EVS « Take opportunities »
by Estelle Berthelot
One year ago I was starting this EVS project in Pazardjik and the organisation was asking us “What is your motor?” -“Take opportunities” was my answer and if I had to answer the same question today again, I would say the same, adding that Life is discoveries, joy, a mixture of feelings, beautiful coincidences but mostly - life is you and what you do with it. I will always remember what Ivo told us during the first meeting : “I open a doors for you, it's up to you to cross them or not”. And it's true. We were a lot of volunteers starting in the same time for the same project with the same conditions but each of us have lived a totally different experience because all of us were coming for different reasons. After all working all together for the happiness of this lovely people who were giving us much more that what we were giving to them.
Today, at the end of my project I'm looking back and I'm proud of what did I do. I was involved, proactive, I went out of my comfort zone but in the same time I stayed myself and up to that gave myself the opportunity to know myself better through the project itself but also through all I did beyond.
Working in the daily center for people with fewer opportunities was not something new to me because it has been my field in France already. And that's maybe my only regret. That I didn't choose a project out of the field that I already know to make me discover and improve skills and knowledge that I don't have until now. So in this way I was not surprised how rich and lovely is to work with these people. Even if it's sometimes challenging, you always receive so much back. I can remember how uncomfortable I felt the first time I was entering the daily center and it makes me smile a lot when I see how much I love them now.
This year I have definitely met many amazing people and lived a lot of amazing experiences. I have learned a lot from others and about community life. I have been opening my mind more and more and getting to know myself better: What do I like or don't, what are my limits, my values. Of course, this year was not perfect because there were not only nice moments but if I had the opportunity to start again, I wouldn't change a simple thing.
I'm so grateful for each person with whom I have shared even a simple moment but of course mostly for people who gave me the opportunity to live this, specifically Ivo and all Focus team.
Even if today is time to cross the exit door, EVS never ends. It’s sad, hard and emotional but in the same time you feel like it's time to leave. Without that would EVS lose its meaning. As we used to say, this year in Pazardjik was a bubble in our lives. Bubble in which you can grow a lot but it's not the reality and in one moment you need to come back, fortified by all this experience.
What will I do in my future ? I don’t have a simple idea but there is a beautiful world full of opportunities. So I'm not scared anymore about uncertainty because one day when I feel ready, I will just take one.
I wish all the best for the next volunteers and I'm sure they will also know how to live this experience fully. Good or bad - you are learning all the time.
Haìde tchao ! It's a simple goodbye ! Blagodaria mnogo!