IMG 3499bThe new year brought many new things for the EVS volunteers in YEE.

First of all, we both celebrated the New Year's Eve in beautiful Prague and pretty much enjoyed the dynamic atmosphere that the city had to offer. For me this was a good way to welcome the year I finish my EVS and the year which can and should lead me to new life explorations.

Another amazing thing that I experienced from the beginning of the year is the snow. Maybe you don't know, but winter is my favorite season and I was looking forward to it in Prague. The snow this year was heavy, they say the heaviest in the last years, so I guess I should be very happy. Also, even though I am very sure that Prague always looks gorgeous, still, the city had a special, maybe serene atmosphere covered in white.

Masopust1Masopust is a typical Czech tradition to celebrate the end of winter and the arrival of spring. It is a hedonist carnival with lot of eating and drinking when anybody can dress up or wear a mask. We could see mostly kids who happily 'transformed' into their favorite animals or characters, like a bear or Spiderman. The best costumes were even rewarded with some presents.

As Masopust is one of the most important events of Toulcuv Dvur, Vladimir and I definitely wanted to take part in the celebration, thus we participated by representing some of the traditional characters of the Czech carnival: me as a groom and Vladimir as my "beautiful" bride.

VladimirChristmas2As you've probably read by now, ever since I took the first step of my EVS, I've been repeating one phrase over and over again, and that is "EVS is all about new experiences". It sounds redundant, and people are starting to get fed up with it, but it is true nevertheless.

During the past 8 months and 3 days, so many things have happened, so many things have changed and so much progress has been made in this period of my life. Before I started this journey, I've read some personal recollection of one ex-volunteer who claimed that "after EVS, nothing is the same". Maybe this is true, maybe an exaggeration, but I am quite positive that EVS, especially one that lasts 12 months, is a perfect way for self-discovery and self-development. Thanks to the support of Erasmus+, this voluntary service is well-structured to benefit all parties involved. Speaking of, it goes without saying that the hosting organisation and its dedication are the foundation of the bountiful outcomes.

12334324 10208253158827832 705227991 oWinter is coming, along with the Christmas holidays, and for me, my first holidays out of my home country Macedonia. Also, I am having my Christmas for the first time on 25 December, since Macedonian people celebrate the Orthodox one in January. Along with this, this will be my first and last Christmas holidays as an EVS volunteer, so of course I would try and make the most of it.

Case in point, on 28 November, I was happy to be a part of Toulcuv Dvur's traditional Christmas Market, or in Czech, Mikulášský jarmark. The market is an annual event that is visited by people from all over Prague. It offers its visitors several Christmas-y joys, such as quality gifts for the close ones, warm food and drinks, and many types of entertainment, like theatre , dances, live music and workshops.

StromaDen1Maybe you all know by now that being an EVS volunteer in YEE means also being involved in the ecological center Toulcuv Dvur's local activities, every once in awhile.

Case in point, on 20th October, me and Judit participated in the Dvur's celebration of Tree Day, or "Den Stromu" in Czech. The event started in the morning, when the people from the organisation "Botic", volunteers from a private IT company based in Prague, and us as YEE's EVS volunteers, all took our respective tables. The topic of all of the tables was tree and there was also an exhibition regarding the theme. Big and small - children and adults – all had the opportunity not only to observe the work of carvers, but to engage in handicraft workshops as well.