Marta Maques

My name is Marta and I´m 23 years old. I come from a small town in the southwest of Portugal but for the last three years I was living and studying journalism in Lisbon, a city that I fell in love with and which I consider my second home. After I finished my college education I really didn´t know what to do next, I just knew that I needed to get to know new things, travel for a while, and maybe find out what to do with my future. After searching for a while for some options, I realized that EVS would be a very nice opportunity for me and that was how I started applying to some projects until I was accepted here, in this small town, in a country that I didn´t know almost anything about. I thought: ˝Why not? ˝. And so I came. Stará L´úbovna is located in a very nice part of Slovakia, close to the country´s biggest mountains, the High Tatras, and you also have a lot of nature around! And although small you have everything you need here. Until now the experience has been great, I´ve met a lot of people, not only volunteers but also co-workers and locals, and I was surprised to see how friendly and welcoming people are here. They received us very well and tried to integrate us from the beginning. Also, because Slovakia is in the middle of so many countries, it´s quite easy to travel around and also quite cheap (although I have to tell you that transports here are not really known for being fast!!). For me the hardest part in the beginning was the language. It is so difficult and different from Portuguese, I was really confused when I first arrived. Luckily in cvč there are a lot of people speaking quite good English and with the Slovak lessons we had from the beginning it started to get easier and easier to communicate each day. Now I can understand a bit of the language and I don´t feel so lost! Our job here is to take part in the activities of the center, help with whatever is needed, join the clubs, make presentations about our country, etc. My favorite activity here is the Roma club. I really started to enjoy working with the gypsy kids, playing games with them, and also trying to understand a little bit of their culture, which although really different, is very interesting to me. We still have 4 months till the end of the project so I´m looking forward to doing more things, to learn more and I hope in the end I will have even more good things to say about Slovakia!! Just one more thing...If you are interested in doing EVS and really feeling part of the organization you´re working with, I think this can be the place!!

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