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Voluntary year with IniciativAngola - EVS

In January 2017 I came to Carinthia for the first time, where I later volunteered for a year. When I visited Sankt Primus, I already found out some things: The surroundings were beautiful and the people were friendly.
In the following half year, I slowly became enthusiastic and prepared myself for my year abroad. I actually bought a Slovenian language book - for nothing. Unfortunately, I learned almost nothing of this language. I also tried to find my motivation for this volunteer year and finally found it: I wanted to change my life. I wanted to have adventures in order to be a better person in the end.

In Sankt Primus and Klagenfurt p. Hanzej and Marija presented me with a wonderful but sometimes hectic programme. That was my life at IniciativAngola:

  • Meeting with former volunteers,
  • Organization of cake bazaars,
  • Handicrafts of earrings, casting candles,
  • Participation in the IA Oasis,
  • Singing at the Taizé prayer,
  • Drive to Italy,
  • Print flyers,
  • Meeting with an Angolan,
  • Mission tombola,
  •  Presentation of the association at events,
  • Playing a part in concerts,
  • Trip to Slovenia,
  • Ministrating at IA services,
  • Advertise the football tournament,
  • Drinking tea at the office,
  • Organization of the Youth Exchange,
  • Sit at the board meeting,
  • Participate in the IA Seminar,
  • Dive into the community at the IA exam,
  • Participation in EVS training,
  • Participation in preparatory meetings for my traineeship in Angola.

I had almost no time to visit my friends, to make bicycle tours, to go to the mountains, to play football, to go to the Matura ball, to give jazz concerts with the boss, to eat kebab in Klagenfurt or just to let it go once. But I made it anyway.
But that's not enough. During my vacation, I was able to work for a whole month in Angola as a volunteer guest teacher. So I am totally immersed in the IA world. Maybe I even experienced too much.

Now I come out of the hospital, where I had to have two weeks of bed rest. Some might think that I needed it because of malaria and an exhausting year. But those who know me know that rest enough of time are part of big changes. It was a good moment to review my year and to notice that
● I have become a bit more punctual - at least now I have the desire to be punctual.
● I have become more athletic - at least now I have more desire to do sport.
● I have improved my communication - at least now I know that speaking is not the most important thing to understand each other.
● I have become more constructive - at least now I know that my statements are sometimes too critical.
● I have become a bit more believing - at least I know myself out in the church.
● I can drive better - or at least now I know from whom I should learn something.
● I have become a bit of a Carinthian Slovene - at least I like the songs and have friends to sing along with!

Yes, I have indeed changed a bit, but I have not achieved that alone.
The IA members, the Salesians in Klagenfurt, the staff in the diocesan house, my EVS mentor and her family, my German teacher, and my translator who is improving my German, the parish in Sankt Primus (families, confirmands, altar boys), the Zenit sports formation in Šentprimož, the musketeers, the volunteer group for Angola, the school sisters, the refugees, the EVS volunteers, the pupils from Hanzej's classes and many others have transformed me a bit this year. I can't thank you enough for that!

Thank you!

I say goodbye, but I can say that it is not a final farewell. 😉 See you soon!

Mark Skublics, EVS, 01.09.2017 - 31.08.2018