When I arrived in Ziguinchor, it was very hot. During the rainy season, it’s very difficult to adapt myself immediately and also the hygienic conditions are very different from the ones in Europe. After some days spent in the hosting family I was very relaxed and happy. I started to change my vision of life and the first fears about the aspects of everyday life disappeared. I started to learn about Senegalese habits. For example, they usually eat from the same plate and I understood that it was a good way to share and to stay together.
I think that people who make EVS have to be totally involved in the situation that occurs during the experience to understand and to change in a positive way their own life.
I worked in an organization that carried out some activities to support children and young people in a educational and professional way. I proposed, in particular, some activities for single mother. They had the possibility to become independent from the family by learning a job. After that, I carried out English courses for children in a local school and in the association. So, I think that I can grow up also in a professional way and I learnt project management in practice.
EVS is an overall personal experience. I got to know many people and many children. I learnt to share my emotions and to smile also in a difficult situation. EVS in Africa and in particular in Senegal changed my life. I got to know poverty, misery but I can understand the sense of speaking together and sharing experiences and feelings. The most important thing that I learnt is the respect for other religions. In Ziguinchor, Muslim and Christian leave together respecting each other and sharing their traditions during the religious parties.
DARIA LA BARBERA