Catching up with Molfetta Blog dei volontari

20/06/2019 Violeta Pečenković

While deciding to do something different and go out of my comfort zone by doing an EVS project I didn't expect how important this experience would be for me personally, emotionally and professionally. When I arrived to this country where I didn't speak the language, didn't know anyone and couldn't catch up with the way of living I felt like Alice in wonderland not knowing what is the next clash of cultures that is waiting for me around the corner.  After some time, you just learn to go with the flow and start feeling like a part of this small community. 

My name is Violeta Pečenković I am 28 years old and I was a volunteer from Belgrade Serbia that did a nine month long EVS within the project "Stop and go" in a small city Molfetta in the south Italy.

During this time, I have worked in two high-schools Liceo Classico Leonardo Da Vinci and Liceo Scientifico Albert Einstein where my official role was to assist the teachers by using non formal education in order to help students improve their English, but it was more than this. It was an experience that gave me so many opportunities to be creative, to share my ideas, to meet amazing young people and to help some of them implement their own creativity, to work alongside thoughtful and caring teachers from whom I have learned so much, and even though I was a volunteer who at first didn't speak Italian all of those people treated me like an equal and were full of understanding. This is what I liked so much at my work place, the sense of community and togetherness.

Yet, this was only one part of the whole experience, because very soon you realize that these kind of projects are not only focused on your professional growth and work experience, but also your personal and emotional life. By doing something like this you not only learn about new cultures, new languages, new skills, you learn a lot about yourself about your desires, about interpersonal relationships, tolerance, diversity in good as well as bad way and of course about the ability to adapt to any situation and environment.

In these 9 moths I had the opportunity to travel and see as much as Italy as I could, I met friends for life that became like my family, I tried a lot of typical dishes, I learned how to cook some typical Italian and Molfettese food, I lived by the sea which has always been my dream and I came back home with a rich and irreplaceable experience.

Not everything was perfect, because that is the way life functions wherever you are, but I've come a long way from Alice in the wonderland to the person with a clear mind and I would recommend a long-term volunteering  to every passionate creative dreamer out there who would like to share a lot with other cultures but also to gain something special and different.