Welcome new EVS (February and March)

Hello everyone! 

We are the new volunteers in Donegal Youth Service; Elena and Claudia from Spain, Dima from Ukraine and Kemal from Turkey. We arrived to Letterkenny at the beginning of February. We are involved in different projects inside of DYS. Dima and Elena in Youth Information Center, Kemal in Donegal Youth Council and Claudia in the Youth Outreach Project.

From Elena, 

What’s the craic? (I think it is the first word I learnt when I arrived to Ireland, so far I do not really know which answer is the best one)

Well, my name is Elena from Spain, I arrived to Dublin the 1st of February from Madrid with Claudia. We were very lucky because we took the bus from Letterkenny really quickly and we didn’t have to wait so much in the airport. Louise and Andrew were waiting for us in the bus station, it was raining (of course). Then we visited Donegal Youth Service, the first impression was really good. Later we were at home, because we were exhausted. Lovely big house, great bedrooms for each and huge kitchen. We can’t complain about that, it is a wonderful house. After a couple of days I felt like at home.

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Donegal Youth Service is a place where you can share your experience, everyone is very friendly and they make you feel like at home. They are very patient, above all with us because of the language. I’m working in the Youth Information Center, Kasia is my supervisor and she is charming. The first week she drove us to the beach and it was our first trip around Donegal. We are working in the design team and we are promoting activities for the young people. I spend a great time in the drop-in, playing table tennis and pool table.

After one month I will say I love Donegal so far, I have had the opportunity to get lost around the county I was really surprised about the Irish people, they are really friendly and generous. Furthermore I spent St.Patrick’s day in Dublin, it was a great time there, except for the weather. As usual in Ireland it was raining but it was interested. Living the national party in Dublin it’s something I’ll remember always.

The arrival training on March has been wonderful, we were a small group 10 people in total. Even though I think it was much better, because we could do a united group. In the training we did a lot of activities, challenges and a lot of games. We spent all the day together and we could know each other. Actually we have planned to do a trip all together in Easter, I’m looking forward to do this trip.

The arrival training has been very useful for all of us, we could share our experiences, to know how are the different projects. It was a challenge sometimes because we should think about our skills, our personal experience  that we are going to find in our EVS. That was a enrichment experience. Thanks Leargas for it. From the arrival training on I changed a little bit my point of view, I learnt a lot and my philosophy will be: take it easy!

From Claudia

Hello to all EVS followers of the website. My name is Claudia and I am from Zaragoza, Spain. I am a new volunteer at Donegal Youth Service thanks to the Program funded by the European Commission. I will stay with all of you until the end of December. I am sure it will be a great experience. This is my first report, and I think I have had many experiences only in my first month. The first week I started to adapt to the great change. All the people speaks to me with different accents, I started to live in a nice house and friendly colleagues from different countries and customs, a new city, the climate changes all the time, the pressures of the atmosphere make me feel tired all day …

But not all have been bad. I have had good experiences too, trying out differen restaurants and meals, I enjoy Buncrana with Kassia (one of the office workers), I have been introduced to many young guys, we have had a fantastic trip to the National Park with all colleagues in the office. .. so I felt very welcome.

In my project, I started creating fun games for the youth prevention group in Malin Head, and then I met them. I am very lucky because they are a good group. I also had another special day each week to support me and play an instrument, nationality food day, or youth sports soccer with teenagers of different ages.

On the other hand, I am very surprised because the Irish really like Spain, and some of them had travelled for vacations. For this reason, I decided to start teaching Spanish free on the Drop-in every Thursday.

In our spare time we like to go to the English conversation class in the library. It is so good because we find foreign people living here, and Irish teachers who prepare dynamics and themes.

In addition, we contacted a neighbour who met the last EVS (2016) and many Erasmus in the collage (about twenty-five!). Then yes! Our principle has been good. They showed us the best places to go out at night and practice some free sports with them.

It is amazing, but we have had time to travel. We have all travelled together in Derry. And a different weekend I travelled to Donegal town, a quiet place for walk by the cost, and Sligo, an interesting and welcoming place. I really enjoyed it. Letterkenny for me is not too big, and there are not too many programs, but if you are creative and positive person, you can feel well here.

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Claudia again,

Hello! What is craic? I am very surprised because this month has passed quickly. I have continued to create fun games for the youth prevention group in Malin Head, I started going to Aura sport center every Tuesday to practice different sports with a group of young people and to the big swimming pool in my free time. I am also participating in a new course to have a good communication with the young people and help them correctly.

I have travelled to the interesting city of Belfast in a long weekend, also to the quiet Ballyshannon (the oldest town in Ireland), and the crazy but attractive city of Dublin for our fist training as volunteers. It was a wonderful experience. I met another 6 volunteers from France, Italy, Germany and Belgium. Immediately we had good connections (vibrations), we formed a good teamwork (now friends group), and we are connected across social networks now. It is interesting because we are working on different cities but in similar projects, so it is nice talk about our experiences. We have planned several excursions together for Easter and summer.

Finally, I decided spend St Patrick day in Letterkenny with Dima (our Ukrainian volunteer), because we knew that it was be a really rainy day. We enjoyed on the streets and played with the young people on the Drop-in. That day we could feel the happiness of the Irish people everywhere and we were infected with it.

From Dima,

It has been almost 2 months since the beginning of the project. It was impressive and exciting time! I do a graphic design for various DYS projects and help in Youth Information Centre, department of the DYS. Also, I help with office, another project dedicated to social, cultural, arts etc. topics.

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We all with the DYS staff and volunteers were at National Glenveagh Park. There were beautiful, great, wild and amazing landscapes, steep slopes of high hills, almost mountains, lovely garden near the castle.

I helped with music evening. It was the amazing event, and I convinced once again that the Irish love music and talented. By the way, it seems that everyone is able to play on any musical instrument. Of course, the guitar is the most popular tool.

I helped in preparing a flag for St. Patrick’s Day for DYS. It was very interesting and excited because we painted contours of images used wax and after fill out shapes by various paints, and I didn’t know about such method of painting before!

On St. Patrick’s Day was raining, but Parade must be in any case! The parade was not so huge how I expect, but it was funny moments when some people dressed in laughable, comic costumes.

Irish people are polite, friendly and calm. And, yeah, here people like pubs, especially on Friday and Saturday!

Amazing landscapes here, such like as in ”Lord of the Rings; or Game of Thrones Hills, meadows, steep cliffs on the coast, the steep rock shore covered with grass, heather or something similar. The climate is humid, but warm for me at least what I observed.

Letterkenny – is small town as I think, but I like it very much in real. It is pretty quit, but lovely quit, cozy places – no noise, no pollution like in big cities. Here reastaurants, shopping centres, theater, cinema, cultural centre, sport centre etc. Also, you can visit county places. But you need a car because public transportation is not developed well and a lot of places is possible to reach by car only.

On Arrival training was held in Dublin. Oh, Dublin, lovely city! Old fashion and contemporary buildings coexist in an amazing way! On training participated 10 EVS-volunteers in total. It was incredible! We did a lot of interesting unusual tasks and met volunteers from Italy, France, German, Belgium. People with various background and interests volunteering in different places by all Ireland and through them, you can know something new about different nations! It was very intensive, impressive 4-days training. I miss a little bit for this time!

So, I hope for more impressions and achievements in the next months!

From Kemal,

Hi everyone!! I’m Kemal from Turkey. I will not add too many things because all my colleagues have already explained that.  I love Ireland so far, I am working in the Donegal Youth Council. Carlin is my supervisor and I enjoy a lot with her. Part of my work is travelling around Donegal on different meetings, so I never get bored.

At the beggining I will say it was a little bit difficult to get used to be a new place. Above all because of my language, however I have the feeling that I am improving a lot, all the people and staff from the office are very patient with me.

Our house is huge and I like it so much. I usually take the bike for moving around. Actually I  cycled to Fanad Head from Letterkenny, it was a big challenge for me.

Besides this, I have visited Dublin several time and I like it. I love travelling that is why I am trying to travel as much as I can.

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