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My EVS Travel Diary

Hi everyone from Lithuania. I am Hasmik Shahmuradyan and doing my EVS in Birzai in Lithuania. After 6 months of volunteering in Biržai I want to share my experience with you.

It was a time of difficult and easy challenges, with happy and sad moments, new and old friends.

Since I am from Armenia, it is hard to travel in Europe from there, and EVS was an amazing opportunity for me to discover Europe. I was traveling every month, even in cold winter days I kept doing that. I have been in Barcelona (Spain) and it was my first big trip alone. Then I met New Year in Italy and I fell in love with that country, after that I have been there twice. Then me and my friends rented a car and drove to Gdansk (Poland). It was one of the most interesting travels of mine. The next was Germany.

In March I had midterm training, the second and last training during EVS. It was a very helpful training for my project, I found all answers for the questions that I had, and I got support from trainers and volunteers. When you are sharing your worries, problems, emotions you are feeling more free. You are understanding that you are not alone in that situation and there are people that can understand you. After the training I felt very motivated, I got new ideas for my project, new power to continue my experience.

Lithuanian winter was something new for me, even though I had cold winters in my country, here it was something different. Cold weather till -23C, frozen lakes and rivers, very short days and long nights. During winter I was almost always sick, depressed and not motivated. But temporary I had days full of happiness and smiles, a lot of travels, interesting festivals and activities in the project and out of the project. In bad situations you can understand the real faces of people, you can discover who will really help you and who will say “sorry I am busy”.

The volunteers in Birzai became my family, people with whom I am sharing my good and bad days, having parties, working, traveling, and participating in different activities and festivals.

It is already spring in Lithuania, my life is completely different because everything is green, full of flowers, singing birds, amazing lakes and rivers and of course clouds of mosquitoes. Even I can find myself more active and happy because we are having picnics with children, walking in the forest, swimming in the lakes and rivers, riding bicycles.

After all I passed through I understood that life is changeable, happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, after rain is sun, and even in the darkest days and hardest road there is a ray of light.

Be happy.

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