Monday, 30 September 2013
EVS in EDRA!
EVS in Athens in Times of Crisis
When I was looking for an EVS program to participate in, I wasn’t looking for a specific country or a specific city. My decision was based on the program’s description itself and the idea behind the certain experience. However, my EVS experience happens to take place in Athens, Greece.
I didn’t know what to expect of this city, I had never been to Greece in my life before.
Now that I have already spent almost five months here, I can say that going to Athens was the best thing that could have happened to me. Not only is Greece a beautiful country with unique landscapes, beautiful islands, very nice weather conditions and Athens a very lively city which is offering so many events, festivals, concerts and has an appealing bar scene, but it is also a country which is deep into a process of changing and finding its identity as a nation and as a part of Europe. Being here has taught me so much about what it means to be European, what it means to live in times of crisis and fear, frustration and hope. I have met people who were/are very open for discussions, interaction and exchanges of opinions; I have also made “bad” experiences with very closed and narrow-minded people.
To be in Greece also means to perceive the whole situation from a different angle, to get another or, at least, a broadened view on the incidences.
I feel way more European and am also able to define my nationality and identity with new aspects.
Besides all of this, the work in my EVS itself is wonderful and gives me way more than I have to give. I work with people who suffer from mental retardation or psychological problems. These people who are often kept away from public have so much to give to society and demand so little. I enjoy going to work every day and will miss it once I will have to go back to my country.
In summer, I also had the chance to visit other places in Greece. Together with friends I made here I have visited Volos and surrounding area, the temple of Sounio, we have also travelled Crete by car which was by far the most impressive journey I have ever made. We were greeted and welcomed by all the people we met during these 10 special days. Amazing beaches, a stunning valley, many goats and a lot of Raki accompanied us on this trip.
EVS is a huge chance for everyone who wants to experience the spirit of Europe!