Ana Kuzmanovská

Ahojte!

My name is Ana Kuzmanovska coming from Macedonia. After finishing my University (interior design) I wanted to try something different so I choose to be part of EVS. And....why Slovakia? First I was looking for some project between Poland, Slovakia and Czech Republic. I liked the most the project that offers me this Centre for Leisure Time Activities in Stara Lubovna.

I'm part of Roma club, clubs for modern ballet, cooking, Bongo, and the initial course in English in kindergarten. From the beginning, we were well accepted by our colleagues. The first four months we had a course in Slovak language.
I live near the workplace along with two great friends, Marta from Portugal and Ulrik from Denmark.
I like Slovak food. For this region is typical food made by potatoes (pirohi, halushki, shuljance, etc). Normally, meat, pickled cabbage, rice and soup are just a part of everyday diet. Restaurants offer a daily menu of three Euros for soup and main dish (one of four kinds of meals).
As far as nightlife is concerned, the city offers several bars, breweries, cafeterias teas, where
you can relax in pleasant c o m p a n y ; prices are pretty inexpensive (beer, juice are only 1
Euro).
We have had the opportunity to visit several cities in Slovakia, and several European capitals.
Together with our director of the Center, as a study visit, we visited Presov, Poprad, Nitra, Martin Ruzhomberok, Banska Shtavnica, etc.
We were 'living examples' of the program "Youth in Action." The people are not very familiar of the possibilities of this program, so we tried, as representatives of the European Voluntary Service, to capture the true atmosphere of it. Frequently I am asked questions like whether we like Slovakia and why I chose this country, and high school students are
quite interested to get more information about our countries.
In the city of Nitra, gathered at the "Youth in Action" event, where we met other current and former volunteers. Our Ruzhomberok visit was marked by on-arrival training, introduction of 25 volunteers with the same 'fate.' It was a great experience. Next, was the visit of a group of volunteers in the town of Banská Shtavnica. The goal was a birthday party. You can imagine how it would look approximately seventy volunteers from Slovakia to be in the same place! In general, haven't experienced culture shock, but in several things about this country have surprised me. For example, all previous Volunteers are willing to return and live in Slovakia (many of them already 'let' roots).

For me it was a little bit weird that communistic tradition - every week they use the street sound installations - spread the word through which broadcasts at that time.
Still (like in many countries) have problems with the integration of Roma population (which
is half integrated, while half unfortunately still live in bad conditions).
One of the best things about the stay here are the journeys. We managed visit two times Berlin and Prague, then Budapest; and currently we are creating a list of future destinations...

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