada” e “Addi” que significa “Adeus”. Também surgiram problemas entre voluntários e a minha organização de acolhimento, pois esta, não soube acolher-nos com simpatia e tinham muita falta de organização, bem como ausência de feedback, e isso levou-me juntamente com o grupo, muitas vezes ao estado de desmotivação. Mas concluído, tentámos sempre dar a volta a todas as situações, recorrendo á improvisação e aprendemos a ser bastante autónomos. Levámos um grande processo de aprendizagem em apenas 3 meses! Em suma, estamos sempre a aprender, sejam por boas ou más experiências. E agora, posso dizer que sei o que é ser voluntário e posso compartilhar a minha história com todos vós. Aprendi que, ser voluntário é mais do que ajudar alguém ou uma causa, é mais do que doar o nosso tempo e o nosso conhecimento em prol de uma sociedade, é acima de tudo ter um espírito de iniciativa, 60


consciencialização, tolerância, respeito e ser receptivo. Com isto quero dizer, tentarmos procurar estar sempre abertos a novas realidades, porque todos nós fazemos parte do mesmo mundo, com regras, direitos e deveres que nos tocam a todos e ser cidadão activo é ser tudo isso. É tomar consciência do que andamos cá a fazer e do que se pode fazer pelo próximo, olharmos menos para o nosso umbigo e vencer medos que nos limitem. Eu gastei três meses da minha vida como voluntária, mas sinto que foi muito pouco, porque ainda há muito por fazer! E se todos pensarem desta forma, seremos mais unidos e mais fortes, da união cresce a força e essa força torna-nos melhores seres humanos. Ser voluntária num país desconhecido foi uma das experiências mais intensas da minha vida. Estou muito satisfeita comigo própria por tê-lo feito e aconselho a toda gente a fazê-lo! Aqui me despeço á Luxemburguesa com um Addi! Nota: Por opção não segui o novo acordo ortográfico.

Scriptamanent #3

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Un’esperienza chiamata amore Sento mia madre chiamarmi dalla cucina “Francesco sono le 8” e già penso che la mia giornata sarà interamente dedicata alla stesura della mia tesi finale. Spesso mi chiedo per quale motivo abbia deciso di scrivere questa tesi. Esplorando un po’ i documenti mi rendo conto che è già stato scritto molto sull’argomento. Poi mi interrogo sul sistema universitario italiano e su quanto in realtà non faccia il suo dovere. Poi penso: “va be meglio iniziare la giornata”. Scendo dal letto (letteralmente scendo perché il mio letto è abbastanza alto) e vado in cucina per fare colazione. Da qualche tempo sono ritornato a vivere con la mia famiglia. Una sensazione strana, erano quasi otto anni che non vivevo con loro ed ora non mi riconoscevo più nel ruolo di figlioletto che deve essere accudito. Forse pensavo che sarebbe dovuto essere il contrario e dovevo essere io ad accudire loro che diventano più anziani. Mentre faccio colazione accendo la televisione e inizio a fare i miei soliti esercizi di lingua, molti mi dicono che secondo loro sono pazzo. Ogni mattina ascolto i telegiornali di mezzo mondo per migliorare il mio ascolto nelle diverse lingue. Ascolto il tg in Inglese e in Francese, le due lingue che conosco. Finisco e vado nella mia stanza, accendo il computer e vado su facebook. Leggo che ho una notifica e penso: “Che palle a quale evento sarò stato invitato?” . Invece si tratta di un post pubblicato sulla mia bacheca ed è di Chiara. Con Chiara ci scambiamo i link per fare esperienze all’estero ed è stata proprio lei a parlarmi del Servizio Volontario Europeo che feci nel 2008 in Lituania. Parla del Servizio Civile Nazionale. Apro il bando e lo leggo distrattamente e mi dico: “Ho ancora tanto tempo per inviare la candidatura. Ho anche tempo per poter scegliere il progetto che voglio. Sono sicuro che non mi selezioneranno, però non mi importa ci provo”. 62


-----------------------------------------Francesco Romano 27 years / Italy ►►International Civil Service in Peru 2011

A novembre mi presento alle selezioni dell’Università di Bari. Ho scelto un progetto non cattolico. Ero così confuso che non ricordo nemmeno quanti posti erano a disposizione. La mattina presto mio padre mi accompagna in stazione e sulla strada parliamo un po’. Come al solito lui è positivo e mi dice “Tanto sai quanti raccomandati ci saranno è difficile che ti selezioneranno!” e io rispondo che non mi interessa poi più di tanto, devo pensare alla discussione della tesi che sarà a fine dicembre. A Bari ci sono 13 candidati dei 23 che avevano presentato domanda. Tutti sono tesi e io penso: “mamma mia questa gente si guarda come se si stesse difendendo da qualcosa. Sicuramente nella loro testa pensano guardandosi gli uni con gli altri: “questi sono i miei concorrenti, devo essere migliore di loro”. Io li guardo con indifferenza. Alla fine a me non cambia niente devo ancora finire il mio percorso di studi. La commissione incaricata di selezionarci arriva tardi. Io faccio un po’ di conti e penso, ascoltando anche un po’ le loro esperienze: “minchia ci sono 4 posti e la maggior parte è già laureata ed ha già un’esperienza di lavoro in settori importanti”. Iniziano le selezioni ed io inizio a fare amicizia con i candidati. Parlando mi rendo conto che del bando io non avevo letto niente o meglio non avevo capito niente. I posti sono sette non quattro e affissa dietro la porta dell’ufficio in cui si stanno facendo le selezioni ci sono i punteggi di base da cui partiamo. Con ansia vado a vedere il mio punteggio, 21 su 50 sono uno dei favoriti. Qualche speranza si riaccende in me. Più che altro penso: “che peccato buttare al vento questa opportunità visto il punteggio che ho maturato!”. Aspetto fino alla fine per vedere le graduatorie. Il mio dialogo interiore mi porta a farmi delle domande: “ma perché non sono ansioso di sapere? Eppure io sono la persona più ansiosa del Scriptamanent #3

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mondo. Mi ossessiono con mille domande.” Alle sette di sera affiggono la graduatoria. Con l’altra ragazza che è rimasta con me andiamo a fare la somma dei punteggi, tra quelli del curriculum e quello del colloquio. Sono stato selezionato! Sono quarto in graduatoria. L’altra ragazza invece è la prima dei non selezionati. Contengo la mia gioia e fingo di essere indifferente difronte a quella constatazione. Mi spiace tanto per lei. Mentre aspettavamo mi ha raccontato delle sue esperienze che ha fatto e dei colloqui che ha sostenuto senza risultato. Mi sento tanto vicino a lei. Forse è questa la compassione buddhista? Non lo so. Chiamo mia madre. Le dico che sono stato selezionato. Mia madre con una voce fredda e distaccata mi dice “io non sono tanto contenta che ti abbiano selezionato” e io le rispondo con tono acido “ma ti rendi conto che non sei mai soddisfatta di niente? Mi devo ancora laureare ed ho già un lavoro, quanti hanno avuto questa fortuna in Italia con tutto quello che c’è? Al colloquio c’era gente che si era presentata a diversi colloqui e non era stata selezionata e tu ora vieni a distruggermi tutto?”. Come al solito sono duro con lei. È il primo marzo del 2011 e sto parendo per il Perù. Non ho proprio idea di come sia. In aereo c’è gente che parla in spagnolo. Io non conosco proprio lo spagnolo. Chiedo un succo di frutta in inglese sentendomi anche cretino. Il mio pensiero è distruttivo come sempre e mi dico: “minchia non conosci lo spagnolo e come mai?” poi l’altra vocina timida mi dice “ma tu parli inglese e francese perché stai distruggendo la tua autostima?” decido di lasciarle parlare tra loro e chiedo un succo di frutta in inglese. Ho viaggiato tanto in Europa, per vacanza e per i seminari del programma Youth in Action, ma non avevo mai preso un volo intercontinentale. Seduto al mio posto facevo quello disinvolto e dentro di me mi dicevo: “Quanto è grande quest’aereo! Sembra un cinema che decolla. Che cosa farò durante le 14 ore di aereo? E se non riesco a dormire e tutti dormono io che faccio? E se mi sento male? Non possiamo di certo atterrare sull’oceano. 64


Ma starò facendo bene?”. Mentre mi ossessionavo con queste domande cado in un mondo fatato. Mi ero addormentato! Atterriamo a Lima ci troviamo in piena estate. Il nostro gruppo arriva coperto di sciarpe e cappotti e alle 9 del mattino all’aeroporto Jorge Chavez di Lima ci viene in contro un gruppo di tassisti che ci chiedono dove dobbiamo andare “Miraflores amigo?”, “Donde quieren Ir? A barranco? Muy barato”. Non capisco niente. Barranco! Miraflores! La gente che ci chiede cose e ci ferma. Ma dove sono capitato? Non so niente dell’America Latina. Non mi immagino nemmeno come possa essere. E io che avevo studiato per andare in Africa. Anni di francese a buttare, e poi “perché tutta questa gente e questa calca? Che maleducazione!”. Non avrei mai immaginato che un giorno sarei stato in grado di capire una lingua che non avevo messo in conto di imparare e che avrei sentito la mancanza di quella calca di gente. Non avrei mai immaginato che luoghi come Miraflores o Barranco avrebbero significato qualcosa per me. Finalmente siamo arrivati nella casa in cui vivrò per quasi un anno e ci organizziamo con gli altri per le stanze. La casa è molto bella. È organizzata un po’ male secondo me. Le stanze sono troppo piccole o forse siamo in troppi in una stanza. La stanza più bella è il salotto. Difronte al divano c’è una parete fatta di finestre che partono dal soffitto basso, in Perù tutto è un po’ più piccolo perché rispettano le dimensioni delle persone e io mi sento un gigante, e scendono fino al pavimento. La vista è incredibile. L’appartamento si affaccia sul Campo de Marte. Io questo nome lo avevo sempre associato a Firenze a quel concerto dei Cranberries che vidi proprio al Campo di Marte. Questa non è la prima coincidenza. Esattamente un anno fa mi trovavo in Francia per il progetto Erasmus. Sul pavimento del cinema trovai una moneta, la girai e lessi “Un nuevo sol Republica de Perù”. Immediatamente pensai che il Perù era troppo lontano e che non Scriptamanent #3

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ci sarei mai andato. Un anno dopo sono a Lima. La mia prima notte a Lima è assurda. Dormo poco e male. Mi sveglio come se non avessi mai dormito. Un’esperienza che accomuna tutti i nuovi arrivati. A colazione abbiamo una fame incredibile, è l’ora di pranzo in Italia. Seguendo in nostri curricola siamo stati divisi in modo diverso. Tre volontari restano nel quartiere di Jesus Maria, dove viviamo, e tre di noi vanno a Los Olivos circa 40 minuti da casa. Io sono fra quelli che devono andare a Los Olivos. La mattina del 3 marzo saliamo sul bus che va a Los Olivos. Un’esperienza che mi fa capire che la Lituania in realtà era Tokyo come organizzazione rispetto a Lima. Con un treno al giorno per Vilnius e un autobus che sembra un furgone dell’Iveco che mi portava da Plunge a Riga. A Lima tutto è diverso. 10 milioni di abitanti che si muovono con i mezzi pubblici, che poi pubblici non sono. E tu pensi che ci sia una carta per vedere le corse, come nella metropolitana di Londra, o pensi che possa identificare il tuo bus dal numero. FALSO! Ho imparato che a Lima i bus si identificano per il colore del veicolo e che non hanno numero. Ho imparato che non ci sono degli orari e che i bus passano regolarmente ovvero, tu arrivi alla tua fermata ed è regolare che un bus passerà, non chiederti a che ora passerà o a che ora arriverai a destinazione, è sicuro che il bus passerà e che tu arriverai a destinazione. Ho imparato che devi fermare il bus sventolando la mano vistosamente e ho imparato che è meglio leggere sul bus in modo da non renderti conto di quante volte hai salutato la morte. Ho imparato che c’è un omino sul bus che si chiama “cobrador” che ti chiede dei soldi per il tuo biglietto e che devi sapere il prezzo della tua corsa perché non ci sono regole sul costo del biglietto. La mia corsa costa 1 sol e 20 centesimi, ma spesso loro aumentano il costo perché noi siamo “gringos” ovvero stranieri ricchi. Ho imparato che qualsiasi cosa può diventare bus, non importa che i sedili siano rotti o ci siano 66


topi sotto il tappetino, l’importante è che sia veloce e che sia in grado di superare gli altri autobus. Non ho imparato che cosa dice il “cobrador” scendendo dal bus quando dice le fermate. Non ho capito perché, nonostante tu chieda loro di avvisarti alla tua fermata, loro non lo facciano. Non ho capito perché ci sono otto miliardi di bus che con colori diversi fanno la stessa strada e quindi intasano il traffico. Sono passati tre mesi strani. Incomprensioni con gli altri volontari italiani, assenza del progetto per cui eravamo stati selezionati, tristezza per l’abbandono del progetto da parte di una volontaria. L’aspetto positivo di quei primi tre mesi sono stati i tanti viaggi che ho fatto dentro e fuori del Perù. Ricordo anche tante notti insonni dovute ai miei sensi di colpa. Mi sento colpevole a stare là senza un progetto. Mi sembra di rubare i soldi allo Stato italiano. Che differenza c’è tra me e i politici che decidono di fregarsi i soldi senza far nulla? Nessuna. Mi confronto con i miei amici italiani che mi dicono di tornare e di non entrare in questo sistema meschino. Dovevo trovare un punto di incontro tra le giuste critiche che loro avanzano, tra quello che sento io e quello di cui ho bisogno. Ho un lavoro e ho bisogno di soldi. Non voglio pesare ancora sulle spalle dei miei genitori. Vado dal mio responsabile di progetto e gli dico chiaro e tondo “O mi lasci libero di scegliere una ONG in cui possa lavorare o io me ne vado!”. È maggio e inizio a lavorare per Amnesty International Perù. È strano! Per sei anni sono stato volontari per Amnesty in Italia e ora sono negli uffici centrali di Amnesty in Perù. Mi rendo conto delle differenze che ci sono. Sono passati alcuni mesi da quando ho iniziato a lavorare per Amnesty e mi rendo conto che è eccessivamente euro-centrica e la visione che avevo io era diversa da quella che hanno loro. Come conciliare quindi la mia visione dei diritti umani e dell’organizzazione interna di Amnesty Italia con quella di Scriptamanent #3

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Amnesty Perù. Che sto facendo? Colonialismo culturale? Mi rendo conto che in buona parte sto facendo questo. Ruth, mia amica e direttrice di Amnesty, mi dice spesso “Francesco! Qui le cose non funzionano così…”. Mi ritrovo a dover far conoscere a tutti che cosa è Amnesty, di nuovo? Dopo sei anni di volontariato in Italia? Tutti problemi apparenti. Mi eccita andare in giro a far conoscere l’associazione, fare formazione usando metodologie dell’apprendimento non formale. Mi fa impazzire l’idea di lavorare con gente della mia stessa età, dinamica piena di energie, con un approccio nuovo e con la voglia di cambiare le cose in un Paese che sta vivendo quello che l’Italia ha vissuto negli anni ‘60. Posso vivere il ‘68 negli anni 2000 e posso influire affinché non si ripetano gli errori che abbiamo fatto in Europa. Posso lavorare con persone che mi hanno accolto come fratello tra loro. È tutto troppo bello! La mia giornata nella settimana è ben scandita. La mattina mi sveglio e sveglio il mio amico Davide. Dopo una breve doccia andiamo a fare colazione. Saliamo sul “moradito”, un bus che il governo peruviano ha comprato dagli Stati Uniti e che non è altro che un vecchio scuolabus che si vedono nei film solo con un colore differente. In 40 minuti siamo a lavoro. Il cobrador si avvicina e noi ripetiamo sempre la stessa frase “Miraflores”, lavoriamo in un altro quartiere. Lui scende alla fermata precedente e io gli rivolgo sempre la stessa domanda “Vieni a mangiare ad Amnesty?” e lui “Non lo so ti faccio sapere dopo!”. Io scendo alla fermata successiva e mi dirigo verso l’associazione. Citofonavo e ho due possibilità o sento la frase “Amnistia Internacional buenos dias!” oppure “ Diga!”. Nel primo caso a rispondere è Soledad nel secondo caso è Rosy. In entrambi i casi sono sicuro di essere accolto all’entrata da un abbraccio sincero e caloroso e da un “Como estas? Dormiste bien?”. Salendo le scale per andare nel mio ufficio saluto gli altri membri. In ordine di solito saluto Ruth che ha quasi sempre i capelli bagnati per 68


aver fatto una doccia veloce e gli occhi stanchi, è direttrice ad interim, lavora tantissimo e dorme pochissimo. Mi abbraccia affettuosamente e mi dice “Que tal pequeño”. In realtà Ruth è una mia cara amica ma a lavoro nessuno sa di quando usciamo tutti insieme con le persone che mi ha fatto conoscere lei. Le seconda è Caroline che è la persona con la quale lavoro di più. Mi saluta con un piccolissimo accento francese e sempre con il sorriso sulle labbra. Caro, come la chiamiamo, è di origine belga della parte francofona e vive da quasi tre anni in Perù. Prepara dei dolci buonissimi e spesso ci prendiamo in giro sui nostri paesi. Io iniziavo quasi sempre dicendo “Quanti giorni sono che non avete il governo?” e lei mi risponde “Meglio non avere un governo che averne uno con Berlusconi come presidente?” e quasi sempre interviene Ruth che ci blocca come fossimo due bambini. La battuta di Caro mi stronca perché ha perfettamente ragione. Sempre in ordine saluto Nuria. Spagnola o meglio catalana, prima spagnola che mi saluta con il calore tipico spagnolo: “Hola niño que tal?”. Dipende dal momento in cui ci troviamo se è stressata e piena di cose da fare soprattutto per la preparazione mensile del giornalino si rimette subito a lavorare altrimenti ci fermiamo un po’ a parlare. Grazie a lei ho scoperto il corso di improvvisazione teatrale, che frequento con Ruth, che tiene Fefo suo compagno. Il terzo della lista è Andrick che mi saluta dandomi la mano, i ragazzi in Perù non si baciano mentre alle ragazze si da un solo bacio sulla guancia sinistra. La prima cosa che fa è mettermi la mano sulla pancia e dirmi “Si ingrossa sempre di più!” e gli rispondo chiaramente che in realtà è tutta colpa del cibo peruviano che è buonissimo e che mi ha fatto raggiungere gli 80 chili. Non sono mai stato così grasso! Sempre in ordine procedo verso Lore, altra belga però della parte fiamminga, e nel salutarla lei che mi chiede che cosa avessi fatto la sera prima. Acceso il computer e controllato le mie email inizio a lavorare. Rispondo a chi chiede informazioni, preparo i corsi sui diritti Scriptamanent #3

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umani e sulla protezione dei diritti umani. Incontro i volontari per dar loro il materiale di cui hanno bisogno e poi contatto le sale in caso di conferenze o scrivo a delle persone che per il momento non hanno volto, ma che incontrerò sicuramente. Una volta continuavo a scrivere ad una ragazza che si chiamava Vargas llosa senza chiedermi chi fosse. Fino a quando mi è venuto un dubbio che reputavo stupido: “Vuoi vedere che questa è la figlia del premio Nobel per la letteratura Mario Vargas llosa?”. Mi informo ed era proprio così. Era la figlia di Mario Vargas llosa. Che emozione averla conosciuta. Poi svolgo il lavoro che mi danno Caro o Ruth. Alle 12 e 45 è l’ora dell’uscita. Mi alzo dal mio posto per chiedere a tutti chi esce per comprare il pranzo. Scendiamo nella cucina dell’associazione e metto i nostri Tapperware nelle buste, c’è sempre una gran confusione sul numero di Tpper da portare, per andare al caro e amato Yutes. Un ristorante vicino all’ufficio dove la cara amica Isabella, la proprietaria del ristorante sa già cosa darci. Un menù di 13 soles. Tornando all’ufficio ho una certezza: Soledad sarà già seduta al tavolo pronta per mangiare! Solitamente a pranzo restiamo Io, Soledad, Rosy, Andrick, Ruth e Caro. Lore e Nuria preferiscono tornare a casa dal momento che abitano a due isolati dall’ufficio. Il pranzo è il momento giusto per ridere e per raccontarci tutto. In realtà mi prendono spesso in giro per il mio modo di parlare in spagnolo e mi dicono che spesso dico “Eh! Eh!”. Senza rendermene conto il mio spagnolo migliora giorno dopo giorno. Credevo che sarei stato un volontario come gli altri e invece qualche giorno fa, durante un’attività in cui ognuno di noi doveva dire che cose ci piace fare in questo periodo, Soledad difronte ai nuovi volontari ha detto: “In questo periodo mi piace pranzare con il mio amico Francesco e il mio amico Andrick”. A stento ho trattenuto le lacrime. Siamo entrati nei cuori gli uni degli altri. È il 21 dicembre, password che ho usato anche per il lucchetto 70


della mia valigia, parto dallo stesso aeroporto internazionale Gorje Chavez in cui ero atterrato diverse volte viaggiando in Sud America. Ora so che cosa significa “Miraflores” “Barranco”. So cosa significa 45 soles per raggiungere il mio quartiere, quando in realtà uscendo dall’aeroporto puoi pagarne 15. Ora so cosa si dice la gente quando parla e so benissimo che cosa significa “ceviche”. Nel taxi che mi ha portato in aeroporto da casa mia, dopo aver salutato Alexis, Ruth e Flaminia con una finta indifferenza ma con tanta tristezza nel cuore, ho scritto decine di messaggi in cui ringraziavo tutti per quello che ho vissuto e per quei sentimenti che da un po’, a causa degli spostamenti veloci, avevo tralasciato. Mentre sono in coda per il chek-in ascolto “Cariñito”. Una canzone che ho scoperto essere Colombiana ma che è stata rifatta dal mio gruppo peruviano preferito la “Sarita”. Canzone che i miei amici mi hanno fatto dedicare durante un concerto della Sarita dal palco qualche giorno fa. Fingo di essere forte faccio quello che non piange. Parlo con la hostess. Mi rivedo da fuori e vedo la differenza tra quel ragazzo arrivato dieci mesi prima che non spiccicava una parola e che si affidava agli altri per parlare e quel ragazzo che in quel momento sta contrattando in spagnolo con l’impiegata di Iberia per non pagare il bagaglio supplementare. Non dimenticherò mai quell’esperienza. Nonostante i momenti difficili il nostro cervello e il nostro cuore ricorderanno solo le cose belle ed è questo che voglio ricordare di quell’esperienza. Si offuscano i ricordi brutti dei primi mesi e sono vivi i momenti belli. Non dimenticherò mai l’umiltà e la bontà dei peruviani. Non dimenticherò mai l’amicizia e l’amore che i miei amici mi hanno donato gratuitamente. Non dimenticherò mai gli abbracci sinceri e gli sfottò sul mio spagnolo. Non dimenticherò mai gli occhi sorridenti e pieni di energia dei miei amici. Non dimenticherò mai la mia rieducazione sentimentale alla sincerità e all’amicizia. Non dimenticherò mai una esperienza che non è stata di volontariato ma di AMORE! Scriptamanent #3

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Wanderlust Partir. Fuir ses naufrages personnels. Partir à la dérive ou pour un ailleurs qui nous appelle depuis longtemps. On a enfin décidé de répondre à cet appel qu’on ignorait jusqu’à présent. Ou auquel on n’osait pas répondre. Par peur d’en être incapable. Et au bout du fil, l’aventure. La grande. Celle qui vous saisit de haut en bas et vous fait danser. Vibrer. Vibrer. Voilà. C’est de ça que que l’on a besoin. Changer d’air. De décor. De couleurs. De musique. De voisins. De rythme. Rompre la linéarité de son chemin. Se faire violence. S’imaginer dans d’autres pays. Différentes perspectives. En noir et blanc ou en couleur. HD ou plutôt flou. Après tout, l’avenir est toujours incertain. On a beau se l’imaginer, les rêves ressemblent rarement à la réalité. Se remettre en question, dans sa globalité, n’est pas un problème. C’est plutôt une évolution. Partir pour un projet. Quelque chose qui nous attire. Vouloir vivre quelque chose. Ressentir ce fameux “déclic” dont tout le monde nous parle. On s’imagine plus dans un cadre que dans un autre. Question de mise au point. On se dit toujours que c’est loin et qu’il est long le temps. De partir. De dire au revoir. De sourire à ses amis, à ses parents. Leur dire qu’on les aime et qu’on leur écrira. Et puis ça passe vite. Vient le jour où l’on nous dit “Oui, viens.”, puis celui où on ne sait pas quoi mettre dans sa valise, et celui où ça y est, on y est. Et enfin le jour où on se dit “Tiens, ça fait vraiment longtemps que j’ai pas écris à ma mère!”. Alors voilà. On l’aura voulu. On l’aura cherché. L’aventure. Avec cette nouvelle ville. Ces nouvelles langues. Ces nouvelles rues aux recoins et aux façades inconnues. Réapprendre à marquer le temps et l’espace. S’acclimater. S’approprier les lieux. Un mélange de peur et d’excitation constant et incontrôlable. On se 72


-----------------------Frédéric Chasselin 22 years / France ►►EVS in Spain 2011/2012

dit que tout est neuf, tout est beau. Ces espaces seront les nôtres plus tard. On aura marqué les murs de notre présence. On part pour soi. Et pour les autres. S’offrir corps et âme. Donner ce qu’on a. Se dire qu’on trouvera peut-être sa place ailleurs. Qu’on sera toujours plus utile qu’ici. On cherche un peu le sens que l’on pourrait donner à sa vie. Alors, on donne une petite partie de soi. Se dissoudre dans les rêveries des autres comme un morceau de sucre dans le café. Prendre la couleur du mélange. Improbable au départ. Puis de plus en plus concret. Même si l’on finit par s’effacer. La peur au ventre de cette danse au milieu des loups, ou des requins. Tout dépend du point de vue. De l’angle choisi. Rien n’est certain au départ. On est entre deux chaises, deux verres, deux langues, deux pays. Mais lequel est le mien? En ai-je vraiment déjà eu un? Ah… cette manie d’être indécis. Ou éternellement insatisfait. Ne pas tenir en place. Toujours vouloir être ailleurs. Vivre tout, tout de suite. Cette soif de vie presque intarissable. L’incertitude d’être à la hauteur. Mais il faut se battre contre soimême. Aller plus loin. Rompre les murs de cette cloison que l’on s’inflige. Si on a fait un si long chemin, ce n’est pas pour rien. 3 mois sans voir la pluie et la terre est sèche. Le fleuve continue de couler et mon cœur s’emballe. Les rues de la ville bougent au rythme des pas des citoyens. Il est assez improbable d’imaginer que la vie pouvait exister plus loin que le bout de notre rue. Qui l’aurait cru? Être ici, c’est comme laisser la fenêtre ouverte. Tout peut arriver. Tout est possible. Il ne dépend que de nous. Tu veux danser? Danse. Tu veux chanter? Chante. Peu importe. Du moment que cela te fait plaisir. Et j’ai le cœur qui bat pour ça. De voir que des idées folles, sorties d’esprits désireux, finissent par grandir et devenir réalité. Mon corps vibre au son de Scriptamanent #3

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ces nouvelles ambitions. Construisons. Construisons! Dans la joie, la sueur et la bonne humeur! Vivre ici durant 9 mois. C’est comme une grossesse pour moi. 9 mois de gestation où je me porte. Où je deviens quelqu’un. Où je me nourris des autres. Apprendre. Voir. Découvrir. Utiliser ses sens et son imagination pour percevoir. C’est comme redécouvrir ce qu’on pouvait faire avec nos yeux, notre peau et nos oreilles. Nourrissez moi! Donnez moi tout! Je veux que mon crâne explose face à votre grandeur. Je veux tout ce qu’il y a à prendre de vous. Ma curiosité est sans limite. Je suis une boîte sans fond. Après tout, venir ici, c’est comme se présenter à nouveau. Reprendre depuis le départ. On rembobine la cassette de sa vie. Retour rapide. Pause. Lecture. On aura juste changé le décor. Désaccord artistique avec la production. Maquillage. Costumes. Silence. Action, ça tourne! Nous ne sommes plus là. Nous sommes partis. Ce sont des autres qui jouent devant la caméra. Nous nous oublions quelques instants. Nous sommes ailleurs. Au milieu d’un palais silencieux ou rescapés d’une catastrophe nucléaire. La liberté est à nous. La folie aussi. Nous pouvons tout. Car il y a ce “ nous “ qui prend tout son sens ici et maintenant. Construire. Parler. Élaborer. Donner son avis. Se battre pour ses idées. Se tromper. Recommencer. Y croire. Parfois on se décourage. Le doute est la clef. On se remet en question. Pourquoi je suis là déjà? Quelle idée stupide m’est passée par la tête? Ma mère me manque… Mon cerveau est incontrôlable. Veuillez l’excuser. Merci. Être odieusement impulsif. Voilà ce qui nous a mené ici. Mais après tout, pas de regret. Nous sommes ici pour vivre la vie que l’on veut vivre. Alors on aère la pièce. On cherche dans les cartons de notre 74


créativité le clou du spectacle. Le mot de la fin. Celui qui fera bien. Résonner de l’intérieur. La vie prend parfois tout son sens là où on ne s’y attendait pas. On trouve les réponses à ses questions. Voilà ce que l’on voulait! L’audace est un sentiment merveilleux. Le charme subtil de la provocation. Il faut pousser sa route jusqu’au bout. Qu’importe les détours. Après tout, quel ennui si la route était toute droite?! Arrondir les angles. Perdre le fil de ses pensées et des choses. Ne pas savoir sur quel pied danser. Encore. Ne plus savoir d’où l’on vient. Mais trouver un sens à sa présence. Merci les autres! Dans la vie, il y a le mot “ apprivoiser “. 5 voyelles. 6 consonnes. 11 lettres qui font ce monde. A travers ce mot, nous tissons des lieux et des distances. Des instants de bonheur ou d’autarcie. Une interaction continue. De près ou de loin. On croise des chemins. Des gens. Et notre peau, ainsi que notre cerveau, prennent les marques de ces rencontres. Nous changeons, car le voyage fait grandir. Les heures, les jours, les semaines passent. Vite. Ou lentement parfois. L’ennui nous accoste. On revoit ce visage qui était le notre au départ. On reconnaît que l’idée de base est là, mais qu’elle n’est plus tout à fait la même. Qui sommes-nous? Quels chemins avons-nous pris pour arriver jusqu’ici? Où ai-je laissé mon parapluie? Aujourd’hui il fait gris, et la rumeur de la ville se fait plus calme. On pensait posséder les lieux, mais finalement, ce sont eux qui nous possèdent. Nous sommes comme le décor. Nous prenons toute signification dès que lev spectacle commence. Mais lorsque le théâtre est fermé, nous restons silencieux dans l’obscurité de la foule. S’investir. Tout donner. Partager. Être là pour voir ses limites et les repousser un peu. Apprendre des autres pour se connaître soi. L’effusion des pensées. Non, nous ne sommes pas fous. Nous avons des désirs! C’est différent voyons! Scriptamanent #3

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Apercevoir ses barrières. Les rebords de son petit bocal. Mais voir la vue que l’on a depuis sa fenêtre. Cette nouvelle vue. Sur les autres. Avoir la curieuse sensation de se fondre dans la masse. Une bulle de gaz dans un verre d’eau pétillante s’il vous plait! Et offrez moi le monde au passage garçon! Donner de sa force. Sans rien attendre. Car nous sommes là uniquement pour nous remplir la tête, les yeux et l’esprit. Tout est bon à prendre. On repartira moins bête, comme dit ma mère! Capturer l’instant parfait. 24 images à la seconde. Je souhaite tout prendre. Vivre tout, immédiatement. Écouter toutes les musiques du monde en même temps et en saisir toutes les subtilités. On recommence. Encore et encore. Jusqu’à ces moments suspendus où le son et l’image se confondent à la perfection. Après tout, qui ne voudrait pas changer tout, tout de suite? Ici et maintenant? Est-ce trop demander? Parfois ce n’est pas si dur que ce que l’on croit. Il suffit de se laisser dériver, tout en gardant du coin de l’œil son objectif. Ne chavirons pas tout de suite capitaine… Apprécions le voyage! Se faire une idée de là où on veut en venir. Dessiner les contours. Les esquisses. Les rebords de la carte. Donner des couleurs au croquis pour avoir la représentation finale. Mon doute m’a suivi. C’est un compagnon de voyage admirable! On peut parfois avoir plus d’impact que l’on ne le croit. Les murs résonnent de notre présence. Tout n’est qu’une question de détermination. Se donner les moyens. Bien sûr, on ne changera pas le monde en quatre secondes. Il nous en faudra un peu plus… je crois. N’ayons pas peur d’être audacieux et de passer par d’autres chemins. Libre à nous d’aller au-delà des barrières que d’autres nous ont fixé. Les frontières ne sont que des lignes imaginaires. Après tout, qui peut réellement nous arrêter? Il pleut maintenant. Et je ne sais toujours pas ce que j’ai fait de 76


mon parapluie… Au passage, si vous voyez ma mère, passez lui le bonjour, et dites lui que mes incertitudes et moi, on rentre bientôt. Merci. * Wanderlust est le titre d’une chanson de Bjork.

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Nothing you can say “It’s not what you think. Come on, baby, you know I’m not lying”. “Open your notebook and write -I’m an asshole-. You couldn’t possibly think I’d believe your excuse. I’m not that stupid, you know!” “You have to calm down and listen to me. Maria was here just to borrow some toothpaste”. “I know exactly what this slut was doing in your room; you really think I’m going to believe she came to borrow toothpaste?” “Whatever, babe”. “Don’t whatever me, bastard”. She hang up. For a moment, the sudden silence felt awkward. He stood up and moved around the room for some seconds. If only they were not 2000 kilometers away from each other. After such a fight, they would have amazing sex. He opened his notebook and grabbed a pen. She was always making fun of him for keeping notes about his life. It was something he started from the first day he moved and he often read old notes to compare with his current thoughts. He wrote “I’m an asshole” trying to make a failed statement. He skipped a line and wrote “She can’t understand me” but he crossed out the whole sentence immediately; it was too sentimental for him. “I miss you, stupid bitch”. He was angry to be called an asshole but he knew that she had some right. Ofcourse there was nothing going on with his flat mate Maria whose front teeth reminded him of Chip or Dale. She knew that, so her insist was just an attempt to get on his nerves. She was successful as with everything she tried on him. She knew all his buttons and she liked to push them. In this case though, she had some right to be angry at him for moving to the other side of Europe for 6 months. 78


---------------------------------------Georgios Ampatzidis 27 years / Greece ►►International youth meeting in Estonia

Sometimes he was angry at himself too. What was the point in leaving his home and girlfriend to work for an environmental organization 2000 kilometers away? He was not such a big ecofan anyway. Many of his friends asked him the same question when he announced the plan. What was the answer? He browsed his notes in the notebook. There were some random words like “freedom” or “melancholy” or sentences (sort of) like “I like it” or “it’s so cold that my pee gets out in ice cubes”. He read a note from last Monday saying “Volunteering rocks!” Apparently last Monday he had an answer. Just below that there was a big drawing of him holding a gun to his head but anyway. Kristina made that note. She was the youngest of the children participated in the “save our planet” game. He didn’t want to join that activity because he didn’t like working with children. “If I wanted to work with children I could find a project closer to my country. I chose specially this project because it was about working with adults”. He was the only guy working for the organisation and that made him the only candidate for the role of the wolf in “save our planet” adaptation of Red Riding Hood tale. “It’s a one-time thing”. “Whatever”, he finally replied. Kristina loved his performance. She came to him and said something he didn’t understand. He couldn’t communicate with locals, their language was too difficult or he was too stupid to learn. Depending on the level of self-esteem he had at any moment, sometimes the former was true, sometimes the latter. Kristina had a pencil and she moved it to show him that she needed some paper to write. He gave her his notebook from his bag and she drew a stick figure and a thumb up. She said something smiling in her mysterious language which her parents translated in English as “volunteering rocks” or something like that. Scriptamanent #3

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He saw on the screen that she was calling. “I’m sorry, babe, I didn’t mean to say all these things I told you”. “So now you are sorry, right? Like trying to deal with a different culture, freezing weather and no daylight is not enough, I have to deal with your PMS too”. “No, babe, I’m sorry, I know what you are going through”. “How do you know? You have no idea how it feels like to be here”. “Well, nobody made you go there, asshole”. “Fuck off, if you can’t say anything nice, don’t talk at all”. “You are getting this too far”. “No, seriously, let’s not talk for a while. Let’s communicate with drawings”. “What do you mean?” “I’ll show you, wait”. He opened his notebook and drew a smiling face with his name. He held it in front of his webcam. “Ok, so this is you. Now what? Should I draw a picture of me?” He just stared at her saying nothing. Understanding that he was expecting her to draw aswell, she found a piece of paper and a pencil and drew a sad face with her name. “This is me”. He thought for a while and made a new drawing. It was two stick figures holding hands with their names on top. She drew a happy face and two stick figures. “I’m happy when we are together”. He drew a stick figure and a second one in a think balloon. “I’m happy when I’m thinking of you”. She came closer to her screen and she said whispering “I miss you”. He couldn’t hear her but he could read her lips.

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European Voluntary Service or how to Enjoy Various Styles When I decided myself to go abroad a few months ago, I wanted to have big life change, but I really didn’t have any idea where this wish would be sending me and what I wanted to do in the future with my life. So it was probably destiny that this interesting opportunity found me, to go abroad as a volunteer of the European Voluntary Service to the south of Italy, where I, by the way, always wanted to go.   Everything happened in one month and with help of my friends, who already did their own EVS. It was on 1.2.2012 when I luckily landed first in Roma, then in Bari, and in the end I finally arrived to Altamura… and here started story of my italian EVS.

------------------Henrieta Pivkova 26 years / Slovakia ►►EVS in Italy 2012

Altamura is a small city in the countryside of the south of Italy, with around 70 thousand inhabitants and with a big amoungh of narrow, cosy, small streets, pavement with cold stones and it is famous for its amazing altamuran bread. It is really excellent and got my sympathy directly because it reminds me of my childhood and also the smell of bread is unforgettable for me, and it makes me the feel like home, especially in Slovakia, where we honor our guests with fresh bread and salt in old traditional habits. I found in Italy a lot of others trifles that I like and they are close to me, for example sunny mornings, when the city is not yet awake, typical italian music of streetmusicants accordion sounds, or perfumed laundry which is hanging on the balconies, which are current everywhere and which effect is like aromatherapy for me when I wander during the afternoon siesta and across the empty streets of my town without any goal. Scriptamanent #3

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Also those right afternoon’s siestas when are you going to take a rest from work and have a calm lunch with friends, late dinners and the even more later returns home are what is in my gusto. It is the calm quit and on the other side also the passionate chaos that mutually interwines, complements and together creates the typical italian atmosphere, when you don’t have to hurry for nothing, and neither you don´t have to think about the future. The only thing you have to do is enjoy every moment of your present right now. I think EVS is one big step in life of everyone who did it and it helps to find and pass the personality of everyone of us in a unique direction, it forms our mind and the vision of the world and at least I have that feeling that it´s daily opening me new horizons and undiscovered directions which I can go in way on my life. It’s an addition of unlimited opportunities every minutes, what make our projects special and the fact that we can try and learn new things which we didn’t have possibility to know better. It’s EVS what gives to our lives mean and soul. On the second side is voluntary substitutable also because everyone of us is putting part of himself into his EVS, his heart, feelings, emotions.. is it empathy and also help to more powerless and to more unhappy people. We are trying to make connection between common consume life and life about which is a lot of times silence, because it is not so easy to hear about misery and sadness. People should help each other, not everyone has this luck to be born in a complete family, healthy or in the country where is food and water possible to drink in daily program. Those are basic human rights what is not given to all of powerless children, careful mothers or to selfsacrificing fathers. We, volunteers, together as a team are trying to build something what has deeper sense, maybe everyone of us in other country and maybe in the different ways, but the most important is that we do it for us, for people, for the Earth. We 82


distribute nice smiles for everyone, compassionate understanding and never ending support with willingness, and while we are tryining to help in the best way how is it possible for us has our EVS and work sense. Every EVS is different, it is not possible to compare how is it important, because a small picture what make smile on the face of children or old person is equally important as the selfless help in emergency for the people to whose we are giving our attention. Also everyone of us is good in the different things and is here for some reason, I believe in this equally like that everyone attracts to himself people and facts, whose can also to help us how to learn and make a progress. The people, with whom we have a reason to spent our time, because they are those who help us to create our life. Thanks to EVS also I found in myself a direction in what I want to continue and to educate in. Is it an art what I find in myself. I like this work which is full of creativity what is everywhere around me and the possibility to travel a lot, to work and to meet with interesting people and know them better and learn from them a lot of new things. I had always been very close to esthetic and also work with people is not strange for me, so here in Italy where people are so close to each other more like in other countries and where every breath is full of beauty, art and esthetic feelings I feel inspirited on every step I do. I can just feel how is my mind opening, similarly to children, which doesn’t have a fair to old things change and the new create. I think that with the help of the colors and of the art we can do the world more beautiful, funnier and more colorful not just on the top but also in our hearts and memories. There are a lot of reasons why I would recommend EVS to everyone; it’s motivating, it’s developing, it’s moving the personal limits and it’s opening new opportunities… it is an big live inspiration and in my opinion it should be obvious for everybody to take part in it. Maybe it would be nice to establish Scriptamanent #3

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it like obligatory civil service to public, but I’m afraid that in this way it would lose the unique volunteering charm. It is a priceless experience what I recommend to everyone to know better a new country, culture and interesting people from different nations, learn the new languages and also how to be independent, become familiar with new environment and coexistence with different persons from the diverse countries. It is not always easy way, I am not saying it, but I think that volunteering should not be easy. And in the end in the behind of everything what is important is always hard work and that what makes the value. I’m grateful that I accepted the offer of the destiny to be a part of this project and I decided to enjoy it with everything what it includes in. So if you are not sure and you are playing with the idea to go and make your EVS, I would like to motivate you with my experience, because EVS is one never ending live motivation…or the way how you can learn and Enjoy Various Styles.

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Unikal’naya Narodnost’

------------------------Ionitza Cosmin Constantin 25 years / Romania ►►AIESEC in Russia 2011

A fost prima oara in Rusia, n-avea sa fie singura data. Aventura mea a inceput inainte sa realizez… Rusia exista in mintea mea de ani, fiind unul dintre vectorii spre care imi orientam atentia, in mod inconstient. In acelasi timp, fiind adeptul voluntariatului, inrolat in educatia non-formala, simteam “nevoia” sa ma implic din perspectiva persoanei care intra intr-o comunitate noua. In mai 2010 se concretiza stagiul pe care urma sa-l desfasor in Ufa, orasul Rusiei la confluenta a numeroase civilizatii: rusa, tatara, baskira si turca. Asa cum se intampla de cele mai multe ori cand nivelul entuziasmului este ridicat, la scurt timp a intervenit o problema cu invitatia oficiala pentru obtinerea vizei. Posibilitatea de a intarzia sau chiar anula stagiul ma nemultumea profund. Primirea documentului si obtinerea vizei au fost doua momente pe care cu siguranta mi le voi aminti, datorita intensitatii acestora. Era doar inceputul.. Calatoria a fost lunga, am dorit sa intru inca de la inceput in spiritul rus, atat cat se poate, ca strain. Trenul rusesc ce merge la Moscova pastreaza specificul magic al statului ce se intinde pe mii de kilometri. Rusia impresioneaza de la primul pas. Moscova inglobeaza tot ce imperiul a creat in secole de evolutie. Piata Rosie e vibranta si aminteste de maretia unei Puteri in suspensie intre Europa si Asia. Ufa reprezinta un conglomerat de cultura, interesanta prin maniera in care civilizatii ce au purtat numeroase razboaie, traiesc impreuna, construind viitorul zi de zi. Am simtit cel mai bine acest lucru, fiind gazduit de o famile cu o istorie complicata dar exemplificatoare pentru acest spatiu; toti recunosc o cetatenie unica, nu cea rusa ci aceea de apartenenta la comunitate. Voluntariatul intrun astfel de mediu, este o provocare si o metoda de invatare in acelasi timp. Sunt un pasionat al spatiului Scriptamanent #3

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rus si am fost implicat in numeroase activitati de voluntariat inainte. Experienta pe care am avut-o in Rusia a depasit toate asteptarile si m-a pregatit in acelasi timp, seria de provocari fiind importanta. In primul rand, activitatea pe care urma sa o desfasor, livrarea unor programe pentru copii intre 8-16 ani in campusuri de vara, a fost primul pas spre o mai buna intelegere a legaturii puternice existente in comunitate. Copiii si personalul au fost extrem de receptivi, mai ales ca intr-o anumita masura, le puteam vorbi limba. Colegii mei din cadrul programului de voluntariat, avand bariera limbii, au resimtit o distanta. Continuand pe linia limbii, a fost unul dintre cele mai importante achizitii pentru mine, nivelul cunostintelor mele in materie de limba fiind mult imbunatatit. Mai mult, finalul experientei a adus o alta provocare pentru mine intrucat mi-a fost propus sa prezint Festivalul International de Cultura din Bashkortostan, republica a Federatiei Ruse. Conferinta in materie de tineret ce a urmat festivalului a beneficiat de expertiza a 150 de delegati nationali si 60 internationali. M-am simtit apropiat de strainii veniti pentru acest eveniment prin prisma nationalitatii mele. Pasiunea, istoria si nivelul de deschidere pe care le-am intalnit in noul mediu m-au determinat sa fiu mai legat de comunitatea care ma acceptase ca voluntar. Decizia de a ma “alatura� acestui grup a venit in mod natural, aspect remarcat de o serie de persoane prezente. Concentrandu-ma pe activitatile din campusuri, fiecare zi a fost deosebita ca urmare a interactiunii si procesului mutual de invatare. Activitatile pe care mi le programasem au fost adaptate la ritmul extrem de rapid de invatare al copiilor si tinerilor. Tinerii m-au reinvatat ca sistemul de invatamant distruge creativitatea pe masura ce anii trec. De ce? De ce trebuie sa structuram totul asa incat sa inhibam creativitatea? A fost o lectie. Una de tinut minte. Dintre toate momentele din Rusia, cel mai greu l-a constituit intoarcerea. Eram incantat de rezultate, de efort, de provocari si ma gandeam ca tot ce-mi imaginasem 86


inainte sa ajung in Ufa era la polul opus fata de realitatea de acolo. Banuiesc ca asa e natural sa fie. Aceasta ganduri nu fac parte dintr-un jurnal, e doar o poveste, una dintre multele pe care viata in Rusia le poate oferi‌

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A Fairytale of a Place Far, Far Away Once upon a time, in a charming little county on the west coast of the deep Black sea, a girl with dreamy eyes was trying to solve some of the eternal questions of time, faith, meaning of life and all the other issues that somehow appear to be meaningful. As far as she couldn’t, she could only take as minimum the decision to wake up every morning with a positive smile on her face just because life is beautiful and each second is precious because it never repeats, and with the belief, that the best is yet to come. As it usually happens, a person with such a strong will to live also has the passion to travel, to make changes, to discover, to learn, to experience, to create, to give and know how to receive… This is how one day this girl wakes up in a room with blank white walls, goes out the door of the balcony, sits on a chair and observes for hours the tile roofs of Ribadavia, huddled in the beautiful valley of Rio Avia in Galicia, Spain. It could be the beginning of a day of work. I am this girl. I am Iveta, an EVS volunteer here for one year, working in the Youth House in a small village with population of only 3.000 inhabitants and a beautiful place to live! In two words, EVS (European Voluntary Service) is a part of Youth in Action program that allows young people to live in a different country for some period, either less than a month or up to a year. There they both work on a project and learn by integrating directly to the local life, languages and cultures. The projects are in many spheres – social, environmental, cultural, etc. As I mentioned, mine is connected with youth information and participation, but actually includes a variety of activities! I came here without knowing a word in Spanish, and even less in Gallego, the local language, but in an atmosphere of friendship at the working place and in any informal situation of the everyday life, I was able to learn it and to adapt 88


-----------------------Iveta Zdravkova Kuzeva 24 years / Bulgaria ►►EVS in Spain 2011/2012

quite fast, which was also essential for what I do at work. We were altogether three volunteers in the same hosting organization and one of us, Aleksander from Estonia already left, so we actually stayed from the first day here till now together with Santa from Latvia. We work five hours a day from Monday to Friday and what we do consists of gathering and spreading out different types of youth information – concerning coming events, cultural life, educational possibilities and scholarship, job employment or active participation, youth programs and exchanges and more. We also organize projects, cultural events (exhibitions and presentations) in the Youth house, we make a language exchange with English classes, support all local activities, celebrations and festivals with the organization, popularization, poster making and spreading, we keep the contact with the international partners of OMIX (the short for Oficina Municipal de Informacion Juvenil), we give consultations and trainings to locals going for an EVS and many more things! In a manner of evaluation, today I would say that I feel a change in me which actually happened unconsciously, but brought me to a level of wider perception of the world and many new abilities, both practical and theoretical, an experience of a life-time. Bringing us back to the sunny balcony, it could be the beginning of a lazy weekend in the little village, spent in expecting some guests to visit us and enjoy few days in the magical land of Ribalandia, the fairytale which oftenly was hosting friends from all parts of the world. We would then take them for a walk in the surroundings, bring them to a bath in the hot thermal waters or the fresh waterfalls and wide rivers, or for a hike through the deep forests and beautiful mountain landscapes… Then a lazy little walk in the town would follow in their touristic program, taking a look on its beautiful stone old houses and numerous wine-yards. Scriptamanent #3

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And the day could finish with one of the exclusive dinners which turned into a tradition at home and became the manner of a weekly gathering with our local friends - some of the warm and hospitable Galicians, which we had the luck to get to know here and to make their positivism, open hearts and big smiles a part of our lives! From the moment we arrived in Ribadavia as European volunteers and foreigners, we were incredibly welcomed and offered to the help of known and unknown locals. And I am more than thankful to those people not only for the numerous things they have made for me and Santa, but also for the confidence they gave me that the good is stronger and always overcomes the bad. So that all the fairytales could last till their happy end. Or, back there to the balcony, it could be a day of departing to a New Travel Destination… The year of my EVS was filled up with so many new places, cultures, languages and knowledge that I didn’t pass a week, almost a day, without experiencing something new. Visits of all types – cultural expos, music concerts and traditional music gatherings, festivals, serious and long trips to Portugal, Morocco, Andalucia, Asturias, Barcelona, Castilla y Leon, Madrid, all around Galicia, or just dropping -by, camping and surfing on the beautiful ocean beaches… I truly believe that each travel teaches more than any book, than any conversation or movie, and that it was exactly life experience and reaction in new situations what enriched my inner diary, the one I keep as the so-called memory, with pictures, smells, noises and emotions. My travels were not only taking me to unknown places, but enclosing me to the life of so many new people from all around, as I was able to communicate with them, to exchange, to share and create beautiful friendships without borders. Speaking about borders, as I look through this same balcony I find myself standing there - a Bulgarian girl, feeling at home in Spain with a view of the hills of Portugal. And it is the beginning of a day when I will do nothing but stay at this Home sweet 90


home, still observing the little village beneath after ten months spent here, enjoying the sun and feeling more than satisfied with the choice I had made. As my European Voluntary Service is coming to its end in a month, I can now clearly realize all it has given to me, as a work experience, language and cultural understanding, ability to communicate and understand the world better, to watch and see at the same time, to listen and hear. So that I could live happily ever after. Happy End

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Hope is just a feeling that life and work have meaning Namaste, Namaste – was coming from the right side, “Taxi, Taxi” – from the left side. Just few steps out of the airport building and there was it! The stunning local reality! I struggled to keep my backpack on my back and continued walking. All those hands trying to take it out of my back and put it into their cars, dozens! They didn’t mean to steal it, this was just an imaginative way how to make me choose their car and offer me a paid ride to the city centre. I have started with my international volunteer experience in Germany when I was 16 with nongovernmental organization INEX Slovakia. That time it was supposed to be just a mean how to spend my summer in a different way. I was astonished! I immediately fell in love with helping, reconstructing, gardening, painting, and as a side effect meeting lots of amazing people and cultures!Next year’s project of building a natural oven on the playground in Germany? Why not! Digging, preparing bricks from mud under sun wasn’t always a pleasure but after three weeks, there it was, not A oven, THE oven that I helped to build! Visiting charming Verona in Italy might be a dream for some. Gardening around the University of Verona for two weeks seemed like a suitable summer plan for an 18-year old Slovak volunteer!International festival for human rights held in Brescia in Italy was something of my taste a year later. Fourteen nights spent by serving “patate fritte”, cutting fruits for sangria, promoting our local NGO, attending concerts, dancing, having fun and sleeping till the next evening. So many fantastic people I met there, and believe me or not, despite only two weeks we spent together, I still miss some of them in my life, now, seven years later. Being a volunteer, caring only about helping around, cooking in shifts and meeting new people is usually an easy task to enjoy. However, after four different work camps in Europe I was ready to 92


----------------------Jana Siskova 27 years / Slovakia ►►Volunteering in Nepal

prove myself I could be a good local leader, too. Motivating volunteers to wake up early morning, put on their gloves, walk thirty minutes uphill, take a shovel or pickaxe and start digging in the forest, might be a bit challenging job sometimes. At the same time, a feeling that these 15 foreigners, volunteers, came to Slovakia with clear desire to help around manually to maintain the Calvary, UNESCO heritage of your country, warms you up and makes you feel that anything is possible if…Ah, there it was! A first cow in the middle of the street! I have heard so many stories about them being a part of traffic network in Asia. And there we were passing by this sacred creature and horning, horning, because some other car behind us might have not noticed. The ride from the airport was my first cultural shock. In this moment I was trying to remember based on what criteria I had chosen this volunteer destination. Ah yes, I wanted it to be very different to Switzerland where I currently live. What other country could satisfy me more than Nepal then?!Kathmandu was a real provocation for my European brain. The fact that for me all the streets were looking exactly the same at every single crossroad blew me away. I hadn’t moved yet and I knew I was already lost. Five long hours in local bus took us to our final destination, a village called Bhorle in Chitwan region of Nepal. At this moment of time we were already four volunteers: me, my Hungarian friend and two Japanese boys from Osaka. On top, one member of our crew was our Nepali leader. We all were ready to perform our volunteer duties in village and that was teaching English at local primary school until… our leader informed us that school is closed due to holiday. Very interesting timing considering that our work camp was planned months before. Backup plan: Flatten ground in order to build a health care centre for villagers on that place in the future. This task included also moving soil from one point to another. Would you Scriptamanent #3

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think we might have been able to use a wheelbarrow to make our job easier? You are wrong. However, there was an empty sand-bag at our disposal and I have learned that anything is possible if there is a will. Our work efficiency wasn’t exemplary but we did our best. After work or while it was raining cats and dogs (it was a monsoon period in Nepal) we had never-ending conversations with our Japanese co-volunteers and Nepali leader. I think there is no topic we haven’t discussed, we were walking in the forest, climbing to waterfalls in the middle of nowhere, playing cards, reading books, cutting onions or washing our clothes. Our house was an isolated place on the hill facing green scenery all around us. In the evenings without electricity we were watching skies, counting number of falling stars and living a “local” life to some extent. As our well-deserved free days were approaching we decided to go to visit Chitwan National Park and its jungle to observe rhinos! Well, indeed an exciting plan! We ended up hunting for rhinos on back of elephant and by walking through jungle. No rhinos detected but we were lucky and glad to find at least a huge pile of their excrements. Elephant breeding centre was our other must-see! Little cute twin elephant babies with their mummy just came back from their daily walk in jungle. There are the first born elephant twins in Nepal and of few in the world. Actually the second baby came as a surprise a day later after the first one “Ram Gaj” was born. Our Nepali adventure was reaching its end and primary school was opening its doors for its curious pupils and four excited international volunteers. At the end, we managed to experience teaching English in different classes for one day at school! These children were so pure and honest. The favourite food for all of them was a simple Nepali dish called dal bhat consisting of lentils and rice. And if I asked them for more extraordinary and special favourite one, they all said chocolate. All of the girls were dreaming to become nurses, boys were strongly decided to become pilots and teachers. We brought lots of colourful crayons and when 94


distributing them to children after two minutes all of them brought them back to me saying that they all have their own ones and don’t need more. The biggest attraction for all children were regular balloons. We had to prepare a small quiz in order to give them away fairly to all of them. Next day was the last day in Bhorle for our international group. We sat down by the road and waited for bus for Kathmandu. That day it was especially difficult to catch a bus as all traffic in region was stopped due to a last night’s murder in a neighbouring village. The officials closed whole region until police finds a killer and so meanwhile it prevented people to gather and gossip about the murder. Fortunately, we got on a touristic bus and ended up in our hostel in Kathmandu and then safely landed back in Switzerland. Six different international summer work camps throughout six summers. Painting fences, cleaning, gathering hay, hunting goats, building bricks, collecting branches, serving pizza, cooking uneatable dishes. Swimming, canoeing, dancing in rain until morning, wheelbarrow racing, pinned wishes under Romeo and Juliet balcony in Verona, posing on roof for German newspapers. Meeting more than sixty young enthusiastic international volunteers from more than 25 different countries. This is my balance. Volunteering abroad is not about changing the world in few weeks. Many volunteers expect they will transform country, local people, make it a better place. You really can’t do that in such a short horizon and alone. Some volunteer projects last even five years to be accomplished. However, being present, working for free, being open-minded and willing to teach others something they otherwise have no chance to learn, are activities that will show local people that there are human beings coming from far out there who DO care. N. Henderson said “The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” And this is the meaning that affects not only perspective of people you met and helped, but also and the foremost your own… Scriptamanent #3

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Addicted to progress Memories you want to have later, you have to make now. And starting from this point, EVS is the perfect opportunity to gain memories. The situation was like this:18 years old, just finished high-school and completely ready to see more of the world, to change my life and who knows, also the lives of others. But how? The idea of EVS started in a pretty funny way: my mum had brought a little free newspaper from the train, and it included a very small interview with an ex-volunteer. It was enough to make me curious, en look where I am now: thanks to that little piece of paper, I’m living in Italy, in the south especially, in a city called Altamura and so far, la vita è bellissima here, with the small streets, the wide fields full of olive trees, the white houses with in the centre the big cathedral. Even though my project will end in 4 months, I dare to say that coming to Italy was one of my best decisions ever. Why? Let’s start with the first week in Altamura, at Associazione Link. After I arrived at Bari airport, I’ve barely spoken Dutch again, since I’ve been surrounded with Spanish, French, Norwegian, Portuguese, Scottish (love their accent!), English, Polish, Slovakian and of course Italian people. You can imagine that speaking Dutch is completely useless, so the solution was a mishmash of English, Italian, hand and feet. I like to hear all the different languages, using 3 different ones in just one phrase, and I have the feeling that all (ex-)EVS volunteers are probably unbeatable in the game ‘describe the word’, since we use a LOT of pantomime to communicate. Also in our Italian lessons it’s a big theatre, it’s in my opinion a very nice and effective way to learn Italian. Besides the official Italian and the charming dialect of Altamura, I’m also learning the second unofficial Italian language: gestures, and it’s fantastic. It 96


-------------------------Jessie van Erp 19 years / The Netherlands ►►EVS in Italy 2012

feels like I can’t speak real Italian when I don’t use or know the gestures. One day, sitting in the bus back from a day in Rome, I asked some Italian guys to have a conversation without using their hands. It was like asking an Italian to never eat pasta again: Im-pos-si-ble, and actually I’m happy about that. EVS is a big experience, but for me EVS is also in all the little things. It’s funny to have breakfast with complete Europe sitting on the table, everyone is used to eat in her/his own way. In the first weeks it was kind of a challenge to find a moment that we all were hungry! But at the same time, I’ve never tasted so many different plates, with, I can’t deny it, the Italian kitchen on top… Besides these small funny things, I’m also seeing a lot of Italy. And I can tell you, it’s a different world being in Altamura or in a city as Bologna. In every city there’s a nice or horrible dialect, special plate, funny expression, but the nice thing is that every place has its own charm. It’s quite similar to all the EVS volunteers together. Everyone has their own habits and opinions, but in the end we’re living the same experience, in our own way. Sitting in the train with Henrieta, my lovely housemate to our on-arrival training in Rimini, both writing our story for Scriptamanent, and after we had to say goodbye to our Spanish flat mate and friend Inma, I realize that the people around me are a big part of my EVS. With every new person I meet, I experience my EVS differently. And not just the other volunteers, also the people in Link, the children at the schools, the people at Vivere (an organization for disabled people), random persons in the supermarket (who sometimes, out of nowhere, appear to speak Dutch) etcetera. In this way I can enjoy it in eternal manners and I’m looking forward to all the new people I will meet, and who will (probably without knowing) participate in one of the best experiences in my life, called EVS. Scriptamanent #3

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So far, I can say that I’m very lucky to be surrounded by such nice and special persons, who enrich my view on Europe, and enlarge my cultural conscience. The only bad thing of being a long-term volunteer, living with short-term volunteers, is that you have to say goodbye too often and sometimes too fast. On the way back of our on-arrival training in Rimini, overlooking the wide fields full of olive trees, it really feels like returning to my second home. In Rimini I’ve learned a very true statement: ‘if someone says that one person can not make the difference, just think about a mosquito in your room. It CAN make the difference.’ And that’s a beautiful thing of volunteering. EVS is about expectations, like how I packed my sunglasses in the Netherlands and when I arrived it was snowing the whole first two weeks. For me it’s about dealing with different expectations or just not knowing what to expect and find the best way to handle it. The fact that here in Altamura everyday can be the beginning of a new project, an arrival of a new person from another interesting place, makes me feel that everything is possible and I’ve rarely felt so free before. The consequence of this freedom is that I also have responsibility to make my EVS work, it will be as great as I make it. With this story I hope to inspire you, because EVS is, how cliché, a unique experience. Don’t be afraid to go and explore the world, also if it’s not the world you’re used to. It will not always be easy, but you’re the one who can make it work, and in the end everything will be okay. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end. The time here is flying, running, disappearing, but I try to enjoy every minute of it, even though it’s not always easy to be so far from home. But I think in the end, also the hardest parts will make this EVS so good, but ha, that’s another expectation. For now, looking forward to the next 4 months, the only thing embedded in my mindset, is how I am addicted to progress. 98


My EVS in France First weeks in France The beginning of my EVS experience in Dinan, France, Nov - July 2011-12 I arrived to Rennes late at night by Eurolines bus. My journey from Poland to France lasted 36 hours. It was possible to buy flight tickets instead of bus, but in fact I decided to do EVS just 2 weeks before coming, so all planes were really expensive and I had 500 € from the project to spend for 2 ways ticket. Other reason was that I don’t speak French well and in case of taking flight to Paris I would have to change buses and trains many times before final arrival. So I was taken from the station in Rennes by the friend of my Tutor and ex-EVS girl who is living now in France. We had a meal in only available at this time restaurant and I had la galette, kind of crepes that is speciality of Bretagne and after such a long journey it tasted really delicious! By the car we arrived to Dinan around 23 o’clock at night – my adventure has started!

Work. Well, I didn’t know precisely what my work would be about. All I knew was that work is connected with spending the time with young people, organize some Scriptamanent #3

------------------------Karolina Zarzecka 29 years / Poland ►►EVS in France 2011/2012

Next days it was a time to accommodate. I found that Dinan is really beautiful city full of architecture from the middle-age, lovely streets and beautiful churches. I received an appartement close to the city centre (well, actually everything here is kind of close, its just 17 000 people living here), situated in old building with young people living next to me. 

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activities for them. Soon after arriving I received a schedule with working hours (35h) and its three places that I work in: · Mission Locale  · Foyer de Jeunes Travailleurs /FJT · Centre de Ressources à l’Internationale All these places are made for youngsters. More less the job in FJT, it is about to organize a free time for them, FJT is a place where live young people that left their family houses and they begin their independent life. They live in like a small community and they are people hired to help them solve the problems of everyday life and to organise some leasures-animators. My role is to help them work. There is one activity that I really like – working in the bar, where is only tea and coffee, bar is open every day after a dinner and people meet there to talk and to read newspapers.  Mission Locale is an organization, where come people in age 18 – 25 and this institution helps them to find a job or create a self job orientation…In this moment (after 3 months of being here) I’m working in ML on a project about sustainable developement, that should engage young people in the ecological problems, how to save energy, water, get more consciousness about environment protection.  CRI is a small organisation focused on cultural subjects, youth mobility and international cooperation.  During first weeks my Tutor helped me to organize everything, to finish EVS documents, to organize my flat, introduced me to people at work, explained all things I would need and much more stuff that I didn’t expect him (really a lot!). I think that Tutors role is really important in EVS program and specially at the beginning of the programme they have a big influence on how volunteer feels in a new place, how he understands what the EVS is and generally how is it going, specially if the person don’t 100


speak the language of her or his EVS country. Anyway my Tutor did an incredible job for me, so I was feeling pretty safe and sure about what I can do here. Thanks for him! Evaluation.  Really great experience for me was to go for Evaluation of EVS to the South of France, small city named Sommieres, after being just two weeks in here. I met there 40 people who do their EVS in France. We had a chance to exchange our French experience and also we received a lot of practical informations about the programme, some potential solutions for problems that may appear, or where to get some help if we need. Really useful event.  Everyday life.  Well, I have working hours and I have my private life to organize. I don’t pay for accomodation, I eat in FJT cantine twice a day and I get 125 € for my own spendings. Most of time I go out with my neigbours and also with people from work and with my Tutor.  In general I feel my EVS has been a good experience, very profitable for me and my own developpement. It’s true that at the beginning its some stress of new things and environment and also you can never be sure what kind of people you meet or if you would really enjoy the volunteering work. I would also say there are some moments when you feel like a stranger because of cultures differences. But in general resume these things make you stronger and you can learn a lot about yourself. And in fact its for free!  Well I wish myself Bon courage for the rest of my staying here and I hope for other EVS people to have profitable time of their own projects. Merci! 

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Run,Kri!Run!!! 1997 years. Lithuania Six years old girl. Sitting in the street. Talking with herself: “I will never come back to my family. I will run away, far far away”. She never exactly did it… Too little, too shy, too poor – and all in all it was just a protest against older people, who was believing that are able to do whatever they want… But after 12 years the same idea came to the same head. Another situation, another feelings, another running plans and even another country. But still… the same, unforgettable feeling: “Run, Kri!Run!!!” First hours in Italy. These three words (“Run, Kri!Run!!!”) were the only ones that were coming in my mind. WITHOUT ASKING. First of all, I had to realize that all two months that I was spending by studying Italian, was just wasting my time. Train tickets office. Task: to buy one way ticket to Chiari. Words that I had repeated all flight: Voglio uno biglietto a Chiari. The reality: “I would like to get one ticket to Chiari”. After fifteen minutes discussion with tickets seller where I exactly want to go – I got ticket. I have ticket, shaking legs, mess in my head and even if this is not enough – too big luggage and stairs without end in front of me. Train. Three minutes left till I will depart. The only idea in my head: “Kristina, you still have time to get out of the train. You have… you have… Okay, now you don’t have, because train started to move… And then I had a time for thinking: life is just the moments, which time by time are repeating – seven and eighteen years girl are thinking the same: “Run, Kri!Run!!!”. But they both are just sitting and not running at all. 102


-----------------------Kristina Malinauskaite 20 years / Lithuania ►►EVS in Italy 2010/2011

Chiari. Abbracio, bacio; abbracio bacio; abbracio bacio; bacio, bacio… First cultural shock. After five people, I exactly understood why someone has created people with hands. No more kisses. Just hand shaking. Language shock. Food shock. Habits shock. Too much shocks… Let’s run… Really? No! All these shocks were too good to run far away from them. So I started to live with them. First of all I needed to manage with language. Because without it I couldn’t travel, I couldn’t go to supermarket, I couldn’t talk with anybody I couldn’t do nothing, just sit at home. But the problem was that I was feeling like story “Tower of Babel” has came to my daily life. Almost nobody understood me, and I didn’t understood no one. So first steps were to understand hands talking. Difficult, but easier than Italian. After that, time by time, new language came to my head. I was able to talk, play with children and – to run… Just for one day. One sunny day. Venice, Genoa, Firenze, Bologna, Roma, mountains, lakes, forests, rivers… Before coming to Italy, I have to be honest, I had read all possible books about this country and people, who are living there. Why? I am really not sure, maybe to know what to expact, maybe to know a country before coming, maybe… But in the end all these readings hadn’t any worth. All books: ,,In Italy you can eat – pizza, pasta, lasagne…” And sea food? Yes, this one was forgotten like not very important. And I, one day sitting in front of plate, where I even don’t know what it is and how it have to be eaten. What to do with all this food. But Italians gave my instructions…Strange, Scriptamanent #3

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but even for these little things, I needed someone’s help. This was my daily things: eat, learn, travel. And my daily work was with the same people like I. Children. Happy, sad, injured, talkative, silent. With all this emotions I passed ten months. Did I was ever sad? Of course. Many times. But the best thing is after something bad to get something good, than you have the real opportunity to feel the worth of happiness. And I felt. I came home‌ I never thought that I am going to miss something so much, and that, that something wouldn’t be even touchable. And for this something I will start once again to run. To run to that something.

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Six mois de volontariat Je m’appelle Laura, j’ai 25 ans et je suis Française. D’octobre 2011 à mars 2012, j’ai réalisé un Service Volontaire Européen (SVE) dans une association située à Badalona, en Catalogne (Espagne). Dans ce texte, je partage quelques extraits de mon journal et de mon blog (sixmoisdevolontariat.wordpress.com) rédigés à différents moments de mon volontariat.

-----------------------Laura Pourtier 25 years / France ►►EVS in Spain 2011/2012

22 juin 2011: mes attentes, mes craintes et mes espérances Au bout de mes six mois de volontariat j’espère : pouvoir discuter en catalan, être beaucoup plus à l’aise en espagnol, bien connaître Barcelone, Badalona et la Catalogne, être à l’aise et capable de travailler avec des enfants, comprendre les tensions politiques de Badalona et les polémiques liées à l’immigration et l’intégration des personnes d’origine étrangère, suivre l’évolution de la crise économique européenne vue d’Espagne, avoir identifié des structures dans lesquelles j’aimerais travailler le cas échéant, décider si je veux rentrer à Paris ou rester en Espagne, être de caractère plus facile, plus spontanée, plus compréhensive, plus souple… Mes craintes: concernant le quartier de banlieue de Barcelone dans lequel je vais travailler : avoir peur en rentrant chez moi, qu’il soit vraiment trop moche, effrayant, sans commodités ou commerces; concernant les activités du volontariat: me faire dépasser par les enfants, manquer d’autorité, ne pas réussir à m’exprimer comme je le voudrais en espagnol ou en catalan. Ne connaître personne, ne pas avoir de vie sociale, m’ennuyer, ne plus avoir de vie culturelle par manque d’argent ou de connaissance, ne pas m’entendre avec mes colocs ou avec les membres de l’association… Scriptamanent #3

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7 octobre 2011: mon SVE en Catalogne, c’est maintenant! Après une première semaine. L’appartement est parfait! Il est bien situé, j’adore mon nouveau quartier car j’habite dans une rue piétonne, très animée, il y a beaucoup de jeunes dans la rue, aux terrasses des cafés, sur la place de la mairie. Mon immeuble est entouré de commerces et notamment de marchands de fruits et de légumes. Très bonne entente avec mes deux colocataires espagnoles, elles sont accueillantes et gentilles! Mon volontariat commence très bien : Gemma m’a réservée un accueil fantastique: elle est venue me chercher à la gare, m’a montré l’appartement et le quartier. Elle m’a expliqué mon travail à venir et toutes les modalités pratiques méthodiquement, précisément et avec bon sens. Elle m’a donné tous les documents nécessaires et m’a aidée pour mes démarches administratives (on a ouvert un compte en banque, acheté une carte de téléphone…). L’équipe est top! Ils sont jeunes, professionnels, accueillants, souriants, sympas, passionnés et motivés. Organisation, organigramme, gestion de projets, tout est incroyablement bien tenu et professionnel! 5 octobre 2012: Où suis-je? (extrait du blog) En Europe car je participe au programme Service Volontaire Européen. En Espagne car je veux parler l’espagnol et j’aime la décontraction et le naturel avec lesquels les Espagnols envisagent la vie. En Catalogne car les fortes identités culturelles m’ont toujours fascinée, moi qui ne suis d’aucune région en particulier, car on y trouve la ville et la campagne, la mer et la montagne, car c’est depuis toujours une terre d’accueil pour les migrants, car Barcelone a été et reste un foyer artistique et culturel, car le catalan est une langue qui me plait et que j’ai plaisir à apprendre, car les Catalans sont fiers de leur culture, car le soleil y brille davantage que dans tous les endroits où j’ai eu l’occasion d’habiter jusqu’à présent. 106


Dans la province de Barcelone, car j’aime la ville et son dynamisme, son bouillonnement artistique et culturel, sa population joyeuse et festive, ses musées, ses magasins, ses parcs. A Sant Adrià de Besos (où je vis) car je me sens bien dans ses quartiers populaires, j’aime l’animation des rues en soirées, les personnes âgées qui sortent de chez elles, la vie aux terrasses des cafés, les marchands de fruits et légumes dont les étals débordent, les enfants jouant au football dans la rue, les gens qui n’ont de cesse de s’apostropher et de se saluer en se promenant. A Sant Roc, quartier de Badalona Sud (où je travaille) car l’exrurale et néo-citadine que je suis a toujours été intéressée par les questions d’urbanisme, de zones périphériques, de banlieues, parce que ce quartier doublement balafré, par une autoroute et une ligne de chemin de fer, a sa physionomie propre, parce qu’il réunit des familles du monde entier et fait vivre ensemble des cultures différentes voire contradictoires, parce qu’il est rempli d’enfants, parce que les gens vivent dehors, parce qu’il est diamétralement opposé à l’endroit où j’ai grandi, car il me fait grandir. 10 décembre 2011: Indignée (extrait du blog) Ou comment vivre la, trop tendance, “crise” de l’intérieur quand on habite dans un des pays européens les plus touchés. Au-delà de son omniprésence quotidienne dans les conversations, des rues trop animées aux heures de travail, des files d’attentes interminables à la banque, des annonces pour petits boulots dans les commerces et sur les lampadaires, de la pauvreté des offres d’emplois sur les sites internet dédiés et, bien sûr, de son actualité brûlante chaque jour à la Une des journaux, la crise est devenue bien réelle pour moi, cette semaine. Un des programme phare de l’association La Formiga, Patis Oberts – més places al barri, s’arrête. De quoi s’agissait-il? Concrètement peu de choses : trois éducateurs qui se rendaient Scriptamanent #3

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trois fois par semaine en divers endroits publics du quartier (places, cours d’école) avec des caisses remplies de jeux tels ballons de foot, raquettes de badminton, jeux de société… Tous les enfants pouvaient venir profiter, gratuitement, de ces jeux et jouets, à condition de rester sur place et de remettre le matériel en place, une fois l’activité terminée. Sur le papier peu de choses donc, mais dans les faits une opportunité extraordinaire pour des enfants n’ayant accès à quasiment aucune activité chez eux, une démonstration que leur quartier aussi a de belles choses à offrir, apprendre à respecter le matériel, comprendre qu’on leur fait confiance à eux également et qu’ils peuvent être responsables (fussent-ils gitans, contrairement aux idées reçues qu’eux-mêmes ont en tête), un cours de vivre ensemble… Depuis 2007, un projet qui avait fait ses preuves, des heures de rires et de jeux, des relations sociales qui se sont nouées entre parents et enfants de toutes origines. Et tout cela prend fin la semaine prochaine, pourquoi? Manque de financements privés d’une part et retard dans le paiement des financements publics d’autre part, aucun engagement des collectivités pour l’année à venir. Alors, pour Noël, trois personnes perdent leur poste au sein de l’association et les enfants de Sant Roc n’auront guère d’autres choix que de retourner s’occuper dans la rue, comme ils pourront. Indignée. 5 mars 2012: Pourquoi j’aime ce que je fais (extrait du blog) En ce lundi matin ensoleillé, et alors que mon volontariat s’achèvera dans quatre semaines, un post plus que positif pour crier à la face du monde pourquoi j’aime ce que je fais dans mon SVE! 1. Tu grandis en même temps que les enfants Pour la première fois de ma vie, je travaille avec des enfants et ils 108


m’apportent énormément. Ceux que l’on accueille à l’association Casal La Formiga dans le cadre de notre projet Quedem despres de classe ne sont pas du genre à prendre pour argent comptant tout ce qu’on leur dit et à s’exécuter en silence (mange ton quatre heures, fais tes devoirs, joue à un jeu de société). Non ça ne marche pas vraiment comme ça mais ce n’en est que plus intéressant. Il faut déployer des réserves d’énergie pour être positif, motivé et motivant, sévère mais juste, patient à l’heure des devoirs. Imaginatif aussi pour trouver chaque jour une astuce différente pour qu’un petit monstre de 5 ans finisse son sandwich. Les enfants constituent certainement le public le plus sincère: en vrai miroir, ils te rendent ce que tu leur offre. D’où une expérience très formatrice en comportement, diplomatie et dialogue! 2. Tu rajeunis avec les technologies Comme j’ai eu l’occasion de l’expliquer dans mon article sur mes cours d’informatique pour personnes âgées, je m’amuse énormément à enseigner à de gentilles mamies espagnoles comment envoyer des mails ou regarder des vidéos sur Youtube. Cette heure et demie hebdomadaire est dédiée bien sûr à l’apprentissage de l’informatique mais aussi et surtout ce sont de vrais lieux d’échange et de dialogues, où chaque occasion est bonne pour raconter un morceau de sa vie. Et je suis fière de voir que mes charmants abuelos savent maintenant envoyer des photos en pièces jointes de mail, j’ai l’impression de contribuer, un peu, à ce qu’ils se sentent moins perdus dans cette société nouvelles génération qui va toujours plus vite. 3. Tu te formes et apprends en rigolant Chaque jour depuis le début de mon volontariat en octobre, je découvre quelque chose, je progresse en quelque chose, j’apprends. Que ce soit grâce à mes cours de catalan, à la formation que j’ai suivie sur le fundraising/collecte de fonds (mon activité professionnelle “normale” avant et, j’espère, après mon SVE) ou tout simplement au jour le jour, il n’y a pas un soir où je me suis Scriptamanent #3

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couchée sans me dire “waow j’ai encore compris/appris quelque chose aujourd’hui”. Et ça pour moi, ça n’a pas de prix! 4. Tu découvres de nouvelles façons de travailler A l’association Casal La Formiga j’ai rencontré une équipe de professionnels passionnés, passionnants, efficaces et hyper dynamique. J’ai eu beaucoup de chance car le principe du SVE est que l’on part un peu à l’aventure : certes on choisit son projet à l’avance et on échange par mail avec la structure d’accueil avant le départ mais on ne peut jamais vraiment savoir sur qui on va tomber. Et moi je ne suis on ne peut mieux tombée! J’apprends à leur contact et suis leur exemple d’implication et de volontariat. 5. Tu rencontres une génération de jeunes européens volontaires Grâce aux formations à l’arrivée et intermédiaire organisées par l’agence nationale du SVE en Espagne, j’ai pu rencontrer une centaine d’autres volontaires, originaires de tous pays d’Europe et réalisant leur SVE aux quatre coins de l’Espagne. L’occasion de conversations passionnantes sur les motivations de chacun pour vivre ce type d’expérience, les projets et organisations d’accueil des uns et des autres, la situation politique, économique, culturel des pays d’origine (certains vraiment moins connus comme cette jeune Biélorusse avec qui j’ai eu une riche conversation sur la liberté des médias…). Bref une mini Europe qui débat, s’amuse, rit et partage!

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La Super Vida Extranjera del Señor Lukas en la tierra de la aventura, de la amistad, de la paz – Terrassa. Super Vida Extranjera en Terrassa, Cataluña Hice mi proyecto voluntario en 2008/2009 en Terrassa, una ciudad cerca de Barcelona en Catalunya, España. Os quiero dar una impresión de este tiempo y de la sensación de hacer un servicio voluntario. Para esto, voy a poner mis recuerdos en un poema llamandose: “La Super Vida Extranjera del Señor Lukas en la tierra de la aventura, de la amistad, de la paz – Terrassa.” Erase una vez un joven alemán Quien vivó alli en la tierra de Aquisgrán. Siempre había pensado – hay que tener algo más Que la catedrál y los costumbres que allí les encuentras.

No había duda – era el comienzo de algo grande! Pero primero las agencias pidieron que se les mande Un montón de cosas, pero así es si vas viajando Y no lo olvides, la UE esta pagando! Después de todo el estres, solo faltaba ir. Un “chao” para la familia, a los amigos – “Os voy a escribir!” Scriptamanent #3

-----------------------Lukas Heimes 22 years / Germany ►►EVS in Spain 2008/2009

Iba a pasar que el joven fue llamado ”Hoy Lukas – soy La Vibria”, dijo la voz al otro lado. ”La Biblia? Que me dices?” El chico preguntó. Quedó asustido, pero despues entendió. No era dios mismo quien pidió a él venir. Era un grupo de gente que solo queria recibir El joven en Terrassa - como voluntário. Un tiempo de trabajo, trabajo comunitário.

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La mala estaba lista, el billete ya comprado. ”Vamos a Catalunya”, el joven gritó – estaba preparado! Y así se fue a empezar la vida nueva. Y fue solo en el avión que de repiente se manifestaba La profunda verdad, que ahora era un hecho: Estaba en esto solo – pero bueno, a lo hecho, pecho! No era pánico, ni miedo, solo inseguridad: ”Como voy a sobrevivir en esta extraña ciudad!? Sin hablar el idioma – sin saber quiénes son? Será que me entienden? Con mi estilo de hacer la conjugación…” Comprobase pronto que no hace falta poder hablar Para entender lo más importante – como se puede juntos celebrar. Ni 24 horas pasaron y empezó la locura Festival de teatro – en Tarrega – que aventura! Vino, cerveza, teatro, mucha fiesta y energía! Nunca había visto un pueblo entero en tanta alegría! Era increíble, había un mundo desconocido! Allí, en “Catalunya”, en España y no estaba escondido! Fue solo salir de casa y se meter en las ondas – De la vida cotidiana – entre las calles y las plazas redondas… Con el equipo de la oficina el joven aprendió No solo el castellano – també una mica de català – Què és això? Participió en proyetos, en charlas y actividades Daba clases de alemán – con muchas dificuldades! Es cierto, tenéis razon – el alemán es imposible! Pero si intentas aprenderlo, también encuentras un mundo increíble! Un mundo lleno de orden y seriosidad. No, es broma, no somos todos así, de verdad.

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Todos váis a poder imaginar Que bueno que es salir del proprio pais para ver esto pasar! Cada dia se aprende neuvas cosas y puntos de vista Cocinar platos típicos, costumbres, juegos, bailes, ser optimista! A mi, el joven, me encantó este tiempo de mi vida! serio, no importa, si vas para Roma, Buenos Aires o Florida. Vas a ganar una perspectiva nueva, el mundo se va a abrir. Y tu en el medio, no te hace sonreír? Cuándo miro atràs, estoy lleno de nostalgia, Con ganas de salir de aqui para revivir lo que en este tiempo había. Y también hoy, de nuevo digo “gràcies” y “merci”, Para esta posibilidad, a todos que conocí, Que formaron parte de esta experiencia De la vida en el extranjero – de una nueva convivencia. Y siempre, da igual donde estoy, en cualquier tierra. Yo se, que nunca olvidaré - la super vida extranjera!

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True eco-story from Poland Ierasta lieta šajā neierastajā pasaulē ir tā, ka grāmatas pirmā lappuse vienmēr ir veltīta cilvēkiem, kuriem autors pateicas par iedvesmu šī darba radīšanai. Tad, lūk, pirms es sākusavu stāstu par brīvprātīgo darba ceļojumu, vēlos pateikt paldies Sandrai, kuraman nedeva iespēju izvairīties no šī gara darba uzrakstīšanas. Paldies tev parneatlaidību atgādinot to, ka tas ir jāizdara, un pats jaukākais bija tas, karakstot šo stāstu man bija iespēja atsaukt atmiņā vairākus jestrus notikumu unatmiņas.. Stāstā daļēji izmantoti materiāli no manis rakstītā bloga EVS laikā. 2010.gada septembris. Esmu veiksmīgi paspējusi iekārtoties savā jaunajā mājvietā, kur pavadīšunākamos 9 mēnešus, satikusi savus jaunos darba kolēģus, kā arī otru EVSbrīvprātīgo no Francijas Manuelu, kurš ir ekoloģiskāks par briedi mežā;jāpiezīmē fakts, ka pēc pirmajām trīs dienām esmu apguvusi arī svarīgākosvārdus poļu valodā, piemēram, zajabišķe, kas nozīmē “viss bumbās”. Pirmie iespaidi par Poliju, kas arī palika nemainīgi visus 9 mēnešus, un tā arī domāju tagad, kalielākā Polijas bagātība ir cilvēki, kuri ir no sirds dziļumiem izpalīdzīgi,laipni, viesmīlīgi. Jau kopš ierašanās, kad centos nokļūt savā pilsētā arvilcienu un nezināju, kur un kad man jāizkāpj, kāda sirma poliete, man nezinotpoļu valodu un viņai nezinot angļu valodu, mums galu galā izdevās pilnīgimierīgi vienoties, ka mums ir viena un tā pati pietura, kurā jāizkāpj un ka manjāseko viņai. Nākamos 9 mēnešus pavadu pilsētā vārdā Kwidzyn -pilsēta aptuveni Liepājas lielumā. 114


Šeit ir ļoti skaista pils, mūrēta nosarkaniem ķieģeļiem, diezgan pamatīgi liela, un cik es esmu redzējusi līdz šim- izskatās, ka, būvējot pilis, baznīcas un mājas, populārākais vai arīvienīgais pieejamais celtniecības materiāls ir sarkanais ķieģelis. Un vēl poļupilīm raksturīgas nepraktiski, bet tajā pašā laikā skaisti, būvējumi līdzīgitiltiem, bet ne gluži tilti, bet kuriem jēgu, kāpēc tie tiek būvēti, neesmu vēlsapratusi.. Pēc trim dienām.. Esmu paspējusi noskaidrot, kam bija domātiarhitektoniskie brīnumi - tiltam līdzīgā būves pie pils (labākam priekšstatam -vizuāls attēls links Izrādās, ka tas patiešām ir tilts un tā galā necilais tornis ir tualete,un viss milzīgais tilts ir necils ceļš uz “kroņa zāli”, kā arī agrākesot torņa apakšā bijusi upe, kur pa taisno nokļuva viss, kas nāca no troņazāles. Vietējie domā, ka tas varētu būt lielākais tilts uz tualeti, un tā arīvarētu būt.

------------------------Mara Zadina 24 years / Latvia ►►EVS in Poland 2010/2011

Pirmā nodarbība poļu valodā - mums ir piešķirts stilīgs ap 50 gadiem jauns polis, plikpauris arpanka bārdu, bet ar visnotaļ labu humora izjūtu un gadiem krātu pieredziapmācot ārzemniekus poļu valodā, lai mūs nomierinātu viņš teica, kavisbezcerīgākie skolnieki nākot no Ķīnas un Japānas, jo viņiem esot gandrīzneiespējami ieskaidrot, ka darbības vārdiem poļu valodā ir gan pagātne, tagadneun nākotne, kā arī viņi tā arī nespējot iemācīties izrunāt “Š”, “ŠČ” un citasforšās skaņas poļu valodā. Stundā, kurā mācījāmies atbildēt uz jautājumiem, kasmums vislabāk patīk vai garšo, populārākie jautājumi no skolotāja puses bija: “Māra,kāds ir tavs iemīļotais alus?”, “Māra, kāds ir tavs iemīļotais viskijs?” Kuriman lika samulst pirmās pāris minūtes un pēc tam saspringti domāt, vai vispārzinu kāda viskija nosaukumu. Tā tad šeit vēl viena mācību stunda no Polijas:alkoholisko dzērienu lietošana, kā lielā daļā citu valstu, ir daļa no kultūras. Scriptamanent #3

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Brīvprātīgā darba projekts mani piespieda izdarīt to, no kā līdz šim dzīvē biju veiksmīgi izvairījusies - nosarežģītu ēdienu gatavošanas; tā nu reiz pienāca tā stunda, kad nācās vien manmazliet trīcošām rokām un sirdi taisīt tos speķa pīrāgus, ābolu plātsmaizi unrupjmaizes ķīseli un prezentēt vietējā ēdienu festivālā kā tradicionāloslatviešu ēdienus uz skatuves, kas pirmajai reizei mazam pavāram liekas nedaudzpar šerpu, bet šoreiz īsti nav variantu. Viss pa lielam izdevās, protams,visvairāk jau man pašapziņu cēla fakts, ka tika slavēta kā laba esam manapiedegusī ābolmaize. Ā, un, jā, man ir vēl viens ievērības cienīgs fakts, ko man atklāja man poļu valodas pasniedzējs, kamans vārds “Māra” poļu valodā apzīmē nakts murgus; iesākumā, jāsaka godīgi, diezganliela vilšanās, jo tas nav to, ko tu vēlies dzirdēt par savu vārdu, bet arlaiku uzjautrina, un man patīk vērot sejas izteiksmes, kad nosaucu savuvārdu. Un izrādās, ka Polijā neviens īsti nezin neko par Latviju.. Nu, maksimums to, ka tā ir EiropasSavienībā un vairāk uz Ziemeļiem, un kaut ko par Eirovīziju ir dzirdējuši, unvarbūt arī kaut ko par Brainstorm.Bet man būs iespēja uzspodrināt Latvijas tēlu, jo 7 reizes būs iespēja prezentēsavu valsti par brīvprātīgo darbu semināra ietvaros. Es noteikti neticētu, ja kāds pirms gada man būtu teicis, ka es tieši pēc gadakādā Polijas mazpilsētā organizēšu pirmskolas vecuma bērniem nodarbības paratkritumu šķirošanu poļu valodā. Bet te nu es esmu - cenšos novadīt 2 stundugaras nodarbības par to, kāpēc ir svarīgi šķirot atkritumus, kur un kāpēc kasir jāmet. Arī vēlāk brīvprātīgā darba ietvaros nācās saskarties ar mazajiempipariņiem - biju nozīmēta arī par palīgu nometnēs. Varu teikt, ka brīvprātīgādarba projekta lielākais ieguvums un 116


atklājums priekš manis bija, ka bērni irfantastiski un darbam ar viņiem ir sava garoza, bet mīkstuma ir daudz vairāk. Droši vien lielākajā daļā ja pat ne visos EVS stāstos, parādīsies kā viena nolielākajām iegūtajām vērtībām ir draugi no dažādām Eiropas valstīm un ceļošanasprieks, kas ir nenovērtējama iegūta bagātība varbūt pat visas dzīves garumā. Kurš sunim asti cels ja ne pats .. Tad nu jāatzīmē, ka saviem poļu kolēģiemesmu iemācījusi kādus vārdus latviski, precīzāk sakot, vienu vārdu – “Priekā!”Paceļot un saskandinot glāzes, ir tik patīkami dzirdēt, kā viņi to saka ar savujauko akcentu.

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Il racconto del viaggio Ho passato otto mesi in Romania con un progetto di volontariato europeo (SVE) ed ho avuto l’opportunità di conoscere un paese dalle mille facce, un paese in movimento, familiare ma allo stesso tempo tanto distante. Ho avuto l’opportunità di conoscere realtà sociali difficili e di mettermi alla prova in contesti nuovi e stimolanti, ma soprattutto la possibilità di viaggiare attraverso la storia, la cultura e la quotidianità di un paese di cui si sente parlare tanto e spesso, ma di cui si conosce davvero poco. La Romania è come una lunga strada, che fa mille e mille giri su se stessa, amandosi e contraddicendosi, una strada che non scorre veloce, dove la vita ha ancora un sapore autentico e dei ritmi lenti che ti lasciano il tempo di fermarti, guardare, conoscere, sognare. Mentre viaggiavo quella strada si faceva ancora più lunga, più profonda, mentre viaggiavo pensavo a quasi tutte le cose a cui si possono pensare. Incluso il viaggio stesso. Il viaggio che facevo lì, in quel momento, ma anche il viaggio che avevo dentro da sempre: quello che mi portavo dietro e quello che mi portava dietro. Mentre viaggiavo, ho cercato sempre di vivere con intensità e profondità anche il percorso, godendo del panorama e di chi mi stava intorno: consapevoli o consapevoli compagni di viaggio con i loro percorsi e le loro destinazioni. Una privata collezione di volti e sensazioni, un viaggio di gente in viaggio, discendendo il Danubio, passando per le montagne della Bucovina, lungo le strade transilvane, fino alle spiagge del mar Nero. È difficile trovare un ordine in questa testa piena di ricordi, che si presentano come flash ricorrenti e fugaci pregni di un significato ed una malinconica allegria che solo nella testa può trovare il giusto grado di comprensione e di senso. Un sorriso, un profumo, un bicchiere di troppo annebbiano ancora la mia mente e si mischiano, si confondono, rivivono anche se solo per 118


--------------------Marcella Guido 27 years / Italy ►►EVS in Romania 2011

pochi istanti. Le fragole che escono fuori dal frigo bar della prima auto con cui abbiamo fatto autostop per esempio. Sì, perché per raccontare la Romania come strada è necessario viverla sulla strada, viaggiarla sulla strada; è necessario calarsi nell’atmosfera semplice e intensa della condivisione, della sosta e dell’attesa, della sorpresa di scoprire che il sapore di un viaggio on the road ha un gusto di fragole e caffè, gelato alle noci e libertà. Vi porterò con me in questo viaggio, ma dovrete aprire la mente al presente, alle piccole cose che sono intorno a voi in questo momento. Questo viaggio lo si fa here and now, si può partire in qualunque momento perché non c’è un bus, un treno, un aereo che ci aspetta. Non ci sono scadenze, non ci sono tempi stretti, no limiti di spazio o di pensieri, quello che serve prima di tutto è un cambio di prospettiva, l’idea che il dove si va conta, ma non il come si arriva, non serve essere i primi, non si può costruire il futuro perdendosi pezzi di presente, non si può sacrificare il percorso in nome della destinazione, anche perché la destinazione a volta delude, il viaggio mai. E allora ci mettiamo in marcia, uno zaino pieno di un sacco a pelo, una macchina fotografica, un po’ di soldi, una manciata di vestiti, e poi qualche scorta di cibo: acqua, pane pomodori e paté vegetale. Sento scorrere dentro di me il desiderio di avventura, lo vedo correre insieme agli alberi che spariscono e ricompaiono nel finestrino dell’auto che mi porta via. Sento crescere dentro di me la voglia di scendere ad ogni angolo, vedo i carretti pieni di fieno e mille galline ai bordi della strada, più ci si avvicina alle montagne più compaiono donne e bambini a vendere funghi e lamponi appena raccolti in cestelli intrecciati, ci si può fermare a comprarne uno oppure fermarsi più avanti ad una bancarella di angurie e meloni. Ad Oradea abbiamo dovuto aspettare pochissimo, come sempre la fermata dei bus vicino alla Cetate è una garanzia di trovare un Scriptamanent #3

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passaggio velocemente. Quasi mi è dispiaciuto perché l’attesa fa parte del gioco e spesso è una parte così divertente che varrebbe la pena vivere anche solo quella, ma in realtà non mi scoraggio, so che l’autista ci porterà solo fino a Cluj, poi l’attesa si ripresenterà all’appuntamento e con molta probabilità non mi deluderà. Il nostro autista è un uomo sulla quarantina, che parla italiano molto bene perché ha passato lì quasi quindici anni. È sorpreso e divertito dal vedere queste due ragazze viaggiare in autostop nel suo paese. Mi racconta tutti i suoi anni in Italia i problemi ma soprattutto i successi, sento che quella che racconta è la sua rivincita ed averci lì fa parte della sua personale rivalsa: mostra quello che ha, ostenta la sua BMW ed è orgoglioso di questa inversione di ruoli: avere in macchina una ragazza italiana che senza soldi gli chiede un passaggio per Sighișoara. Si sente un vincitore: può premere un pulsante, aprire un frigo bar ed offrire fragole fresche. Mi sento parte di questo suo sogno avverato e mi diverto a vedere gli eccessi di chi non aveva ed ora ha la soddisfazione di sentirsi realizzato. Sulla strada tra Cluj e Targo Mure? dobbiamo aspettare circa un quarto d’ora prima che si fermi un nuovo compagno di viaggio che ci porti oltre. La attesa si colora del verde transilvano e profuma di galline ruspanti mentre l’aria si satura delle nostre risate e delle canzoni dei Beatles che Zeynep regala a me ed ad ogni passante, in macchina o a piedi. Ha un’energia e un good mood che sa trasmettere a chiunque, e queste sue doti da jukebox rendono ogni momento pieno di entusiasmo e allegria. Sulle note di Twist and Shout o Strawberry fields for ever, il tempo vola gioioso, i minuti diventano attimi di euforia, tutto è un sorriso, tutto si contagia intorno a noi e raggiunge i nostri spettatori, raggiunge anche l’enorme tir che si fermerà a prenderci diventando il nostro lasciapassare per continuare il viaggio. Catalin guida tir come suo padre ed anche se ha solo 26 anni sembra abbia fatto questo da tutta la vita, ora sta tornando a casa 120


per il weekend in un paese vicino a Predeal. Questa volta la lingua è l’inglese ed anche lui è divertito dalla nostra compagnia, non è la prima volta che prende autostoppisti stranieri e si diverte a parlare e a scherzare con noi dicendo che nessuno dei suoi amici gli crederà quando racconterà di aver viaggiato che delle ragazze così belle! Facciamo una foto tutti insieme ma avvicinandosi al suo paese spera che nessuno ci veda scendere affinché non racconti nulla alla moglie gelosa! Sulla strada ci sono i soliti venditori, di frutta e persino uomini a vendere bicchieri di vetro sulla strada che ci porta a Bra șov, ma mentre cerco di capirne il senso, la risposta si perde in un gregge di pecore che ci attraversa la strada. Siamo partite dal nordovest per arrivare a sudest ed ormai siamo a pochi chilometri da Bucarest. Raggiungerla in un giorno sembrava quasi impossibile, invece si è rivelato più facile e dolce del previsto… ma ora che ci penso questo non è stato il primo dei nostri viaggi. La nostra prima avventura in autostop ci ha portato a visitare Sighi șoara e Sibiu, sulla scia di un Jazz festival. La zona sassone con questi due gioiellini medievali, tra torri d’orologio, banditori e tetti pieni di finestrelle a forma di occhi curiosi, ci ha accolto con la notte europea dei musei che ci dava accesso gratuito alla collezione del Muzeul Bruckenthal e non solo. Le distese di pannocchie e girasoli sono state invece le compagne delle nostre rotte verso sud. La splendida Timi șoara, con il concerto di Goran Bregovic e l’energia che questo cantante serbo sa sprigionare, ha fatto da preludio perfetto alla nostra prima gita oltre confine terminata nel parco Kalemegdan di Belgrado. La strada per Belgrado ci ha portato a fare sosta a Vrsac, in Vojvodina, con un autista polacco che ci ha offerto una crema alle noci e dell’acqua, mentre al ritorno il nostro autista, che arrivava solo fino alla frontiera, ci ha conseguito il passaggio successivo. Infatti spesso i nostri nuovi amici hanno usato la radio dei loro camion per cercare colleghi in zona che potessero portarci oltre Scriptamanent #3

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se non addirittura fino a destinazione! A differenza di quanto non si possa immaginare, infatti, i più gentili e disponibili sono stati proprio i camionisti, abituati a viaggiare da soli per lunghissime distanze ed in cerca di compagnia per spezzare le lunghe ore di solitudine. Da loro, in mille lingue diverse, dal rumeno, all’inglese, all’ungherese, all’italiano, abbiamo avuto informazioni e consigli sulla rotta da seguire, sigarette, punti di vista e persino cd di musica romena, dal rock degli Iris alla musica popolare o al manele. No so dire quale strada non ci abbia visto cantare e ridere con i nostri cartelli in mano con su scritto il nome della città verso la quale andavamo e con il nostro immancabile sorriso a cui seguiva un simpatico “nu avem bani” appena aperta la portiera di un’auto. Sì, perché in Romania l’autostop è comunissimo e diffusissimo, ma quasi sempre viene visto come un rimpiazzo dei mezzi pubblici e spesso prevede un contributo al conducente, mentre lo spirito che ci animava e che volevamo che ci guidasse era quello di stabilire un rapporto di solidarietà se non addirittura amicizia: non eravamo passeggeri paganti, ma compagni di viaggio. E così, continuando: da Oradea verso nord, in Maramure ș tra șuica e palinca di prugne e mele, verso ovest, in l’Ungheria, a Debrecen e Budapest, ed oltre, fino a Vienna, sosta solo di passaggio di un viaggio verso Praga e Bratislava. Ed ancora a est in Moldova, un altro viaggio lungo un giorno, con la pioggia, temendo di non riuscire davvero ad arrivare. Ricordo bene l’attesa più dura, con la pioggia che cadeva e l’imbrunire che arrivava, mentre eravamo ancora sperse nel nulla di un paesino a sud di Bistri ţa, ricordo la gioia del momento in cui aprendo la portiera del tir abbiamo appreso che i nostri salvatori andavano, come noi, dritti dritti a Ia și! E poi di nuovo un grande freddo in Bucovina che però si fonde e ci avvolge nell’atmosfera magica di quella zona incantata che ci ha offerto emozioni autentiche e ci permesso di vivere un’esperienza d’altri tempi: tre giorni vivendo in un villaggio rurale con una 122


famiglia del posto, dormendo tutti insieme nell’unica stanza, in una casetta in campagna senza acqua corrente e come bagno solo una latrina all’esterno. Inoltre, la Bucovina ha saputo regalarci la magia di tutte le stagioni in un solo giorno: guidandoci in una mistica visita ai monasteri affrescati, ci ha scortato dall’autunno uggioso fatto di foglie variopinte e profumo di terra bagnata, alla primavera inoltrata, con il tepore del sole ed una brezza che porta i profumi dei fiori, per finire a Sucevita, avvolgendoci con un’incredibile nevicata inaspettata quanto spettacolare. Ma torniamo al sentiero principale di questo racconto. La continuazione del viaggio verso il Delta Dunarii ci conduce rapide verso Costanza, lasciandoci incantate davanti ad un mare che non vedevamo da troppo tempo e che iniziava a mancare con insistenza. Il primo bagno nel mar Nero, la scorpacciata di pesciolini fritti, la notte in spiaggia e l’alba sul mare sono più di una carica per proseguire fino a Tulcea, imbarcandoci per il delta fino Cri șan solitario paesino di pescatori, nel bel mezzo del canale Sulina. La vita nel delta scorre placida e calma. L’acqua è un arbitro imparziale, austero e rigoroso che scandisce il tempo e la vita. Tutto ciò che avviene rimane sospeso nel tempo, assorbito dall’acqua salmastra, dai canneti, dalle barche di legno. Nella nostra discesa verso quel paradiso perduto ci siamo incontrati con altri amici arrivando ad essere un gruppo di sette impavidi avventurieri golosi di quella natura immersa nel silenzio, che siamo in grado di vivere appieno, armati di canoe creme solari e l’indispensabile quanto inutile spray anti zanzare. Il rumore dei remi nell’acqua dei canali, circondati da ninfee e uccelli è come un viaggio dentro noi stessi. Un viaggio così profondo che a volte sazia a volte svuota, lasciando un senso di angosciosa solitudine, la consapevolezza che niente più potrà essere così libero. Muoversi tra i laghi ed i canali non è semplice, una mappa di zone umide non è esattamente come una cartina sulla terra Scriptamanent #3

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ferma, i punti di riferiemnto sono labili e in più di un’occasione ci troviamo persi, accrescendo quel senso di smarrimento ed impotenza che per fortuna l’uomo ancora ha di fronte alla natura. La notte in tenda nel delta, un fuoco acceso e le inenarrabili storie raccontateci da milioni di zanzare intorno a noi, trasmettono un impellente desiderio di rimenere lì per sempre. Ma anche il viaggio più bello ha una fine, è parte del suo essere viaggio, ma per fortuna il nostro non è ancora finito deve solo cambiare, evolversi, perchè muta la nostra direzione e si delinea una nuova meta. Dopo Cri șan viriamo verso la Bulgaria, fermandoci giusto al confine, in un altro tipo di paradiso diametralmente opposto: Vama Veche. Questa piccola località, famosa (e stranamente tollerata) gia durante gli anni di Ceau șescu, lo è ancora per una forma di turismo alternativo fatto di campeggio libero, spiagge nudiste, bar e ristorantini in riva al mare e musica per tutti i gusti e di tutti i tipi, a tutte le ore del giorno e della notte, interrompendosi solo all’alba con una leggera musica classica che accompagna tutti noi verso un sonno che durerà inevitabilmente troppo poco. L’alba a Vama Veche si carica di un significato ed un’atmosfera che solo chi è stato lì può capire e che è impossibile descrivere. Un sospiro leggero ma che arriva dal profondo, qualche foto, dei bicchierini dipinti, una manciata di conchiglie, è tutto lì. Un luogo ed un momento di estrema felicità che non potrà mai ripetersi, un posto dove con tristezza so già che non potrò mai tornare per non rovinare quel ricordo. Questo lungo viaggio fino al mare, ci ha depurati e spersi. Io, i miei amici, tutte le voci ed i volti di coloro che hanno preso parte a questo viaggio per breve o lungo corso, smettono di essere tanti fiumi distinti, piccoli o grandi, e si fondono in un solo grande ricordo. E anche se questo non è stato il primo viaggio, ed anche se non è stato e non sarà l’ultimo, viene ad essere ora la nostra conclusione. Perché è bello lasciarsi così in 124


alto, pronti a guardare giù, ammirare tutto il nostro percorso, la lunga strada che oggi chiamiamo Romania, la lunga strada che domani sarà verso noi stessi. Vi lascio con l’immagine dell’alba negli occhi. Quel sole che sorge dal mare, spazza via l’oscurità condensa mille pensieri in uno solo. Un pensiero che parte dal viaggio e arriva al viaggio, passando per tutto quello che c’è prima, per tutto quello che c’è dopo, per tutto quello che siamo e che saremo.

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My volunteering experience I’ve always wanted to do some volunteering work. I’ve always been sure that just one person can also make a difference. We just need to think about that seriously and we’ll make our world better place to live. From my own experience I know that first step that you should do is to convince yourself that you are capable of changing the world to the better. I know it may sound ambitious but doing even little things make difference. Volunteering is the way to go if you want to get to know many people, learn more about the things or just make others life better by helping them and feel good about that. You just need to come up with ideas, write those ideas down then choose one of them to make it happen and share it with your friends to make them join you. Last step is putting your ideas into practice. I guarantee you’ll benefit from it! Now I’m going to tell you my story, how I got chance to volunteer, what I did and what kind of benefits I got from it. In 2010-2011 I was exchange student in OR, USA. Living with a host family, going to school and traveling to other States is the most memorable experience in my life. Exchange students usually need to do some volunteer work. I got excited when my coordinator told me how many options I had. For volunteering I chose Kennedy Middle School and Senior’s House which was close to the school I went to. Volunteering at Kennedy Middle School was fun, I was teacher’s assistant so I spent most of the time with kids. They knew that I was an exchange student so the questions they asked about my country sometimes were really hilarious. I helped them with doing homework. I used to check their class work and even grade them. First day of volunteering at Seniors House made me think that it would be hard to spend several hours a day with old people who have different kind of problems. Some of them didn’t like to come 126


--------------------------------------Mariam Khubulava 22 years / Georgia ►►Volunteer of exchange student program in the United States 2010/2011

out of their rooms and socialize so I had to visit them to read the book, play board games with them or just to talk. Some of them were very active, they wanted to be busy with doing different kind of activities, like listening to music, cooking, reading books or newspapers, watching TV, walking outside and generally doing things not to get bored. Some of them had memory problems so every day I had to introduce myself and answer almost the same questions. One day I opened the door and saw them sitting in a circle and singing, quite old man was playing the piano. I was amazed. They really got talent. Time by time I was getting familiar for them. Every time I would get there they wanted me to tell them about the plans I had for them that day. It made me more motivated. I tried hard to think about more activities they would like to do. Once I organized concert for them. I knew some other exchange students from other countries at my school so I asked them for help. We decided to dance our traditional dances and sing. The day after we made some presentations about our culture just to give them some information. Some of them appeared to be very intellectual, they knew many things about our countries, I was surprised because American teenagers don’t usually have that much information about rest of the world. I remember Christmas and Halloween celebrations. For Halloween some of them even wore costumes and put on special make-up. To be honest it was hard to decide how to decorate the hall. There were several reasons. first: most of them had different kind of ideas, second: old people usually like to do things in an old-fashioned way, third: if they don’t like something they get upset easily so I had to listen to all of them and decide what kind of Scriptamanent #3

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decorations to buy. Finally everything went all right. They didn’t have any concerns, all of them looked happy and satisfied. For Christmas I decided to make them make greeting cards for each other or just for family members. They cut the papers, glued some photos, put there stickers on it and colored their drawings. They were so excited, just like kids. :) Some of them made greeting cards for me too. It was looking at their smiling faces and I felt good. Before Christmas eve I went with them for a shopping. They wanted to get decorations for Christmas tree and buy gifts for each other. When we got back decorated a tree, wrapped the gifts and put them under the tree. While doing all of these, radio was playing Christmas songs and we were singing along. It was such a celebration! I almost forgot to tell you about the birthday party. It was in February. One woman named Clara was having 80th birthday. Her friends decided to throw a party and surprise her. They asked my friend and me for help. They put their money together to shop for greeting cards, candles and gifts. My friend and I baked a cake. Next day we knocked on the door, she opened it and we all together sang ‘birthday song”. I could see tears of happiness in her eyes. Sometimes they wanted me to stay there for dinner. British origin woman who used to tell me story of her life offered paying for my dinner. Once she told me how she met her future husband in UK during the war, how she fell in love with an American soldier, how they got married and settled down in USA. She just loved sharing her life experience. Before coming back to my country she gave me the gift and letter.:) I met many interesting people there, got an experience of volunteering and enjoyed making their life at least little bit happier. Old people are seekers of happiness, they need attention and I’m glad that I was there for them.

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Fade in the ending. A story telling experience during EVS in Lithuania It was often like this. There was a time when the film that was flowing on the screen under the enraptured eyes was reaching the conclusion simply by a fade in on the only word that was officially closing the tale: the end. Reaching the end can have several metaphorical meanings and according to the circumstances they can be positive or negative, but definitely not neutral. The end of something always plays a role; for instance the end of the word, how can this be considered neutral? Personally I like to see the end like an instant- unless I am in a bad mood and I see everything under the theatrical light of the end of the word- and not like a final dot but more like a transition, a fade in a new phase of life. During this moment, when the beginning and the end are crossing their steps, the sense and meaning of choices and events they often can be like a wet bar of soap.

----------------------Marino Brandoli 31 years / Italy â–şâ–şEVS in Lithuania 2011

This is the situation that I am facing at the moment. The flow of images that I have experienced during this year is not yet finished and I find my self somehow in a uncomfortable situation. My EVS in Lithuania is still producing new impressions, emotions and I feel to be still in the middle of a process; the words that I am putting down at the moment are like a mirror of this important transition that I am facing, a passage from a incredibly intensive year to something that at the moment is not yet visible. I am sitting in my EVS room in Vilnius; outside there is a mountain of snow. It is like this since a while, I never experienced so much snow even on the Italian mountains. Scriptamanent #3

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A colleague of mine, a smiling face from Portugal before the beginning of the winter told me “in my life I only sow snow in movies”; I thought he was joking but when I asked him his impression about the snow flakes he sad” well, they are much better then rain”. It was if suddenly I could see the snow from a new viewpoint, a funny one. This kind of stories have followed me during all this months helping me to see small and big thinks on a new ironic perspective. This probably is the first feeling that I have experienced; how to see thinks that for me where obvious under a different light. I had incredibly funny night with my colleague, Lisa from Germany, Jose form Portugal and Jesus from Spain. Thanks to our long talks I discovered again the pleasure of sharing, of discussing about life and projects and of being part of a strange tribe, a temporarily one but extremely real and happy. Every one has his own motivation for being here; the need of a change, the pleasure of discovering a new land, new traditions and a new language. Or maybe, at the end, just the importance of see the difference between snow and rain; that’s also probably a good experience. Before coming to Vilnius I had in my mind a clash of images, fragments of life were following the movement of the washing machine’s drying cycle. I was missing a center, a fix point enough strong to be considered as a base. I was simply missing home. I left Italy for the first time at the age of 20 and I went back I was almost 30. During my four months stop in Italy-I am a traveler addicted- I realized that I was in a very strange period, a cross fade between an ending and a new beginning; presumably because of my age. There was any way a certain continuity between this two moment, probably a dream that was coloring my life since many years, making again a documentary. And while the first one in Kosovo was a flop I told my self: try again, fail again but just try to fail better. Creativity is also an answer for surviving during difficult period and I figured that the process of creation can be a combination of different elements. When I discovered the 130


European Voluntary Service I though that probably I was near to find the way for trying again. That’s how thinks went. But what I was not aware of, was the human dimension that I was about to live. In the beginning I was alone; Lisa –my German colleaguewas with some families and the kids to the summer camp. During the first day that I spend in Nendre- my Hosting Organization- I was literally attacked by kids; that is the bad side of being tall… I meet Nina, my supervisor, a big woman with small blue eyes. She is part of Nendre since the beginning; with her Danute, Maryte and the funny Milda. And off course while I am an Italian guy the first think that I was asked was: do you like to cook pasta? After less the one hour I was in the kitchen with the official cook, Marina, trying to prepare some macaroni for everybody. The feeling was to be already part of a family, a special one while I was surrounded by only woman. Nendre was founded 14 years ago thanks to the support of the Aland Peace Institute; after the declaration of independence from Russian in 1991, Lithuania “change” obviously his political and economical system. But as history teach, in most of the case people they don’t get real benefit from a new order. Families struggled more and more for be able to reach the end of the month; the context was more fragile while in the middle of a change. The structure that some how during the soviet time was supporting people was not any more there. The market was starting to change people life. The women that I meet in Nendre during this months were reflecting trough their life this social change; due to a lack of jobs and of possibilities they were unable to have a base and a normal life for them as well for their kids. Nendre was created for this reason: for helping marginalized women with social problems to build up their life. Maybe because of my childhood, I was sensible to this topic. I grow up in a split family and I remember my mother in several occasion Scriptamanent #3

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with the nerves broken. It took me a lot of years to understand the meaning of her tears and how much she was struggling with life; growing up a kid alone is a double job. This was for me one of the connections for telling Nendre’s story and for writing the documentary Nendre Fragments of life. It took me four months for finding the way of getting enough support for make the idea becoming real. But when I start I was feeling on the clouds. The beginning usually is hard and that was the case of the first weeks of shooting. Technical problems, language problems, you know…make a documentary is also a lot of pain and frustration. But more the days where following more I was into it and with me also all the women of Nendre. Long debate and silence moment were alternating one after another during the coffee brake or during the lunch time. I spend long hours trying to understand what was going on around me. Lisa was great, she help me a lot. Four eyes are always better then two… When there was not translation available I was communicating with hands or by using few words that I knew and the results was unexpectedly positive and stimulating. Observation is a well know part of the documentary process and thanks to it I discover small details behind which there was a vision of life made by respect, love, curiosity, irony and friendship. Sharing, listening, helping each other and above all the pleasure of being together were definitely there. I am again sitting in my room; the snow is disappeared. The sun is back like when I came to Lithuania and in less the five weeks I will go back to Italy. The documentary is not still finished; today for instance I need to fix the sound and the music. I learn a lot during this year; mistakes, dreams, hope were all present during this long process. I don’t know what will come next when I will go back home; I feel that I am fading in to the end of the first important period of my life. And the EVS is the bridge that I am crossing. 132


Experience in Austria or International summer in Vienna (snicel city). Hello my name is Martins, I come from North Europe side, like very concert name in my country is Latvia (in Deutsch sprache das name is Lettland). So before I start write my experience in Wien (Vienna), I need to say my personal reason, why I choose this city and country and of course to do it this EVS project there. My connection with Europe Volunteer Service began start one year ago, when I start interesting NGO and non formal education stuff, in this same time when exploded “saponaceous bubble” of economic in my country. So I found the way for EVS possibility, to be volunteer in Italy, like be participated in group EVS specially project, how happen one mouth in south Italy region small city, who name is Altamura. After this project I still keep in my contact with Elizabeth from Spain, also from NGO who work with mental disability (handicap) youth people.

--------------------Martins Mamis 28 years / Latvia ►►EVS in Austria 2010

After returning back home in end of last year tree month I make it my other EVS was be happen in north Spain wine production famous city Logrono (region name is La Rioja). Where I make it my volunteer project in “Inter Europa” origination, this was be one of my greatest tree month in my life and so amazing trip in totally different Europe country with culture and nation who different to enjoy life. But in this time be implicated my last EVS project in Austria capital city Wien. I wish to explain on think, why I write so long history or introduction because I found this tree uniqueness EVS project in this people middle make it circle they each other know very well how this NGO work with volunteers and “Youth and Action “ program , what they will be offered the activities. I Scriptamanent #3

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like to say the social area of this people community is so short and they make it this border process of culture and mentality so shortness, specially in today, when EU border of is easy crossing and to know more about each other’s country life. Let’s going to my project details more closer, or better to say this trip and my challenge to put in one sentence “experience in Wien”. Before I come to Austria, I was be in Wien at 1998 year, when I be participated in “Europe sport youth politic constitution”. In this time I was be so young and green, when I come here. Before I come there some fact I did to know about Austria geographic and culture stuff. And right know I am there live in Wien, since May this mean more like six mouth I live in one of the biggest metropolis city in EU. Much better to description of Wien is to compare like one of the beautiful impressing architecture and culture art city in all Europe, with a lot possibility specially in summer time use to participate, music concert at Rathaus platz, Heldenplatz or Burggarten and this for free all, good music quality specially together with others volunteer. Just feel it moment of life. And also going to the museum for example Sisi museum in wonderful in Schloß Schönbrunn castle with park wonderful flora and little bit of nature. Good place for walking because there very stay the oldest Zoo Park in Europe. In Österreich language this means “Tiergarten” or Zoo Vienna. Also very wonderful place in Vienna, where is possible to breathe more fresh air relevantly is Kahlenberg and Leopoldberg, because for me I personally feel it more green piece of nature in Wien. On the closer area (or fields) on this little mountains people to cultivate the more agriculture of grapes, for this berries Austrian make it good quality red and white wine. From Kahnlenberg mountain top you can see amazing panorama vibe. Of course one of the biggest summer music festival in the middle Europe, who is happened every year end of July days for Wien city and visited many thousand visitors 134


from all Europe or tourist, who is this time visited the Wien. And more importing thing this festival is for free entrance, especially for volunteer, who live in Wien is amazing possibility to join this events. In especially this last summer I use to possibility going swimming because temperature average was be around plus 28 grades stay 3 weeks, in this time when I participate “Summer Work Camp” international. For my project this time was be so activity full time, when I was be nice experience how to learn for self much more thinks, what did know before. I work with wonderful team members and others 20 volunteers from different EU country or also from all world. It’s more difficult to begin on camp activity to separate between each other on team member’s responsibility for things in work time. What need to do it? How you to reach the aim you other in this summer work camp time are together? In reality too hard way found to connection with others volunteer from different mentality culture, who the work to work together and understand each other how to reach the aim work for free like volunteer, but in this same time be like one family. This family feeling I get only in the Summer Work Camp. This camp give me more possibility to get know more about self and to get acquainted other person much closer and still keep in good friendship after end of Summer Work Camp. I know my project in Grezenlos, was be not very ordinary volunteer project non official way work in camp, but in this same time work in office in especially in metropolis city like Wien, this for me biggest challenge ever be in my life and more importing thinks is learn be independent to live and be adult person. Only worst thing in my experience in Wien and Austria is expensive life quality and live not together with other volunteers in one flat. This feeling what I get in my second EVS at Spain I lost and missing too much, but I try this fact to replace with meet other my volunteer from my arrival training begin in May, who I meet in Wien. I have very relationships with them. Scriptamanent #3

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What I wish to next volunteer, who think to come work like volunteer experience in Wien, try to be joy every moment of life in Wien, yes I know this is too hard for other side, and more importing thing be sure about your chose to participate in your EVS project, and listen your heart voice, and only the trust they in this especially time when system manipulate with people. The rules of volunteer job say be ready to do it everything not asked, what I get back for this. And joy your culture trip in other country how possible more its possible. I wish you found Peace, Love and Happiness in every stuff.

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A dog’s life

---------------------------Mette Pabst Andersen 20 years / Denmark ►►EVS in Austria 2011 / 2012

Every dog barks differently. In Belgium the dogs go Waf waf, a bit more to the south the Spanish dogs bark Guau guau, and if you are in Poland, you will hear dogs bark with a Hau hau. Cats are different. No matter where they are they just go Miauv and immediately understand one another. After two month of EVS in Innsbruck, Austria, with 29 young people from 15 different countries I’ve learned that we all are a bit “cattish”. No matter how different life circumstances we came from, how little we knew about each other’s cultures and how insecure some of us felt speaking English, we just connected. Somehow we overcame all the barriers within the first week with smiles, silly games and long nights around the campfire with cold feet and red noses. And that was it. In Innsbruck, the capital of the Alps, surrounded by snowy mountains and farmhouses with wooden balconies we found something special. We became a family of young people from all over Europe with a giddy little sister from Finland, a caring mother from Poland and a funny uncle from Italy. We all had important roles in our European family and we were ready to make history together. The history we were about to make, and the reason why we were all together in Innsbruck, was the event of the first Winter Youth Olympic Games. Our job was to help out with the innovative concept Culture and Education Program that was especially created for the Youth Olympic Games to make it an event of more than sport. The vision was to make the young athletes interact with each other, reflect on the Olympic values such as respect and friendship and embrace all different cultures and people. An event Scriptamanent #3

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created to make young people all over the world understand that culture barriers do not matter. An understanding that we as volunteers also came to realize after spending two amazing months in each other’s company. Before I went to EVS I was nervous. I was 19 years old and I had just finished high school, but I had never tried to live abroad, actually I had never tried to live without my parents. And to know I was about to travel more than 1200 kilometers and live two months with 29 unknown people who spoke 15 different languages? I mean one thing is to live alone, but how would it be living with so many people in one small house? Maybe if we were all from the same country, it wouldn’t have been such a big concern for me, but how were we supposed to fit all the various cultures together? And what about the food? I had heard somewhere that Russians only eat soup and everyone knows that Italians are all about pizza and pasta. Yes I was indeed nervous. But even though my mind was filled with questions and scruples about the project, the excitement and curiosity filled more. On the 1st of December I waved goodbye to my family and friends in Denmark and boarded a plane that would not only take me to the beautiful city of Innsbruck , but also take me to a completely different life. Two months that had a much bigger impact on me that I would ever have dreamed of. I still don’t know how it happened. I was sure that it would be troubled to live with so many people in one small house. Different cultures that had to fit together, boundaries that were about to be crossed and various ways of living we had to unite. And indeed we had different ways of doing things; We even had different ways of doing the dishes! But somehow none of this mattered. Actually it was these edges that made us learn and reflect on our own ways of living. Just because I had always cleaned the dishes the same way, it didn’t necessarily mean that it was the best way of doing it, and that 138


counts for everything we do in life. I guess that that is the most important thing I learned during my EVS stay. I learned to share my beliefs, but also to listen to others point of view and be open to new values. The differences between us ended up bringing us closer together, because we really wanted to figure out why our new friends had other ways of seeing life. I learned about the history of Hungary after Second World War and how that affected the citizens, I learned about the life of the people in Bosnia after the Bosnian civil war, and I learned how the young people in Spain try to overcome the massive unemployment that their country suffers from. I am embarrassed to admit that before my EVS experience I didn’t even know that there had been a civil war in Bosnia just a few decades ago. It strikes me how little we know about each other even though we live as one united Europe. It feels so silly that I for one didn’t know anything about Estonia when now one of my dearest friends lives there. It feels so silly that we don’t use this amazing world that lies in front of us. This experience has taught me that we should see Europe as our personal playground, where we can run as fast as we can in the French vineyards, be overwhelmed by the beauty of the Rumanian castles and gaze by the sight of the thousand seas in Finland. We should embrace the fact that we can travel around in Europe as free citizens and explore life. It is funny how small things reminds me of my EVS family and the life we had together in Austria. Yesterday I was making myself a salad in the kitchen and suddenly my heart skipped a beat. The smell of the balsamic vinegar took me back to Innsbruck, to the little kitchen where Fransesco from Italy always made me salad with a lot of balsamic vinegar on top. The same guy that the first time he ever tasted noodles, thoughtfully said to us: “I will tell my mom about this funny kind of pasta. She wouldn’t believe me!” Scriptamanent #3

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It was a coincidence first time I realized that dogs do not bark the same in all countries. Another girl from Denmark made without knowing it the sound of a polish dog barking, and the polish girl that sat next to her burst into laughter. The poor Danish girl had no idea what she just did, and the polish girl couldn’t understand why she was the only one laughing. It took some time for the two confused girls to figure out the reason for the misunderstanding between them. We taught each other so many small things every day. Katarzyna from Poland made me aware of the differences between dogs and cats when it comes to the use of language. And it ended up as a quiz, when we later on had the opportunity of making internet radio live from our house. Yet another great experience. The major event of all – even bigger than standing together during the opening of The Youth Olympic Games jnauary the 13th – was celebrating Christmas. I was really worried about spending Christmas in a new country with so many cultures. How would it be without the roasted pork, sweet potatoes, my uncle’s thick brown sauce and all my cousins running around screaming and playing with their Christmas gifts? For a start we didn’t even celebrate the holiday on the same day! The Christmas in Innsbruck turned out to be one of the greatest experiences of my life. The Christmas table was covered with all kinds of traditional Christmas food from all the volunteers’ home countries, and the atmosphere was full of joy and happiness. We made our own traditions with a little bit from every country, and we all felt like being part of something special. The last day of my EVS stay was somehow both the saddest and the most cheerful day of my life. It is never easy to say goodbye, especially not when the people you are saying goodbye to, are people that you care deeply for. We were a family. We are a family. And that is exactly why the last day of my EVS was also the most cheerful, because this day was not only the end, but also 140


the beginning of a new world for me. A world that is now bigger than before, and gives me possibilities that I didn’t know I had. A family spread all over Europe, friends that I know will always be there with a warm bed if I ever come by, and friends who will be pleased and proud to show me around in their home countries. I made friends for life in Innsbruck and I am grateful that I had the opportunity to be part of such an amazing experience. Before I went to the beautiful mountains in Innsbruck, I didn’t know just how much the stay would affect my life. Now I know that my EVS has changed my future radically, because it has given me a new big interest in Europe. I want to live as a citizen in Europe – not just Denmark, and that is why I have decided to study something that I can use all over Europe. In the short term EVS has given me the possibility to travel and explore Europe with a friend welcoming me in almost every country– in the long term EVS has given me a new way of looking at my opportunities in life. My home is not only Denmark anymore – It is Europe. Dogs bark differently, but they are all still dogs. We may speak different languages, but we are all part of the same family. And if you don’t understand the bark, you can always just go miauv, because that everyone can understand.

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-------------------------------------------------------------------Mette Viktoria Pabst Andersen was born in 1991 in Denmark. With the story “A dog’s life” she is the winner of the third edition os Scriptamanent. About her experience she says: “My Volunteer experience took place in the city of Innsbruck, Austria. The Role of the EVS Volunteers was to support activities within the Culture and Education Programme (CEP) within the first Winter Youth Olympic Games. The Culture and Education Programme was a programme was especially created for the Youth Olympic Games to make it an event of more than sport. The vision was to make the young athletes interact with each other, reflect on the Olympic values such as respect and friendship and embrace all different cultures and people.”

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Il racconto di Michelangelo

Sai perché quello che non hai non arriva mai se otterrai quel che ti basta solo allora capirai la felicità cos’è come.. quando un bambino per strada rivolge a un’anziana uno sguardo di pura poesia ti dimentichi dei bisogni tuoi se poi.. guardi di notte un uccello sul mare che vola sfuggendo alla luna Scriptamanent #3

---------------------------Michelangelo Mastrosimini 31 years / Italy ►►EVS in Romania 2010 / 2011

Scrivere della mia esperienza di volontariato equivale a rivivere per me dei momenti che hanno profondamente cambiato la mia vita. Ricordo i miei 10 mesi trascorsi in Romania come il periodo dal quale ho ripreso a vivere e star bene. Ho un’infinità di ricordi legati al periodo trascorso in Bràila grazie al servizio volontario europeo ma scelgo di raccontarvi su tutte, una storia. Volli cimentarmi in un’avventura; fare una scommessa con il territorio. Mi sono cimentato come regista in uno spettacolo teatrale scritto e diretto da un gruppo di studenti della locale scuola d’arte. Un team cui facevano parte cantanti, ballerine, scenografe e attori. Bene, in quella occasione io ho creato assieme alla chitarra d’un mio collega spagnolo, una canzone in testo e musica che divenne la scena finale del musical con cui ci si esibì. A voi lettori dedico il testo di quel brano.

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mi confermerai quella è pura libertà sai chi c’è nelle lacrime d’ogni nuvola ci siamo io ed i pensieri tuoi d’ora in poi la pioggia t’intenerirà e se.. il sogno d’ amore che porti nel cuore ti sembra un miraggio tu dagli coraggio e non perderlo custodiscilo però.. tieni presente che il mondo va avanti e se siamo distanti non darti per vinta ma chiudi gli occhi al sole ti sorriderà cerco il mio percorso e sento che sorriderai because the earth is just another sky penso a questa vita e lo capisco se piangerai cuz the earth is another sky tu 144


ed io due mondi diversi una sola magia noi un’unica armonia persi l’uno nell’altra ma consapevoli della via e.. ..lungo il tuo percorso senti che sorriderò because the earth is just another sky pensi a questa vita e lo capisci se piangerò cuz the earth is another sky

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My EVS project Es esmu brīvprātīgais- I am a volunteer, it sounds in Latvian. I am a volunteer in Latvia now. But I am in my heart and in my soul UKRAINIAN. Ukraine and Latvia. Their shares 1384 miles. That is the distance between Kiev the capital of Ukraine, the city where I was studying and from where I came and Rezekne the heart of Latgale, a great city, where I am doing my EVS. There is a country in the world with vast expanses, endless fields of rye, wheat, with golden ears, with blue, like the azure sky, with steppes and forests that do not cover the eye. A country where you expect most native people, the country, which cried out your thoughts when you are happy and when you want to share this joy. When you are sad, in your mind again native Ukraine, the family and friends. In my opinion infinitely dear grandmother, who holds me, gives me all her love and kindness, all her boundless heart, full of warmth. She is willing to give everything, everything and nothing asked in return, just only a single that you were happy, that she saw your smile, and then she happiest also and she do not need nothing more. Her weary hands gently caress me, comfort, and each of her touch comes tranquillity, peace, faith and hope, comes life. And wherever I go, whatever I did - my grandmother always with me. She is my soul, she is my salvation, she is… And I know that she also thinks of me, watching me, watching from heaven. She is rejoicing when I am rejoicing, she is sad when I am sad. My dear grandmother I miss you so much. She always taught me: “Everything what you are doing from your heard – you doing at first for yourself”. She always said “I am very rich, when I give to others.” Grandma, now I understand, it is golden words, it is sincere and true words. This is what brings joy, inspiration, happiness, fills you with light, and you feel that you live, not just exist, and not 146


--------------------Nataliia Tsekhmestruk 22 years / Ukraine ►►EVS in Latvia

just for yourselves, to meet your needs. You change, you change this world every good deed, you feel that you belong to this world, you feel your presence in this world, you feel… How it is wonderful to know that you are able to do something good even for one person. It is real feeling from your heart, you do it for yourselves because you feel need help because of this, the soul comes peace. And you are flying. And it is in yourself, it is inside! And now I, like never, have the opportunity to help others, make someone’s life happier, to give a smile, and in return see a smiling face, happy eyes, tender embrace, and one sentence “Natasha do not go home, do not go to the Ukraine, stay here I do not want you to leave us. “ And nothing more is needed, and tears begin to run, and you are not able to stop them. I can not describe my feelings at this moment, even if it wanted to, I do not have enough words, and words are not expressed, is that inside you have to feel. I do not know why, but at this point you feel that you are tremble and your heart wants to escape from the chest. ”Natasha do not go home, do not go to the Ukraine, stay here, I do not want you to leave us” – words, which say twelve years old girl, make you feel that. The girls, who lack maternal care, attention and affection, which so it is needed. But her mother is busy otherwise, it is more important for her to drink, than two wonderful daughters, for whom their mother is the best in the world. And we just played along with them, taught Ukrainian language and Ukrainian poetry, draw, do homework, walking, and gave each other sincere hug and a smile and warmth of our hearts. “Aunt Natasha, why you go so soon, why you do not want to stay”. Now, when I am writing it, I sadly realize that already passed more than half my project and I want time to stop. I really do not want to go. I would be hard Scriptamanent #3

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without this children, without their noise, without their smiles, their hugs, jokes, games, without their strange words to me, because I only just 22 years, “Aunt Natasha.” Without our lessons to each other: I taught them Ukrainian, they taught me Latvian. We were playing billiards, nous, uno. We celebrated Ukrainian holidays, New Year, Christmas, Easter, our birthdays, prepared pancakes, relished Ukrainian borscht and Latvian cuisine. It will be very sad without our games on the streets, without their faces, which I’m so used to, and have become like family to me. I volunteer… what does it mean for me? This is another life, this is a new world, a new me. So, first of all it is change… change all around, not just outside, the most important it is change inside. Changes in perception of the world, the perception of yourself, your views on your own life. You start to analyze your life from the perspective of another person. And then everything cleared up, and the problems that have been in your life seems like not a problems but like opportunities that you can use for development and improvement yourself. And you really, more than ever, feel that you live in this the same time huge, but such a small world. And you understand that everything depends on you and you can do everything! Yea, there are different moments in our life, because it is life. But we can give warmth and affection, hugs, smiles, part of our soul to people which are close to us. It is so… you receive much more than give. “Change your attitude to the world, and then the world will change for you.” We need just open our eyes wider, look around, not only for ourself, and then a strange thing happens - we suddenly realize what it is real life… I am a volunteer it is a new life, a new me! I am a volunteer it is smiling, happy children’s faces! I am a volunteer - and it is great! 148


Snippets of Vilnius, Lithuania After my EVS days in a city of bread – Altamura, I wrote several rough drafts, more like notes, memories, inspirations, and snippets of things that are overlapping in upcoming paragraphs.

-------------------Natalija Vanagelyte 27 years / Lithuania ►►EVS in Italy 2011

Yes, my Italian friends from north part told me stories about how every morning very very very early you can see small trucks leaving Altamura city filled with best bread in whole country and delivering it all around Italy. They also told me, I should be more careful in the south, as it’s not like north part and I should find reliable locals and use their advices in everyday… what ? why ? When I look back I notice that at the beginning it all seems like chaos. No matter how many preparations I did, still very sudden and unexpected big bang troughs me to most unlikely place. It all started with this last minute panic rush. Was I too picky? While searching for perfect one? There are sooo many different EVS projects all around, but none of them really catches my eye. And those who do – are already taken. Why nobody needs me??? Ok, it’s only a week till November deadline. I have to make this work. There is this moment when I need to speak with the smartest person around – myself. The monologue goes something like this: – Natalija, please forget your wishes about specific country or region, forget field of activity, forget the length of time. You are thousands miles away from home now, working your ass off. But next year, you need to experience something of another kind. The best plan – is no plan. Just go for it! So I opened the database, I did not made “filtration according…”. Just wanted to see all possibilities, and I believed in recognizing the One when I see it. And Scriptamanent #3

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surprise surprise: it clicked! When I saw LINK project offer – I just knew this is the one I’m going for, even if at the first glance, it didn’t fit most of my previous requirements I had. It’s funny because it’s true. When you see the One (in any field of interest) somehow all your previous judgments fall apart and it all combines in a beautiful mess and gets under your skin. In a few days documents started flowing through interspaces of wireless technologies. I was chosen and I accepted it. When later, after some time of volunteering, I was talking with Lucia, she mentioned – they selected me, because I point out my enjoyment of doing handcrafts. It’s nice to know, because I’m amateur in this, but you never know, which capabilities might be noticed by others. Later, just before the start of volunteering, was the point when the fear and uncertainty in me and my capabilities came across. What if I won’t be good enough? What if I won’t satisfy their high expectations? Will I manage? Those doubts seemed like a ten store building height tsunami. Hold on hold on hold on hold on… And it passed away. As my ex-EVS friend told me with a surprise: – You worry too much, take it easy. Don’t you get it? This whole program is done for participants in their best interest. You’ll see yourself, so enjoy it, take the most of it and give back all you can. And now I can confirm it 100 percent – it’s true. After the project, when someone asks me to tell how my volunteering was, they usually are interested in what I did, what I saw and of course, how much I traveled. Yes, I can tell you all the short version, that might impressed some, like: I did saw Colosseum and Vesuvius volcano, I walked on the streets of Pompeii and Naples, stood in the middle of Vatican square, crossed Ponte Sant’Angelo bridge, swam in Adriatic sea, smelt various natural spices and herbs in fields, heard inspiring music, learnt traditional dances, tasted best cuisine, spoke on local radio, was teacher assistant in school, organized English language course… I could go on and on as this is easy to tell, to measure, to evaluate. I can put lot’s of plusses in 150


my bucket list and make it just a little shorter. However, this whole surface exploring stuff comes to point of “who gives a sh*t”, when the talk turns to people. It all would be pointless if I would not meet them. Who? Them! The people, who fill in the streets with their steps and everyday life with their stories. Who bring back to life main city square in the evening after day of rest. Who are traveling by and somehow unexpectedly get stuck and crash onto our volunteers couch. There are so many new connections done during EVS: locals, travelers, other volunteers, co-workers, their family members etc. All of them make different marks, some are like touching the water – it lasts a second and disappears like it never existed; others are like footprints on the sand – they stay for a while but disappear eventually; but sometimes, if we are lucky, we meet people whom are like cravings on a stone – no matter how many time passed, they won’t disappear and cannot be forgotten. At this very moment, here and now, while writing these words, just some hours before Scriptamanent deadline strikes, I do remember each and everyone from my last year adventure in Altamura, as they left a mark in my mind and heart that cannot be erased. At the end, it’s all about people, connection, community. I might not seen 7 wonders of the world yet, but I definitely got to know people who are miracles in land of Italy. Think globally – act locally. In Puglia region, I saw people who support small business, like bread shops and bakeries, market sellers with their local production, hairdressers, and cafes. I remember how I discovered that in some cities Italians managed to get rid of fast food chain restaurant, because they showed how much it is important for them to treasure what they already have: their food culture background, to be themselves and stay unique. These local actions are worth a lot of respect. As these days we are in a hurry all the time. This kind of modern society point of view gets into more and more communities. People are wishing Scriptamanent #3

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fast satisfaction one after another, without really understanding what it is all about and how they are harming themselves and future generations. Maybe that is why, some of the best free days I had, were spent together with Birgit, Ponja and Angelo, riding bicycles around Altamura and using all possible senses to explore. When they showed me countryside and I got to see and taste some things for the first time in my life, like picking almonds and walnuts from trees, fresh mulberries or some eatable flowers I don’t even remember name. Moreover, I got this impression about the youth who go to work, study in universities or just live in other cities: they have strong and positive connection to small town of Altamura. As whenever they have time, they come back and not just to visit family and friends. No, they reunite and create something worth sharing and spreading around their home town. They give inspiration and commonsense to others, they manifest their actions: we do not abandon you, we do not have a need to escape, we will always come back to our roots, and this place will never be forgotten. This kind of interconnection I saw and felt in Amnesty International 50th anniversary event in Altamura and during Youth Exchanges organized by LINK . At the end, it took me some more time, than I could have thought, to become more and more conscious about what it is and how it is happening around. Like words that flutter from our mouths in our own native language can make such an unpredictable, but still amazing and meaningful transformations. My Italian HO was LINK and obvious what does this name signification is, if you know English language, but wait a minute, LINK also has a connection with my native language, as those same 4 letters in Lithuanian means “towards”, it shows a direction an object is moving. And here comes another linking word, that gives strength at times of nostalgia, it is “greeting”. It 152


doesn’t matter if I give or I get a greeting connected to my EVS and days in Altamura; the object and act itself in Lithuanian is “linkėjimas”, that literally is a connection of 2 words “towards” ( in Lithuanian: link) and “walking” (in Lithuanian: ėjimas). So, as P. Coelho writes, if I want to see the signs the whole universe will help me in showing my path. I might have walked thousand miles just to get back to where I started in order to see the same things, but from the other point of view. So, what am I walking towards and what kind of connections will it have with my past actions?

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A few words on how I became a volunteer My name is Nicola; or rather it used to be back in the days when I lived in London with my mum, frequented pubs and took doubledecker busses. My name has since then adapted itself to fit the culture and traditions of the country. Before contemplating volunteering in Italy, I was living, studying and working in belle Paris where Nicola is most decidedly for a boy and Nikki (a typical abbreviation in England) when pronounced with a French accent is a rude word. One month of je suis Nicola (I am a boy) and je suis Nikki (I am a very rude word) and it was time to change to Nicole. Two years in France taught me the importance of accepting and embracing other cultures and to what extent I was a cliché of a nice English girl. When my time in France came to an end I wasn’t ready to return home to London. I had started a language exchange with an Italian girl and decided that Rome with its fountains and ruins was the place for me. Nobody could understand it. Why didn’t I want to come home? Why didn’t I want to stay in Paris? Did I really want to go to a place where I knew nobody? Did I really want to put all that energy into making new friends? It just wasn’t a logical choice. At 24 (according to my mum) I was getting old; I should be getting a grown up job with prospects in London. She was right, but all the jobs I saw seemed so grey. What I really wanted was to move to Rome with all its trials and tribulations, and find something colourful and diverse. Eventually, at two in the morning after days of searching the internet late at night, I stumbled across something very interesting: EVS or European Voluntary Service. The initiative provided you with accommodation, food, flights and language lessons, allowing you to volunteer at a local level. I had never 154


------------------------Nicola McCabe 25 years / United Kingdom ►►EVS in Italy 2012

considered volunteering abroad due to the expense. It had always seemed impossible to volunteer without a substantial amount of savings or parental backing. It was so refreshing to see an initiative which facilitated international travel, learning and development. I have always been a strong proponent of culture and strongly believe that it needs to be accessible to everybody. While at University I worked on the publicity for a play performed in Ancient Greek. For me it was very important to open up the classical world to the public and make a dead language come to life. Through the EVS database I found the International Cultural Association Sala 1 whose objective was that: to bring contemporary art and artists from all over the world to the attention of the public and to use art as a means of connecting and facilitating a dialogue between different people and cultures. Needless to say I was very excited at the prospect of helping and getting involved. Everyone was still sceptical, but they could see my mind was made up- Roma here I come! I had no idea what I was getting myself into-where I would stay, what I would be doing, who I would meet- but I was excited.  I naively believed that after Paris I was sufficiently international to know that things would not be, nor function like they do in England. The first challenge was the busses- an impossible number of people would pack on the bus while the driver would run red lights and swear at other drivers. At each stop I could feel my inner Inglese bubbling to the surface: “let the passengers of the bus before boarding!” I wanted to shout. (Of course, being English I never did).  I found myself living with two very amiable Italians both of whom were passionate about their food. I would spend hours listening to the difference between Scriptamanent #3

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tomatoes, the importance of the artichoke and the sheer majesty of good coffee. It was if they had come straight out of the book: “Eat, Pray, Love”. I loved listening to these culinary sermons, but I was apprehensive to learn that there was no kettle. I was told not to worry; I could make a perfectly good cup of tea in the microwave. “Tea in the microwave?!”-I could feel that inner Inglese bubbling up again. However I swallowed my pride and gave it a go… I was traumatised. Very soon after a very concerned and doting mother came over to Rome bearing a kettle and 3 months supply of tea. Working in the gallery was fascinating. I was surrounded by super educated Italians who took me around Rome and gave advice about events and museums. The director of the gallery was an American woman, a sheer force of nature who had built up the gallery over 40 years with the help of Padre Tito, a priest/contemporary artist, who was 86 and about as high as my shoulders. The space was incredible, and little by little I started getting involved in the various projects that the gallery was organising. I was particularly impressed by the exhibition “Fast Forward Design”. This involved young designers from Italy and Finland showing their furniture created using sustainable methods and materials.  It was a pleasure meeting the designers and helping with the publicity as I felt the show deserved to seen. Another interesting role has been helping to raise money and awareness for a conservation project. This project is still in process but we have now reached the target to complete one section of the work. I am so excited to come back to Rome next year and see it finished.  Being at the gallery has opened me up to some incredible experiences and people. I won’t forget the evening I was invited to the St Patrick’s Day party at the Irish embassy, or seeing the Mayor of Rome at a museum opening. I have loved meeting the artists and hearing about their work. But one thing I will never 156


forget is when the ambassador of Bangladesh came to the gallery. Sala 1 has a tradition of working with the Bangladesh community in Rome and the ambassador wanted to show his uncles the space. I started talking to them about Sala 1, Rome, literature, art, food and before long they invited me back to their house for dinner. As someone who loves Indian food, the prospect of a home cooked Bangladesh meal was more than irresistible. After a truly wonderful dinner, I reflected on how lucky I was to be part of the EVS program, to work in a sector that interests me, in a country I have always wanted to live in, and meet people that I would never have had the privilege to meet, had I got that grey grown up job in London. So I’m a little older, probably wiser and very grateful that I have had the opportunity to contribute to a great project, in a spectacular city thanks to a wonderful EU initiative. Nicola/Nicole/Nicoletta McCabe

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This is a need Before my European Voluntary Service really started, I did not know much, what it will be about. Before I went to the place, where I was supposed to spent one year of my life, I cared more about accommodation, language and how to tell it to my university that I would like to leave it for so long. I did not know much about organization as well, but it was my choice not to know. As a result of my very low level of knowledge about the organization, I did not know, what I will exactly do there, what people do there, what are the things that organization work on etc. I knew that there will be some meetings and conferences on the European level, because I had to answer the question ‘what are you going to do there?’, when people were asking me about next year of my life. But when they were starting to ask ‘and what will be the meetings about?’ - I did not have any clue. Before I really went there and saw the work I did not know, what are the topics that the organization deals with. Actually even when I saw the work and I was working there I knew them but I did not understand them. I was still more concentrated on the frames of my stay there like conditions of my work, on the new languages and on place where I was living. I worked in a field, which was responsible for organization of youth exchanges and exchanges for youth workers to increase the knowledge about methods of work with young people in different countries. We dealt mostly with topics like: democracy, diversity, Europe and strongly connected with the last mentioned subject: European citizenship. From these 3-4 topics European citizenship seemed the most boring one, the most difficult and not wanting one. Of course, I participated in some lectures about it, I prepared some methods from non formal learning including the part about knowledge about common European values and directions 158


-------------------------Paulina Jaskulska 24 years / Poland ►►EVS in Germany 2010/2011

in which Europe should go according to these values. Of course my boss gave me some books about it, because I seemed interested in the topic. Of course I could have read them and still did not open them. Of course my mentor tried to explain me the main idea of European citizenship, but he did not crop any need for knowing more about the topic in my heart and mind at that moment. Interesting is that this need came right after my time spent in the organization. After my EVS I got a strong will to know more about the topic. Final point of the need happened three weeks ago, when I went to Kosovo with other youth workers from different “European” and “not European” countries to learn more about European citizenship. We did together a wonderful training course during which we discussed, doubted, argued about the idea, values, dimensions of European citizenship. Now, when I am after these experiences, I am still not sure if I know what does the European citizenship mean. Moreover, I do not have any clue, how to be an active European and how to help Europe in going in the appropriate direction. I am sure that my EVS did not change me into an active European citizen, but for sure made me start thinking about Europe in the context of responsibility and woke up a need for looking for some hints telling me how the European citizenship should look like.

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As Easy As… Teaching? In December 2010 I applied to become an English teaching assistant in France. After several months spent searching for work and a sense of direction, I had decided that teaching was very possibly the career track for me. What else does one do with a university degree in French and art? Having spent my junior year in Paris, I longed to return to Europe, improve my French, and get away from American politics for a little while. With the recession, teachers of arts and foreign languages were getting laid off across the United States, but no matter. I would earn my credential and teach in Canada, if necessary. Before jumping to any conclusions, however, I wanted to test the waters. The Teaching Assistant Program in France was the perfect chance. I like kids. Why not? I heard back from the program in April 2011 and by the end of September I had crossed the ocean to find myself in a small town in Brittany, where I would spend the next 7 months working in the local primary and middle schools. The city of Dinan seemed perfect in every way. Surrounded by medieval ramparts and filled with half-timbered houses, the city is large enough to be culturally vibrant, and small enough to cross on foot—an important detail as I was assigned to work in four different schools. I would be doing a lot of walking. About 200 teaching assistants were hired in Brittany in 2011, and about 30 of us in the Côtes d’Armor region. At the beginning of October, teaching assistants from across the region gathered together for an orientation in Saint-Brieuc. Those of us working in primary schools got an extra day of training and were able to see an English class in action. The students were a group of wellbehaved 10-year-olds. The teacher led the class as easily as one would a kid to a pasta bowl, using a teddy bear named “Nelly” to 160


------------------------------------------Rebecca Waterhouse 24 years / United Kingdom ►►Teaching Assistant Program in France 2011

interact with the students. They were engaged and quiet, and they had clearly learned something by the end of class. Inspired, I looked forward to my first class at a local primary school called La Gargouille a couple days later. It was a class of CE1, students aged 6 to 7 years. “Are you nervous?” my advisor asked me as we drove up to the school. “Not really,” I said with a shrug. I should have been. It had been a long time since I had worked with children that young. I hadn’t realized to what extent I needed to prepare my lesson, and had no idea how much English the students already knew. My advisor kindly left me to my own devices, and I tried an improvised version of what I had seen during training while the class’s regular teacher happily retreated behind her desk. It just so happened that the students already knew the lesson (numbers 1 through 5). Forty-five minutes never seemed so long. The class ended in chaos, and I finished by apologizing profusely to their teacher for my ineptitude. I left, downhearted, to recount my failure to my advisor. “Don’t worry,” she said, “I’ll help you prepare tomorrow’s class.” The next day I returned to La Gargouille with renewed hope. This time, I would teach numbers 6 through 10 and had a zillion different activities planned to do so. This time, however, I was on my own. For whatever reason, the teacher was absent on Fridays. To make up for this, my class was moved to the computer room, where I would be just a door away from the Spanish teacher. Door or no door, I was still alone with 20 little kids who, thrilled with the change of location and swivelchairs at their disposition, were not keen on sitting quietly and listening to an English teacher with such an obvious lack of authority. Besides, they already knew the numbers through 10. I never had a chance Scriptamanent #3

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to start my lesson. Before I knew it, students were out of their chairs, running around, and crawling under the tables. Those still seated cried out, “Maîtresse, there’s a dog under the table!” The “dog” was a student. Frustrated with the lack of authority, two well-behaved girls asked to fetch the Spanish teacher, Stephan. At first I was unwilling, but quickly gave in when I realized I couldn’t handle the situation alone. Stephan came and told my students off in his gentle, soft-voiced way, complaining we were making so much noise that his students couldn’t concentrate. He left, and 5 minutes later the chaos had started again. When my students went to get Stephan a second time—this time without asking--I couldn’t take anymore. Why was I incapable of controlling my own students? You just don’t send the whole class to the corner. I burst into tears and left the classroom. The shame! Behind me I could hear Stephan saying, “You see? Now she’s crying. She’ll never come back if you treat her like that.” Back in my new, empty apartment, I sobbed into my cup of tea and wondered if I could find a cheap plane ticket back to my parent’s farm in the US, far from little children. (Months later, whenever my students at La Gargouille noticed my frustration at class misbehavior, at least one would pipe up, “Shhhhuut! She’ll leave and won’t come back if we’re not good!”) Classes continued. I wasn’t ready to give up yet, so I braved my classes at La Gargouille as one does a trial by fire. At my other primary schools, things went much more smoothly, to my surprise. My kids in the neighboring town, Lanvallay, were little angels compared to the ones at La Gargouille, even though the situation was similar: I was still alone teaching 20 or so 7-year-olds. They were better behaved, that’s all. I soon found that I could test a lesson plan on them before repeating it at La Gargouille, even though the latter were more advanced in English. Teaching in the secondary school was completely different. There, 162


I was a real assistant. I worked closely with the teachers and had less responsibility and fewer behavior problems to deal with. My attitude slowly changed from a mixture of dread and fear of teaching to a realization that I was being paid only to try to teach. As an assistant, I was hired with the understanding that I had never studied to become a teacher and therefore was not expected to teach like one. If a lesson plan didn’t work or if my class misbehaved, at least I had done my best and would try to learn from the experience to do better next time. My students weren’t mean; on the contrary, they were adorable until I started trying to teach. But when a lesson plan did work, the result was pure joy. My first success at La Gargouille was when I attempted to teach classroom etiquette in English though a game of “Simon Says.” I had drawn flashcards illustrating “sit down,” “stand up,” and “be quiet,” and used them to teach the new vocabulary. It was chaotic but apparently fun because at the end of class, Julie, the most-well behaved, came up to me and placed a kiss on my cheek saying, “It was wonderful!” Suddenly, it was all worth while--the hours of class preparation, the sleepless nights, the exhaustion after teaching sessions, everything. The fact that I don’t write in “attached” letters was quite a shock to my younger students, who are all taught to write in proper cursive. To explain this, I had to tell them that American children aren’t required to use cursive in school (French students are). “Ah, I see,” said a student, “They don’t know how to write, but they draw really well!” I took this as a compliment. Once my students learned I like art, my bare apartment became papered in their wild and colorful drawings. Some of them were pictures of British flags, because I hadn’t gotten around to explaining exactly where I came from. I spoke English, so obviously I was English. I accepted them all these gifts with pleasure. The sweetest gift was a card I received before Christmas break that said, “Thanks for coming and you are too nice.” I know, I thought, Scriptamanent #3

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putting this and a few other drawings away, I am too nice. I had just finished my second lesson on Christmas, which involved a Bingo game and coloring pages. As I was getting up to go a student came up to me and said, “Ca veut dire quoi, en fait, Merry Christmas?” (What does it mean, actually, Merry Christmas?). Well, I don’t know about my students, but I certainly have learned a lot. Eventually, I convinced my advisor to let me teach in the regular classroom on Fridays, instead of facing the weekly trial of swivel-chair hell. Being in the classroom environment, with separate desks and a proper blackboard, helped immensely, though teaching was still difficult. Although I have worked with many excellent teachers this year whose methods I try to imitate, the talent for classroom management still eludes me. I have come to see authority as a magical character trait that I am somewhat lacking. Some people command respect; I seem to invite chaos. However, I came to enjoy the incredible enthusiasm my 7-year-olds had for learning. In secondary school, some of the teenagers I taught were so indifferent that I could have stood on my head and sung the French national anthem and still not gotten a reaction from them. My primary school students would jump out of their chairs to participate in even the most minor activity. Even if I do not continue teaching upon returning to the United States, the experience has brought me more than I could ever have expected. I have learned to be clear and concise (colored pencils or crayons?), to know what I want (indecision equals chaos in the classroom), and not to fear chaos… as long as it lasts for no more than 45 minutes.

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Taking the smallest steps to achieve the biggest dreams

--------------------Reeli Jantson 20 years / Estonia â–şâ–şEVS in Romania 2011

Every volunteer is a dreamer. They dream of equality, justice, solidarity and understanding between people; as well as of sustainable ecosystem and enough resources for everybody. In brief, they dream of a better world. They cannot stand the misery and suffering of others, they feel the need to take action and to change something. They have the social sensitivity that keeps them from just sitting back and watching another day go by, without showing a sign of better future. I was feeling the same, when I started my European Voluntary Service in Romania in August 2011. We were a group of six volunteers, all of us having big plans and loads of motivation. The main theme of the project was environment, and since the first time we walked the streets of our new hometown we started recognizing problems, waiting to be solved: homeless dogs wondering around small mountains of garbage amongst abandoned houses; over-usage of packaging in shops and markets; pollution of the river and unhealthy drinking water in the tap; and so on and so forth. We started brainstorming and gathering ideas to find solutions. Being ambitious and having the picture of a totally reborn city in our minds, we were so impatient to start the action. Unfortunately, one after another the obstacles started to appear on our way. First and foremost, we realized that our vision of the project was not the same as of our hosting organization. All of us had expected to start working in an environmental NGO with essential tools and competent people, but instead of that we just found ourselves in an association that promotes the opportunities in European Union. Although this made saving the world, or in this case, our new Scriptamanent #3

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hometown, a lot more complicated for us, we didn’t yet lose our motivation. We tried to apply methods that don’t need so many resources and simplified the ideas to match our knowledge base. Instead of fixing the local ecosystem and reducing air and water pollution, we focused on educating people. The first step was to spark interest and make them conscious about issues regarding environmental problems. For example we organized a street action called “The Green Messenger”, where we asked some local citizens about their views on environmental problems. Later we made an open-air exhibition of those opinions written on big posters, to urge public discussion. Seeing some interest for changing the situation and receiving encouraging words from passers gave us the spirit to continue towards our noble aim. Put not all the people care about what’s going on around them – this appeared to be the second biggest obstacle. We started visiting high-schools to give short lectures to youngsters and to teach them, how to live more eco-friendly. Among some interested looks we saw many void eyes and weary faces, waiting for us to finish asking questions and discussing. Some of them even had the impudence to say directly to our face, that environment wasn’t their problem and they didn’t care. Or, as put in their own words, they “didn’t give a f**k”. It was then that we realized: we were being naive and setting too high hopes. Like it’s said: “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, so our ambitions to change the mentality of a whole community during our 10-month project were clearly overrated. Now we’re about to finish our eighth month of service, and there are still no clearly visible changes. But that doesn’t discourage me anymore. I have understood that volunteering doesn’t mean making a change that everybody sees. It’s about preparing society for the change – creating appropriate soil and planting the seeds of transformation; the rest is done by time. Everything has to be developed step by step, in order to be lasting. If the idea of a 166


change is vital, it will start growing like a snowball being rolled, engaging more and more people who will finally make it a reality. And this exactly is the task of every active citizen – to make an effort for contributing to the development. This can be done by sharing thoughts and being a role model, acting responsively and being conscious about the effect that one’s actions might have. In our case we are still seeing people over-consuming packages and the streets where we take our Sunday-walks are yet lined with garbage, but with our project activities, as well as with everyday actions, we are slowly but steadily creating an impact to the mentality of local community. We are already surrounded by a small group of local youngsters, who share the same views with us, and can provide the sustainability of what we have initiated. But apart from having positive impact on locals’ mentality, there are other aspects that prove the efficiency of international voluntary work. Realizing that our naive dreams of a sudden change were unfulfillable resulted in reassessing our general values. Before starting the volunteering work we only had in our minds the goal of making a change in the community, but after facing the reality we understood that it’s not only about performing the activities written in our project. The real meaning, the essence of these kinds of undertakings is hidden in volunteers’ everyday life arrangements. Living and working together with people from other nationalities, thus developing intercultural sensitivity and sense of empathy; sharing knowledge and experiences – these are the things that actually matter. It’s impossible to pacify whole nations at once and to eliminate all discrimination and prejudice, but providing some active citizens the opportunity of having this intercultural experience, is a step towards better understanding and solidarity, which hopefully can result in justice and equality.

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EVS Grècia 2011 El voluntariat, com la vida mateixa, et torna el que li dónes. Ja sigui bo o dolent allò que has donat, bo o dolent serà allò que en rebràs. Però amb el servei voluntari, aquest tòpic tan conegut esdevé especial, en certa mesura. O això és el que se li queda gravat a la memòria a qualsevol, després d’haver viscut una experiència de trenta dies amb un grup de gairebé cent persones, totes elles vingudes des de ben lluny. Té tot l’aspecte de ser ideal, fantàstic, de somni, i bé que ho va ser, a més a més a l’estiu i a Grècia, a prop de la platja! Però (posem-hi un “però” i alguna circumstància difícil, a veure què ens tornen el paper i el bolígraf al final de la història!), l’entorn de la situació, en el voluntariat i en la vida mateixa, no ho fan tot. També hi ha d’haver un factor humà, en aquest cas noranta-set factors humans com a voluntaris, i quatre com a líders. Així doncs, des del primer dia, cadascun d’aquests joves humans, ens vam disposar a donar quelcom d’allò més nostre, més particular i interior; no pas res material ni econòmic (aquest tipus d’ofrenes ja les fem per Nadal o als aniversaris!), sinó allò més enginyós, més brillant i esplèndid que cadascun dels integrants d’aquest nombrós grup de nou-coneguts podiaposseir dins la seva personalitat i actitud davant la vida. Perquè el que sí que és clar és que un mes fent un projecte de voluntariat, a l’estranger, amb gent nova… no deixa de ser un període de trenta dies dins de la mateixa vida (real), aquella mateixa que vas deixar el dia abans de marxar i que reprens (vaja, que continues) el dia després d’haver tornat, com si no hagués passat res. NO! I tant que han passat coses, però totes elles, que quedi clar i encara que de vegades sembli difícil d’assimilar, dins de la realitat. L’aspecte negatiu (no hi estarem gaires línies, però l’havíem deixat penjat), és trobar-se determinades persones que es plantegen el mes de voluntariat com si es tractés d’un període determinat de temps on s’escapa 168


----------------------Roger Margalef Gonzalez 21 years / Spain ►►EVS in Greece 2011

de l’avorrida vida real a la seva ciutat / poble de residència habitual. Que consti que no he fet servir l’expressió “anar de vacant…”, però gairebé. És un període diferent, en el què es fan coses diferents a allò que estaves fent fins llavors i al què probablement faràs a partir de l’endemà d’haver tornat. En aquest grup, de tan gran com era, tots els seus integrants no vam arribar a conèixer-nos tots a tots. I no només per falta de temps, sinó perquè interiorment cadascú té el seu dia a dia, les seves coses a fer i en què pensar (no he dit rutina, una paraula que no agrada sentir pràcticament a ningú, però que a la pràctica, i amb temps, pot arribar a produir efectes molt beneficiosos), i amb qui passar el temps. Es va complir, així doncs, una precisa llei no escrita de proporcionalitat inversa: com més amics fas i més bé t’ho passes amb ells, menys ganes tens i menys esforços esmerces en anar a la recerca de nous contactes; i així, sense contacte, com a màxim un “bon dia”, ens vam quedar més d’un respecte a uns quants. Llàstima. Però (sí sí, la mateixa conjunció adversativa que abans semblava tan negativa ens serveix ara per a introduir el final feliç!), la gran majoria del grup vam saber conviure, és a dir, passar plegats el temps de la vida real, amb èxit, organitzant les nostres partides de cartes, jocs lingüístics i inacabables riallades enmig de llargues converses interculturals, de temàtica més, menys, molt o poc seriosa, però amb les rialles sempre com a rerefons comú. I al trentè dia tot això es va acabar, i fins i tot alguns vam plorar per això, per la catarsi que produeix adonar-nos una vegada més que hi ha d’altres maneres de ser feliç a la vida, i que s’han d’anar a cercar deixant enrere d’altres vivències que també t’han fet molt i molt feliç. I com ens ho fem per saber si ens ho hem passat realment bé i hem sigut veritablement feliços? Com que no hi ha màquines de la veritat que examinin els nostres cervells, jutgin els nostres sentiments i dictaminin Scriptamanent #3

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una resposta afirmativa o negativa, el més recomanable (per experiència) és seguir les pròpies sensacions i els propis pensaments interiors, recordar tot allò positiu i guardar-ho per sempre en un racó de la memòria, allà on no hi arribin les paraules per a explicar-ho. Qui fa això, de ben segur que se sentirà la persona més afortunada, rica (immaterialment parlant) i feliç del món quan el seu subconscient l’impel·lirà a pensar: “Vull repetir”.

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How I started to volunteer? Sometimes we feed or stroke stray cat or dogs but it is very small percentage of people who do that. A lot of people do not pay attention after all, it is just a cat or a dog what is it for me that I have to feed them? And I think many who feed stray animals already feel as a volunteer because he or she did a good job. I think that it is everyone’s responsibility after all, if we do not help stray animals how could we know that we should help other people? I my opinion a lot of people tangle volunteering with responsibilities. After all, our responsibilities are to help weaker but it is not volunteering.

-----------------------------Saivara Isakaite 16 years / Lithuania ►►Local volunteer in Lithuania

Personally, I was never interested in volunteering and I did not want to be volunteer. I think it was because friends besides I even do not know that in my town are volunteering centres. Once in school we do a project about volunteering. At the beginning I do not pay attention to what i was doing, what I write even information about volunteering was really boring. I just want to win a prize which was summer camp. It was until we go to the animals’ home to collect more information. Just then I noticed what I was doing in that project. I noticed what is volvabout 150 pets. When I take out some dogs for a walk and pat some cats I felt something good received. Then I fully decided that I need to be volunteer and that I really want to. I found the volunteer centre which is near my home. I never saw it before. It was a centre for people with disabilities. They are educating there, pursuing their hobbies. The same day I signed a contract to be volunteer in that centre. I suggested my friends to be volunteers too but like I said before my friends was not really interested in volunteering. They often said Scriptamanent #3

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that other friends will laugh of them. But later they understand that volunteering is not something wrong, what you should be ashamed of or avoid it and think what others can say about that. My friends also became volunteers and then we began to notice other people who were interested in volunteering. Those people were kind, full of goodness, smart but those who were not interested in volunteering was empty, boring, cruel.  Spontaneously we began to develop into volunteers groups. We started to good jobs together, we began to communicate. Our group grow bigger and bigger. Now we are six big groups of 29 volunteers in each group. In each group are different rules, opinions. Sometimes all six groups do good jobs together. Let’s say 10 people go to animal shelter and help workers, 12 people go to homeless shelter and about 7 people go to centre where people with disabilities are. All together we make an event, we make flyers and invitations. After that we all walk all over town and finally found mail box and throw an envelope with invitation in our event. This much we agree on, even volunteering to entertainment and we are not only good to help others but we also help cheerfully spend time. Already we were in two camps and did volunteer. There, we just had to look after people with disability and then we could do what we wanted. Well volunteering give more to yourself when you help for someone and you get a lot of good sense back to you. Even we live in Lithuania we help not only in Lithuania but also foreigners. They come to us or we we’ll go to them and have a good time together. I changed my opinion you can say about all very much after that then I became volunteer and started volunteer. I want to that other people will think the same as I and I hope so that in future may construct many volunteer centres where you can get all kinds help for free. And I think that will become more and more people who would know what is bad what is good, their parents and friends will be volunteer too. Particularly in smaller countries 172


because there is not really much and many people don’t know anything about it. I think that should be notice about volunteer and children should be learning minority interest volunteer and do good jobs with their parents.

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De ce nu?* *Why not? In a time of getting out or as normally saying “graduating” my studies, I found myself in front of question “what to do next?” As a person enjoying traveling and meeting new people, I was looking for challenge including those things. So when the opportunity to take part in the EVS came, I said to myself “why not?” and jumped into unknown. Than I had no idea how often I will use these two words facing the situations I have never faced before… As freshly graduated environmentalist, I packed my bags and not listening to my parents and friends stereotypes about the place, not even making my own visions about my future life there, I prepared for my 10-month-long eco-project in Romania, in the town called Braila. I was ready to change the world, though the place I went had other plans for me. In Braila, the town of around 220 000 inhabitants, in the NE part of Romania, I found myself as travelling in a time-machine back in the history of some 20-30 years of my own country. I could still feel the heritage of the Soviet Union times embraced in the surroundings and people. Environmental issues there were one of the last ones to worry about. So in the beginning of my project I found myself as one of thousands of stray dogs of Romania – out of my comfort zone – my home, totally lost in the streets and with no clue what the future will bring? Though for this kind of moments I had my new family – other EVS volunteers from Poland, France, Italy, Armenia, Turkey, Spain, Georgia, Latvia, local volunteers, mentors and other persons from hosting organization as well as new local friends who supported me in the best way they could. I fast learn that I am not a president of a country (and thanks God I was not!) to change the whole situation about environment 174


---------------------------Sandra Ābele 24 years / Latvia ►►EVS in Romania 2010 / 2011

there, but I am volunteer – and the thing I can do is little activities step by step. Like a puzzle you put with one piece next to other looking for the ones who are fitting the best. Little activities count and that is what our project team “Eco Spirit” – crazy and stubborn Armenian, creative and hardworking Breton, freethinker and musical Catalan and me greenminded and positive Latvian – were doing. We called ourselves “Eco Spirit” even in the days when our spirits were really down, we were there for each other – a team which works, thinks and lives together. We spent our days planning and realizing activities in the schools and kindergartens as well as in the local community. The Earth Hour, Free Hugs, street art, comics contest, photo-exhibitions was just few of the activities which we realized as volunteers. I guess my favorite “task” was working with children. It was the thing I really enjoyed and I found it important to work with younger generations because they will be building the future of the place. I understood that this work is something I would like to do after my EVS. Also working with children let me improve my language skills. Romanian language is the one of these languages of exceptions and that was the funniest part of learning it. I found almost nothing common with Latvian vocabulary, but the way I learnt it helped me. The most efficient way how to study new language is around native speakers – I enjoyed learning with children as well as with local people in our trips around all Romania by hitch-hiking. From hitch-hiking trips came the conclusion that the best test to friends is traveling together. On the road I found myself with my colleague in so many situations surviving which made us better team-workers and one of the best friends also after our EVS experience. Scriptamanent #3

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Traveling, especially by hitch-hiking is a good way how to get in touch with people. People there always surprised me. I guess they were one of the main reasons why I liked to be in Romania so much. Romanians are proud people, hard-working, family-oriented, religious, independent, with strong character, passionate, curious, hospitable and help-full, although there have one little negative characteristic which was driving me crazy in the beginning of the project – they are a little unpunctual. But if I speak about people I need to speak not only about the locals but also about other EVS volunteers. And there comes the cocktail of so many different nationalities, but even more personalities that really amazes anyone who gets the sip of it. So, that happened also to me. I was so into looking at similarities and differences in traditions, languages and in culture in general, as well as exploring the different experiences and views each person had, that I really felt addicted to this multicultural environment and non-stop cultural-shocks. About EVS volunteers I should say they are specific specie. They are helpful, friendly, free-minded, adventurous, a little reckless, and brave and I don’t know what else, but when you meet one you know it! Thanks to EVS experience I became surer about myself, more sociable, more open to new experiences; I earned more curiosity about the people around and life itself. There is so much we do not know and the easiest way how to get to know it, is to get out, to be in touch with people, ask questions, observe the place and make your own views about things and most important – be active and take part in the processes around you!

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O primeiro dia do resto da minha vida. Lembro-me perfeitamente como e quando me cruzei pela primeira vez com os caminhos do voluntariado internacional. Um percalço académico e um email a anunciar uma vaga urgente num projeto ambiental em Itália na organização Legambiente, proporcionou-me uma das experiências mais enriquecedoras que já tive oportunidade de viver. Um passo que marcaria a forma como vejo as relações humanas, como me vejo a mim. Basicamente, o que sou.

------------------Sara Andrade 27 years / Portugal ►►EVS in Italy 2008

Era o ano 2008. Prossima Fermata: Prato Faço malas. Desfaço malas. Procuro passaporte, boletim de vacinas, mapas... Tento preparar bem as coisas, afinal ainda são 7 meses...o que é que é essencial? - pergunto-me. Faço listas de afazeres, de coisas urgentes, de coisas pendentes. De coisas que não me posso esquecer, de coisas que me quero lembrar. Envio emails, faço compras de última hora, ensaio sotaques: “ciao bella!” sorrio com coincidências, sinto nostalgia, fervor, saudades e excitação...tudo ao mesmo tempo. Com o entusiasmo e a ansiedade descontrolada de uma criança de 4 anos, penso como será viver com pessoas de diferentes culturas, partilhar com elas o mesmo espaço, a mesma aventura e realizar tarefas que nunca tinha desempenhado antes. A ida para Prato tinha em si uma série de esperanças e de novos projetos. O começar de uma nova vida. Um novo ciclo. Apesar de não ser a primeira vez que partia para outro país, desta vez deparava-me com uma nova filosofia: a do voluntariado. “Primeiro estranha-se. Depois entranha-se.” Scriptamanent #3

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Por saber que as expectativas sempre nos dificultam a tarefa de viver o presente e nos fazem ficar com uma sensação de dívida, procurei desde o inicio ignorá-las e esquecê-las. Fui a última a chegar a Prato. O Franco, coordenador da associação, esperava-me ansioso no aeroporto de Florença. Os restantes companheiros -um inglês, um espanhol e outra portuguesa- já se encontravam em Cantagallo. Pequena aldeia no cume da montanha. Aqui fomos hospedados pelo Carlo. Na altura em que o conheci tinha uns 61 anos e era dono do único café da aldeia. Contava-me que antes o café tinha sido do seu pai, do seu avô e do seu bisavô. Era um homem solteiro há demasiados anos. Tinha medo da solidão e tinha muita vontade em se apaixonar novamente. Achei-o imediatamente uma figura linda e deliciosa, porque de certa forma também me lembrava o meu avô. Cantagallo era um lugar mágico. De lá podia ver o céu estrelado e respirar o ar puro da montanha. Durante o mês que passámos em casa do Carlo fomos acolhidos com todo o carinho, amizade, simplicidade e generosidade. Uma autêntica lição de vida. Nunca poderemos agradece-lhe tudo o que fez por nós. Levo-o no coração e hoje pergunto-me como estará. Com a mudança para o centro de Prato começaram também as nossas tarefas enquanto voluntários. Aquilo que estava destinado para nós passava por trabalharmos ao nível da hipoterapia e da educação ambiental com crianças, ajudar na manutenção na Casa Rifuggio e ainda organizar os campos de trabalho internacionais durante o verão. Bons desafios, portanto! Quanto às sessões de hipoterapia eram um autêntico desafio para mim. Confesso que apesar de achar os cavalos animais bonitos e elegantes, assustavam-me de morte. Por outro lado, o trabalho com as crianças que usavam a hipoterapia era fantástico e inspirador. Achava incrível o poder destes animais nos comportamentos das crianças com deficiências múltiplas. Toda aquela terapia era, para mim, uma boa surpresa. 178


Paralelamente às idas ao estábulo- que aconteciam duas a três vezes por semana- íamos voltando a Cantagallo para fazer sessões de educação ambiental. Quem falava com as crianças era a Ilaria (nossa mentora e um apoio incrível durante todo o projeto), mas nós sempre dávamos uma mãozinha nas questões mais práticas. A verdade é que acabei por aprender imensas coisas novas. O meu italiano também melhorava a olhos vistos e a interação com as crianças tornava-se mais eficaz e sobretudo….divertida! Prato não era uma cidade fácil. Antiga cidade industrial, com pouco interessante do ponto de vista cultural e com mais chineses do que italianos por metro quadrado. Os poucos jovens da cidade não estavam nada consciencializados para a diversidade cultural e não se interessavam muito com a nossa presença, o que dificultava qualquer tipo de vida social. As expectativas iniciais de uma experiência rica em relações pessoais e sociais, dinâmica e ativa mostravam-se furadas. Enquanto grupo passávamos demasiado tempo juntos e cedo as divergências começaram a acontecer. Lamentávamo-nos da situação, não entendíamos porque tínhamos ido ali parar. Porque tinha que ser assim. Uma pena porque a partir deste momento nada foi igual. Sorte que vieram os campos de trabalho no verão para dar um lufada de ar fresco a todos. Vivemos e sobrevivemos nestes lugares que têm tanto de mágico como de “primitivos”...longe de tudo e de todos e com apenas o básico. Mas no final, tudo valeu tão a pena! Fogueiras. Partilha de culturas. Vidas. Onde conhecemos e nos demos a conhecer. Risos. Abraços sentidos. Festa. Muita festa. A generosidade. Os banhos nas cascatas. A vida. A liberdade. A amizade. O carinho. As viagens de jipe. Os brindes nas várias línguas. As passeatas na montanha. As noites ao luar. As pessoas. A sua bondade e disponibilidade. A simpatia. As pizzas e os bailaricos. Scriptamanent #3

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Há pessoas e momentos que ficarão para sempre na memória. No meio de todos estes sentimentos o surpreendente convite por parte da Legambiente nacional para ser responsável durante dez dias de um grupo de voluntários italianos num centro de refugiados em Roma. Missão: organizar atividades com os residentes do centro, revitalizar a biblioteca e ajudar nas aulas de italiano. Aceitei-o com toda a convicção do mundo, apesar do medo de não estar à altura do desafio. Durante estes dias vivi provavelmente as emoções mais contraditórias em toda a minha vida. Conceitos como a distância, a generosidade, a autenticidade, a luta e a sobrevivência alteravam-se, trocavam de sítio, confundiam-me e abraçavamme. Tocavam-me. Experiências demasiado fortes que não podem ser transmitidas por palavras. Deixei muito de mim em Roma e trouxe comigo tantos sorrisos… tantas histórias de vida comoventes e trágicas. Trouxe sobretudo comigo esses amigos que ficam para a vida. O projeto já tinha valido a pena. Só por isto. Os meses seguintes, foram uma luta constante. Não tínhamos praticamente atividades para fazer,uma pessoa tinha decidido desistir do projeto, outra saiu da casa onde vivíamos todos. Sentia que era tempo de voltar a casa, mas por outro lado queria terminar o projeto. Duras contradições. O regresso. As imagens desfilam nítidas e emotivas, as memórias entram invasivas no presente e o momento é de nostalgia. Existem palavras que nos custam a sair como existem regressos que nos custam a fazer... Com uma vida imensa dentro de mim, volto. Volto de uma vida, com a certeza de que há seguramente coisas que não voltarão a ter os nomes e os mesmo significados.

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2012. Hoje com outro amadurecimento sei o que realmente esta experiência me trouxe. Sem contar com aquilo que é mais automático e palpável (conhecer um país, uma cultura, uma língua, os novos amigos,..)ter tido o privilégio de participar no serviço voluntário europeu fez-me perceber o quanto este tipo de projetos são importantes para que os jovens, como eu, se sintam cidadãos ativos e que tomem consciência do papel fundamental que têm na comunidade europeia enquanto tal. Hoje sinto-me uma verdadeira cidadã europeia, comprometida com os valores que movem a nossa Europa. O SVE levou-me também anos mais tarde a estar do outro lado. Desta vez era eu que acolhia jovens de toda a Europa, cheios de sonhos e esperanças. Durante esse período, coloquei toda a minha energia e carinho para que um dia, também eles pudessem dizer, “Hoje é o primeiro dia do resto da minha vida”.

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So how’s EVS? “So how’s EVS? I have no real clue..” “I guess if you want, I can tell you a few things about how it’s for me, about my EVS of course yours won’t be the same, but more or less it can give you an image, a little sketch, and then you can see if for you it’s a match.v Well, it’s not always easy, no, it can be hard because everything’s different, because it’s a new start. You just go to some place, very far away and you know when you’re there you will have to stay. For a pretty long time, 9 months or a year it’s hard to imagine it, hard to see clear. What’s going to happen, you really don’t know but you don’t really bother, you’re ready to go. So you leave your home your mind full of ideas say goodbye to your friends through a haze of tears you’re sad, you’re happy, you’re ready to start, but there’s not only optimism in your heart. Worries: ‘What could go wrong, how will it be? Can I really handle that, is this really me? Or will I collapse, will I have to surrender? Will I fail, break down, will I be a dead-ender?’ So, yes, you’re afraid and yes it’s all strange, but on the other hand you really need this change. You want the new things, the new people, new ways you want new experiences, new inspiration, new space for your thoughts, for yourself, for a completely new life and with this attitude you finally arrive. Arrive in a country you don’t know at all everything seems big, while you feel so small. 182


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-------------------Stella Hannemann 20 years / Germany ►►EVS in Latvia 2011

Colorful, loud, there is so much to see and you throw yourself into it, eager to be everywhere at once, everywhere you can experience everything that is the plan. Like a child you begin to explore your new world start to learn a strange language, word by word. You travel to places others never will visit eat tons of new food without a clue what is in it. Absorb all what’s around you no matter what until somewhen you notice: it is a lot! Suddenly your head is an enormous mess you wish you could stop it, you wish you had less things in your brain you just can’t sort out but there’s just too much stuff, such a grievous crowd of impressions that all try to enter your head what you loved in the start became slowly a threat. At this point it’s tiring and it’s driving you mad it would be hard to get through it if you hadn’t had the people around you, the friends you’ve made who are there beside you, giving you aid. With them standing behind you it’s all getting fine the problems are solved and you can divine that they’re not coming back, that you’ve endured them they are gone forever and will never hem you ever again and if they will try you know what to do now, you know how to get by. And then there’s your project, the reason you came a big part of your new life and you have the aim to do all you can there, offer all that you got to make a few changes, you can do it, “why not?” That is your motto, just try and you’ll see if it works out or not, you’re really free.

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You start some projects- with others, alone get better in leaving your comfort zone, grow with every task, every trouble you find speak about things that are on your mind. The confidence grows you really feel safe and you’re proud of yourself for being so brave for having made the huge step to take part in all this and you already know how much you will miss the people, the adventures, the travels, your job you want it to be endless, want it never to stop, but eventually it will, you’re aware of that and even though you don’t want it, even though you’re sad to leave all those things which you love behind you also have good thoughts on your mind: to stay in contact with people, to continue your route through Europe, the world you’re in a good mood. It’s a wonderful feeling, it’s a unique process, the best thing in my life- that’s EVS.”

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Сrazy Russian Voluntary Hi! My name is Tatiana. In summer 2009 my friend Yana and I participated in two work camps in Germany. As soon as we left the airport, I realised that I’d forgot my bag near the Information Stand and ran back to pick it up. But policemen didn’t allow me to do it. They took my passport. One of them was talking by portable radio for some minutes, and then returned my documents saying “Be careful next time”.

---------------------------Tatiana Retunskaia 24 years / Russia ►►Work camps in Germany 2009

An hour later we were standing on the platform №7 of the main railway station in Berlin. There we were going to meet Xavier, a Spanish volunteer, who was supposed to buy a train ticket for all of us. So, it’s 11.29, the train is going depart in two minutes, but he still hadn’t arrived yet! And he doesn’t pick up his phone. At the last moment I received a SMS saying he’s waiting on the opposite side of the platform. We took our backpacks and ran there. I shouted: “Who is going to the work camp?” A guy about 35 years old with a small blue shawl around his neck responded. We nearly missed the train, but he is smiling… The First Camp. Glücksburg. Our 1st camp was on the border with Denmark, in a small town called Glücksburg. On its outskirts there is a place called Power Park – a museum containing different devices which work on solar power. But the thing I liked best of all was a wind generator. I was so impressed, that I climbed up it on the first day. Of course, not to the very top – because it seemed rather high and dangerous! We arrived at the camp just after the sunset. After dinner we set around the bonfire and started playing a game. Every person one by one was supposed to clap hands and say the name of the next player. This Scriptamanent #3

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was something like a Russian game called “Ladushki”. Yana and I became bored very quickly, and at night, when all the volunteers went to their tents, we went to Glücksburg. We walked along the streets for some time, and then returned to our camp. The next evening we went to the town again (missing the “Ladushki” completely this time). At the weekend Yana and I went to local aqua park. It was amazing - there were swimming pools, fountains, and a water slides. I tore my swimming costume on the slide since I guess it wasn’t designed for going down water slides head first. All the fountains and jacuzzis in the aqua park worked only when the sun appeared. Perhaps this was just a coincidence? But it seemed like everything in this town worked from solar batteries. The next day, after work, a surprise was waiting for us: two Russian girls arrived. After dinner the four of us Russians decided to go to Flen (Flensburg) and try the local beer. We were walking along the road for quite a long time but then we managed to get a lift. The driver, a Greek, told us that today there’s an annual historical festival in the town. “Do not speak with drunken guys. I’ll show you police station, in case of emergency run there!” – he said. Ok… We had a good time that evening – we saw the festival, and tried the beer. At midnight we went to the road and started trying to get a lift back to the work camp. No one wanted to stop, but after an hour finally two guys, who actually were not going to visit Glücksburg, decided to take us there. Half an hour later, six of us are walking along a very-very dark alley on the outskirts of Glücksburg. The guys are shocked a little bit: “Where are we? There’s a forest here… How are we going come back? Where did you lead us?” We said bye-bye and returned to our camp. That was how we lived – in the morning six hours of work – we dug foundations and painted wall. In the evenings four of us 186


spent time in Glücksburg or went to Flen by hitch-hiking. Other volunteers mostly played “Ladushki”. The next weekend! This time we stayed in the camp alone – only Russian girls. The other volunteers went to German islands close to the border with Denmark (it seems, half of them thought they were in Denmark). In the morning I took a bike, a map and went to search for a windmill. It was a strange map - in the place where there was supposed to be a bike route, there was in fact a sandy beach, grass higher than me, as well as a forest, steep slopes, ravines – everything apart from a normal road. I was extremely happy when after a long time carrying my bike above fallen trees I finally came to a village. Finally, I found the windmill. It was amazing! A real windmill, with pendulums, wheels, and lots of wooden stuff which was spinning and moving. One evening 4 volunteers from travel-camp arrived to our place. They are travelling from one work camp to other organising workshops. Among the newcomers was a Russian girl called Nastya. She was like the one whom I missed! She had the same irresistible love for adventures as me. Once in the evening we were looking at the map of the region. The border between Germany and Denmark is very close so I suggested: “Let’s go by foot to Denmark!” She agreed. So, at 18.45 we left the work camp. We went by bus to the center of Flen. Then we were walking quite a long time to the border. We passed two small towns and lost our direction a couple of times, but finally found a road leading to the Danish town of Paddborg. On the last kilometre we got a lift from a car and passed a blue sign saying “Denmark” with its flag. We were so happy – we were in Denmark! And we had got there by foot! We walked along the streets a little bit, borrowed some plums from someone’s garden and went to highway to seek a lift back to our camp. The sun had already set but we were lucky – a Polish Scriptamanent #3

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guy drove us straight to Glücksburg. At 11.30pm we returned to the work camp, where the others had already hot discussions about the latest news – us crazy Russians! We told them that we went to Denmark by foot. Are you sure? – asked Eri, the Japanese girl. As a proof, we showed flayers in Danish from a cafe in Paddborg. After that a new expression appeared in our work camp: “by foot, like Russians to Denmark” Once I had to go to Flen alone by bicycle, to find out the train schedule. I didn’t take a risk to leave my bike in front of the railway station and took it with me inside. As soon as I finished getting the schedule, I noticed two policemen, who saw me and started to move in my direction with displeased faces. Of course! It’s forbidden to go inside with bikes. Oh no… I jumped out with the bike from the railway station and escaped. They didn’t catch me! That’s how we entertained ourselves. And the rest of our group played “Ladushki” every evening. Most of them never went outside the Power Park alone… The Second Camp. Tьringen. Due to some reasons we managed to reach the 2nd camp 2 days later. When we got off the train at a small station with abandoned administrative building, we started to think how are we’re going to reach the castle where the work camp was situated. Nobody was there and it was almost sunset already. In the car park near the platform though we saw a car and so we approached it to ask for help. The woman driver didn’t understand English at all. We showed her the address and thankfully she nodded. With great efforts we put our baggage into her tiny car and set off. The castle was called Gross Lohra, it was situated on the top of the hill. The woman stopped her car near a sign saying “‹‑Burg Lohra” and pointed to a well worn old forest road. We were walking rather far, and after 2km we finally came. A camp leader met us. We came just before dinner. Other 188


volunteers were really surprised that we came here by foot. The nearest big town was Nordhausen, 12km from our castle. Yana and I went there quite often by hitch-hiking. Thus, we obtained again an image of crazy Russians. Once it seemed to me that driver was going too fast. I had a look on speedometer – 200km/h. And other cars were going even faster! Well, at least, we reached the place rapidly. Once I found an advertisement for an underground mine, a museum in 20km from Nordhausen, and we decided to visit it. The way was long and interesting – first, by tram, then – hitchhiking, and finally we arrived at the museum by foot along the railway tracks. We spent an hour underground and we had lots of impressions – we rode a small train and velo-draisine (a fourwheeled bicycle for two people which moves along the railway), we also walked in tiny corridors (adits). The deepest place we went was 200m under the ground. Amazing! On the last day there was a party in our castle. When we came in, we didn’t believe our eyes: the castle had been turned into a medieval tavern. Everyone was dressed in medieval clothes, furniture was made of unpolished wood. At the head of the table the king was sitting. We were invited to the table and given a big horn with wine, which we tried one by one. It was really unforgettable party! The next morning, at 5.30 am, in darkness and rain, we quickly put our baggage into a car and went to the railway station. Then we went to Berlin, and afterwards to Moscow. That was the end of our great trip to Germany.

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Il mare non bagna la Croazia Durante le settimane di formazione che hanno preceduto la partenza per la Croazia, ricordo che qualcuno mi raccontò la storia dell’incontro tra Montezuma, l’ultimo imperatore azteco, e colui che avrebbe definitivamente annientato la sua civiltà, ovvero il conquistatore spagnolo Hernàn Cortès: la leggenda narra che il sovrano, saputo dell’arrivo dell’europeo, credette che quest’ultimo fosse una sorta di divinità, e così lo accolse con i massimi onori possibili: doni preziosi, sacrifici umani e persino mazzi di fiori colti dal suo stesso giardino, ovvero la più alta delle onorificenze. Cortès, dal canto suo, rispose ai numerosi doni e alle cortesie con una sola domanda, secca e ben precisa: “Dov’è l’oro?”. Sono in Croazia, per la precisione a Orah, da ormai due settimane, e fin da subito mi è stato chiaro che di oro, qui, sembra essercene poco davvero: ad una prima occhiata, l’intera Dalmazia meridionale non è altro che un insieme di pietre sormontate da altre pietre e circondate da altre pietre ancora, dove il numero delle abitazioni è minore persino di quello degli albini ad Harlem. Sembra assurdo che fino a 15 anni fa c’era gente pronta ad imbracciare il fucile e a schivare proiettili e mine per la conquista di questi territori. E di queste pietre. Assurdo. E che gente, poi: persone pronte a considerare il nazionalismo non come un’opzione politica ma come un vero e proprio credo religioso, in cui la “scacchiera” biancorossa, simbolo al centro della bandiera croata, diviene oggetto di culto, spesso e volentieri affiancato da uno dei simboli dell’Hajduk, la principale squadra di calcio di Spalato di cui, però, sembra esser tifosa l’intera Dalmazia. E così, come gli slogan della Torcida, il gruppo-ultrà dell’Hajduk, riempiono i muri delle case delle città, così le canzoni di Thompson, popolare cantante rock-metal che infarcisce i testi delle proprie canzoni di messaggi violenti e nazionalisti, inondano 190


---------------Tommaso Menna 28 years / Italy ►►EVS in Croatia

le frequenze radio. E non dovete sorprendervi del fatto che le parole, molto spesso, risultano essere intercambiabili. Ma oltre alle note fasciste di Thompson, oltre agli ultrà che minano continuamente il decoro urbano e persino oltre alle onnipresenti pietre, la Croazia oggi ha un altro problema con cui fare i conti: la droga. Dalle “tradizionali” hashish ed eroina, fino alle recenti droghe sintetiche, negli ultimi vent’anni pressochè tutte le sostanze hanno trovato terreno fertile dall’altro lato dell’Adriatico, lì dove migliaia e migliaia di nostri connazionali decidono di passare le vacanze, attirati dagli ottimi prezzi e da un mare che definire limpido è poco. Ma, come sosteneva Annamaria Ortese riguardo a Napoli, sembra proprio che il mare non bagni la Croazia. Ivica, detto Ivo, ha 36 anni. Ogni italiano definirebbe la sua altezza e la sua corporatura “al di sopra della media”, ma non è così per gli standard croati. I capelli sono castani, rasati sulle tempie e un pò più lunghi su fronte e nuca. Gli occhi sono chiari e glaciali; la voce, profonda. A causa di queste caratteristiche fisiche, la sua sola apparizione sarebbe capace di mettere in soggezione pressochè chiunque. E vi assicuro che è proprio così. Ivo parla spesso della guerra, combattuta in prima linea nelle file della neonata milizia croata; e poi parla dei suoi comandanti, dei commilitoni, della droga che ha conosciuto subito dopo il conflitto, di San Patrignano, di sua figlia… e quando ti parla di tutto ciò la soggezione sparisce, perchè si vede lontano un miglio che Ivo ti sta facendo un regalo. Del resto, lui ne fa tanti di regali, specie ai “suoi” ragazzi, a cui dona, in primis, se stesso. Si, perchè Ivo è uno dei due responsabili della comunità di recupero per tossicodipendenti che ha sede a Orah, una frazione di Vrgorac. Ce ne sono altre due simili nell’arco di pochi chilometri, mentre una quarta struttura è più a nord: tutte insieme formano una rete interamente Scriptamanent #3

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gestita dall’Associazione Papa Giovanni XXIII, che da anni cerca di combattere la dilagante piaga della droga. In quella stessa struttura vive anche Boris, che quando gli chiedi quanti anni ha allunga le mani in avanti e fa sei con le dita, ma nel frattempo ti dice “pet”, ovvero cinque. A sua discolpa, c’è da dire che ha compiuto gli anni solamente ieri, e per fugare ogni dubbio vi confesso subito che di anni ora ne ha sei. Boris è un bambino dal fisico asciutto, di altezza nella norma per la sua età, coi capelli castano-chiari, lisci e tagliati molto corti in maniera uniforme. La carnagione è chiara e gli occhi verdi. Caratterialmente è molto sveglio, decisamente vivace e con una passione a dir poco enorme per gli animali, specie quelli di piccola taglia come gatti e tartarughe. Le maestre dell’asilo lo giudicano estremamente portato all’apprendimento, come testimonia il fatto che in due settimane sono riuscito a insegnargli senza alcuna difficoltà almeno un centinaio di parole italiane, tra le quali preferisce senza alcun dubbio l’espressione “Che schifo”. Di sicuro c’è il fatto che, in questi quattordici giorni, ha imparato più parole lui d’italiano che io di croato. La presenza di Boris a Orah si deve al fatto che sua madre, Maja, ha seguito qui un programma di recupero dalla droga, finito il quale ha deciso di trattenersi per offrire un aiuto ai responsabili e agli altri accolti; chi conosce questo tipo di strutture sa che questa figura prende il nome di “punto di riferimento”. Ma ad essere davvero un riferimento per la comunità è sicuramente suo figlio: molto più che una mascotte, riesce a calamitare l’attenzione di tutti, responsabili compresi. Più volte, dal mio arrivo in Croazia ad oggi, mi sono chiesto se per un bambino di quell’età sia possibile vivere al meglio in un ambiente come questo, e quanto la sua presenza possa essere d’aiuto agli utenti della comunità; ma se quest’ultima domanda trova immediatamente risposta nei tanti sorrisi che Boris provoca in tutti ogni singolo giorno, persino con le marachelle e 192


coi capricci (per non parlare del fatto che si tratta di una vera e propria responsabilità continua), la prima ha trovato una risposta soltanto ieri. È stato durante la sua festa, infatti, che ho capito che Boris è in realtà un bambino molto fortunato, perchè qui gli viene data la possibilità di confrontarsi quotidianamente con un manipolo di adulti che giorno dopo giorno combattono con problemi come la disabilità, la tossicodipendenza, la bulimia o, semplicemente, i ricordi di un passato a dir poco burrascoso. E ieri ho capito che da quest’incontro, il piccolo Boris, non ha che da guadagnarci, perchè se non conoscerà mai “difetti” come il pregiudizio, l’inedia o la superficialità più evidente, sarà solo grazie ai tanti incontri fatti qui ad Orah. Chi ci raccontò dell’incontro tra Cortès e Montezuma ci intimò di non comportarci come il conquistatore spagnolo, perchè essere un cittadino europeo impegnato nel Servizio Civile Internazionale implica soprattutto lo spogliarsi del ruolo di conquistatori, di “occidentali” interessati solo ai propri interessi e al proprio mondo. Giù la macchina fotografica all’ultima moda e giù i vestiti firmati. Giù l’oro. Eppure io, nonostante tutto, mi sento di confessare che l’oro non chiedo dov’è solamente perchè l’ho già trovato: Ivica e Boris, i loro occhi, il passato dell’uno così ricco di brutti ricordi e il futuro dell’altro così pieno di speranza: ecco il mio oro, ecco le mie ricchezze. No, non lo dovrò chiedere quest’oro: è già qui, davanti a me, in Ivica e Boris e in tutti gli accolti della comunità di Orah, e io farò il possibile e persino di più per guadagnarmelo giorno dopo giorno. E alla fine, ne sono sicuro, il mare bagnerà anche i miei piedi, oltre che tutta la Croazia.

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Glossary / Glossario EVS

> The aim of the European Voluntary Service is to support young people’s participation in various forms of voluntary activities, both within and outside the European Union. It is part of Youth in Action program. [http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/youth/] > Il Servizio Volontario Europeo è partre del programma Gioventù in Azione e offre ai giovani un’esperienza di apprendimento interculturale in un contesto non formale, promuove la loro integrazione sociale e la partecipazione attiva. [http://www.agenziagiovani.it] AIESEC > International University student organization. > Organizzazione internazionale di studenti universitari. [http://www.aiesec.org]

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The project Scriptamanent aims to promote the European Year of Volunteering by stimulating young people who already had an international volunteer experience to write about it and to use those writings as a first-hand information source to involve other young people and to stimulate them to do the same. At the same time, the project aims to encourage volunteerism as a tool for participation and active citizenship of young people. The activities foreseen are meetings, international trainings and conferences, local initiatives to promote the project, the creation of a website containing the stories written by ex volunteers, issuing this book as a final outcome. We also aim to give visibility to the EYV 2011 by involving NGOs, institutions, local authorities, schools and media, citizens). Moreover the project promotes multilingualism and diversity in Europe. The project is implemented in 8 countries (Italy, France, Latvia, Macedonia, Portugal, Spain, The Netherlands, Romania). The total number of participants (young people, youth workers and staff) is about 1.000 European citizens (directly and indirectly involved). This book will be disseminated as a tool to promote volunteering and the EYV2011 in the latest phase of the project during the local actions in the 8 participating countries.

ANNO EUROPEO DEL VOLONTARIATO 2011

http://europa.eu/volunteering/ 196


Il progetto Scriptamanent intende promuovere l’Anno Europeo del Volontariato stimolando i giovani che hanno già partecipato ad esperienze di volontariato internazionale a raccontarle attraverso la scrittura, allo scopo di usare testimonanze di prima mano come strumento per stimolare altri giovani a fare altrettanto. Allo stesso tempo il progetto intende incoraggiare azioni di volontariato come strumenti di partecipazione e cittadinanza attiva dei giovani. Le attività previste sono incontri, corsi di formazione, conferenze, iniziative locali per promuovere il progetto, la creazione di un sito web che raccoglie le storie scritte dai volontari e la realizzazione di questo libro come risultato finale del progetto. Il progetto intende anche dare visibilità all’Anno europeo del volontariato coinvolgendo altre organizzazopni, enti ed istituzioni, scuole e mezzi di informazione, cittadini. Infine Scriptamanent intende promuovere il multilinguismo e la diversità culturale in Europa. Il progetto si svolge in 8 paesi europei (Italia, Francia, Lettonia, Macedonia, Portogallo, Spagna, Olanda, Romania) e coinvolge, tra partecipanti diretti ed indiretti (giovani, operatori giovanili, ecc.), circa 1.000 cittadini europei. Questo libro sarà disseminato come strumento di promozione del volontariato nell’ultima fase del progetto durante le azioni locali negli 8 paesi partecipanti.

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The promoter / Il promotore Link [Italy] is an cultural association established in 2003, that promotes non-formal education, active citizenship and participation. The association works on regional level through the organization of activities for young people and citizens with European themes such as fighting against racism and promotion of diversity. It promotes international projects to encourage the knowledge of other cultures and to bring citizens closer to European issues. Link organizes exchanges, voluntary projects and international training courses, seminars and other opportunities for mobility. Link promotes the intercultural dialogue through non-formal education activities with schools, institutions and other organizations of the civil society. In 2012 Link has been recognized, by the European Commission, as a body active at Europen level in the youth field (ENGO) Link [Italia] è un’associazione culturale creata nel 2003 che promuove l’apprendimento non formale, la cittadinanza attiva e la partecipazione. L’associazione opera a livello regionale attraverso l’organizzazione di attività con giovani e cittadini su temi europei come lotta al razzismo e promozione della diversità. Link promuove progetti internazionali per favorire la conoscenza di altre culture e l’avvicinamento dei cittadini all’Europa, alle sue istituzioni e ai temi del dibattito europeo. Organizza scambi, progetti di volontariato e corsi di formazione internazionali, seminari e altre opportunità di mobilità. Promuove il dialogo interculturale con laboratori di educazione non formale, attività con scuole, istituzioni e altre organizzazioni della società civile. Nel 2012 Link è stata riconosciuta come organizzazione giovanile attiva a livello europeo (ENGO) dalla Commissione Europea. [www.linkyouth.org] 198


The partners creACTive [Macedonia] is a youth association for support of creativity and active citizenship of young people. Formed in 2007, creACTive has a main aim to assist young people’s development by providing them with a variety of non-formal education activities. creACTive currently has one Youth Centre in Kavadarci and two Youth Clubs – one in Skopje and another one in the village of Drenovo. [http://www.kreaktiv.mk] Intercultura [France] is an association that aims to encourage, promote, develop awareness about intercultural education and human rights, for purposes of popular education and international solidarity. Intercultura works in the fields of: active participation, learning and intercultural education, local and European citizenship of young people, education for human rights. Intercultura is a member of: Réseau Manifeste ARA Regional (Bretagne), YEN (Youth Express Network) - European, ENOA (European Network of Animation) - European. [http://associationintercultura.unblog.fr/] La Vibria [Spain] is a non-governmental organisation composed of youth workers and volunteers, both national and international, and young people from Terrassa. We are active in Youth in Action Program; we organise and participate on many youth exchanges, seminars and trainings. We are also a EVS hosting, sending and coordinating organization. In addition to our international activities we also work on a local level with children, youth and the wider community. Some of our main activities include giving intercultural learning workshops in schools, preparing cinema forums, excursions, language classes as well as a host of other initiatives. [http://www.wix.com/lavibria/en] Scriptamanent #3

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NeViSo [The Netherlands] New Vision Solutions is a multicultural youth organisation that aims to improve the social economical position of young migrants. NeViSo wants to be an indispensable social partner in its surroundings, the largest provider of social - economic stimulating projects for the youth (young migrants) in the field of culture, education, integration, leisure activities and employment. We stand for the improvement of socially - economic position of young people, with special emphasis on young migrants in the surroundings where we operate. Because we started in Amsterdam Southeast, the activities are very much focussed in this area. Our activities create a platform for young people to develop their potentials and provide an outlet for young people to manifest their skills in a positive way. Moreover the projects we undertake must contribute positively in the lives of young ones in their process of becoming responsible adults. [http://www.neviso.nl] RED [Latvia] is a non-profit organization. The biggest part of them has previous international experience in youth field. They are from different professional fields (teachers, journalists, economists, artists, photographers etc.). RED has a special focus on working with disabled youngsters or youngsters with educational, economical or psychological difficulties. RED main aim is rural youth activation for participating in different social and public processes, giving them the possibility to take a part in multicultural projects, different information and European awareness promoting campaigns. The basic target group of RED activities is Latvian rural youth, especially from local region of Vidzeme. To accomplish a purpose RED provides youngsters with information about different European possibilities given, organizes and participates in national and international cultural projects. [http://www.redngo.lv] 200


Rato-ADCC [Portugal] Association for the Cultural and Scientific Promotion is a legally recognized youth organization that develops initiatives and projects orientated for the promotion of the Information Society. Nowadays, the association develops mainly: 1) workshops in Informatics and Information Technologies and 2) multimedia and online projects for non profit organizations and initiatives. In 2004, Rato - ADCC becomes an hosting organization for European Voluntary Service and, since then, has developed a work of promotion of different projects related to Youth Volunteering, hosting youngsters in volunteering activities, practical learning periods or freetime occupation activities combined with the methodologies and resources provided by Informatics and Information and Communiation Technologies. [http://www.rato-adcc.pt] Young Partners for Civil Society Development [Romania] was established in april 2004. The association has more than 2.500 members with age between 15 and 29 years old. The organization mainly works on organizing workshops, local initiatives, seminars, training courses, camps, volunteer actions and other activities for young people. The organization actively works on local national level; and it is also involved in implementation of international projects. One of YPCSD main aims is to promote and encourage intercultural cooperation among the young people from Romania and the other countries from Europe. The work of YPCSD is based on the principles of non-formal education, learning-by-experience and intercultural learning. It tends to contribute to the development of civil society in Romania, with a special accent to young people’s place in the social events and processes. [http://www.youngleaders.ro] Scriptamanent #3

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The Europe for citizens program The aim of this programme is to bring Europe closer to its citizens and to enable them to participate fully in the European construction. Through this programme, citizens have the opportunity to be involved in transnational exchanges and cooperation activities, contributing to developing a sense of belonging to common European ideals and encouraging the process of European integration. This programme supports a wide range of activities and organisations promoting “active European citizenship�, especially the involvement of citizens and civil society organisations in the process of European integration and ends on 31 December 2013. The general objectives of the Programme are to contribute to: - Giving citizens the opportunity to interact and participate in constructing an ever closer Europe, which is democratic and world-oriented, united in and enriched through its cultural diversity, thus developing citizenship of the European Union - Developing a sense of European identity, based on common values, history and culture - Fostering a sense of ownership of the European Union among its citizens - Enhancing tolerance and mutual understanding between European citizens respecting and promoting cultural and linguistic diversity, while contributing to intercultural dialogue - Bringing together people from local communities across Europe to share and exchange experiences, opinions and values, to learn from history and to build for the future; - Fostering action, debate and reflection related to European citizenship and democracy, shared values, common history and culture through cooperation within civil society organisations at European level 202


- Bringing Europe closer to its citizens by promoting Europe’s values and achievements, while preserving the memory of its past - Encouraging interaction between citizens and civil society organisations from all participating countries, contributing to intercultural dialogue and bringing to the fore both Europe’s diversity and unity, with particular attention to activities aimed at developing closer ties between citizens from Member States of the European Union as constituted on 30 April 2004 and those from Member States which have acceded since that date. [http://ec.europa.eu/citizenship/]

Il programma Europa per i cittadini Il Programma ‘Europa per i Cittadini’ 2007-2013 ha come scopo primario la promozione della cittadinanza europea attiva, ovvero il coinvolgimento diretto dei cittadini e delle organizzazioni della società civile nel processo di integrazione europea. Il Programma copre il periodo compreso tra il 2007 e il 2013 e dispone di uno stanziamento da impiegare per il sostegno - sotto forma di cofinanziamenti - di progetti finalizzati alla costruzione di un’Europa più tangibile per i suoi cittadini; allo sviluppo, a partire dalla valorizzazione del pluralismo delle realtà comunitarie, di un’identità europea unitaria fondata su comuni esperienze storiche e culturali; alla creazione di un senso di appartenenza all’Unione Europea; allo scambio di esperienze fra cittadini di diverse aree geografiche, al fine di contribuire al dialogo interculturale e alla reciproca conoscenza. Il Programma persegue i seguenti obiettivi generali: - Promuovere la cittadinanza europea attiva, costruendo un’Europa più vicina ai suoi cittadini - Sviluppare un’identità europea unitaria fondata su comuni Scriptamanent #3

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esperienze storiche e culturali, a partire dalla valorizzazione del pluralismo delle realtà comunitarie - Creare un senso di appartenenza all’Unione Europea - Incoraggiare lo scambio di esperienze fra cittadini di diverse aree geografiche, al fine di contribuire al dialogo interculturale e alla reciproca conoscenza Gli obiettivi specifici del Programma sono: - Favorire incontri tra persone provenienti da diverse aree geografiche dell’Unione Europea, finalizzati al confronto intersoggettivo, allo scambio di idee e di esperienze, alla riflessione sul futuro, etc. - Promuovere conferenze, dibattiti, pubblicazioni, etc. incentrati su tematiche civili quali la cittadinanza e la democrazia, sui valori condivisi, sulla storia e la cultura comuni - Diffondere tra i cittadini la consapevolezza della loro appartenenza all’Unione Europea, rendendola più prossima e tangibile attraverso la promozione dei valori comunitari e la preservazione della memoria del passato - Contribuire al dialogo interculturale, in particolare mediante l’interazione fra gli Stati membri dell’Unione dei 15 e quelli che hanno aderito all’Unione Europea nel 2004 e nel 2007, nonché gli altri Stati partecipanti al Programma (attualmente Croazia, Ex Repubblica Iugoslava di Macedonia, Albania) [http://www.europacittadini.it]

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Blank pages for your travelling notes. Pagine bianche per i tuoi appunti di viaggio.

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Finito di stampare nel mese di luglio 2012 presso la tipografia Grafica&Stampa, Altamura (Ba) per conto dell’Associazione Culturale Link


Every volunteer has a story to tell. And a story can be told in many different ways, even with words! Every story is a story of personal discovering and development, but also a story of contribution, solidarity, exchange of cultures, active participation, a practice of dialogue. After two self-made editions, the third chapter of Scriptamanent is the result of the cooperation with seven European partner organizations and the financial support of Europe for Citizens Program. And, of course, it’s the result of the efforts of many European young people who decided to share with us their experience of active citizenship through international volunteering. Ogni volontario ha una storia da raccontare. E una storia può essere raccontata in tanti modi, persino con le parole! Ogni storia è una storia di sviluppo e crescita personale, ma è anche un contributo di solidarietà, scambio di culture, partecipazione attiva, un esercizio di dialogo. Dopo due edizioni autoprodotte, il terzo capitolo di Scriptamanent è il risultato della cooperazione con sette organizzazioni partner europee e del supporto finanziario del Programma Europa per i Cittadini. E, naturalmente, è il risultato degli sforzi di molti giovani europei che hanno deciso di condividere con noi le loro esperienze di cittadinanza attiva attraverso il volontariato internazionale.

Scriptamanent#3  

Third edition of Scriptamanent, a colelction of stories about international volunteer work and citizenship. Project supported by the Europea...

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