EVS mi-a schimbat in bine viata

[column size=”1-2″ last=”0″ style=”0″]Buna! Sunt Andreea si va voi descrie experienta mea de voluntariat in cadrul SEV, experienta care a inceput la cateva zile dupa ce am implinit 28 de ani.[/column]
[column size=”1-2″ last=”1″ style=”0″]Hi! I’m Andreea and you’re about to read about my EVS experience, which started a few days after turning 28 years old.[/column]

[column size=”1-2″ last=”0″ style=”0″]Stagiul de voluntariat in Valencia a aparut din bun senin in viata mea, dupa 10 ani de munca intensa, exact cand ajunsesem intr-un punct critic de epuizare. Am luat decizia de a participa foarte repede si dupa trei saptamani de la trimiterea CV-ului, eram deja in Valencia, gata sa-mi petrec anul 2017 intr-o alta tara, alaturi de oameni din culturi complet diferite de a mea. Nu știam ce urma sa se intample si, cu o mie de scenarii diferite in minte, mi-am inceput stagiul plina de speranta. Dar si complet speriata.

[column size=”1-2″ last=”1″ style=”0″]You see, after working really hard for 10 years, exactly when I got to the burnout point of my career, this project appeared into my life out of nowhere. I took the decision to join it and in only three weeks from the moment when I sent my resume I was here, ready to spend my 2017 in a different country, with people from totally different cultures. I didn’t know what was about to happen and so, thinking about a thousand different scenarios, I came here full of hope. And totally scared.

[column size=”1-2″ last=”0″ style=”0″]Initial, trebuia sa lucrez ca voluntar in Valencia aproximativ 10 luni, din februarie 2017 pana in decembrie 2017. In cele din urma am ramas timp de 12 luni si, cinstit vorbind, am inceput sa ma bucur de noua experienta abia dupa primele patru sau cinci luni. Diferenta de cultura, dorul de casa, sentimentul ca nu ma pot acomoda, toate mi-au creat emotii destul de puternice la inceput si nu puteam sa-mi gasesc linistea.

[column size=”1-2″ last=”1″ style=”0″]Valencia, Spain. In the beginning, the project was supposed to last approximately 10 months, from February 2017 until December 2017. I finally stayed for 12 months and honestly, started to enjoy the project after four or five months of being here. The difference of culture, the home sickness, the feeling that I don’t belong here, they have all created pretty strong emotions in the beginning and I could hardly quiet up my mind about it.[/column]

[column size=”1-2″ last=”0″ style=”0″]Cand am plecat din tara aveam tot ce imi doream, dar in acelasi timp nu aveam nimic. Nu ma mai puteam bucura de nimic. Am lasat in urma o multime de prieteni si o camera frumoasa in centrul Bucurestiului intr-un apartament dragut, prieteni buni si pisica mea rasfatata pe nume Oreo. Aveam un loc de munca de unde credeam ca nu voi pleca niciodata. Da, mi-a fost greu sa las in urma oamenii, animalele si plantele de acasa, dar acum cand ma uit in urma dupa un an si jumatate, vad lucrurile putin diferit. Cred ca cele mai grele momente au fost de fapt cele cand am avut de infruntat adevarul: rasismul nu este doar ceva care se intampla in intreaga lume, nu este doar un construct social teribil, ci a fost indreptat si inspre mine.[/column]

[column size=”1-2″ last=”1″ style=”0″]I did have it all when I left my country but, in the same, I didn’t have anything, because I couldn’t enjoy it anymore. I had tons of friends and a beautiful room in the center of Bucharest, living with good friends and my spoiled cat, Oreo. I had a job I thought I never wanted to let go. It was hard leaving the people, animals and plants behind but looking back after one year and a half, I think the hardest moments were actually the ones when I had to face the hard truth: racism is not only something that happens all over the world, is not only a terrible social construct, it was also directed to me.[/column]

[column size=”1-2″ last=”0″ style=”0″]Unul dintre cele mai curajoase lucruri pe care le-am facut vreodata[/column]
[column size=”1-2″ last=”1″ style=”0″]One of the most courageous things I did in my life

[column size=”1-2″ last=”0″ style=”0″]Nu mi-a fost usor ca romanca intr-o tara in care nu multa lume iubeste romanii. Simteam ca mi-e greu si pentru ca eram epuizata si deprimata iar in aceea perioada luptam cu mine insami pentru a reveni la o viata normala. In acest context, sa ma alatur unui proiect care insemna sa lucrez cu țigani era, de departe, unul dintre cele mai curajoase lucruri pe care le-am facut in viata mea.[/column]

[column size=”1-2″ last=”1″ style=”0″]Being a Romanian in a country where everybody hates Romanians is no easy thing. Being an exhausted and depressed person trying to get back to living a normal life is even worse. Being a Romanian who came in Spain for doing what I love most (volunteering) while trying to cure my depression and joining a project which meant working with gypsies was, by far, one of the most courageous things I did in my life.[/column]

[column size=”1-2″ last=”0″ style=”0″]Nu doar ca nu am renuntat la experienta, dar am ramas in proiect cu 2 luni mai mult decat am vrut sa raman la inceput.

Nu doar ca am invatat o limba noua in cateva luni, acum am job-ul visurilor mele datorita faptului ca am fost voluntar pentru o organizatie din Valencia.

Nu doar ca am intalnit o multime de oameni din intreaga lume (da, am intalnit cel putin o persoana din fiecare continent), dar acum am mai mult de cinci prieteni foarte buni care ma accepta si ma sustin la bine si la rau. Incerc sa le rasplatesc prietenia si sa-i asigur ca tin la ei neconditionat. :)[/column]

[column size=”1-2″ last=”1″ style=”0″]Not only did I not give up, I stayed in the project 2 months more than I was supposed to in the beginning.

Not only have I learned a new language in a few months, I now have the job of my dreams thanks to being a volunteer for one organisation here in Valencia.

Not only have I met lots of people from all over the world (yes, at least one person from each continent), but I now have more than five really good friends who know, accept and support me for better or for worse. I’m trying to make them know the love I have for them is unconditional too. :)[/column]

[column size=”1-2″ last=”0″ style=”0″]Cand sunt OK cu mine insami, totul in jur devine OK[/column]
[column size=”1-2″ last=”1″ style=”0″]When I’m OK with myself, the entire world around simply gets better[/column]

[column size=”1-2″ last=”0″ style=”0″]Lista poate continua. Am calatorit in total 65 de zile din 365 si s-a intamplat uneori sa nu platesc nimic. Ei, stiu foarte bine ca atunci cand sunt OK cu mine insami, totul in jur devine mai OK. Oamenii se simt bine atunci cand interactionam, mancarea devine cu adevarat gustoasa si experientele noi continua sa curga, la fel cum viata mea a inceput sa curga cand am invatat sa ma relaxez si sa nu caut perfectiunea.


[column size=”1-2″ last=”1″ style=”0″]The list goes on. I have traveled a total of 65 days out of 365 and, sometimes, I didn’t pay a thing. See, I know very well that when I’m OK with myself, the entire world around simply gets better. People start feeling better when we interact, food becomes really tasty and experiences keep flowing, just like my life started to flow when I learned to let go and relax, when I stopped trying to be perfect.


[column size=”1-2″ last=”0″ style=”0″]Nu stiu ce experiente ai avut pana acum, dar daca vrei sa inveti sa traiesti, incearca sa petreci cel putin 6 luni calatorind si fiind voluntar. Incearca sa fi cea mai buna varianta a ta, dar cu resurse limitate. Stiu ca va poate speria gandul unui trai cu bani putini: „Ar trebui sa traiesc cu doar 150€ pe luna pentru alimente ai alti 110€ ca bani de buzunar? Sunteti nebuni?”[/column]

[column size=”1-2″ last=”1″ style=”0″]I don’t know where you’re coming from actually, but if you want to learn how to live, try spending at least 6 months travelling and volunteering. Try becoming the best person you can be with really limited resources. I know you will get scared thinking: ”Oh my God, how am I supposed to live with only 150€ per month for food and some extra 110€ as pocket money? Are you guys insane?”[/column]

[column size=”1-2″ last=”0″ style=”0″]Sa nu ai nicio grija. Nu doar ca te vei bucura de cele mai frumoase momente atunci cand nu ai aproape nimic, dar este posibil sa-ti schimbi stilul de viata si sa mananci alimente sanatoase si delicioase. Pe cuvint, unele dintre cele mai bune mese din cadrul acestui EVS au fost cele pregatite cu mainile mele, cu ingrediente ramase, cand buzunarul ma anunta ca am ramas cu doar 10 EUR pentru o saptamana. De asemenea, am renunt la fumat si sunt foarte mandra de mine.[/column]

[column size=”1-2″ last=”1″ style=”1″]Don’t worry. Not only you will live your best moments when you have almost nothing, but it’s also very possible you will change your lifestyle and start eating healthy and delicious food. I swear, some of the best meals I had during this EVS were the ones cooked with my own hands, with leftover ingredients, when my pocket said I have only 10 € left for one week and shopping was not a valid option. I also quit smoking (so proud of myself yaaay).[/column]

[column size=”1-2″ last=”0″ style=”0”]Avand resurse limitate pentru trai, am descoperit cea mai buna versiune a mea[/column]
[column size=”1-2″ last=”1″ style=”1″]I’ve learned to be the best version of myself with limited resources

[column size=”1-2″ last=”0″ style=”0″]Cele mai placute momente din timpul proiectul EVS au fost cele in care am dat la o parte telefonul si am inceput sa ascult cu adevarat oamenii din jurul meu. Am invatat sa ma las imbratisata puternic de oameni si i-am lasat sa ma invete un alt mod de a trai, diferit de al meu. Bineinteles, nu am devenit o adevarata spaniola si nu voi pretinde niciodata asta. Dar mi-am pacalit mintea si mi-am inlocuit felul nesanatos de a gandi lasand loc pentru vise, planuri de viitor, incredere in mine si incredere in alti oameni. Am invatat sa adun oameni in jurul meu si sa ma bucur de compania lor. Am invatat ca pot sa fiu cea mai buna versiune a mea si sa fiu fericita in prezent, chiar daca am resurse limitate. [/column]

[column size=”1-2″ last=”1″ style=”0″]Most of the best moments I’ve had in the EVS project were the ones when I stopped using my mobile phone and I started to listen to the people around me. I learned to let them hug me strongly. I learned to let them teach me a different way of living. Not better, just different. I didn’t transform into a Spanish woman and I don’t think I will ever be able to say I’m Spanish. But I did trick my mind into changing some unhealthy ways of thinking and replacing them with some well deserved hope for the future, self trust, mutual confidence; I have learned to built communities and stay without leaving. Learned to be the best version of myself with limited resources and be happy for the present moment.[/column]

[column size=”1-2″ last=”0″ style=”0″]Imi amintesc cu placere de o seara petrecuta pe plaja, dupa apusul soarelui. Eram impreuna cu un prieten canadian si vorbeam despre cate in luna si in stele, impartasindu-ne gandurile. Brusc, au aparut focuri de artificii, chiar in mijlocul conversatiei noastre. Spectacolul neasteptat a durat aproximativ 20 de minute si a fost extrem de frumos. Am surprins oare momentele astea facand cateva fotografii cu telefonul? Da, la inceput am vrut, dar am renuntat aproape imediat. Ne-am dat seama ca daca ne bucuram de acel moment, vom avea o amintire mult mai valoroasa decat cateva poze de calitate inferioara. Nu am vorbit deloc în timpul spectacolului si am fost singurii de pe plaja in acel moment. Iata, am cateva povesti frumoase pentru viitorii mei nepoti![/column]

[column size=”1-2″ last=”1″ style=”0″]I remember one time when I was with a Canadian friend on the beach on a regular Monday evening, after sunset. We were quietly sharing some thoughts when suddenly some beautiful fireworks started and lasted for like 20 minutes. Did we try to grab our phones for taking pictures? Yes. Did we give up, realising staying in the present and watching the sky in that moment meant creating a long lasting memory much more valuable than a low quality picture? Yes. We didn’t speak at all during the show and we were the only ones on the beach in that moment. I totally have some nice stories for my future grandchildren![/column]

[column size=”1-2″ last=”0″ style=”0″]Cineva m-a intrebat ieri: „Ce ai fi facut daca n-ar fi venit in Valencia”?[/column]
[column size=”1-2″ last=”1″ style=”0″]Yesterday someone asked me: ”What would you have done if you hadn’t had come to Valencia”?[/column]

[column size=”1-2″ last=”0″ style=”0″]Nu am un raspuns al aceasta intrebare. Dar sunt destul de sigura experienta din Valencia a meritat pe deplin. In cele din urma, mi-am atins obiectivul:

„Invata sa traiesti din nou ca un om, nu ca un robotel care munceste mereu. Invata sa traiesti din nou in lumea reala si mai putin in lumea virtuala. Invata sa inoti si sa te obisnuiesti cu un stil de viata sanatos”.[/column]

[column size=”1-2″ last=”1″ style=”0″]I honestly don’t know. But  I am pretty sure taking this opportunity, joining the EVS program and sharing one year in such a meaningful way was totally worth it. In the end, I have reached the objective:

”Learn to live again like a human, not like a workaholic robot. Learn to live again in the real world and less in the virtual world. Learn how to swim and change an unhealthy lifestyle”.[/column]

[column size=”1-2″ last=”0″ style=”0″] Tu ce obiective ai? Poti renunta la tot si sa te avanti intr-o aventura care iti poate schimba felul in care vezi lucrurile?

– Andreea Alina Celmare [/column]

[column size=”1-2″ last=”1″ style=”0″]What’s your objective? Do you have the courage to let go of everything you know and make the mind shift?

– Andreea Alina Celmare