EVS Stories: Truth is stranger than fiction (IV) – by Ana Rita

If you have to compare your volunteering experience with a movie or a book, which would it be and why? Here is what one of our volunteers answered:

Ana Rita – Eat Pray Love (2010)

The movie I think may be related to my EVS experience is Eat, Pray and Love. I don’t mean that the film accurately portrays my experience, but some general ideas.

One of the ideas I identify with is that the leading figure decided to drop everything she was involved in because she wasn’t completely satisfied, happy with the direction her life was taking. So, she decided to drop everything and go travel and “find herself” during the process.

I didn’t feel the same as the leading figure of the film, but I wasn’t satisfied with what I was working on and with future perspectives. I felt that I wanted to do something new, that I wanted to be challenged and wanted to discover new horizons. As well as being something I’ve wanted to do for some time. So, like her, I decided to do something new. I have sent some applications and luckily I came to Romania, where I’m very much enjoying being and learning immensely. And every day something new comes up. Not every day is easy and smiling, but I have learned to deal better with those situations and to see the positive side.

Besides to learning new things during the work I do, I have the opportunity to travel and get to know new countries. The trips are also a learning process, I learn a lot about new cultures, people and the history of each country. Everything I’m learning during this process has made me grow and change a little bit as a person. And I think that happens to the leading figure too.

That experience changed her life completely, just as EVS has already changed my life, my perspective on life.


Ana Rita Coutinho (Portugal) is hosted in Baia Mare by Team for Youth Association, in the “Life Skills for Rural Education” project, a European Voluntary Service, financed by the European Commission, through the Erasmus Plus Program.