Mateusz Lasak

EVS Volunteer in Portugal - Bezerra

Job, studies, activities in youth organisations, trainings. I like when something is going on because then I feel that I’m alive. If you are out of your spare time, find one more thing to do. This could be my motto. So when the possibility of changing everything all upside down and leaving for Portugal for two months appeared, my answer was obvious – when are we leaving? This is how I got to Europejskie Forum Młodzieży and from there straight to Lisbon and further to Bezerra. This was how one of the most interesting adventures of my life just began.

The whole project was focused on ecological issues and living in the farm. An extraordinary challenge for someone who spent his entire life in the city. So I came to deal with bees and steal honey just like a Winnie the Pooh, with working in the garden and on the farm, with our own herds of goats, rabbits, with long hours of wandering along the national park which we took care of. And of course I did not miss out the preparation of jam, cider, traditional Portuguese Aguardente, or even a pottery lesson.

Without any hesitation, I can say that my life has changed there by 180 degrees. Bezerra is calm. Its afternoon siesta when outside the thermometer indicates over 40. No rush. Many hours of walking in a magnificent setting. People living there need nothing. You do not have to rush from one place to another. Sometimes it is worth to stop, to press pause. Turn off your phone, laptop, shut off the internet. Enjoy the moment, the magnificent mountain landscape and carpe diem.

What was EVS for me? An enormous change. The possibility of learning about another culture, to be confronted with a completely different lifestyle. Learning the countryside and farm life. Great adventure. Leaving my comfort zone when I was hitchhiking for the first time in my life, when I was trying to communicate with locals with the strange mix of Spanish, Portuguese and English, traveling the country only with the map.

My EVS is also Portugal. And Portugal is mountains on one side and ocean on the other. It’s oranges and peaches straight from the tree and a mass of fantastic food. Historical monuments from Roman times, a castle in almost every city, festivals and fun.

But all in all, EVS is people. People who you meet out there and with whom you will spend all your time for the next two months. It may seem very difficult at first and that is exactly what it is. It takes a lot of patience and lots of compromise. EVS teaches you how to adapt, solve conflicts and how to interact. But these people are the ones who make this time special and unforgettable. For me? I couldn’t find better ones. I wish to everyone such a comrades 😉

2 months EVS project under Erasmus+ Programme
Project number: 2015-3-PL01-KA105-023000
Project title: „The power of non-formal education

Hosting Organization – Vertigem