EVS Diary – Supporting Communities, Encouraging Potential, Northern Ireland 2018


March started with a few days off work because of illness. It was really unfortunate, but I had a very bad back pain because of sciatica. This meant another visit to the doctor’s, and a lot of exercise to help the problem. It is much better now, but it is still sore and I have to move very carefully to make sure it’s fine. It was also very unlucky that Lisa had to stay at home at the same time as me for other health related problems. When I could finally go back to work, there were only a few sessions left from the Messy Morning programme, which we finished with a very good feedback from the mums. We still have 2 sessions from our Cultural Awareness programme with Matteo for the 7-11 olds’ youth club, but it’s a really nice project to have and work on. On one of the occasions I taught the children how to prepare a Hungarian dessert called Piskóta. They had a lot of fun, as did we.

The last week of the month was a bit different and very very exhausting with 4 days of Holiday Club. In this programme the YMCA After School Club is open from the morning until 6pm and children from the Bangor and the Ballyholme after school club are both there full day. It is really challenging to work there, it requires constant alertness, a lot of creativity and problem solving. Next week will be very similar because of the Easter holidays. I am still doing my online course on Playwork, I find it very interesting. I also went for a training organised by Autism NI, this Monday. It was about how to support children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. I learnt a lot and I think I will definitely be able to use the information later on.

I had my birthday this month and I had the best time ever. We celebrated with my housemates in Belfast. We went to the Cabaret Supper Club for lunch, it was the best experience! The show was amazing, the music, the food and the whole atmosphere of the place was incredible. We also went to Belfast the next weekend for St. Patrick’s day. We saw the parade and then went to a pub to watch the final rugby match of the Six Nations. It was really nice to see Ireland winning and how happy people were. It was a really unique experience.

Another volunteer, Lisa, who lives in Belfast had a workshop in the Ulster Museum about creative writing. I went there and had a really great time with her and Cristina, another volunteer. I certainly had a lot of great events with other EVS people this month. Irene, our supervisor invited us for dinner last Wednesday, it was an amazing evening too. Probably because I had my birthday this month, it was harder to use my money wisely. Also yesterday, on Good Friday we didn’t receive our weekly money to our bank accounts, which caused some worry at first, but thanks to Irene, our supervisor it is all sorted now.

In general, this month was packed with fun memories with friends. I can’t wait for a time when warmer weather will arrive, because I think the monotone style of the weather can make me feel a little bit down at times. Other than that, I am very happy and looking forward to the next half of my project.

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