6 months/ From France to Pazardjik, Bulgaria
I arrived in october 2016 for an EVS of 6 months which is now finished. I had started this experience with the desire to put myself to the test, to make discoveries and to become rich in a human point of view. I’m not disappointed! My volunteering was a real chance and my time spent in Bulgaria passed quickly. In my opinion 6 months seems too short. My mission was to animate the morning of the guests of the Pazardjik Daily center, all with disabilities. It was for me the best part and the most precious. I took a big pleasure to try to bring them happiness day after day while I had never worked with people with disabilities in the past.
After my come back in France it will be very difficult to don’t say impossible for me to forget the guests who return to me this happiness more than I expected by offering me their smiles every day. I didn’t feel very different of them. I could see with their disabilities it was more difficult for them to communicate than for a person without disability but, for my part, when I arrived I didn’t speak neither English nor Bulgarian and today I speak only some basic words in the language of the country to be understood. So we are equal on this point.
The magic of the situation comes from the fact that everybody needs to use a simple language (the best in my opinion) for being understood: some words, a lot of movements and a mountain of smiles. And because everyday they participate to some activities with the volunteers coming from different countries, some of them know many words and expressions in different languages. It’s more than some people without disability know! When I realised that, a lot of things changed in my way to see.
My EVS brought me a lot for my personal development. I learnt to communicate better with people and to share better my feelings. I also discovered some of my limits and learnt to estimate better a situation to management in the best way. I learnt from my mistakes and I will continue to learn from them.The fact to live with flatmates
was also something new for me. It was one of my main sources of learning at the same time for the evolution of my English, for the life in community but also for the multiculturality. Of course the multiculturality didn’t stop at the door of our flat. It followed me during all my “Bulgarian life”. I continued to meet people coming from different horizons during my job, during events, in transports and during my trips. Each meeting has its importance. In short it was a wonderful experience that I thanks to my coordinator Ivo and my supervisor David who gave me my chance. My volunteering was the opportunity to reveal many possibilities that I didn’t see in the past and made me understand that nothing is impossible. For all people who hesitate, my advice is: let’s go!