Ivelina: a Bulgarian volunteer in Germany (part 2)

Ivelina: a Bulgarian volunteer in Germany (part 2)

Hallo, Wie geht’s? 🙂

This means ‘hi, what’s up?’ in German and your Bulgarian volunteer in Freiburg is here again to tell you more about what happened in the past six months in this ESC adventure.

I don’t even know where to start because, oh wow, so many things have happened already which I am so excited to tell you about.

Let’s start with the most recent enjoyable event, i.e. our team-building meeting with my colleagues from the kindergarten. We made a boat trip along the Rhine river and witnessed breathtaking views from the German side of the bank as well as from the French. Each one of us had a refreshing cocktail, accompanied by a cheerful atmosphere and hilarious conversations. After that, we visited an Italian restaurant, where I tried the best spaghetti in my life. This meeting was definitely an ice-breaking experience for the whole group, after which we felt a little more like a real team.

I also made friends here. I got close with a German family that lives in a village near my city and I sometimes go to their house for a German breakfast (breakfasts are a really big deal here, especially with the various types of bread, spread with butter) and I tell them about Bulgaria and our culture as they are pretty interested in it. They even have books about Bulgaria and Bulgarian traditions. The thing that surprised me in their village when I visited it for the first time was the small stalls on the streets, offering fruits and vegetables without a seller. You can just go take what you want and leave the amount of money, written on every basket with the items, in a box. That’s it. And don’t assume by the word “village” that the population is like 200 or 300 people, no, it is over 10.000. I am amazed by the German structure and their strictness of compliance with the law. Not only the state laws but the human ones as well. Living here for over six months completely destroyed the myths and my prejudices about the so-called ‘German coldness’. Most of them are always willing to help with what they can.

Regarding my work in the kindergarten, I have done a few interesting activities so far like painting the walls and planting flowers and vegetables in the garden for the summer. I also had the chance to present myself and my project in front of my colleagues and the parents at a parental meeting. The first activity I did was drawing and painting the walls and one of the windows of the kindergarten with animals and flowers. So, the kids feel more entertained while being there and at the same time learn about animals’ and plants’ names. 

Spending my time here made me realize how many opportunities we have as EU citizens and how useful these kinds of projects actually are. Taking part in the voluntary program, undoubtedly was a step that changed my way of thinking and my life forever.

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