Category Archives: MY EVS in Czech Republic

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.