Mar 232015

 Enjoy the story of our EVS volunteer Boryana Svetichkova, who has been in Park in Lambichler Jugendhaus in Tirol, Austria since October 2014.



The story of my Jahresbericht starts way earlier, not even start that year 2014. It begins probably the time my grandmother was born, but I wouldn’t like take all of your time now, my dear reader, I will try let you sneak in, even though the play has begun a long time ago.
“There’s absolutely no way”, she exclaims almost  flinging a cabbage leaf towards the new curtains in front of  her terror-stricken mother, foreseeing the  disastrous  consequences on the interior.

“Hehe, I was also young once, my dear. Also … where do you think you got this lovely dose of recklessness? Well, yours is a little bit over the proportions that are my taste …. But what can I say … today’s cuisine has revealed more and stronger, coming from distant worlds spices! “ ,  never stops to amaze me my grandmother,  with her witty and always in an  appropriate and intelligent manner humor.
That very moment somebody rings on the door and my mother leaves to handle it,  leaving the idyll of the warm hood heated kitchen and three generations of women, carefully following the mystical rules of the Christmas dinner tradition, talking  and remembering their lives. It must have been longer than just a few moments as when my mother returns, she finds my grandma and me both with tears rolling down our cheeks, though only one of us was cutting onion.

“It’s in the air”, we manage to slip out of the situation.

Indeed it was, but my mother could sense that it was actually more in our blood. That connection between an ancestor and descendant and the moment the latter truly unearths  and understands herself.  That obvious face features similarity that I have with my mother I cannot deny, but that free soul and somewhat careless but determined to extremes character behind the facade that I inherit from my grandmother, remains hidden only on first sight.  The only visible mark that discloses it is the scarlet spots on my cheeks supplied with that very same as my mother’s still burning, though not that wildly anymore, blood.



I guess I was also bitten by the restless bug as traveling is my greatest pain and passion. Some have wrath, others have vanity, and I have wanderlust.  Much of a dreamer, but also a man of science, I find more and more that well known law that “Every action has its equal and opposite reaction”.  The further my destination is, the deeper I travel back to my true self and my roots, realizing  my truth, conversing with myself.

Here  I am now 4 months after the beginning of this making your head dizzy adventure so far ( or maybe the greatest at all in my life ) stepping out of my comfort zone,  rushing into the ever so various and daring social work. I was surprised, as always, be how easy the act of leaving was, and how good it felt. The world was suddenly rich with possibility. Social work, actions and efforts towards the well-being of the others as I understand it is a mindset.  All workshops and different youth info events in the process of work in the youth center are opportunities for an impactful realization of this mindset It is a matter of enriching rather than exploiting and making profit for yourself only. More and more in the course of this experience I realize what is happening with me while I am thinking that the only thing I am managing is to fail my german classes.  Apart from my passion for new lands and various people, I am developing my traits, enriching my world, though not always getting the satisfaction as this work repays like no other – not now and not here, but slowly and somehow retroactive –  you realize it has repaid after a longer while . It is more the inner feeling of progress that one feels, than the motivation for profit. Success is determined by the status of achievement, which is motivated by the opportunity for the realization of ideas. In summary – it is a work of art.

I remember my first touch with all this marvel:

Hey, hey YOU!” were the words that made me turn back and face again the long and gloomy corridor at university. “I have something for you” said a mass of ginger curls, approaching me; “It’s definitely something artistic” I caught myself thinking. To my great surprise it was a girl holding a hand-made origami figure.  “I would like to invite you to our event. Have you ever thought of working voluntary, and if not – haven’t you wondered why people do it anyway? What’s in it for them?” This was a provocation that was just about to lead to a waterfall of words, explaining to her that I already participate in an NGO, sending and receiving volunteers, but then I was intrigued by a very interesting and sophisticated to fold figure she was handing to me. I realized that this piece of paper possessed symbolical value and much effort … Then I wished to stay and see more from this girl and about her cause and motivation. Half an hour later, I found myself interacting passionately with her about the great opportunities and the beneficial side of not only sending and hosting volunteers and interns, but experiencing it myself.


Some time after the event my perception of what voluntary work and social entrepreneurship was, had evolved. I realized that my whole mindset was also subject to changing and I realized that this changing process is at the essence of social entrepreneurial thinking – to go beyond the status quo, to strive for change in the society you live in. It then struck me that what I had seen and experienced was indeed something “artistic” after all. It was creative, expressive, moulding of shape, size, color and most importantly of sentiment of the impact your actions have on the community you live in. The creative and artistic side that I discovered enchanted me.

Since then I started seeing opportunities, but I knew I had a long way to go before I would acquire the self-assertiveness and the theoretical and practical skills that I believe need accompany this vision. Participating in social development trainings and internships helped form my perspective and developed my cautiousness about the essential details from the moment a spark is caught and an idea is born to the very end of its realization. I followed my intuition and my heart on my first steps towards my small, but significant utopia by investing in my skills. I dare refer to it as ‘utopia’, because a utopian idea today has the potential to displace the usual approach to things as we know them and to prevail over the inactive and inexpedient efforts of some institutions and organizations.

I still believe that my vocation is to let people know what they have in their hands and this is an immense field with its prerequisite. Young people should first start investing in their own potential and work their way to the top and sustainably overcome their current hindrances. They should be introduced first to the strong points of the society they live in and in the case of the project – the bigger family they are part of- the European family, along with all beneficial and opportunity every European I believe I am somewhere along this road, facing obstacles such as society’s status quo. It is my conviction that our world would benefit from having us all better acquainted with the basis of sustainable thinking so that we can work and cooperate better, to create a provident society which maintains itself responsibly in the future. Supporting and guiding voluntary initiatives from inception will inevitably empower them to grow efficient and strong with many supporters who understand the importance of them. And I truly hope that slowly almost not noticeably I am going there, hand in hand with the guys and girls I meet every day.

I now have achieved to surpass only part of the milestones on my journey and it is my conviction that through guidance and the chance to interact with the greatest possible resource – the human potential (the source of inspiration for me). I will allow myself to quote Kerouac as I sometimes take life too serious.  He once said: “The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved.”  I am not ashamed to admit it – I need to be saved. Funny as it may seem, I keep on finding myself in the situation that the guidance that is supposed to take place from my side to the youngsters is to a great extent mutual. I keep travelling towards me, meeting and exploring more of the others.  It’s a slushy and dangerous road and it dares, it burns me, it drags me it makes me want to take it and never leave it.

I am thinking, discussing, arguing, listening and learning. I know what I’m heading towards and on that steep trail there, until the moment that I am the one saying “Hey, hey, you! … I have something for you!”, I am looking for guidance, cooperation and to be able to live the thrill of the process of developing myself as and the society as well.

Oh what a long way it is to travel to your inner self and to the hearts and minds of these young people that I meet! It is immensely scarier and daring than the kilometers back to that cozy kitchen, where my true self originates.

Dear reader, we finish here though somehow without an end, but please do not be mad, unpredictable indeed the story goes and seizes…. But hey! The reason is hidden somewhere there earlier, not even in 2014. It is probably at the time my grandmother was born. But let me assure you, my dear reader, that I will let you sneak in again, even though the play has begun a long time ago.


 Posted by Vera at 20:40 Volunteer activities

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