MY EVS EXPERIENCE SO FAR – Niels Antiphon (New Caledonia)

All of those activities are giving me responsibilities for the first time in my life, which is helping me to grow up.

Afraid, but curious at the same time: This is how I felt when the plane touched the Romanian ground for the first time. It was night, a bit cold in my opinion. I finally arrived in the country where I will spend almost a year, far from everything I knew before. It was time for my EVS to start.

You know, as someone who comes from far away from Europe, I didn’t have any expectations, which was good actually. I totally was in a discovery process. Everything was new, the people, the landscapes, even the air around me seemed different. After five different airports, hours of flying, I was in my new home, among new people. It was nine in the morning when I woke up the first day as a volunteer. The plan for this first day was to take a walk in the city with other volunteers who were living in the same flat as me, until we reached the « office », the place where I will spend most of my time from that moment. Buildings were quite big, roads quite large and I had this feeling that each person I was crossing by in the street, was staring at me as they knew I wasn’t from this place.

I was looking around me as someone lost, I couldn’t spot the difference between the north and the south. We arrived at the office a bit late, I guess because I was a bit slow to walk. I started to meet the entire staff, volunteers from the other project, and then had my first talk about what I was going to do for eight months, with the coordinator of my project. From this moment, I felt really bad, I used to be good in English at school, but then, with my coordinator who was saying a lot of things, I had so many difficulties to understand, even to listen, words seemed sentences, and sentences seemed books.

But I guess my mind wasn’t stable yet because of all those new things around me. These feelings lasted for approximately one month, even less if I remember well. As a new volunteer, I had this « on-arrival » training in another city, with many volunteers from many countries, and I think it helped me a lot to feel more comfortable in a sort of way.

To tell you the truth, all I’ve just written already, I see it as the really first part of my time in Romania. Even if I started to feel better, to get use to people and to the city, I was still this kid from New-Caledonia, without responsibilities, partying too much etc. And actually, I would like to thank all the people and things who changed me in the way I am nowadays.

After two months, or something like that, I started the main activity of my project: Teaching French (At least assisting a titular teacher). This was an amazing way to start.

Well, let’s talk about what I’m doing every day. My main activities are most of all teaching French. Just little before leaving my country, I knew I wanted to become a teacher. So as you can guess, I love my activities. Besides teaching, to children or young adults, I also have other activities like taking care/spending time with children in what they call a kindergarten. All of those activities are giving me responsibilities for the first time in my life, which is helping me to grow up.

I can say that my EVS project is the best thing which happened to me so far, in my life. I already lived so many new experiences, met new people who actually are part of my best friends now. To not hide you anything, I already plan to come back and live in Baia Mare, then in a sort of way, my volunteering service will not end ever!

All I can wish to people, is to have a volunteering service in their life, nothing’s better to discover the world, and discover yourself at the same time.