I always say to myself: Find yourself wherever you go, whoever you are, and whenever you can. So now, putting my motto into practice, I came to Bratislava, my name is Óscar and I am expecting to have the best time in my life here and find myself apart from new forever friends.
New experiences help you to improve your skills and to discover new abilities you did not even know you could develop!
But the most important and beautiful thing that traveling can contribute is the awareness of there are people willing to appreciate you in every part of the world. No limited places, no limited ages, all of them can become your friends and teach you a lot of wonderful things.
And now this new stage starts with Mladiinfo at Ekonomicka Univerzita v Bratislave (University of Economics in Bratislava) job fair.
We took part in this job fair, set our stand up and spent the day next to other organizations and companies, explaining them and the students who we are, what we do and how we do it. We also shared our experience so far in Bratislava with other volunteers.
It was the first of a lot of great experiences!
Getting involved in caring activities makes you realize how much we should appreciate everything we have.
Our colleagues from INEX Slovakia invited us yesterday to take part in a wonderful event organized by DSS Integra consisting in visiting their rehabilitation center facilities and playing with disabled people who are under caring by DSS Integra staff. We played basketball, bowling, made paper-cutting and so on with them.
We could realize how easy making them happy is and how little they need to show their best smile. Their joy was contagious for us and with the help of INEX Slovakia volunteers and members and DSS Integra carers, we had such a funny and profitable morning together.
RAISE YOUR VOICE 0.2
And one of the best parts of our job finally began. Mladiinfo is also in charge of organizing Youth Exchange programs, apart from short and long-term volunteering projects. So we, the volunteers of Mladiinfo, faced the first YE project since working for them, and we were very glad to do it because it meant plenty of new and positive things to deal with, and especially, new people to meet.
This program, Raise Your Voice 0.2, lasted one entire week (since April 14th to 21st) and had six participants from different European countries, such as Spain, Italy, Croatia, Macedonia and Slovakia.
Our mission? The participants from every country were assigned to each of us and we became responsible for their welfare, to help them in everything and to care about them and any need they could have throughout the week, acting the way that being a mentor or a buddy entails.
VISIT TO MLADEZ ULICE ORGANIZATION
We visited the Mladez Ulice NGO, where our Czech friend is volunteering and such an enriching experience we had! They take care of poor and marginalized children,doing a truly valuable and laudable work every day that people do not use to know but it is still there. They told us and shared with us about the rough reality of these unlucky people within the Slovak society and it really opened our eyes and raised our awareness about that.
We want to thank all responsible members, people in charge and every single worker of Mladez Ulice for sharing their time with us and telling their experiences, making us value their work much more now. Thank you also on behalf of the society and people in general who are in a state of unconsciousness about this kind of situations.
Please, keep doing like this and absolutely everyone will be able to thank you by themselves and not through us.
URBAN VOLUNTEERING PROGRAM
And another amazing project joined our list of great experiences as volunteers in Bratislava! And another group of wonderful people who became our friends in a matter of hours!
This time, we had to assume an insider role helping directly the organiser of this short-term volunteering project which brought us two groups of five participants from Macedonia and Romania for three weeks. We luckily had the privilege to attend most of their activities and participated them and we still had time and energy enough to show them the Bratislava nightlife.
Unforgettable experiences that we will not forget because these people touched us inside. Hope and looking forward to taking part in more projects like this as long as my volunteering project in Mladiinfo stands.
The project was called Urban Volunteering in Bratislava and it started on April 22nd to May 12th.
Finally, our on-arrival training time came and how it did it! We spent 5 unforgettable days in a hostel in Terchova, a lovely village situated in the north of Slovakia.
Since May 11th to 15th, we shared our everything with 14 more volunteers who are living and working in other cities and towns of Slovakia, plus the six of us volunteering in Bratislava, we made an overall of 20 volunteers at the on-arrival training.
There were people from every corner not of the Europe but of the world: South Africa, Latvia, Czech Republic, Georgia, France, Italy, Bolivia, Hungary, Portugal, Romania, Spain…
Throughout the time the training lasted, we learnt such an incredible and unexpected things from the other volunteers and their countries, cultures and languages. Such an enriching experience! We also learnt about others organisations along the country and what the other volunteers are doing over there.
We all became so close friends and so quickly that we already decided to visit Prague together soon.
The sun became more shining and the hot weather came into our lives in June. Seen this, we had to take advantage of such a stunning scenario and take the road. After taking care of some issues at the office, we settled everything to get our summer trip started at the end of June. We flew to Skopje, then took a car all along Greece, passing by Thessaloniki, to the beautiful coasts of one of the Greek fingers. After several sea baths and sunbaths, we saw ourselves heading Turkey by bus. No need to say such a new things I went through and amazing experiences I lived with my old and new friends.
Stressless and barefoot on the beach in Greece.
MY LAST WEEK
I already entered my final stage of my EVS in Slovakia since I’m leaving in a few days. During my before last weekend here I fulfilled one of my pending tasks I still had left to do: doing hiking. We went by hitchhiking to Terchova and spent an exhausting weekend which also was one of the funniest and also the healthiest (by far) since I came. Hiking around Mala Fatra mountains and reaching Vel’ky Rozsutec peak has been such an exciting adventure for all of us that leaves us gorgeous pictures in our mind and also in our phones. Thanks to this group of people to make it possible:
Even though the last weekend is yet to come, I already can say what this 6 months experience has meant to me. Only good feelings, great experiences and thankful words. Not even a single thing went wrong throughout my EVS and that’s been possible thanks to the people who has been surrounding me, helping and supporting when needed and accompanying me along as the funny as difficult moments. Although can’t recall any of those last right now…
Now, it’s time to get back home and see my people again, but my people in Slovakia already know that they’ll stay in my memories forever.
What else can I say? Just… See you on the battlefield! ;)
THANKS A LOT