Arte at “building an event village” (Hungary) - 2018
Arte participated in a workcamp in Hungary organized by Egyesek, as a European Voluntary Service (EVS) volunteer through the project "V.I.P. - Volunteering is Possible" with the financial support of the Erasmus+ Programme funded by the European Commission.
For two weeks, in July 2018, she and the other volunteers of the team worked in order to improve the interior places, as well the outside area of Bedepuszta, a future event village located one hour from Budapest. Discover what she wrote about her experience.
“My name is Arte and I volunteered last July in Hungary, in a short-term program. This experience was something that I had been waiting since I was a teenager. In the past, I had dreamed of myself being part of a European project, although it took some time to find an EVS program that I could be a part of. I won't lie, it wasn't easy for me to find exactly what I wanted to do. I was already active in the volunteering field, but I didn’t have the right guidance to learn more about the EVS programs. After lots of searching, I discovered the NGO ELIX and my experience automatically changed.
In a very hot morning in June, I went to one of ELIX’s offices and spoke with the coordinators. All of them were very kind and helpful. They all tried to advise me to pick a program that suited me. I was given all the useful information I would need. And so, it happened.
In just two weeks, I had to prepare my stuff and most importantly myself, for my first solo trip abroad. I was over the top enthusiastic, counting days till my departure. I left from Athens with my suitcase and next thing I know I was in Budapest, trying to find my route -without a cell phone- to the village, I was supposed to live for the next fifteen days (not the easiest thing).
After a couple of hours, I arrived at this little village, in the middle of the Hungarian countryside. I was very welcomed by my team, in our little cottage. Together, we all lived as a team for the following weeks. We had to plan our meals, eat together, work together and cooperate in every task we were given.
We had our schedule and tried to complete effectively our tasks. There were some days we were exhausted from work (since it was a manual workcamp) but even then, we managed to have fun as a team. We would laugh all the time, play games with each other and talk about our lives back in our home countries. We respected our differences and helped each other in this situation that we had to adjust. We did some excursions and visited small villages and lakes around the country (and Budapest also).
The days passed quickly, and we were all so sad to leave. We had tried our best to live together, bonding and when it was the time to say goodbye, it was emotional.
Since the very beginning of this trip, I felt that it was the right thing to do. Of course, there were incidents during my trip that made me anxious or feel overwhelmed. It’s not easy to travel abroad by yourself for the first time and not knowing everything for the place that you are planning to stay. However, all these emotions, all these thoughts I had about having made the wrong choice (deciding to participate in an EVS program) changed.
This is what made me afterward feel stronger, more open-minded and courageous for my own self. And now, all I want to do is to take more action, feel more independent and of course be part of the change that volunteering brings.
Lastly, I would like to thank ELIX for this opportunity and for their guidance and assistance before and during my trip. They were a wonderful sending organization. I would suggest to everyone to take this chance and become a part of an EVS program.”
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