United Kingdom

2003, 6 months



"I was an EVS volunteer at the YEE office between September 2003 and May 2004. I look back my eight months there as a towering and magnificent experience of snow and new friends, bike rides and children laughing at my gorilla-feet slippers when we went for lunch each day in their school.

My first pointer for anyone thinking of volunteering in the Czech Republic is to pick your months. Staying over winter as I did gets really really cold!!! There are less events going on and Toucluv Dvur farmyard mostly goes to sleep under the snow. But YEE office is such a cosy place to work in the winter with its thick wall and the snow coming down outside.

I had a lot of fun learning the language with the help of the most patient and able teacher you could imagine. Czech seems to have been designed to be the hardest language in the world but that makes it all the better when you can actually speak it a little. It's also got some funky sounding words. Try saying "zmrzlina"!

Working at YEE and being immersed in environmental issues changed my outlook. Before then I don't think I quite realised just how bad this global warming business could get. I think it's fair to say YEE made me who I am today as I discovered what is meant by a sustainable lifestlye. If you are resourceful and know how to take the initiative I would definitely recommend volunteering for YEE.