Hello everybody! My name is Dima. I am an EVS volunteer. My project is running at Donegal Youth Service (DYS), in Letterkenny town, County Donegal, Ireland.
DYS has a wide scope of interests - social issues, cultural exchange, equality, discrimination, mental health, sexual health, music and art events, employment issues, helping disadvantaged young people etc. I work together with the girl from Spain – Elena in one of the departments YIC - Youth Information Center (MIC). We work on the design of all projects of the organisation, posters, pamphlets, brochures, etc., help in office work at MIC, in the project Loft (loft) - the project area and informal learning for young people, and help in social, cultural, musical, artistic events for young people.
We have done spring booklet about DYS projects, business cards, flyers, posters. The atmosphere is friendly in DYS.
I live with three other volunteers EVS: girls from Spain Elena and Claudia, a guy from Turkey Kemal, also working in the DYS. We live in a house in a quiet area of Letterkenny. We have a large kitchen, one common bathroom, one bathroom in one of the bedrooms, a separate toilet, living room, each of us has his/her own bedroom.
I was surprised by the fact that children are quite smart here and they have their strong opinion. Me and Elena with our supervisor, we were on a workshop in a small town Downies, in the north of the county. The workshop was about cyberbullying for children 10-12 years. Irish try to develop strong personality, responsibility, independence, social skills in children rather than unnecessary, redundant, irrelevant knowledge.
There are amazing landscapes, as in "Lord of the Rings" or "Game of Thrones". The hills, meadows, steep cliffs on the coast, the steep rock shore covered with grass, heather or something similar. The climate is humid. It rains often, but not heavily and the rain can begin suddenly. The umbrella is useless: the strong wind often blows from the sea and can break it. You always need have a hoodie (clothes with hood) in Ireland and you will be prepared for weather surprises. Temperature swings are not big, in contrast to Ukraine. Between the air temperature in winter and in summer the difference is small, so winter is warm, summer is cold, as said locals.
I have visited Dublin during On-arrival training. There were 10 EVS-volunteers from different parts of Ireland. The training was creative and fun. We met with volunteers from different countries: Italy, France, Germany and Belgium. It was an interesting and hilarious experience.
I visited Sligo, in the neighboring county. I also visited Malin Head, the northernmost point of the island of Ireland, where Claudia (girl involved in social projects) helps conducting social activities for young people in this tiny town. There are incredible landscapes everywhere!
Food is not much more expensive here than in Ukraine. For me 120-140 euro per month is enough. And the quality of products is high, even for this money.
Letterkenny is a small town. It has a huge number of churches and cathedrals, any smallest towns have at least one church, and sometimes several, including the Cathedral!
I was surprised about two water taps in the bathroom – for hot and cold water))). Irish are polite and friendly, simple in food and clothes. Shops are open until 6 pm on weekdays except Thursday and Friday when they work until 8 or 9 pm, and on Saturday and Sunday they can work only for a few hours.
And, of course, pubs are a very important part of Irish life! Sometimes it is not the best Irish side because they drink a lot! But drunk usually Irish isn't aggressive. The best beer here is Guinness (although almost any kind of beer will find its admirer – there are so many kinds) and cider!
In Letterkenny there are many foreigners living there permanently or temporarily: Erasmus+ programme students, workers, skilled professionals, IT specialists, doctors and others. The population of the surrounding area is up to 25,000 people. The central library on Wednesdays provides free English classes in conversational format.
Dmytro Khak from Zakarpats’ka region, 27 years old