My name is Enrica and I’m 27 years old. I will spend two months in Tirana as a volunteer with other six people from Italy. I come from a small town in Sardinia but I’ve always had a big interest in exploring new places and cultures. I have no idea where I will be in a year, and I hope I will have the chance to travel more and more.
I heard about EVS from a friend of mine who spent 10 months in Tirana few years ago and I was fascinated by her experience, so this year I decided to apply. I admit I didn’t know much about Albania and the Balcans but I was very curious. This is an opportunity to discover another country and its people and to give my contribution to social activities.
When I decided to apply for the project, there was a bit of concern in my family, but I was even more convinced because this is a way to overcome prejudices and I will have the chance to tell other people about a country and a culture they don’t know.
I had a previous experience abroad, I spent a semester in Germany, so it is also interesting to see two ways of life which are so different. Every experience teaches you something that will be part of you forever. I’m learning a lot of things about myself and how I’m able to adapt to different situations.
This first three weeks in Albania have been amazing and very intense, I’m getting to know the country and I like it so much. Life in Tirana is so nice and we have always new things to do. We’re also visiting many other cities around – and I have to admit I was a bit shocked by the system of transportation in Albania, especially when I had to fight for a seat in the bus in Elbasan for Dita e Vere.
But there are so many things I love! Being part of the association Beyond Barriers is great, I admire their work and the passion they put in what they do every day. Our mentors are so nice and friendly, they are sincerely interested in spending time with us.
I’m really happy about my group of volunteers, I’m lucky to have found people who want to live the place and explore as much as we can; in fact some Albanian even told us that we’ve seen more in few weeks than them in years. We even spent an amazing weekend in Valbona and saw the snow! I wouldn’t have expected all of this but Albania is a continue surprise.
I would say to every young person to apply for an EVS. Just go and discover what is different from you! Challenge yourself, it’s totally worth it.