01 dezembro 2015

Volunteering with animals: the experience of Valya

Hey there, I am Valya from Sofia, Bulgaria and I am volunteer in SOS Animal.  When I told my friends that I am going to Lisbon for my EVS and my work is connect with animals I received a lot of positive feedback and support. I was so excited to go to a new place that I felt it like a huge personal challenge mixed with a bit of fear. The moment I saw Lisbon from the small airplane window I knew that I made one of the best decision in my life, to apply for EVS and to be lucky to be volunteer in Lisbon.

I am a person who likes to travel, to learn about cultures, History, Geography and languages. But soon enough I understood that being volunteer may have many challenges but also good sides too. People in hosting organization and in general can have different perception about time, obligations that in the beginning it was frostrating for me, but slowly I was starting to adjust to a new way of communication, working and etc. In the beginning every one of my friends were telling me that I need to relax and enjoy (…calma, calma rapariga ...). In one moment I just hated the word “relax”, but now I am in the position of a person who is telling to the new volunteers that I met that they need to relax and enjoy the wonderful experience that they are going through.

Now I am in the middle of my EVS and looking back I can see that I experienced so many things. In the beginning I was so confuse about my working duties, but now after I got to know my colleagues better and got used to the working environment the things are getting better and better. I love the moment when I go to the veterinary hospital of SOS Animal and entering the dog’s room. I need one glance of the eyes of the animals that are waiting for me to take care of them, walking them outside, feeding, and taking care and giving each one of them a personal petting time, it just make my day better. The connection you can build with an animals is so strong and the cats are the best. They can feel immediately that you are in the hospital the moment you cross the door.

One of the best things to be a volunteer in Lisbon you can learn surfing. I got so addicted to the ocean and the salty taste that it leaves in you after you get out of the water is so refreshing and relaxing. Do not forget about the Portuguese language that is so melodic, unfortunately for me is a challenge to learn it, but with a strong wish and more practice soon it wouldn’t be an obstacle.

A couple of days ago somebody left in the Hospital of SOS Animal a book. Despise my skills in Portuguese I was manage to understand most of the poems (with a help of a Portuguese friend of course).One of the poems affected me a lot. The title of the poem is “Quem disse que esqueci o teu amor”. Without to know I felt in love with Portugal.


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