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The Cross-Cultural Fest- Jewish Culture EVS project!

Time passes differently when you start spending it in a more productive way Your feelings change too, and so do you. Those who were strangers once become your friends and subsequently family, unfamiliar streets become the sweetest routine, the strange and the distant culture become part of you and you discover the most wonderful things that a person can discover.

This is exactly what happened with me during my project in Poland. I discovered more about myself than I ever thought I had in me, met people who would remain an integral part of my life, became acquainted with a culture and a city that I still long for.

It all started from a street called Broggy 51, it was just a place I never imagined I could call my home in a month. At one point we ended up with 10 completely unknown people from different countries, with different cultures and mentalities, but later we realized, as different as we were, we all had something in common – wewere people. We started living together because we needed to, but then we didn’t want to split up. The best thing-put in a house 10 strangers from different countries and see what happens. In the beginning it was awkward because of the different habits each of us had, we were cautious in our tales, we tried to get to know each other, we shared one fate. And so, gradually, as we became angry about the atypical habits of foreigners, while we drank cheap coffee and ate pasta (because it was the easiest thing to make), as we would get lost together in public transport and discover local clubs , somehow  we became a family . Together wesaw how beautiful Krakow was and visited even its most secluded corners. At first it was just a beautiful city, but then it became a place where every corner hides memories. I remember our walks along the river and the conversations I learned so much from. The feeling of standing with 10 strangers from different countries by the river and discussing silly topics is incredible.

We had the opportunity to help organize one of the largest Jewish festivals in one of the most beautiful parts of Krakow-Kazimierz (the Jewish part of the town). It was a little difficult at first, because we carried brochures all over the city, but it was worth it. We met new people there, witnessed incredible concerts and got to know a whole new culture. I’m just glad that at the age of 19, I had the opportunity to be part of such an event.

And so while we were working at the festival, traveling and exploring Krakow and its surroundings, we had amazing days and the month passed. Out of ten strangers, we had become one family. The end was difficult because we realized what an amazing thing we had beena part of, we realized that even the weird Polish food and the horrible Polish weather would be missed. But it was worth it. I can say I’m really lucky to have lived through all these emotions. You do not realize what has happened until it is already over, until you return to Bulgaria and everything seems different to you. Your hometown is different, your old friends are different, or maybe you yourself have changed, you have realized that there is much more than what you called normal life. EVS changes people, helps them realize many things, shows them a bigger picture of the world. Krakow changes people, shows them how beautiful the world can be.

Thank you EVS, thank you Krakow. I hope this is not the end of the story, but just the beginning of a long friendship.

Tsvetelina Balabanova

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