As it was promised before this post is going to be about new EVS volunteers, Kristina and Luis, and their first impressions about the project.
We will start with Kristina, and it is actually me and I am happy to greet everyone reading this stuff. Firstly, let me introduce myself for you to know whom you deal with. I come from Ukraine which is a post-soviet country in eastern Europe. I am twenty-five years old and have two specialities by now the first of which is a teacher of the English and German languages and the foreign literature; the second and probably more important for me is an actress of a dramatic theatre.
Obviously, the common question of most people is why I have chosen the path to be a long-term volunteer. The answer would be many-sided. First of all, my life motto is “CARPE DIEM”, that is why I try to change something all the time in order to do as many things as possible while I am still alive) Secondly, I have always liked the idea of taking a gap year spent on travelling with a help of which I hope it will be easier for me to choose the country I would consider my second home. The last issue was my curiosity which did not allow me to sleep well after I had got to know about Erasmus program and its consequences)
So, right now I am here in “De Hoge Rielen” lying on the sofa and thinking what to write in this post) Frankly speaking, I have no regret at all about my decision of going to Belgium. Of course, at the beginning I felt like a fish which was taken from its home lake and put into a great ocean with other ocean creatures but surely very friendly creatures) At the moment I am not able to say that I feel 100% like home, especially when somebody starts speaking Dutch and then I sometimes have the feeling that people are talking about me. Luckily, my future language lessons will not give others this opportunity)
Luis – Arrival in De Hoge Rielen
It´s the middle of July, five past two , I am standing at the train station “Bruxelles-Nord”, packed with two overdimensional backpacks and my guitar, stepping into the the train with direction Turnhout.
Once inside the train, I start wondering where I will stay for the next 9 months; the houses and streets get more and more replaced by cows, fields and finally trees. Where have I landed?
But although I was pretty tired and exhausted from my 8-hour-trip I was really curious about what working as a volunteer will be like in De Hoge Rielen. The first impressions were great: I could experience the different parts of the domain by bike together with Karen and found some very nice spots.
I also really enjoyed getting to know many of the employees of De Hoge Rielen as well as my volunteer fellows. After having a first overview over the domain, I could participate in the different working tasks, like workshops, the klimbos, working in oonthal or in the restaurant. So I got an impression what work is like in De Hoge Rielen.
So, as a conclusion, I can say that I am really glad about my decision to spend a year in this beautiful place, and I am looking forward to experience the following months in our group of 5 volunteers :)