Adriana D'amato

I was just thinking of how am I going to start describing European Voluntary Service to those who have (or maybe not) just heard of it by chance. Well here is my answer, the photo above. It is just food yet the most hearted expression of gratitude and interest from the people with whom you share everyday life, even the most ordinary events. In order to help staff from the kitchen, I was a special ‘waitress’ for a group of teenager students coming from an excursion and I gained in return this delicious plate that will last for a whole week :P. Well, EVS is of course more than just sharing food and having fun. This experience encompasses all positive and negative aspects that help a person to grow up, be responsible and proactive.

If I may use a metaphor, I feel like one of the many Lithuanian rivers, such as Merkys River. Just like me it comes from another place/country (Belarus for Merkys, Italy for me), it flows in Lithuania and goes through rapid and slow pace until it reaches Nemunas, one of the major rivers in this country. At Dzukija National Park, I go through ordinary yet important activities like doing English lessons or working at the visitors’ centre and suddenly I find myself involved in unique and significant events that stimulate my constant curiosity and imagination like hiking by following in partisans’ footsteps.

As for me, it is always difficult to describe me in few words. Capable of making some funny gaffes and a bit shy, I find interest in many things such as old places that look abandoned yet vivid source of imagination and creativity (at least for me ;)).I am passionate about pop music, manga art and exploration of historical places and I like challenges. When I found on InCo website the possibility of having a wonderful EVS experience at Dzukija National Park, having a direct contact with wild and fascinating nature, I said WHY NOT?!.

I hate staying still and now that I am in the largest protected area in Lithuania, I take every opportunity I can to explore this vast park especially by bike. There is always time to lie down on a bed (I also need to recharge). At Dzukija NP there is an interesting mixture of everyday life in rural homesteads and farmsteads and genuine commitment to the protection of natural landscapes and reserve areas, like Čepkeliai swamp.

If you want to learn more about my experience as a volunteer here is the link to my blog that I try to update frequently:


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