It has been a bit more than half of my EVS project but the experience and emotions are still overwhelming. To be honest, the time here is going very fast. I did not have time to look back, as the New Year (which I spent in Amsterdam) passed, and even the spring began. Nevertheless, during this time there have been a lot of changes in my life and in the life of our family - these are the people with whom we live together. Over these 3-4 months, I have set the goal to improve some of my "weaknesses" - at work, hobbies, travel, personal development etc. And, I see on my own example that when you pay attention to each aspect, surely it will influence the other ones too.
I can already say with certainty that things are going much better at work. The peculiarity of my work is the constant communication with children. In a family-type house I stay almost constantly and spend time with the children playing, doing something, cooking, cleaning and just walking. At the same time, I have to help with sports activities in the gym. So in order to be more effective, I decided to work more during a week, sometimes even on weekends. But when work is a joy you do not notice how the day passes. And over the whole week, you have 10 football training sessions, you play Lego, plant trees, clean garbage, cook Ukrainian dishes, go to the zoo or cinema. Sometimes it is even very difficult to distinguish "working" from "not working" because we play, work, cook and travel sometimes. We try to teach children to be responsible for their lives in the future.
Also during this time I realized that I was very lucky with my friends at home. There are 2 guys and 2 girls from Turkey, Germany, Spain and me. We have a great combination of youth and experience. In our case, we live in a small village, there is not much opportunity to go somewhere abruptly, to visit somebody or just go shopping. Therefore, we are trying to maintain a very friendly relationship between us. If something happened to someone at work, or somewhere else, we try to share it if needed. Sometimes the look or advice from outside is very helpful. Sometimes we do meditation and reflection together, play chess or FIFA08.
At this time I try to pay attention to my personal development and travelling. For example, during these six months, I have already visited 12 countries like Switzerland, Malta, and even the dwarf country - Liechtenstein where we arrived by hitchhiking. Therefore, having a lot of international travels that took a lot of time, energy and money, I decided to slightly change the vector for local travels - around the country of my EVS. We are fortunate enough that we have free train travel across the country - so almost every weekend we are trying to visit a new city or other volunteers in the Netherlands. A trip to Amsterdam or Rotterdam is already becoming a common thing, and therefore we are trying to find new interesting places and towns around the country. And the Netherlands, which total size is like Kharkiv region, has definitely something to offer and to impress. The hosting organization has even made a list of cities that we should visit. And that's what we have already started doing in spring.
Continuing the topic of trying to be more productive this year has made some changes in my life. I started paying more attention to my diet and to an active lifestyle. Maybe it's a just a small drop, but I'm doing physical exercises and I am changing my diet smehow. The aim is also to study the local Dutch language and it's really hard when you're doing it from scratch, and I am not really familiar with German that could help. So, gradually, I try to improve my Dutch so that I study almost every other day, and sometimes even every day. It helps me with my family home and at work. Many people communicate with me exclusively in Dutch, even if I do not understand them. And some others can not, for instance children who are 5 and 7 years old. So even if you don't want it but with them you will have to understand and communicate exclusively in Dutch. And sometimes when i speak Dutch they answer me in English, because they are used that I do not understand their language. In addition, I also started studying Spanish - why not?
During autumn and winter you do not get too excited. During spring and summer there are plenty of interesting events and opportunities. So Welcome to the Netherlands !!!
Yurii Voloshyn, 25 years old, Kupiansk