My 9-month EVS adventure in Slovenian Zagorje

Already one month abroad and what was happening? :D Now, I will write about first days of my choosing this voluntary project. Next time maybe more topics – if you want to. ;)
It started with wish for change and big wish to try life and work abroad. In my soul I was hoping that I will find something creative.

I started to send my applications to the organisations. One of the offers was a chance to work in Youth centre in Slovenia for 9 months, with belonging crazy photo (now, I know them much more. Photo was true :D ) So I said to myself, I will try it. It was at the turn of august 2018. Nina, my tutor, contacted me very quickly. Actually, it all was so quickly, because less than one month I was sitting on the train to city in the middle of the hills, Zagorje ob Savi.

I got on the train in Bratislava. In Slovakia, we have ,,slovenské železnice”. When I was in Celje, all trains were there with names: ,,Slovenske železnice”. It isn’t an eye illusion, our languages are similar. Sometimes I understand almost everything, but sometimes really nothing. But, every volunteer has Slovenian lessons. I don’t know answering in Slovenian, but I hope I will know in very short time. ;)

You will meet here a lot of friendly people. When they notice that you are not Slovenian, they are trying to support you in what you need – almost my experiences here. Even, when sometimes we aren’t speaking in the same language, we understand to each other. By the way, sometimes Slovenian is better for me than English. But sometimes not. :D
I should choose my EVS-menthor. I met with a lot of new people, but when I am on internet or with them, I forgot or something new will appear. You know, something is always happening. But! This week!

It was the first Sunday, in the afternoon, when Urška from Zagorje invited us, the volunteers, to see the sunset at Vrh, from where should be very nice sight-seeing. So, it is an offer to which you cannot say No. It was so wonderful sight, so good time and a lot of fun. I have to repeat this!

Another Sunday, Nina invited us hiking to Velika planina with her friends. It was so amazing! The people, new friends and our common time and because of the famous beautiful Slovenian nature! Even if we were travelling a little bit by car to get there and from there and this narrow, up and down roads, because of hills, it is not very good for me, but in the end, it doesn’t matter, because a lot of sooo much nice memories I have from there.

Zagorje is little city with lot of hills around, with special dialect. That is a reason why logo of our youth centre is drawn as a sauce. In some cases, it is similar to one part of Slovakia – they live in part, which we call as ,,Záhorie” and people from there ,,Záhoráci” (,,za-” = behind, ,,hory” = hills, ,,Záhorie” means place behind the hills). Every time when I hear them, they make me smile and I know immediately that they are friendly people. They have their own dialect, I don’t know to speak in this style, but we understand each other. But sometimes it is more difficult. :D
Zagorje and Záhorie – something is on it.

In the last weekend of September we were helping out as volunteers at ,,Brcnimo rasizem” (Kick racism), with my 2 flatmates. So, we are 3 special ;) (=foreign) volunteers in Zagorje. It was so nice for me. I didn’t need to spend all the time there, but you know, when it is interesting conversations, interesting activities and so on, it is not so needed to leave. So, I spent there 12 hours, but it doesn’t matter, because it was nice event. We three were going back to our apartment in the late evening and it seems that Zagorje is preparing for goodnight. On the way, we met 2 guys. They were walking behind us and they were already little bit under the influence of alcoholic substances. Maybe they were bored a little bit, because they started to be louder till they shouted just for fun. After few seconds, from somewhere in nightly Zagorje, we heard an answer. Then, from some third place near us, another answer. So, we jumped from the calm night Zagorje to the night jungle, even if it looks like that nobody, expect the 2 guys and us are there. I said to my friends: ,,I think I will love this city.”

Daniela Brunclíková