Esme volounteer from Spain in Cracow

Who are you? Briefly describe yourself (where do you come from, what do you study, etc.)

My name is Esmeralda and I am a journalist from Spain who is living in Krakow since October. I am 25 and currently, I am an EVS volunteer.

What has surprised you in Poland?

The language! Some people told me that it was difficult to speak but I didn't understand they were right until I come to Poland!! And the way of driving... The bus drivers are crazy!

How did you come up with the idea of volunteering in Poland?

If I am honest I'd never thought in Poland for volunteering.... I was looking for a good EVS project and, one day, my sending organization talked to me about one interesting project in Krakow and, after looking for information of the city, I decided to come!

Do you remember the first days of volunteering in Poland? Describe the struggles you went through:

The first days were difficult for me because I didn't have Internet in my flat and I couldn't speak with my family a lot... Also, in the first weekend, we have a big problem with the tubes of the kitchen!! It was my first Sunday here and, suddenly, the dirty water started to come out without control! We had to call a plumber, but we didn't know Polish! We solve the problem thanks to our neighbors, they called the plumber and helped us with everything! Even, they cooked for us Sharlotka, because we were exhausted after cleaning all the kitchen.... It was the first time that I realized Polish people are very friendly and nice!!!

Tell us about the differences between Poland and Spain:

The most important difference is the weather. I miss the sun!! I like the snow but after two months, I can't wait for spring!! When the cold is -15 C, you can't do the same things...

What do you like about volunteer in Poland?

I like the people who I have met here! In my organization, we are 20 people from different countries (Italy, Germany, France, Turkey, Georgia, Hungary and Greece) and we spend a lot of time together! Besides, I like working with Polish people in the office, they are very nice!

Do you know any famous people from Poland?

Copernicus, Roman Polanski, Marie Curie, Chopin...

Describe the places in Poland, that have a positive influence on you:

I visited Torun, Wrocław, Zakopane and Warsaw, but my favourite place is Krakow! It is an amazing city, full of young people where you can have a different plan everyday!

Tell us about the country you've always wanted to visit, but still haven't:

I would like to visit 3 cities near to Poland: Budapest, Prague and Vienna! So, I would like to go to Hungary, Czech Republic and Austria! And I will do it very soon!!

Are you a member of any student's club or organization? Tell us something about it:

I am working as a volunteer in an organization called STRIM, which promotes international exchanges, intercultural events and multiculturalism among young people.

Would you like to come back to Poland in the future? Why?

I would like to come back because I met one boy here... So, now I have a really good reason to come back!! We will see in the future!! :)

If you run your own business or work anywhere, please tell us something about it (what is it, how many hours weekly do you work, etc.)

I work 30 hours per week and I have free weekends! I work in the office of STRIM organization, and my task are writing on a blog what I am doing, recording videos, writing for the website, organizing meetings for the other volunteers (film sessions, visit to museums, parties, language meetings, etc) and promote European Voluntary Service. Now I am organizing a short story contest in Spanish with nice prices such as a E-book reader! :)

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