evs @ erfolg

A multilingual blog about the life as a volunteer in the Latvian organisation Erfolg

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Kartu Kauna (Together Kaunas)


Kaunas is the second biggest city in Lithuania with 360 000 inhabitants. It’s not the most beautiful city but she has something unique, I can’t tell you exactly what, maybe its simplicity and its cute places.

            First, I would say it’s really easy to find your way in the center, you can’t lose yourself in Kaunas: the old town is formed of two large streets, from the bus station to the „museums corner” and all interesting monuments are on the streets around.

            I arrived on March, 25th in R hostel, a charming hostel near to the bus station, where I slept two nights in a dorm room with an Iranian, a Russian and a French. I started to visit the old town, taking pictures and enjoying the sun and the „heat”. The old town is full of history with churches and gothic buildings.
At 20.00, I attended basket-ball match between Kaunas and Barcelona to Kauno Sports Arena (Kaunas lost but the refirees were against them…); Arena was full of supporters who applaused and encourage their team. Lithuania is a basket-ball’s country, it’s a something serious there. The atmosphere was incredible: a man in front of me cried „F*** you refirees” one time and after him, all people cried „F*** you refirees” for 2 minutes!

Kaunas 2
Before the match, supporters stood and sung a song for their team, without music, with only their voices…Wahou! At halftime, the president of Lithuanian Basket-ball Federation honored a Kaunas’ former famous player. It was touching for me to see many people celebrating a ”V.I.P” together. It’s why I love basket-ball: you don’t know other people but you share a moment in your life with them, you don’t know anything about them, neither their name or their address or what they do in life, but you speak, you laugh, you comment the match with them and without stereotypes, only for love of basket-ball.

                         They are Lithuanian, I’m French. We speak basket-ball language.

            Thursday was my full day in Kaunas, I decided to do the maximum of things. I started with Sports Museum, a small well-organized museum which shows sport is an big part of build itself. Then, I visited Kaunas’ castle and saw fishermen along the river.
On the evening, after an hour shopping, I ate a pizza with my „roommates” in the Akropolis’ mall.
On Friday, I took time buying a scarf of BC Zalgiris (Kaunas’ basket-ball team) and walking in the center before taking my bus and coming back to Daugavpils.

Kaunas 4

            I love this city! Why? I really don’t know. Maybe because it’s a quiet city where time seems being stopped, despite of the important number of students. How to describe? I felt fine in this cty, I felt invincible, like anybody could annoy me, I felt happy.


Kaunas 3

by Amandine

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How to grow up in 12 months


One year in Daugavpils, Latvia. It’s short, it’s long, it depends on the point of view.
It’s EVS, an incredible adventure: how to forget this people? They all have something special, something you can’t find elsewhere. They helped me to become more confident, open minded, tolerant, patient, worker, responsible, helpful, independent, self-governing, friendly, brave, generous, … Adult.
It’s why I called my article How to grow up in 12 months.

I arrived in Latvia on May, 16th 2014 with the desire to come back to France;
I will leave Latvia on May, 16th 2015 with the desire NOT to come back to France.

Daugavpils is my second home, with its fortress and its Mark Rothko’s center, its big streets, its pleasant parks, its nice bars (Vikings!) and restaurants (Cili Pica and Gubernator are the best!!), its Queen Night Club, its generous inhabitants and its German organization, Erfolg…  What can I say about Erfolg? Erfolg is my workplace: for 35 hours per week, I wrote articles for this blog, I animated French, English Club Discussion and children schools, I did posters, I had Latvian lessons (declinations and I won’t never friends), I celebrated birthdays, I shared nice moments and I made friends.
I learned to ask for help.


To find myself, I also traveled through Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, three hosting countries where I learned to take time and to enjoy life. Life is short, live and stop to worry for nothing!

Work in a foreign country taught me to find and fend off my limits, to find news ways of communication, I needed to evolve and speak more, really more than usually.

In summary: nothing was easy when I arrived, it’s why I’m now proud of me; despite of problems, I stayed (I tried) positive, repeating myself: “It will be better tomorrow”.
On the other hand, I’m disappointed of myself because I feel I haven’t given the best of myself, I haven’t done the maximum, I haven’t shown how I really am.

I don’t know what I brought to these people but I know what they brought me.


by Amandine