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Questions that should be answered

friendships on evs
Zaiga's time in ZUM Association in Pula, Croatia was full of new things. How to adapt to a new environment, to a different culture and the ''polako-polako'' mentality?


Questions that should be answered…

Hi there, 3ska reader!

I have to admit that it has been a while since my last article here and a lot has happened during that time. The winter is gone and the sun, as well as people, are finally found in the city of Pula. Time has flown in the speed of light and already more than half of my European Voluntary Service (EVS) in Croatia is over. But I truly believe that time is flying for those people who are satisfied with their life choices and enjoy each moment that life is bringing, so I consider myself one of them.

In the past few months I had the opportunity to meet a lot of people and was surprised that many of you have asked me almost the same question - “why”? Why did I choose to take part in EVS, why did I came to Croatia instead of another country and why do I volunteer? Let me explain it.

First of all, I decided to join EVS because the Erasmus+ program offered me an opportunity to challenge myself in several ways.

So far I have tried to apply my theoretical university skills in practice and became aware of some of my strengths and weaknesses. In February my colleague Ksenia and I successfully submitted our first youth exchange project “EcoMotion” to the Croatian National Agency. I have learned how to live more independently by learning how not to spend all my monthly budget in the first 2 weeks and improved my experimentation and cooking skills in the kitchen. I have also broadened my horizons while getting familiar with different cultures and noticed new features about my own culture. “Time is money” is the exact saying about Latvians and if you are still wondering,  then no - WE DO NOT HAVE 6 TOES!!! Anyways, I have also experienced travelling with my friends and on my own as much as the budget allowed me. So far I have visited places such as Fažana, Vodnjan, Bale, Rovinj, Pazin, Poreč, Novigrad, Motovun, Hum, Labin, Rabac, Opatija, Rijeka, Orahovica, Zagreb, Zadar, Split, Dubrovnik as well as Trieste and Ljubljana and till the end of my service I hope to see some more.

When it comes to the question why I decided to do my EVS in Croatia I have several reasonable explanations in mind.

Most of all, I could say that I choose Croatia because of my curiosity towards your culture and nature. Before I didn’t have a chance to visit it and your language, people, traditions and way of living was something new for me that I wanted to discover. I really do enjoy Croatia, especially Istria! “Polako, polako” marenda time of day with delicious coffee and pastry from the closest pekara is not typical for Latvians at all. A chocolate croissant and kava za šlagom is now a perfect start of my day here. Your country holds an amazing natural capital - great weather, crystal clear sea, many enjoyable beaches and diverse sea creature world. When going to buy a fish to the open market it still feels like an excursion to me. You have many admirable views where the sea meets the mountains and islands as, for example, the top of mount Učka, Vojak, that is 1396m high. Don’t judge because I’m coming from the country where the highest peak is 312m. I am glad to admit that after several months I finally got used to your metric  system in the shops and are able to handle weather when bura or jugo are in the neighbourhood.


And finally, I decided to volunteer because for me it is important to find myself in a working field that allows me to achieve my full potential and makes me and others motivated and inspired. Before joining EVS I realized that the salary wasn’t the main motivational factor in my job any longer and I didn’t want to waste my time doing something that didn’t made me happy. I believe that through volunteering using non-formal education methods I am on the right way to figure it out. So far I can assure you that I have enjoyed the work with youth, had a chance to implement my ideas and grow as a person. Thank you, Udruga ZUM, for a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity! ☺

If you are still unsure  what are the available Erasmus+ projects for you, you are doubtful or you have any kind of other questions feel free to find me on FB or in our brand new ZUM office and ask.

Vidimo se,
Zaiga Zirnite
EVS volunteer
Pula, Udruga ZUM




Foilsithe: Mái, 13/06/2017 - 22:48

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