Nagyvázsony with the eyes of an indian lady, Ajeeja Khanam

Ajeeja Khanam’s report

Ajeeja Khanam

My name is Ajeeja Khanam from India. I heard about European Volunteer Services (EVS) from the organization Jeevan Rekha Parishad (JRP). It’s a nonprofit organization, which does some social work in my locality, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India. At first I was not sure about this volunteering, but thankfully got a chance to know more about it after getting involved with the volunteers who came to JRP for volunteer work from Europe. Got some additional and much required confidence and backing from people around me. With all the encouragements and support decided to opt for EVS and Erasmus + project and I landed in Nagyvazsony, Hungary. Just Two months back, didn’t have any idea that I would be flying miles away from my country and even to Europe, it was like a dream to me. It was almost 36 hours travels with multiple flight changes till here. Though it was hectic, but my excitements were keeping me cheerful and hopeful. It was cold outside when I arrived in Nagyvazsony, Hungary. It was wonderful to see, Svetlana who welcomed me in the airport and took me to the flat from Budapest. There I got to meet with Paula and Harry. I went to the youth center next day and I was very happy to see a color full youth center of here. I went for a bike ride with Paula that evening and that was the first time I saw the beautiful scenario of a European country. Still I wasn’t able to believe that I was out of my country and also getting to see the beautiful autumn weather of Hungary. I get to meet with one more volunteer named Gabriella, who had the similar project as me. I get to meet Rita, David, Erik and Ferenc in the center and we also had an introduction session at the center and got to know each other. I also went to kindergarten where I was going to work all this 2 months. I was assigned to manage the group called Brumi with 19 kids and the kids are around 6 years old. Next few days I spend in the kindergarten and get to know their ways of carrying out daily life of the kids as well as their caretakers. It wasn’t as easy as per my imagination, as none of them understand English. But it was sometimes interesting and also testing myself. Most of the time I used some gestures and sign language alongside started to learn some words which can help me in communicating with them. Sometimes Google translator helped me communicating among the teachers, but with the kids it wasn’t possible as they don’t know how to read and write. I was lucky enough to attend the Hungarian National Day celebration on 23rd October at the community hall. Next few days was with the kids and also hosted some community workers from different part. Walking through the road with beautiful flowers and fallen leaf used to give me a fresh start to the day. Spending time with the kids and their energy throughout the day is really amazing to watch. The teachers of the kindergarten are very co-operative and always listen to the children. They play with them, teach them Hungarian rhymes, draw with them, give them some tasks every day, teach them manners etc etc. I was really surprised to see small kids of 5-6 years arranging things. They keep their table clean, put their play items back in the shelves, arrange the table to eat, take their own plates and glasses, sit silently before having their food, wear their own clothes and most of all they agree to their faults. Sometimes I think that they know much better than us what they should do. I get to learn a lot from them. Throughout my stay here I get to attend different events and activities related to school, kindergarten, community and youth development. I get to attend Saint Martin’s day with the kids and learned how they make lamps using glass jar and paper. I was so happy that the kids made one lamp for me also and invited me to the gathering. In November I get to meet with some youth community workers from east Hungary.

It was a good experience in Szendrõlád and Kéked, knowing about their work and getting knowledge about youth events carried out by them. I also get to attend On Arrival Training(OTA) arranged by national agency. It was a 5 day program with activities and tasks. Here I get to meet different other volunteers from different countries who are doing their EVS in Hungary and alos get to know about their experiences and work profiles. In December, our organisation hosted some short term volunteers with whom we get to do some activites related to school, volunteering day and christmas decorations. I also made an dinner event for them one evening while getting to know each other. One of the most surprising events for me was, how they entertain kids everyday in kindergarten during the christmas celebration by organizing small plays, songs and gifts and most of all Santa(Nikolas) coming to each and every kid to give the gifts by himself. This has been an amazing journey since the day I arrived here. Going back home, apart from materialistic things, I am taking loads of experiences, adventures, ,memories, happiness and hope for a better tomorrow. Thanking every one who made each and every point of my journey here unforgottable. I hope all the best to all of you and hope to see you soon. Merry Christamas and have a Happy New Year….