All posts by Wissem Chaanbane

I am Wissem Chaabane, 25, from Tunisia.

Saturday 30th of November

Saturday 30th of November, I went for a hike with my mentor and here friends at Velke Brezno, it was nice to meet new people and to do something new for the weekend.

I had the feeling that the people I meet were kind of bored or they were less excited, maybe because they have went through the track before or maybe because they did not have something else to do. I was reluctant to speak to them, except for my mentor and here boy friend Jan. Jan and I talked about different subjects, he also ordered a Czech typical meal for me, and one of his friends tried to show me the appropriate way to eat using the fork and knife.

I was embarrassed for sure, because, I wanted to do it myself, also, there was this guy who sat next to us at the restaurant. The funny thing, which I did not know at that time and I only knew it latter, this guy was a regular costumer at that restaurant. He chose to set with us because it was his place and chair I was setting in. Of course I did not know, and the friends I was with they bought him a beer and one shot. I knew he was looking at me half of the time. It was okey , I was not upset about it, I only thought that he recognizes that I am a foreigner or just observing my silly way of treating and eating that typical Czech plate. Well, the most important thing I learned about that day was that I still feel no confident in myself, I still feel embarrassed to ask for help especially form the people that I don’t know.

Day 28 of my EVS I wrote

I have been 28 days now in the Czech republic and I have to admit that it’s the best thing that happened to me. When I knew about EVS for the first time I just wanted to do it for the sake of doing it. The idea that there is another world beyond this sea that I have spent my hole life watching from the farm where I used to live. I have always knew for a mere intuition that there is more in life than that, that I can do more things, that I have been burning down my opportunities.

I have been accepted in the project in January 2018 and from that time I stood still waiting for the time I will start my journey. Well, now after 28 days, I know that I am not really doing much, but, I know that I am learning many things, not only about the Czech republic and the people that I am encountering here, but, also I am learning about myself.

“There is no one who stops you from doing things except yourself” I know for sure now how much time I lost doing so little with my life. I am writing these words with remorse and anticipation. Remorse for the long days journey I spent doing so little with my life, not trying to strive for my own independence, and also for believing that one person can not change anything, which is an idea that had penetrated my head some time before going to college and made me give up. Anticipation, which is my expectation that I am going to change myself and work now on my personal development, I am not holding my horses any longer, because, I have always knew that there is more in me than meets the eye.

This month went really fast and it made me realize that time is something too important, especially if you were raised in a place where time is something utterly ignored.

The interview

Hello, Wissem, you are in Ústí nad Labem via project Volunteering activities (under Erasmus+ programme). What was your motivation to take part in sucha a project?

The idea of traveling and going abroad has always been a dream and a mere idea for me, I just didn‘t know when or where I will go. But, since I have learned about EVS in 2016 and that you can have this experience of going abroad as a volunteer I realized that this dream can come true under the frame work of Erasmus+ program. And, what motivated me in the first place was this exploration of new culture and people, to learn about other traditions and new ways of life, and at the same time to learn more about myself and my culture. Moreover, after I graduated university in 2015 I was not sure what I will do. And, this is the second reason which motivated me to choose this project at the library, where I can work with librarians and learn about their work, where I can gain experience in teaching, lesson preparation, to understand more about non-formal education, workshops and games as well as to turn knowledge and ideas into concrete material and practice.

What was the hardest part for you – if there was any?

I believe that the hardest part for me was these few past days, I was feeling up and down since I came. My mind was in a set of alert, every thing is new and seems strange. I felt pressured, intimidated, unprepared, and I was culturally shocked that I had the feeling that I forgot why I was here in the first place. These few past days were “too real to be true“. But, I think after I went to the on arrival training, I am less in alert, less intimidated, and that I am no longer swimming against the tide, in other words, I am starting to enjoy the journey.

What will you do in the library and how long will you stay?

I am going to stay here for seven months until the first of July and my main tasks in the library would be to help in the different departments of the library, to learn about the work of librarians, to create and play games with children in the children‘ s department, to lend books to the clients of the library and to return books.

Moreover, I am going to have some presentations about Tunisia for the public and the people of Usti, where they can explore the Tunisian culture and traditions, the Tunisian history and way of life, and what makes Tunisia the country that it is today. Moreover, I am going to animate the English club through more games to play and themes to discuss. And also, I am going to have a french club with librarians. Finally, The other thing that I will do here is to have an Arabic club.

You mentioned English Club (nonformal meeting of people who like to speak in English). I know that you prepare also Arabic Club to let people know more about Tunisian culture. Can you tell me more about it (how often it will be, which day, and about the topics and format of the club)?

I believe it will be more about Arabic language (Tunisian dialect) at first, and more about Tunisian history. I am not really sure what else we can have right now, but, I will rely on my interactions and encounters with the people here to find out more about what things they would like to explore and I believe that the Arabic club would be more of a non formal place for exchange and bridging up between our cultures. (Calligraphy in Arabic) and (Tunisian pottery) (Tunisian Films, music and dance)

You have been in the Czech Republic since 27th November. Is there anything you like about the Czech Republic?

Well, although, I was struggling a bit in my head with all the waves of new things I was seeing. But, I really found that this country is beautiful with its mountains and rivers, I did not really expect that. I also found out that Czech republic has a huge history and a ravishing architecture. And, the soup! too many soups!

And something that surprised you (either in good way or bad way)?

What surprised me in a good way was the sophistication of the country, everything seems organized and on time, especially the means of transportation we don‘t have this punctuality in Tunisia. What surprised me also is the weather, it was really shocking, I am still adjusting to it.

Thank you for your answer and wish you nice days in the Czech Republic and a lot of nice experience in your project.  49289651_296041047780267_370539090757550080_n.jpg

I am finally in the Czech Republic for my EVS

I am finally here! after a very long wait ! I have started my EVS journey in the Czech republic. I arrived in November the 27th to meet my project coordinator Zuzana Parizkova and here son at the airport. Then we went to Usti Nad Labem by car. After one and half hour drive we arrived at Usti where we went to meet the director of the north bohemian research library. I had a warm welcoming and the director offered one special home-made drink!  after the coffee and the cookies. we talked about my flight, the project and the activities I am going to undertake. after that, we went to the dorm where I will stay for 7 months of my mobility. And, then  we went to meet my mentor Eliska at an italian pizza restaurant.ThTDba

We talked a bit, exchanged contacts, and ate. My project coordinator had to leave and I stayed for a while with my mentor Eliska. she showed me where I can shop and the place around the dorm. ( written on the night of the 27th of November)… the few days after that I was culturally shocked…


My EVS ahead

A week ago, I finally was able to submit my visa application to the Czech embassy here in Tunis.  Now, I have to wait another two months to actually start my European Voluntary Service adventure. I have been waiting for so long to make this journey come true, I am actually writing this post to prepare a spot on my blog for this experience which I am strongly enthusiastic about.

the Evs will be for seven months instead of ten. Due to my bad learning curve preparing for my visa application and the amount of time and long queue waiting that I  had to make in the different steps at the ministries as well as at the embassy. I finally had it done. I wonder if current or ex-Evsers had to translate their diploma or bachelors and submitted them  as part for their visa application.

I am planning on documenting my Evs  a head, for which I  have enormous expectations. My Evs will take place in Usti nad labem, in Czech Republic. I will be a volunteer at the North Bohemian Research Library, where, I will undertake different activities, such as teaching English, French and Arabic and to make several presentation about Tunisia for the public there. My other activities will be to share the work of librarians there, and work at different departments of the library.                                             



Revisited Times

When I try to contemplate my college days, I always have this feeling that I was a goody all time.

I remember when I was in my first year, I was excited, and determined to get my bachelor’s in English as soon as possible and not to repeat a single year. I was twenty years old, and just happy that I finished my high school. Happy that I was stretching out, leaving a little village where I was known by my grandfather’s good reputation as a farmer and a stand-up man, leaving a town where I had made some friends and insulted some others, where one time, I interrupted my teacher’s long boring lecture, took a chalk from his table and wrote “one hour talk” on the board. I almost get expelled and everyone was laughing at my craziness, or that time where my friend and I spent a night making a big flag for the march we agreed to make the day after.

I am repeatedly reminded that I didn’t live my college days as I was supposed to live them, always carrying this hint of regret that I had missed a lot of opportunities back then.


There are a few people who I have been disgraceful to lately and I did not give them a proper thanks. I think I can be unthankful sometimes, but, this doesn’t mean I don’t care about people. Usually, I thank people the moment they do something good for me and in many times I just postpone doing that, because, I feel some people deserve something more than just a thank you. But, the real problem is that I always think it in my head and never do it, at least I don’t remember the last time I did it, and I always stop at the limit of an idea.

When I was in high school I remember that one of my goals back then was to pay tribute to my parents, I just knew that I had to do so, but, never knew how or what would be the thing which I have to pay them with.

Mr. Hansen one of my previous students once told me about a book he read Five Languages of Love” He said each one of us has his own love language. Some prefer to have gifts, something material and that’s how they can feel cherished and loved. Some others prefer time; they would like you to spend time with them, to bond with them, and that’s how they feel treasured and loved. I don’t remember the other two love languages. But, I remember the last one which is words of affirmation such as “great job” well done” or just “thank you”. I believe that my love language is words of affirmation; I mean I like it very much when people thank me for something I did, or tell me that I did a good work. I feel motivated, valued, and loved.

I guess that probably comes from my mother’s side, because, whenever I try to thank her for something she did for me, she always gets angry and says “never say that, it’s my job, my duty” which is the same thing I think about when people tell me that I did a good job or thank me for something, I mean I don’t get angry, on the contrary, I feel happy, but also, I feel as if it was my duty or just something that needed to be done. And, Sometimes I get a feeling of dissatisfaction about the “good job” that I supposedly did. Probably, because, I think that there is more to be done, anyways, it’s confusing. And, maybe this is why I get lost in the idea of thanking other people, because, I think it too much.

Recently, I have participated in a project with the Tunisian association “Association Théâtre -forum-Tunisie” I was a performer in a play we were making for the public. And, the main objectives of this project were, on the one hand, to introduce the public to the techniques of “théâtre forum”, “théâtre image”, and theater of the oppressed in general. On the other hand, to raise the public awareness about the elections and their right to practice citizenship as well as to explain why they need to take part in politics, and particularly, in the upcoming local elections.

I really had the most ravishing experience ever. I met with many people that now I am friends with and I had an amazing learning, travelling, and acting experience. So, without think it too much, I hope that this post on my blog would eventually be my ultimate way of paying tribute to all my friend participants in this project, my friend Wessleti Hedi for the opportunity, Mr. Abidi Mohamed and Mrs. Shelly Saida for the training, guidance and teaching about theater f the oppressed and its techniques as well as the opportunity to discover something new about myself and also to discover many places in Tunisia I would never have the chance to explore before.

EVS vacancy in France

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Call for EVS Volunteer

Location: La Rochelle, France

Period: 08/01/2018 – 08/10/2018

Deadline: 4 September 2017

Avenir en Héritage, non profit association is looking for an EVS Volunteer. The project consist of: created and animate the network of former volunteer, write and publish some article in the website, in social media, make interviews of student and volunteer who has volunteering in an other country and participate to the creation of an internet platform. Promote volunteering, organize and animate some event about Europe, citizenship with others associations like International Student association (ESN, l’AFEV, FJT.). The volunteers involved will become aware of the importance of volunteering and her impact in local communities (in Europe and outside), and how it’s importante wealth creation in “South country”.

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EVS vacancy in Belgium

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EVS in De Hoge Rielen

location: Kasterlee, BELGIUM

Period: 01/03/2018 – 30/11/2018

Deadline: 25 August 2017

de Hoge Rielen is a domain for youth groups that offer them accommodation, outdoor and educational activities.
9-month project, starting in March 2018!

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Why I want to do EVS?


Ever since I was introduced to European Voluntary Service I was fascinated by the idea of volunteering abroad. And, that’s why I am going to write why I want do EVS. I think that F. Scott Fitzgerald said “ I’m not sure what I’ll do, but— well, I want to go places and see people. I want my mind to grow. I want to live where things happen on a big scale.”

I believe that meeting diversity, making new connections, broadening my experience, enhancing my potential, and gaining knowledge is what I find myself inclined to do.

  • I want to travel  and meet diversity.
  • I want to learn languages and enhance my communication skills in English.
  • I want to explore my potentials through  meeting new challenges.
  • I want to learn and teach  about non-formal education
  • I want to enhance my understanding of people and explore new cultures and traditions. 
  • I want to be able to apply what I can get from an EVS in my future career 

I have been trying to apply for several EVS vacancies now and I am very much hoping that my application would be successful at least in one of them !

EVS vacancy in France

Find EVS

France EVS active vacancy Find EVS 2Location: Velizy Villacoublay France

Period: 01/10/2017 – 30/06/2018

Deadline: 15 March 2017

• You are interested in ERASMUS+ projects and you know basic French (it is not obligatory but it will help you to adapt quicker).
• You like working with children and adolescents this will help you as well.
• Finally, you should like chocolate and coffee but if you do not do so yet, France will teach you to 😉
• You’ve got a cool sense of humour and you can bear the fact that it’s not easy to become a Parisian in 9 months ;))
We are looking forward to your CV and motivation letter! Do not hesitate to send your application in any other format that suits you best, however a CV is always helpful to us. If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact us as well. Our e-mail address is mentioned above!

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My EVS Motivation Letter


Motivation letter

Dear Sir or Madame,

It is with great interest that I am applying for a long term EVS position at your organization. After searching a number of opportunities, I have decided that volunteering at “Bureau Information Jeunesse” of Vélizy-Villacoublay is definitely the right decision for me. I think that Volunteering at your already flourishing institution and taking part in your project and your divers activities  not only will give me the chance to meet new people, learn about another culture, enhance my skills, but also it will allow me the chance of becoming a better educator.

My name is Wissem Chaabane, 25, from Tunisia. In 2015, I graduated with a bachelors in English Language, literature, and civilization. After that I have decided to take my masters in philosophy. But, unfortunately I only did one semester and stopped. Moreover, I was a volunteer and an observer for the Tunisian Association for the Integrity and Democracy of Elections. It was an experience, in which, I have learned many things such as what to observe and how to observe during the electoral process. What are the different people involved in the elections, institutions and political parties. I learned how and what to do when I signal any transgressions, how to remain calm and to maintain an objective as well as a professional attitude towards the people involved in the electoral process. It was an uplifting experience where I met very nice people who coached me, I was familiarized with many concepts such as the rule of the law, human rights, transitional government, the electoral process, and the right to vote. And,  I had three badges, because, I have participated in the elections of 2011 and the parliamentary as well as the presidential elections of 2014, and I had two certificates for my efforts and hard work.

Now, I am working as a language helper at Marhababik( a language center and Marhababik means welcome or Bienvenue in our dialect), teaching Standard Tunisian Arabic (Tunisian Dialect) to our foreign participators( Americans, Brazilians…)  using the Growing participators approach to language learning. My main task is teaching the Tunisian dialect, but, at the same time I am helping my participators to adapt to the Tunisian way of living, which involves introducing them to our culture and traditions. Moreover, some of our participators need help with their everyday life such as shopping, using public transportation and it is my job to assist them. These tasks helped me improve mostly my social and organizational skills and I have became more responsible and careful accomplishing my duties. I am really enjoying what I do. And, Ever since, I have started this job, I grow more aware of the social and cultural differences. Through, the long chats I am having with my participators I am always learning new opinions, new perspectives, and new different views of life. Also, I grow more confident and passionate about teaching. I believe this is my main reason why I want to volunteer with you, because, I would like to meet diversity, to learn about others, and discover new perspectives. In addition, My studies in combination with my little teaching experience would assist me significantly to lead good English courses every week in your project “Ateliers linguistiques”.

Thank you for your interest in my application and I hope to be part of your team. Considering my skills, experience and interests I think I will benefit significantly from this opportunity and would be able to apply this experience to a future career. I can assure you that I would be an energetic and committed participant in all the activities. I look forward to hearing from you shortly and I thank you for your time and consideration.

PS: I took the liberty to publish what I wrote, this is my first time I write a motivation letter for an EVS project and I am hoping for some feedback. So, don’t hesitate to give me your insight.

EVS vacancy in France

FAVORISER L’ÉDUCATION INTERCULTURELLE Location: Saint Brieuc – France Period: 01/09/2017 – 30/06/2018 Deadline: 26 March 2017 In a small high school (415 students), the volunteer will propose cultural and intercultural activities for high school students, will drive the actions of students and CVL in terms of international exposure and cross-cultural discovery may animating school life times in a […]

via EVS vacancy in France — Find EVS

Journée portes ouvertes Tunis (adhésion 2017)

Journée portes ouvertes Tunis (adhésion 2017) ***************************************************** Principes de notre recrutement : —————————————- 1 – Veuillez remplir votre demande d’inscription en ligne disponible sur l’adresse suivante :…/1FAIpQLSevCrog8…/alreadyresponded… 2 – Si votre demande sera acceptée, vous recevrez un mail ou un SMS vous informant de l’avis du comité de recrutement. 3 – Pour les candidats […]

Source: Journée portes ouvertes Tunis (adhésion 2017)


We all pretend

At the beginnings

Sometimes in the middle

And, towards the end

This is not  a new trend

This is not, even, a new brand

It  is, merely, the way humans tend


I can tell you something about;

the Masks you’ve encountered and found,

the brothers with whom you grow and bound,

the lovers with whom you used to hang,

the friends with whom you used to gang,

I know how harsh it may sound

And, to prove murder, you need intent

At the end, all of them would say

“We  didn’t intend

But, hey ! guess what ?

We all pretend

“Don’t worry you will make another friend”

And, you keep on moving

And moving

As if things  would amend



Dead days are turning into restless nights


If we were having coffee this morning, I would tell you how I have been doing nothing for the several previous months. How I am really frustrated by this fact and furious at myself. It’s a long monotonous setback that is getting profound every morning and violent everyday; you open your eyes in bed in the morning and you realize nothing is going to happen today, you are going to get up, wash your face, and talk to yourself in the mirror about the things you wish and never get, about the things you like and never do, about the thing you’ve become, and the things you would never be.

If we were having coffee this morning, I would tell you how my nights are turning into days, and days are becoming nights, as if I am living in a realm beyond the realm of humans, hunting movies and series on my computer screen at night and sleeping more than cats in daylight. Yes, Things have been upside down for a while now, dead days are bleeding into restless nights, trying to find an ultimate escape into the virtual world of the Internet, video games, movies, and fiction; shutting down my thoughts and inner conscience from surfacing, and filling my brain cells with unlimited supply of pixels to maintain a state of numbness and unawareness.

If we were having coffee this morning, I would tell you that I am running out of steam, even the slightest simple pleasures of eating, drinking or having a cigarette are growing tedious. Unable to concentrate or focus on a simple task. I know that there is nothing that stops you from finding yourself, except yourself and that’s what is irritating me even more, because, somehow I am aware that I am sucked into self-destruction. But, at the same time I feel trapped, as if someone is trying to get out from moving sand. The more you lament, or go tough on yourself to take a stand, and find your way out, the deeper you sink into a larger vacuum. A dimension that is twice away from finding yourself, and thrice away from getting back your self-esteem and motivation.

If we were having coffee, I would say thank your  for your time and listening . I know we have just meet and I am already bothering with this much talk. So, tell me how was your week? And how  are you doing ?

Finding Everyday Inspiration: Day three

#Everydayinspiration/ Day 3 

One-Word Inspiration: Silence


When I was in high school, I was more of a silent guy. I remember how I used to keep it rather quiet in our everyday’s gatherings around the school. I was not much of a talker, probably, because, I used to take things rather seriously back then. I know that, because, my friends used to always point it out whenever I was reluctant to engage in a conversation of theirs. And, maybe that’s the reason why I used not to have many friends in high school, but, lucky enough to have my best friend Mohamed , with whom I used to share a lot and who was, sometimes, able to understand what I wanted to say.

I think  Shakespeare said that “The silence often of pure innocence Persuades when speaking fails” (The Winter’s Tale). I guess we both shared something from this quotation. My friend Mohamed was able to understand my lack of words and quiet attitude, probably because he possessed a pure talent of drawing. His innocent sensitivity to capture scenes, landscapes, and portraits from his own angle and perspective have made him acquainted to understand my silence. There were many times where he was able to infer and interpret what was going on in my head or what I was going to say, merely by just checking my face and reactions. He was good in reading people.

As I grow older and went to university, I grow more acquainted with the power of words myself and that’s the reason why I started this blog.  I have seen this quotation for Adolf Hitler in the movie Imperium the other day that says “Words build bridges into unexplored regions” First, I didn’t believe that the quotation was for him, but then, I realized that Hitler’s propaganda had made him a fine orator and furious public speaker. Unfortunately, he  used words to explore awful and twisted places.

Apart from finding this quote surprisingly inspirational, I believe that the best way to expand your mind and branch out with others as well as yourself is with words. Words have taken me to places I’ve never been, made me learn about the kind of person I am, and made me get in touch with my special ideas, feelings as well as to reach out to other people many times better than my Silence.


Spreading the Scent



If we were having coffee, here and now, we would be having a two-black homemade coffee, with little drops of distilled blossom water in it. Because, you wouldn’t resist the scent or resent the taste, it’s my kind of coffee for an after noon little chat. The place would be somewhere in the old city, somewhere nice and intimate, somewhere that would be our perpetual spot.

If we were having coffee, here and now, we would sink into each other’s eyes, and laugh after our long prolonged stare. We wouldn’t stop until one of us declares ” OK,  let’s stopped right there”. Then, we would start to talk about work and how your boss still treats you like a dork. I would laugh and you would threaten to walk. “I know how much you love your work” So, I grab your hand and beg you not to walk, and  promise to listen without my teasing talk.


Finding Everyday inspiration: Day two

#Everyday inspiration/ Day two 

Write a list

I am not sure if I am good in making lists, but, since I have been doing nothing for the last several months and embracing the life of  unemployment, blogging seems more reasonable and fun then doing the same dull things I do every day. I am writing a list of the things I like, to remind myself of the things I cherish and love, of the things I am inclined to do, and of the passions that I need to re-visit.

Things I like/ the unedited list

  • I like to smoke, especially when I am writing a blog post in the middle of the night.
  • I like playing cards
  • I like my morning black coffee
  • I like blogging even if my blog is not that prolific or hasn’t so many followers, but, I like the idea that I will keep writing to achieve it.
  • I am not much of a reader, but, I like to read things that somehow moves or excites me.
  • I like playing football, when I was in high school I was a good football player, at least this is what used to think. Today, I lament that because I turned into a horrible smoker.
  • I like watching movies and series, it the last couple of months I watched so many movies that I could no longer remember their names.
  • I like the family gatherings around the table, the little talk and the usual disputes over the same things over and over again. I like my father’s stories and his ways of telling them- even if I have heard it before- I just keep listening, because they are always funny.
  • I like the first morning fresh and wet air, the beautiful and natural colors that loom in the sky just minutes before the sunrise.
  • I like the late night short walks into the city’s deserted streets.
  • I like to read and watch documentaries about the history of World War 2