Hello, my name is Milena and I am from Poland. I am very happy to be here, thank you for having me!
Thank you for coming! Such an introduction! So, what is EVS?
EVS for me is adventure and friendship and a lot of helping and learning.
What is Varna and Bulgaria to you?
Right now Varna is one of the best places I’ve been. Not only because it’s beautiful but also because of the people I met here and because of the adventure I have here.
What does Varna mean to you? Is it like home to you?
I wouldn’t call it home but it’s a place I would like to come back one day. Because I know it already and I really liked it here. I spent here lot of good time and I have good memories connected to Varna.
But you would like to visit it just for holidays or you would like to come here for longer time?
For longer time. Yeah, definitely for longer time.
Why? Because you feel that you didn’t get to know it enough?
I did get to know it enough but I know that here are people that I would like to see again and in summer it’s a perfect place to be, actually.
How did you end up un Bulgaria? It was by a mistake or you wanted to come here?
I wasn’t choosing my EVS program by the country but actually by the program. Because I wanted to spend summer, this time in little bit different way and actually wanted to do some real help, so I just checked all the EVS programs and I chose this one because it was all about helping the children and to other people. So that’s why Bulgaria.
What do you love in Bulgaria?
I love the climate here, I love that I have the sea and mountains at the same time, I love how people are kind and open.
So you didn’t have any problems with the climate? You like it?
No, I love it! I love the climate in here. Because it’s very hot but it’s not like stuffy, because it’s sea here and you have this fresh air.
What do you do here? What is your job?
I work in 2 orphanages – one is big one and the other one is smaller. Mostly I play with children there. I should be also a little bit of teaching English, but in fact children are very active and they’re not very interested in learning, they prefer to play, of course. The other place I go during my work is daily center and there are people – adults and children – with different mental diseases and we help children to do some simple exercises, like PE (physical education) just physical, and we have to calm them down when they get angry, of course. And we have to entertain them a little bit when they get bored. The last place is blind center where we help mostly adults to do some artistic things like baskets or decorations.
What do you like most about Bulgaria?
This is so hard… I don’t know, Bulgaria is very beautiful, I didn’t see much, because I didn’t travel a lot, but I think it’s beautiful. The most I think I like people because as I said they are very open, kind and trying to communicate with you, even if they don’t speak English very well, they’re trying and they’re always smiling. That is very nice.
Did you meet lot of local people or you’re talking more about foreigners?
I met few locals and yeah, as I said, don’t speak perfect English but they are very open minded.
How were you surprised by Bulgaria?
Sometimes I thought that it’s quite similar to Poland, so I wasn’t very surprised.
So you didn’t have high expectations about coming here and this country?
No, I didn’t have any expectations, actually, because I just came here and I was like – ok, let’s see! I didn’t learn about Bulgaria or whatever. So, I didn’t have any expectations, I didn’t know what people think about Bulgaria. I just decided that I want to see, so I came here.
With what you can’t live or agree here? Is there something that disturbs you?
Actually, my opinion about Bulgaria is very positive and had just 1 unpleasant accident, but it was a young guy and it was just 1 individual and the rest is perfect.
So there is nothing you don’t like about Bulgaria?
No, I don’t think so. C’mon. Comparing to Poland it’s cheaper and people are lovely, so I don’t have anything I don’t like.
What will you bring home from Bulgaria?
Something connected with roses for sure, like maybe the rose water, for sure wine. I’d like to take sirene but I don’t know if it won’t get bad in the plain, well I hope it won’t. For sure I will take one postcard because I collect them. So yeah, roses, wine, food and that’s all.
How did you deal with home sickness in Bulgaria?
I didn’t have homesickness for almost the hole time because, yeah, I was talking with my mom, like, once a week maybe. It was just enough. But right now, when I feel that I come home very soon, in few days, I really can’t wait, I’m like – oh c’mon, c’mon, just pass the time faster. Right now I just sit and wait. So, right now I have a little bit of homesickness. Actually, I very miss Polish food.
And how do you deal this?
Well, I just talk on Skype with people there and I was trying to keep myself busy, and not to think about it. Also I was telling myself – when you’ll go back home, you’ll regret that you’re not in Bulgaria. So I was trying to use my time very well.
Maybe you had some reverss homesickness when you miss some other place not home?
What is your life outside of work?
Like how do I spend my free time? Well, as I said I meet with people because EVS is all about people, you meet a lot of friends, you do lot of things. For example, me and my friend we were making a short movie, so it took us lot of time because although it was short, taking all the scenes was very time consuming.What else? I was just enjoying the place, I was going to the beach and going to cafes and traveling a little bit.
Have you found some new hobbies or maybe started doing something new here?
I have new resolution – I want to do more sports, definitely, because I tried few new sports here – wake boarding, muay thai. And when I go back to Poland I want to start climbing, because before I didn’t have enough motivation and right now I have. Because I met few people who are very active and it inspired me to move more.
So the people you met here inspired you to do this?
Yes, definitely, I met few people who inspired me to different things. In general to be more active in life, to do more, not to waste my time as I used to do. So when I go back home I definitely don’t want to just to lie in the bed and watch TV series, for sure.
How much have you been involved in the cultural life, in the local life? Did you go to some Bulgarian festivals or seen some concerts?
Yes, I went to few jazz concerts and watched some short Bulgarian movies, because I was planning to make an event but it didn’t work out because I was too busy with all the other things. But it was good for me because at least I got to know Bulgarian short movies.
Have you fallen in love with something new here?
No. Something new or someone new? Something – I like Bulgarian cuisine, as I said I really like sirene, and I didn’t know it before, and lyutenitsa*, it’s very good, but someone – no.
In one word describe – what is your future!
What is my future?! As I said before I will be definitely more active and I want to do more things, to do another project, for example.
And in one word?
Thank you very much!
*Lyutenitsa is a spicy vegetable relish or chutneyin Bulgarian, Macedonian and Serbian cuisines