I am here, in Reunion Island, together with my friend, Rares, as EVS volunteers. At a first view, these days went by really fast. During this time, you immerse into a new culture that you start to absorb. For us it is one of ‘metissage’, gathering different cultures and religions in the same place. Then you discover the place, an island with its tropical, paradisiac attractions: exotic beaches, refreshing mountains and vegetation, delicious fruits, colorful light and sunsets, warm and welcoming people. Also, this was the time to discover the association we work with, CEMEA, which develops educational and cultural projects for youth and professionals and who has warmly received us, and with whom we work with video and communication, in several of their projects, involving a film festival, activities with youth, promoting mobility and international program opportunities. On the other hand, looking at things thoroughly, on this island and in this volunteering program we have time at our hands. Plenty of time for thinking.
Time to just count the days as they go by, since this island actually has a slowly paced rhythm, non-stressing and flexible working, long hours of transportation and hot days that seem to dilute time as well. Here you have the time to even think about time, and maybe about having your own searches and projects. And of course, like any experience, this one may come with challenges as well. I found myself isolated in a faraway place which also happens to be an island, with little tools at hand to simulate the comfort I am used to, both personally and professionally. There are moments when you’re missing something, but there are moments when you are trying to soak in everything, thinking you don’t get opportunities like this, to take time to discover the world and yourself. Which is, in the end, a great benefit and an opportunity to take.
So joining an EVS programme and throwing yourself into the world is something that can actually really be worth… well, the time.