Greetings from the sunny Vilnius! A lot of bright events have happened in my EVS life for the last 8 months, and I want to share my impressions!
About volunteering. Recently I implemented my own project, which is related to chemical experiments! Children were amazed by abilities of chemistry and how beautiful this science is. It was very fun and children could «feel» and create chemistry by themselves, to become a scientist for a moment. A burned hole on the table will be a reminder of our "laboratory" for a long time! Several days ago I came back from the hike, where with my group we were sailing all day long in the kayaks, sleeping in the old house with stove heating and eating dinner near the fire. During the project, I have been cooking a lot in my workplace, improved my culinary skills and learned how to cook Kyiv cutlet.
Also, I felt like a dwarf at Santa's residence, when I packed all day gifts for children for Christmas. As you understand, I am doing my volunteering with teenagers and I am crazy about it! I help in implementing of events, activities, studying, hikes and camps, psychological support.
My project has taught me to be more organized and creative, to plan my time and budget. I began to give English lessons to another volunteer. I asked my organization for a bike from the organization - now the wind is chasing me! I also took part in the youth international exchange, where I was sharing my EVS experience. In my plans are to organize a photo-laboratory and put up children's work at the photo exhibition!
About languages. Undoubtedly, during the project, I have improved my language skills. Besides English language, unexpectedly for myself, I improved the knowledge of Russian (pronunciation), because before EVS I did not communicate a lot in Russian. The understanding of Lithuanian has grown a lot: I understand the everyday language and can communicate on simple topics (which is very pleasing to Lithuanians). Everyone likes the word viskas (means "everything"). Also, due to travel and communication with volunteers from different countries, I have learned the basic words of many languages, so the main thing I can say people in their mother tongue. After this "Babylon" I became even more fond of the Ukrainian language.
About traveling. Travels and EVS are inseparable. Low-costs, couchsurfing, and discounts have become my best friends. I tried to capture the northern glow in the lands of Iceland; felt rural life in the mountains of northern Italy and studied Italian gestures; celebrated the New Year in Germany... This is wonderful feeling to open up new horizons, cultures. Trips always give me a place for improvisation and understanding of how interesting the world is.
About people. I became very close to my conquerors and organization volunteers. These people each time helped me in difficult circumstances and shared my joy in the happy moments. Friends, colleagues and acquaintances fill my EVS with unforgettable moments!
About leisure. In my spare time, I try not to sit at home, but visiting museums, galleries, and concerts. One day our organization gave to the volunteers a ticket to a ballet in opera. In November, I visited a jazz festival that I had been waiting for a long time. I bought a waffle-maker and arranged waffle-parties. Recently a midterm seminar was held: we walked through the frozen lake, did a handmade soap, rushed in a very wild Lithuanian carousel and made a dinner with dishes from many countries! The trainer taught us various dances, and with other volunteers, we studied Cup Song (though a few glasses were broken down to this). Spring fills me, and energy rushes in my body and gives inspiration to new accomplishments in my life!
P.S. I entered the University of Vilnius for a Master's program, and now I have to win a scholarship. Perhaps, my stay in Lithuania will last for another two years ...
Mykhailo Suleimanov, 22 years old, Kyiv