My name is Antoniy and last year I spent some time doing my volunteering project in Bulgaria. Why Bulgaria? What I knew about this country? A lot of my friends often ask me about it. To be honest I saw this project accidently. The organization where I had to work as a volunteer is a Board school called «Docho Michailov” in Tervel. There students learn agricultural machinery and sewing from 14 till 19 years old.
First of all the location of my EVS was near Black sea, about one hundred kilometers away. My future coordinator called me the next day when I sent my documents to the email of this organization. Secondly I worked in a park of culture last five years and often I like to help other people and make something useful for my town by organizing sports and culture activities and after five years I wanted to improve my English, share my experience, and live in another country.
When I came to Bulgaria I noted that our countries have something similar, but for me it was not typical to see their roofs on the houses and memory paper on the trees, what I haven’t ever seen in my native country. Just for the record, I have never lived without my family during a long period of time. When I studied in my university I came back home every day and I haven’t had experience of living in a dormitory. After my arrival to the new place of living I started trying to exercise my talents. Besides my activities at a high school, my coordinator introduced me in two dance and one music groups. Also I started playing volleyball in a local school. My purpose in that moment was to complete my free time as much as possible. In my opinion it helped me adaptat quickly and be more proactive.
I was living with other volunteers from Latvia and Georgia in a big house. Our tasks were resembling but each volunteer could to make his or her own project, that he/she could implement. When I came to Bulgaria my mentor, other volunteers and my coordinator kindly helped me with adaptation in a new place and explained what I could do. At the beginning I have had a lot of questions about this town and for me it was another environment but approximately after 2 weeks I adapted this new environment. On top of everything else my English was very poor and often I asked “Can you repeat slower please”. But fortunately it lasted not too long.
Also during my volunteering I taught English for children in kindergarten, also I visited a house for old people where I helped them with guitar accompaniment. Furthermore, I met very interesting local people who shared their cultural experience with me.
I may point out that during my EVS we learned Bulgarian language and tried to use it in life in order to exchange information with local people, in shops and somewhere else in Bulgaria. Luckily for me, Bulgarian language is similar to Russian and you can understand something from the speech. After my half of year of living there I started to be a more active traveler. I used hitchhiking quite often and during one year I was in five countries.
So, I would note that this EVS was an incredible for life and language experience and allowed me to learn about myself. I don’t regret that I participated in this program. Thank you for my sending organization “ Stella” for answers and preparation for volunteering.
Antoniy Ovcharenko, 28 years old, Bilytske