Hello everyone! I am Cătălina, a 23 years old Romanian. Why did I choose to come to Ukraine you may wonder? Hmm…..I chose Ukraine for my EVS the moment I found the „Common Vibes” project and for me it was just love at first sight. It just hit the subject I was interested in : development of community, civil society and youth related programs. Also the fact that I will have to implement a project of my own was a huge plus for me because I usually learn best by doing something myself rather than through theory or just by observing others, so I believe this will be a great experience. I applied only for this project and I was lucky enough(sooo lucky) to be accepted. Yaaay!
Although I must admit that I was really curious about the country too, even though Ukraine is our neighbour I don’t really know much about it so I thought I should change that. The ideea of coming here became more and more a must-do rather than just another option.
Of course a lot of people asked me when they heard I was coming to Ukraine if I’m not worried about the conflict going on. And I find this strange because back home I live in the south-east part of Romania, which geographically placed me a lot closer to the conflict than I am now in the city of Lviv in the western Ukraine. So needles to say, I wasn’t worried about that.
My first impression of Lviv? A-ma-zing! I come from a city that is 4 times smaller and this seems city seems really alive with lots of interesting places from markets and pubs to the creative street art. Walking around the city centre I find myself admiring not only the architecture but also the grafitti which aren’t a few. I think I might start documenting them when I’ll finish my EVS I will have dozens of photos of mostly grafitti but it will be worth it.
I always liked walking around without a certain destination in my mind and sometimes I just try a different road which I’ve never been before, waiting to see where I end up. Just a few days ago I did this and by mistake I got to the highest point in Lviv in the High Castle park where you have a 360o view of the entire city. You never know what to expect while wondering around which is part of the excitement and why I like doing this.
Also the ukrainian classes just started last week and I already discovered similar words with romanian while some of them are exactly the same, which is nice to have some familiarity when you are in a foreign country and you don’t speak the language yet. My plan is to become fluent in ukrainian by the end of my 6 months here so I’ll keep you posted about my progress, hopefully I’m not too optimistic about it and I’ll manage to do it 😀
Besides the ukrainian class I am attending english speaking club meetings every week and I get to meet different people from locals to foreigners living here or who come here on their holidays, and the one’s I’ve met so far are from England, Poland, Turkey or Japan. I will keep going to these meetings because they can be a lot of fun and later, once my vocabualry expands a bit I will try the ukrainian speaking clubs to get my conversational skills on track. Wish me luck!
I will come back with fresh info about my life here! See you later! Па Па 😀
P.S : It rains quite a lot here so if you think about coming to Lviv make sure you have an umbrella with you because you never really know when you might need it.