EVS – 2 months in
Time really does fly when you’re having fun if the last two months are to go by. It’s been quick and packed with memorable moments. I’ve learnt a lot, tried a lot of new stuff and have had fun exploring Nicosia. So details…
This was something that at first, I was thinking “What the hell is going on here?” as it was all a little kumbaya. But it quickly turned into a really positive experience, where we got to meet other EVS who would be here at the same time as us. We made some really good friends and also, at least for me, helped us take a different view on our time in EVS. It helped lay out some personal targets for my time here as well as better understand the skills I can learn throughout the project.
As part of our Imap project, we have to go around mapping parts of the city. I’ve found this great, as it has been a really good way to take a look around. For example, whilst mapping some parks in the southwest of the city, I found a suburb where only a few houses had been built surrounded by dry plots of land and I found it a really interesting area. And near to them some of the greenest parks I have seen. This being in August.
Between now seven people, there are about fourteen languages, each on of us speaks english plus our native language(/s). I can say that I now know at least a few words in over ten languages, admittedly swear words make up a significant portion of my vocabulary in those. But also a few useful phrases e.g greetings. Also this multilingual environment has really renewed my love of languages, and I definitely want to spend time after my time here pursuing language learning. I only speak English and German, but I’m working on adding mainly Greek and a little Italian to those, whilst I’m here.
Someone once told me when I really needed to hear it that, “No matter, what you do, you are always learning something.” and EVS has been a great environment for that, where I’ve been able to try somethings that I never had the opportunity to. We all have a radio show twice a week, I have never done broadcasting but it turns out that I absolutely love being a radio host. The same goes for the regular blog that you’re reading now, I have regularly thought about starting a blog, but was unsure if it was worth it, however writing articles about my experiences is really enjoyable, so again something I want to continue.
There are some negatives
Life ain’t perfect, that’s life folks. Unfortunately you can’t get on well with everyone you work with, so issues can arise, but when you like most of them, it’s a issue you can live with.
I don’t really get culture shock, what I usually get is reverse culture shock when I return back “home”. But however well the reasons behind the differences are explained and however logical they are, I still think some things could be done differently and better (I’m looking at you transport and traffic).
The buffer zone
Although this will most likely receive a full post at some point, being in Cyprus I have to mention it. From our balcony we can see most beautiful sunsets against the backdrop of the Pentadaktylos Mountains. But there’s a border between us and the mountains, and our city is split in two. This is simply wrong.
This experience so far has been really liberating for my thoughts, I’ve had the time to think about my future, whilst developing my skills for it. These realisations cover different sections of my life, one is that my hobby (cycling) is incredibly important part of my life that I don’t want to be without and after EVS I want to get straight back to training and get the best out of myself in the sport. Another as suggested above is languages, I love making connections between them. I don’t find them as just a tool to communicate but as a way to understand a place and its culture. I’ve also realised what I miss, of course family and friends, but also certain cultural ticks and ways of doing things. One of these is German bluntness and efficiency, I’m not saying the Cypriots are lazy, but have a different approach to life and different priorities. Also UK TV, man do I miss satirical comedy and proper news analysis, one can follow from afar, but there’s some stuff I can’t access.
So as we go into a week’s holiday, I can truly say that even if this were to end now, I don’t regret anything. And this is the thing about EVS, you can take from it what you want, but most importantly you have the opportunity.