Hello, I am Hasmik Shahmuradyan, an EVS volunteer from Armenia doing my volunteer work in Lithuania.
Almost one year ago, I started my EVS journey in Lithuania. I moved to a small town, called Birzai. I was working in a Day care centre. The centre takes care for more than 100 children and young people from socially disadvantaged families per day.
Lithuanian is a hard language and during this year I could learn enough to have simple conversations, understand and explain what I want to say. It was easier for me because of my knowledge of Russian: locals in my small town were mostly talking Russian. Communication in general is so creative, together with children we used to draw shown, make sounds so as to explain each other what we want to express.
In my daily routine I was using English as a major language: communications with HO and CO, friends, flatmates, during travels. Mathematics and logical skills were helping me during all my experience. I needed them in my work and my life here in general. Doing homework with children, counting and using limited money and resources, time, creating reports and presentations, researching information in internet portals, social media, documents and archives. I practically learned how to collect and use information,which is important both in present and in the future life.
Nowadays computers and internet are very important. Any kind of informational sources are important and we have to learn how to take advantages of those kind of sources, friends, websites, blogs, social media, books as much as possible. Before starting my EVS I used E-mail in general to be in touch with CO. Later there were also phone calls, communication via Facebook.
We are learning not only at school and university, but we learn every day and everywhere during the lifetime. Learning helps us to grow, to find ourselves and our place in society. One of the goals of mine was learning Lithuanian at basic level, and I improved it so much, that I could thoroughly explain things and understand children during my work. Some of the goals which I set for myself is learning Italian and improving my English-speaking level. About English I can say that I reached my goal. And Italian is already improved from 0 to A1 level, and I am still improving it. One way of learning is listening to the others. During EVS we had opportunities to take a part in on-arrival and midterm trainings, to have group works, workshops, to listen to the others' experience and to know their opinion about my work. That was very useful for me.I have gained a lot new ideas and got a great motivation to continue my project. People need to feel comfortable and not alone, and during training when you listen to the others' stories you understand that you are not alone in this kind of situation and that they have the same kind of problems and difficulties, too. Thanks to my EVS experience, I learned to be independent and to deal with problems by myself, which was one of the goals in my life. The biggest motivation I use for myself is the way of thinking that you can do more, you can be more, and the road with thorns will bring me to the better place.
I am very open-minded person and that is how am I making friends. Now I have friends from different countries, such as Lithuania, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Italy, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Georgia. I like to discover new cultures, new habits and ways of thinking. During the project we were making international dinners, presentations about our countries. The volunteers always support each other, so do I. All of as were in the same situation: abroad, far from our families and friends, so it is the best support we could get from each other.