EVS Stories: Truth is stranger than fiction (V) – by Belinda Ihily

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:

First of all, I want to tell you I’m not a person that likes to travel but I like to know new things and to get new challenges. This is why I chose the volunteering experience. Secondly, because I wanted to stay by myself, to be independent, despite the differences of culture, environment and mentalities.

I think the character that suites me the most it’s Tom Sawyer. Drawn from a cartoon, it tells the story of a young boy. Tom likes to enjoy moments with his friends and helps them with different services, and, in return, they help him at school. This is one of the behaviours of Tom that represents me. Actually, in my EVS, I am surrounded by friends that help me in everything. And, in return, I also help them as much as I can. I like to enjoy and to spend time with them.

Tom is always smiling and easy going with everybody, no matter their way of being, their social situation, the differences between him and them. He expresses often his cheerful, kind and fun side. With him every day it’s an adventure. We rarely see Tom sad or angry in the story. In my EVS life, I also enjoy every moment, smiling, speaking with everybody in the association or outside.  As for Tom, my life is an adventure. Every day is different. Sometimes, my day starts with rain and finishes with sun or other times, it’s sunny all day. I never know what is going to happen.

For example, once I was walking with my friends and, on the way, we’ve met some Romanian youngsters. When they saw me, they started to sing Bob Marley, probably because I am black. For me, it was very funny. I told the story to my family and my friends back home and they started laughing too.

Tom keeps a little morality for each day which is something I also try to do, to resume my day and find the good things that happened. Despite his personality, his way of being, his difficulties, without school < because he is not so good at school>, Tom likes to learn all the time, even from simple things. During my EVS adventure, in all kind of situations, I learned too, more than school taught me.

Actually, my entire EVS is a learning process, even in the little things, mostly from the kids, but also from friends, volunteers, teachers, coordinators and all the others I meet on the way.

Belinda Ihily (New Caledonia) 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.

69 Team for Youth Belinda Tom Sawyer Volunteering (1)