Friday, 24 January 2014

Introducing! Second batch of fresh volunteers in Sofia

Dimitris from Greece; Maria from Denmark; Vicente from Spain and Zanda from Latvia. The four of us are the fresh batch of EVSers for the Sofia City Library. Our project started in the second week of January 2014 and will end in October of the same year. That's right: we'll be living in Sofia together for a full nine months - in fact it's already been two weeks we've lived together. This blog will serve as our medium of communication with the world, our platform for sharing all that we do here in Bulgaria, our work at the library, our experiences as EVS volunteers and lots more. We're picking it up from where the previous volunteers left it off. Thank you Jose Manuel, Agne, Sarah and Ricardo; we promise we'll make you guys proud.

Left to right: Ricardo (the veteran), Zanda, Maria, Vicente, Dimitris.
Picture by Valentina.
And for those of you just dying to know a little more about us, fear not: we wrote little texts for introducing ourselves, exclusively for this post - for your eyes only!


This is a very special place I want to tell you about. A place where the cows are blue and skys are orange. In this place lives a grandmother with white hair who is called Baltic Sea. If you listen carefully you can hear how she whispers old stories about Baltic countries. This place is made from grass, rivers, forests, trees and flowers. In this place live people, who don't talk, but they are singing. Their flesh is the earth and their blood is the water. This place is LATVIA.

In Lavia there is a girl with messy hair and mind full of birds. She loves books, music, dancing, colors and she also likes meeting people from different cultures. This girl is me - ZANDA PILATE.


Let’s talk about me. 29 year old unemployed Spanish male. That sounds like very average. Let’s be more personal. I am a daydreamer who is always making other plans while life happens, like Lennon said. I would like to have time to live in dozens of countries at the same time, and this is the first time I’m living abroad. When I was younger I wanted to be a great journalist, help to save the world working as a war correspondent of the BBC or something like that. Then life happened. I was working in a rutinary job for almost five years. Now is the first time that I am in the place that I want to be in a long period and that makes me very happy.
I come to Sofia, a city called like my Grandma, to live with Dimitrios, who is called like my Grandpa. Feels good to be grounded by cultural junks like me, something that never happened to me even when I studied journalism.
As a Spanish I don’t see myself as a regular countrymen, not the type of “Como España en ningún lao”. Even if it has some good points I feel very disappointed with it, and another thing that makes me happy about staying in Bulgaria is that I’m not working for a shitty payment, not consuming there, not paying taxes to the traitors in the government who put the payment of the debt constitutionally before public healthcare.
My family is very conventional, so for me is always a shock to know other costumes, living with vegetarians, for example. My mother is probably checking my weight when I come back to Spain.
I’m writing this with my fingers burned by a fucking frying pan so I expect that Dimitri appreciates my sacrifice.


Soon I will be celebrating the completion of my 25th revolution around our Host Star, forever travelling together with the Pale Blue Dot, on the Pale Blue Dot, like a flea on a dog chasing its tail. Most of this time I had lived in the region of this Pale Blue Dot called Greece, where I was also born; a place famed by others of my species for its history, culture, good food and fantastic weather, "a cozy little spot", as I imagine Douglas Adams would call it. However, something beckoned me to move a little bit to the North to this neighbouring region called Bulgaria. Putting that "something" into words is very difficult, so I suppose just saying "it felt like the best next step" should do nicely. Would the word "serendipity" sound too pretentious?
I have these second thoughts a lot, you know: one of my typical characteristics is second-guessing and analysing everything I feel, think and do, in order to follow more closely my ethical compass, a weird, imaginary but perfectly mundane object that would look like what you would get if you put together timeless growth, soundless laughter and mindless wonder, and clicked "reconcile" on your 3D printer that somehow ran on yogurt - preferably vegan (yes, there exists such a thing! Crazy, isn't it?!) I'd be a textbook INFP, if such a thing as a typology textbook existed (it does in my secret world, where the above Dimitrian object is a platonic ideal).

In case you hadn't realised by now, I greatly enjoy writing (not talking) about myself. I also tend to unnecessarily convolute things. To spare you with the nonsense, as I'm sure you want to learn more about me and not just read things I somehow believe look clever on a screen, I'm interested in media, the natural world, (alternate) human culture, history and languages, and, even though my writing style obviously doesn't show it, I believe in and value simplicity. I studied Cultural Technology media and culture and I think this project at the Sofia City Library, as well as the whole philosophy of informal education behind EVS and YiA programs, suits my current professional and personal ambitions like a glove. Would it be too cheesy if I put another "serendipity" here?


I'm Maria from Denmark, Mimi the Baby at the Sofia City Library and the glitter loving DustyFairy at tumblr.
I’m the baby of the project because I'm 21 and the youngest, even though I'm the most responsible and Zanda thinks I'm acting like a mother. I'm only doing this as a cover for whom I really am, and I learnt from the very best; Wendy. She was the greatest mother Peter and the boys could ever have wished for even though she made me a bit jealous when she gave Peter the "thimble".
I am a creative, glitter loving, crazy fairy.. Oh! I mean person, of course! A creative but responsible young girl who is a passionate complainer about everything and nothing, and who in the end still hasn't figured out how the thing about being a grown-up is done correctly. I have, for some time been looking for my pot with "adultness" and I have started to wonder if I might have forgotten it at home, next to my fairy dust, when I was visiting princess Tiger Lily, Peter and the Boys in Neverland, the Netherlands I mean, last month before I got here.
Hmm.. Anything I forgot to tell...? Oh yes!
My biggest weakness is my fear towards onions. They are evil! They make you cry for no reason and when they do, they infect you with "The Onion Syndrome", which, for me personally, means that I act even crazier than normal and that I even get a little mean. I'm convinced that some onions deep down in some of their inner most layers are nice onions and that they make us, fairies, ehh humans, cry because they are forced to by Captain Hook and his pirates that threaten them to walk the plank if they should ever consider stopping their cooperation. It is easier for Hook and his pirates to catch and kidnap us when our eyes are too swollen from crying and it also makes us more convince-able under the influence of "The Onion Syndrome" to cooperate.
There is so much to tell!! But I have got to go now.. Mitco is destroying things in the kitchen.. AGAIN!
Have a continued sparkling day!

1 comment:

  1. Agne (the veteran)26 January 2014 at 16:40

    We believe in you guys. Keep on going and say hi to everyone at the library. :-)