|EVS - From the Beginning...|
Hello everybody! I am Inga Uleviciute, the new volunteer in Aktion West-Ost. Actually I am here already for 2 months, but still feel very fresh and lost in the city of Düsseldorf and my new life here.
To represent myself: I am 23 years old female, coming from Lithuania (Litauen). I have changed the previous volunteer Vaidotas Kilkus in Aktion West-Ost and I am going to work here until September in 2011. This year I have graduated from Bachelor Degree in Communication and Information in Vilnius University, and even though I was born in Kaunas, I always say that I am coming from Vilnius, because there I spent my last years I liked our capital more than my home town.
So… From the beginning… What I remember..? I arrived here in Düsseldorf on 23rd of September, early in the morning. The people who came to pick me up were Vaidotas and Jeannine. Straight afterwards they brought me to my future office to have a breakfast. The table was crowded (only for breakfast:)) with bread, cheese, jam, eggs, tomatoes, fruits, etc. There I also met Hanna, my “boss” in Aktion West-Ost. The good thing was that I already knew all these people from the summer Project “Lithuanian Eurotrip”, so I was not lost or so, but just looking forward to see them again.
The next day we already had to leave to the meeting with one of the Aktion-West-Ost groups GJE (Gemeinschaft Junges Ermland) in Erbach. There as a new volunteer I was greeted very friendly by all the people, I even got nice yellow paper with many many wishes on it. So nice! Some of the people were speaking with me in German all the time, even though I couldn´t really understand them, but I tried :D My German then was really way worse than it is now (and now it´s still bad). But I had Vaidotas (previous Lithuanian volunteer) around and he was my personal interpreter.
I have to say that I felt a bit sad. It seemed they had really great discussions in interested topic about Education System in Germany, but I could not really participate because of the language barrier. But in the evening we made the party with the “International” topic, had some different cuisines to try and people were dressed up differently.
Coming back to the life of Düsseldorf... I remember my first impressions about it... I really liked the old town (Altstadt), Promenade, the coast of the river and the stairs, where the people just sit, enjoy the sun and drink beer (yes, exactly - in Germany it´s allowed to drink on the street!). I was really surprised that the weather here in Autumn time was so warm! And still is kind of warm, at least in comparison with Lithuania (Litauen).
Other thing I noticed here that Germany (or at least Düsseldorf) has hair saloons on every corner! I am just wondering do they really have so many people who want to get haircut everyday? Also many many schools for learning how to drive the car (Fahrschule). And the doors to enter the buildings in Germany – I can not get used to them, some of them have to be pulled, some of them have to be pushed, and you get into the fight with them all the time (haha). Maybe it´s sounds funny, but in Lithuania we have the same order almost everywhere.
Another thing, which I find here a bit difficult to get used to, is that the food stores are not working on Sundays. And unfortunately my fridge somehow always becomes empty exactly on Sundays... I also expected from Germany that everything is organized and in order, but for example sometimes street trams (Strassenbahn) just does not come at all, and you have to find another way how to get somewhere you needed.
The time here is a bit still tough for me. I am just remaining optimistic, that it will get better with my social life. Don´t really want to say it, I am not so suspicious, but some time ago I broke the big mirror and maybe now I get the bad luck (haha?) It is difficult to find friends here, new flat (which would lead me to some new contacts) and so. A lot of small not lucky things are happening for me all the time (ah!)
But I am working in really nice small cozy office in Youth house (Jugendhaus). We bought coffee and tea maker, you can feel like home here. My “boss” Hanna is really nice and helpful. I can always ask her help or if do not know something, I will never be left alone. I still remember the nice evening in her house when we cooked Onion cake (Zwiebel Kuchen) and drunk some special still very young wine-juice (I have been told it was particularly special for Germany in this time of the year).
Also I have really nice and helpful tutor Katha! Pity, she lives in Cologne (Köln), so to get there all the time costs some money...
I am still a bit lost with my work and tasks at the office, but I believe it´s just a beginning. The young people we are working with (in time of meetings and so), from four different Aktion West-Ost organizations, are also friendly and active, and they all are so different from each other! Even though I still feel the language barrier, the life would be easier that I would speak proper German.. But I believe I will (soon)! :)
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