Hey, it’s me ,Marine Karapetyan – the Armenian ‘’Romanian’’ as my mentor used to call me during my 7 months EVS experience in Romania, Focsani, a city where I lived and carried out my ‘’EVS Architects of Change’’ volunteering service based on non-formal methods of education. We mainly concentrated on healthy lifestyle education and financial education in the high school of Gheorghe Asachi (surprisingly, I found out that he was an Armenian by origin and is an important historical figure for both Moldova and Romania), moreover as we had cultural exchange days, I taught the students to dance Armenian traditional dances Kochari and Yarkhushta, which we performed during the final concert. Due to the help of my mentor, I was introduced to the Romanian culture by visiting traditional concerts, events and festivals, so the more I spent time in Romania, the more I got integrated into the community life and became aware of their beautiful culture. Besides, we had English and painting clubs and weekly activities in Garoafa and Ciuslea village schools, where each child was a genius; they were so talented and mature, that we automatically learnt many things from them! Now, when I look back, I understand I was so lucky to meet such amazing kids, students, friends, foreigners, Armenian – Romanians and generally people from all over the world, whom I loved deeply with all my heart and their inspiration and motivation will last and guide me for my future days in both work and daily life. Growth is the best part of being an EVS volunteer, basically, you learn a lot, each day is for something new to discover, for trying new things and challenging yourself for doing more, overcoming your fears, limitations and finally, for coming out of your comfort zone. I should mention one of the privileges of being an EVS volunteer, which are the On- Arrival and Mid-Term trainings, where we literally expend our minds, skills and abilities to maximum! Also, I can’t help mentioning the fact, that no matter wherever I went, I found traces of Armenian heritage and culture there, so I not only became aware of other cultures and lifestyles, but also widened my scope of my own culture, language and people! EVS is amazing, because it’s volunteering, travelling, meeting various people and changing both within and out. So my EVS service and adventures were beautiful, full of new experiences, things to discover and learn, good-hearted people and unforgettable memories, and, of course, this all wouldn’t be so great if I didn’t have such helpful and caring sending and hosting organizations and a mentor who became a lifelong friend!
Thus millions of thanks for this heavenly opportunity and now, I certainly say- never lose the chance to BE A VOLUNTEER!!!