Elina Benz – EVS Volunteer
If you would have told me a year ago that I will sit now in an NGO office in Armenia I would probably start to laugh and tell you that you are crazy. Mainly because I never heard anything about Armenia and it was never a country I thought I will visit. But yeah, now I’m here. And I’m really happy about it. Armenia is really different (and sometimes really weird) from everything I know starting from the language to the public transport. I think the first cultural shock I had was when I saw the Marschrutkas. I remember me looking at them for the first time and thinking “What the hell is that?“ and this thought accompanied myself through the whole time during my first ride with it.
Nevertheless I would say I got used to all cultural differences and I really love Armenia with its weirdnesses and differences. A great help for that was and is my lovely hosting organization YIC. YIC makes my EVS to a wonderful, funny and learningful time. Since I arrived last September I learned so many things and I’m really proud of it. I love to teach in an non-formal way in YIC’s German Clubs, and I’m getting better and better in it. When I look back at my first lessons I can really see how much I learned and changed. I learned and love to organize our Fridays Cafés and the Handicraft Clubs in which I can be so wonderful creative. I’m also 2 times a week in a school. I would say that this time is probably my favourite time in the week because there I have the opportunity to try so many different things and the students and teachers are patient enough to participate with lots of motivation in all my crazy ideas.
When I look back to the Elina of September and compare her to the Elina of now I can see that I changed a lot. In the beginning I was shy and silent (I’m still shy and silent but not as shy and silent as in the beginning), I was afraid of basically everything, I was sure that I can’t to anything but during the last months I got more self-confidence, more skills, I discovered talents, and I became more mature and independent. And I’m looking forward to see how much I still will change during the last months here in Gyumri.
21 years old