Dear all! My name is Evita Mici and I come from Slovenia. This year, from 2nd March to 31st October I am an EVS (ESC) volunteer in the ecovillage Sieben Linden in Germany.
How does my working week look like? What do I do here? What is my work?
Now, after two months, I am more or less familiar with my work. I am not able to do everything on my own jet, but at least I am confident in things that are always the same.
My week here is very diverse. I work in three different areas – in tourism, in the kitchen and in the garden. I have to admit that this schedule was not the best for me at the beginning, but now I do like it. I would have learned everything faster if I had been working in only one area. There would be much fewer new German words and much fewer working rules. I would have gotten into the routine much sooner. But now … I’m really happy that I do not have to clean the rooms or serve the meals or wash the salads or do the physical work in the garden for five days in a row. It is good to change tourism work for kitchen work and it is also good to be one day per week outside, in the garden. The work in the kitchen and in the garden is calmer and it has a constant schedule. Work it tourism is more changeable. In the kitchen and in the garden, I also like the fact that I’m not “on the stage”. There are no guests and also not many other people. Working “behind the scenes” is easier, but I find it good to have two days in the guest team. I need to get more confident there.
Monday and Tuesday (or Sunday and Tuesday) are the two days when I work in tourism – the guest team (Gäste-Team). The work is very diverse: preparing breakfast, cleaning after breakfast, preparing hot drinks, preparing dining room for lunch or dinner and cleaning after it, quick cleaning of the bathrooms and the toilets (Yes, I also do that.), cleaning the rooms, carrying rubbish to different bins (ecovillage!), washing bedding and towels … Many different things need to be done at different time and at different places. I do not have a routine yet, tasks are always divided a bit differently, and sometimes I’m on “stand by mode” from breakfast to dinner. This is tourism and catering. When the guests need you, you’re there and when they do not need you, you can have your free time.
An important lesson for cleaning the rooms is: “Done is better than perfect.” My “everything or nothing” could always clean one more thing …
Wednesday and Thursday are my favorite days. These days I work in the kitchen. I’m not good at cooking at all. I did not cook much at home and I do not cook here either. But I like being an assistant in the kitchen. People here eat a really huge amount of organic vegetables, therefore washing, cleaning, peeling and cutting the vegetables takes a lot of time. My job can also be washing the salad greens (Postelein!) and, of course, washing the dishes. Sometimes Schnippelhilfe – a member of the community who does his ”community service” (Gemeinschaftsdienst) – is also responsible for the dishes and salads. I work in the kitchen for five hours. After that, we have a guest team meeting every Wednesday afternoon, and meeting of volunteers (JuLe/Kolibri Nachmittag and Abend) every Thursday afternoon. I like this schedule.
Friday is my garden day. Gartentag. Working in the garden is physically the hardest work. After two or three hours I’m already tired, but after five hours I’m (more or less) exhausted. LOL. I will get stronger, I guess. The garden work can also be very cold or very hot, also the wind is very common here… But it is good for me that I have this day. I’m in nature, I’m in contact with the earth, I’m tired (physically hard work or just uncomfortable squatting). Every Friday, in the end, when we go for lunch, I’m happy. Feels like: “Yes, I did it. Now I deserve my free time!”
Traditionally, every Friday afternoon I do nothing. I just lay down in the armchair in the sun. I am proud of myself, happy because the working week is over and happy that my blog and Instagram are my project. If I hadn’t arranged this, I would need to do more hours in the garden in the afternoon. I prefer some computer work. (I do it during the week.) EVS volunteering really stimulates the self-initiative of young people, and it would be really foolishly if it did not take advantage of it.
Saturday and Sunday (or Monday) are my days off. Now it’s May and it’s really nice to enjoy the sun. During weekend I usually do some cleaning in my Bauwagen, wash my laundry and do my “community service”(Gemeinschaftsdienst).
Time goes by. Sometimes a day or a week seems long, but in fact … time goes fast. It’s good that I am here, it’s good to see how vegetables come from our garden through the kitchen to our plates and to the guests’ plates. It’s good to see how ecotourism works and what needs to be done here and there and around so that tourism and community work. The system is large and stable. I’m just a tiny fragment in the system, but… the system also works because of us, the volunteers. Also because of me. It’s good. I sometimes complain a little, but for the next six months, I do not want to be anywhere else on the world. I want to be here.
Liebe Grüße aus mein Bauwangen, where I have wonderful new thing – an internet cable. =)