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

Written by: Anett Nickmann

In July at the YMCA, I started to work fully in the Holiday Club. We are open from 8am to 6pm, and children can come for the full day, or just mornings/afternoons. It is always changing how busy the club is, but it is a very hard job, making sure that they are all happy and safe. Children from Bangor and Ballyholme also participate in it, which means I get to build new relationships with kids that I haven’t been seeing that often. We do lots of outdoor play if the weather allows it and I constantly learn new games too. It’s lovely to see how my relationship with staff members at the holiday club also getting better, I definitely feel like I am one of them now. I will be working there for 3 more weeks before I go home and I am already a little upset and know that I will miss a lot of the children.

In my free time I am still applying for jobs in the Belfast and Budapest area as well. It is getting easier but it’s still a lot of work, especially with the application forms. I have applied for more jobs here though, I really would like to stay here and try ‘real life’ in Northern Ireland. I have been to an interview with a company, which went really well. Unfortunately they have told me that they need the new team to start at the 30th July, so after a weekend’s worth of intense thinking about the matter, I have decided to tell them that I would like to finish my EVS project, so I could only start in September. They were really nice and told me that they will contact me again if there will be a similar job opening around September/October time.

Although July was a great month, which I enjoyed a lot (especially with the weather being amazing for a surprisingly long time) I had some very stressful things happening as well. On the first weekend of July I have travelled to Derry/Londonderry, where I have learnt a lot of things about quite recent historical events. I went on a tour, visited multiple museums and had my first AirBnB experience (which was awesome). It was very educational and emotional too. Then on the next week I had the week off and I have planned a lot of things to do, but unfortunately I spent most of the time at home. I had migraine for the first time in my life and it was very  strange because for the first couple of days I didn’t even have a headache, it was just a weird visual disturbance on my left eye. Since it didn’t seem to go away, I went to a pharmacist to ask her about it, then the GP, who said it is possibly migraine, but he suggested to see an optician too. After 5 days, my eye was still strange and it started to concern me, so I went to an optician, where they told me that my eyes are perfectly healthy and they don’t

know what causes it. Which wasn’t very calming, because I started to freak out, that nobody knows exactly what is happening. In the end I went to the Eye Casualty to the hospital, because the problem was there for a week at that time. They have examined me and told me how they think it is due to stress and told me some of the signs to look out for, when I would need to come back. Now it is better, still not a 100%, but much better. So I can work and I am not stressing about it anymore. I guess that’s why it got better too. It’s ridiculous what our body can do when it’s stressed. It definitely made me more aware of the need of self care and more time for myself. All the uncertainty about the future, the job applications and interviews…I think I forgot to rest and give myself time to reflect on the good and secure things that were happening, focusing too much on the ‘what if’s.

This last week I started to say goodbye to some other volunteers who I really like and they are going home this week. It is so strange that this time of saying goodbyes have come so quickly. Time definitely flies. It’s lovely though, how we know that this is not really a goodbye, but more like a see you later.

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