My name is Clément Josset, I’m 21 years old, I was born in Rennes, France. Before coming to Lithuania I was studying economics until December. In 2015 I took a break from my studies and was unemployed. During my spare time in France I used to go to concerts, drive my motorcycle and even do some archery on sunny days. I have chosen to do EVS first of all because I wanted to see some new things and to travel. I chose to come to Dzūkija National Park because I wanted to spend some time in the wild. Indeed, because of my studies I’m going to have an office job later in life but I have a wish to see how things are outdoors first. Dzūkija also preserves the traditional ways of living which is an important topic to me. Furthermore, this project suits my studies, because next year I want to do a Master’s degree in Project Analysis and Sustainable Development which requires some experience in a foreign country.
Having all of this in mind I was ready to go to Lithuania! When the Soviet “legacy” is not taken into consideration you can realize how beautiful this country is with all its historical monuments, lakes and… pines! Because, yes, I’m starting to think that half of the country is pinewoods! But that’s not a bad thing, it helps to create a spooky atmosphere in the middle of the woods that I really appreciate and find beautiful.
The first month here was really, how to say... Really quiet! Not much to do (the main activities were walking in the park or staying in the office, so nothing too exhausting). For the most part we were just discovering the place and the people (something that I’m still doing now). I’ve also spent the first month without any internet at home (which was really exotic to me) but it was finally a nice experience that allowed me to get to know my flat mate better (and live with her 24/7), to improve my cooking skills, to learn during Lithuanian language lessons and many other things…
In the park due to the lack of tasks, I mostly did nothing concrete… But I learned to enjoy the nature, listening birds, the trees and tea! What’s fabulous with this region is that because of the huge amount of pine trees everything is hidden, not easily accessible and so on... and I love it because you have to search for it (with or without success), and when you find it you feel like an explorer from the XVI century (even if most of the time you have to ride your bicycle for less than one hour). I especially like the lakes in the middle of forest, they’re like a hidden sanctuary for me where you can enjoy Lithuanian sunset (those are wonderful). It’s truly havens of peace!
Another thing I have learned here is to be proud of where I’m from, people here are really attached to traditions and it’s creating a kind of a bond between them which is really hearty! This topic has always been one of my favourite (even in France) but there I never really had the chance to live it out. Well, here it’s possible and it feels good! Every day is an opportunity to learn about customs, traditions, history and so on.