Hi there! Today I will tell about how I came to the decision of moving to Norway and being an EVS-er.
The reason is simple: one of my biggest passions is volunteering. I like knowing that I can live not only for myself, but help others as well. Also, I like to believe that I can do something to change the society I live in, explore my creativity to make it a better place.
It all started when I was barely 16, and I started volunteering at this organization called Somaschi. The volunteers there help homeless people by giving them a home, a place to eat -generally, they try to make their life better. And I was part of that. I was working with Rom children, trying to integrate them socially. It wasn’t always easy, as people don’t change easily. The kids I worked with were born and raised in such a harsh and different environment from the one most of us had, and changing their view of the world, their behavior was a challenging task. The idea though was to NOT give up!
Once I was a volunteer for like a year in Somaschi, I decided I can do more than that. So I joined another volunteering organization in my hometown: YMCA Baia Mare. That decision definitely changed the course of my life. Not only did I make incredible friends and have awesome memories, but I got to grow as a person. And now YMCA Romania sent me to Norway. As in, how awesome is that?
I wanted to be an EVS-er ever since I found out about the project. I just had to wait. I had to finish my studies (and when I say had to what I mean is that my parents really wanted me to get a Bachelor’s degree – not that it would actually be useful in finding a job). In Romania the degree is really not that useful, so that’s why I came to Norway, to work in a “perfect system” (perfect, they said… )
Being a volunteer here is not about helping Norway instead of Romania. My work here at KFUK-KFUM (http://kfuk-kfum-global.no/)transcends the notion of nationality, I feel like I’m a volunteer at an international level. We just want to bring peace and stop poverty.
Besides working at KFUK-KFUM which takes me 2 days a week, I’m also working at Forandrignshuset (in translation, “Changing House”). It’s a beautiful place for volunteers to spend time with one another and involve in different activities, such as: making projects, singing, dancing or playing games. For all these we have a professional studio, lots of instruments and a stage. That’s why I just love spending time there!
As an EVS-er I don’t get a salary, but I do get a financial support for my expenses (accommodation, transport, language courses etcetera). When you enroll on a program, the amount of money will be relative to the region you chose and how expensive living there is. The thing is, it really isn’t about money, it’s about experiencing new things and gaining knowledge.
So… How do I feel as a volunteer in Norway? Well…. Alone, mostly alone. And there are the chocolate and alcohol issues (which exceed a bit my budget). I could do just fine without alcohol…. Living without chocolate… now that’s something completely different!
What about the people here? They’re very distant, polite but unreachable. I guess that’s just their culture, the way they’re taught to behave…. Yet for a foreigner they might just seem to respect their personal space just a bit too much… Sit next to someone on the bus? Not exactly the best idea, cause you wouldn’t want to be impolite, would you?
If you bore with me so far, I have something for you: 10 fun facts about Norwegians:
1.There’s no bad weather in Norway, you have the wrong clothes.
- They are eating fish, soup fish, cake fish and fish again.
- Sorry, my bad, they are eating fish everyday…. except for Friday night! They stole (adopted-they said) the mexican taco. So, Friday night=Norwegian taco.
- If you are a Norwegian teenager you have to drink enough on Saturday for the whole week.
- For Norwegian families Sunday equals mountain trip day.
- If it’s summer and you see someone dressed like an Eskimo that person is not Norwegian.
- Even if the wind is cracking your bones and the water has 5 degrees C, if you are Norwegian that’s just the perfect day for swimming.
- They prefer driving on ice to ice-skating.
- “Nugatti is better than Nutella.”
- ” Norwegian chocolate is better than the belgiun one.”