Kristina in Russland

Me as a volunteer in Samara

My ESC-Project already ended and I cannot believe how fast time flies. In this protocol I wrote about my project, my host family, how I spent my free time, friends and in general about all the advantages and disadvantages of an ESC-Project. I have decided to do an ESC-Project in Russia because I have been always interested in the Russian language and in the Russian culture. I was very curious how people live in Russia, what they eat,  how and which holiday they celebrate, so I decided to fly there to see it with my own eyes and especially to make my own opinion of it.

About my Project

I helped at the Jewish kindergarten Makkabi Lauder. Every week I helped for 25 hours that means from Monday to Friday from 8am until 1pm. I choose to help in a kindergarten because I like kids and I have a lot patient for them and this is very important, especially if you have a group of 2 to 3 year old children. My tasks were playing with the children, washing hands all together, put them on a bib and help them to eat. If we went outside I helped dress them up and after undress them. So in simple words just helping and the feeling that you can help someone feel good to me so after my 5 hours shift I left the kindergarten with a smile.

The Jewish kindergarten Makkabi Lauder is a very special kindergarten. It was very interesting to me because I never got the chance to meet people with a Jewish religion/culture. Very interesting was to see the holidays for example Shabbat, which is every Friday, Hanukkah and Sukkot. My favorite holiday is Rosh Hashanah “Head of the year” it means a new year starts and people eat a lot of honey and apples. In their culture it is not allowed to mix up milk products with meat products. This rule also applies in the Makkabi Lauder kindergarten. But helping in the project was just a part of my EVS time in Samara.

About my host family, friends and free time

I lived with my host mother and my two host sisters, since day one they gave me the feeling to feel like a family member. They also have a cat and a dog, what made me even happier. We spent a lot of time together. Together we were ice-skating, we went to museums, we took long walks near the river Wolga and we cooked delicious desserts. I learned a lot from them and they learned also a lot from me. So I was very lucky with my host family.

My free time I also spent with other volunteers. It was very interesting to hang up with them because they come from different countries and different cultures and exchanging stories with them was very funny. We did lot activities together in the city and outside the city. I also met a lot of local people but only two girls become really good friends of mine. Through Russian friends you have the possibility to see all the beautiful places and all the cool bars in the city.

Also, I got the chance to see how people live in villages, this changed my perspective in life and I am thankful for that.

Advantage and Disadvantage of an ESC-Project

An ESC-Project is a good time period where you can achieve personal goals and think about your future. I was never 100% sure about my future but now I certainly have a better view. It is also a great opportunity to meet new people, to gain self-confidence and to see a bit of the wide world. In this time I could focus on myself and think about everything. I can say that I do not regret my time here in Samara I enjoyed every minute.

The unpleasant thing being a volunteer in Samara is to say goodbye to lovely people and of course the minus 30 degrees in the winter.

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