Ronja Kalø Skovbørnehus
Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind. – Anthony Bourdain
“Travel. Adventure. Working abroad. Learning a new language. Getting to know a foreign country and its culture.
All these reasons were motivating and encouraging me in doing an European voluntary service (short EVS) in a forest kindergarten in Denmark.
The quote, written by Anthony Bourdain, describes the experiences I have been able to make so far pretty good.
Travelling, or being confronted long term with a foreign culture might be not always easy.
Being always tired in the beginning by the influence of a new language you don’t understand, an unknown workplace, a host family you have to get used to and a culture you are just beginning to get to know can be for sure challenging at first.
So has it been for example hard not being able to answer more than okay and aha to the children in the kindergarten, or confusing to have to order ones coffee in a cafe on English and to pay that than in Danish krones. Culture differences are suddenly facing each other. Celebrations you didn’t know before. Traditions, hold differently in Germany. A whole new way of living.
But then there are the positive experiences. The smile on a child’s face when you hugging it, comforting it when it is sad or the giggle when you are about to tell a joke. The exchange of working and learn methods between the padagoges. Working in pure nature and being able to see the constant change of the forest in every season and the wide range of the Danish wildlife. Or the confidence of your host siblings towards you, which is growing with every day you are in their family.
But of course is a year abroad not always perfect. Being confronted with negative experiences throughout this year is as normal as having good ones. And that is changing you. Throughout positive and negative occurrences in the foreign country you are beginning to grow, to get stronger, to get more independent. Pictures and photos of awesome journeys, funny situations and unforgettable moments will confirm to memories, which are staying with you for the rest of your life.
In the end the foreign country is not a foreign country any more. The foreign language is not a foreign language any more. The foreign culture is not a foreign culture any more. It is more like a second home.
My name is Ronja. I am 18 years old and have been doing a European voluntary service in Denmark since September 2018. Here in Denmark I am currently working in a forest kindergarten in Djursland with the age groups 4-6. For me it has always been clear to go abroad for one year after my A-Levels in Germany. That’s the reason why I started to search for possible sending organisations in autumn 2017 in Germany and found an amazing local one in Würzburg, called Jubi Unterfranken. Especially Karo, who was my responsible contact person in my sending organisation, was really focused in helping us volunteers with emails to find the perfect suitable project abroad. She has always been really helpful with every problem occurred in this year and had always a helpful advice. With an enormous drive I got on the train together with the other volunteers of my project driving to Denmark for a new adventure. An adventure, I have never regret. An adventure, which taught me so much about myself. An adventure in Denmark. Of course it hasn’t been always easy and of course there were also challenges crossing my way. But they helped me in growing and getting more experienced. In finding new friends, amazing staff members and making unforgettable memories. Memories, which will always be staying with me.”
2018/2019 Solidarity in Denmark: Ref. Nr. KA123-047216