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Karolina’s (2016 Team) experience in DNS

 

Karolina

In the last couple of years, I didn’t appreciate my birthdays too much. It became just a day when you have to think twice before answering how old are you. But last birthday was quite special in some way. On the eve of my 23rd birthday, I gave myself probably the best present of all 23 years – I enrolled to DNS Necessary Teacher Training College.

It happened in November, but I still had some personal plans, so I had to wait until January to join my team and start my saving-up. It felt like I had this wonderful, shiny present in my hands, but still had to wait several months to unwrap it and check what’s inside. And the day came. I was so excited, oh my! I recklessly ripped off all the ribbons and all the papers, opened that box and…guess what? Another ribbon, another paper – another box inside! And one more! And one more…I already unwrapped so many of them and who knows how many I’m still gonna open while I’m here. The very first gift I discovered among all these boxes was wonderful TVIND people. People who care not only about themselves and their problems but more or less about everything that surrounds them: our planet – the past, present and especially future of it; also other people in need. They care about all the big problems of small people. And the most important thing that they not only care – they ACT. World conflicts, poor education, pollution, food waste, poverty, and many many other local and global issues of XXI century not only have big names here – they have actions – little, but meaningful movements to make a change in every each of them.

All these small people with their big ideas, people who think differently, people who care, people who have something to say – here they’ve listened, here they’ve been heard. And their ideas that didn’t make much sense everywhere else, are totally accepted here. People who were alone against the world aren’t alone anymore. And they’re not against the world anymore. They are TOGETHER to CHANGE the world.

I also love how simple these people are and how open they are for new ideas and new people. Hitch-hiking and couch-surfing are not only cheap ways of transportation or accommodation – it’s more like the way to meet new people to share stories and experiences, to teach and to learn in the same time. I just admire how they get rid of their own comfort because of some greater reasons.

And no one cares how they look, no makeup, no fancy clothes, no brands. Cause here is so many more important things to care about than the way you look. But at the same time they’re all so beautiful with simple, sometimes ripped clothes or unshaved beards, sharing stories of sleeping somewhere in the bus station. There can be no better feeling to be surrounded by these people. The second biggest gift I found here is personal growth. In the past two months, I probably gained more life skills than I learned in 12 years of school and three more years in university back home. The beginning wasn’t easy, though, actually it was really challenging, especially when I came from the environment where everything has rules and instructions you can just easily follow. Here things are different. No one comes and tells you what to do, where to do, how to do – learning by doing works here. But it’s the way how you actually realize, how many things you can do by yourself instead of waiting for someone to show you how or do things for you. Let’s be honest, most of the times you just do all these things because there is no other choice, you just have to do it the best way you can, even though you don’t really know how. But at the end of the day – it’s done and the only person you can be proud of is yourself. And when you finally get it, just then you discover how powerful you really are and how many things you can do with your own bare hands.

Like how silly it is that I never thought about learning a language on my own and here we go – I am on my way to learn Danish. Of course, it’s freakin hard, but it’s more than possible and if I wasn’t here I would never even consider doing so. Or who could have ever thought that I’m gonna drive a bus one day, which will most likely happen during our bus travel to Africa. Also organizing the event for 80 people in two days, including all the hall preparation, tables, decorations, food and so on. And everything had to be done while I still had my daily tasks to do working in the day school. It was crazy, but we did it and we did it great. All these and many other things it’s just one big kick-ass experience that just raises the levels of trust in yourself limitlessly. Every day here brings something new: new tasks, new locations, new people, new experiences, new emotions, responsibilities, and struggles.I also love how simple these people are and how open they are for new ideas and new people. Hitch-hiking and couch-surfing are not only cheap ways of transportation or accommodation – it’s more like the way to meet new people to share stories and experiences, to teach and to learn in the same time. I just admire how they get rid of their own comfort because of some greater reasons. And no one cares how they look, no makeup, no fancy clothes, no brands. Cause here is so many more important things to care about than the way you look. But at the same time they’re all so beautiful with simple, sometimes ripped clothes or unshaved beards, sharing stories of sleeping somewhere in the bus station. There can be no better feeling to be surrounded by these people. The second biggest gift I found here is personal growth. In the past two months, I probably gained more life skills than I learned in 12 years of school and three more years in university back home. The beginning wasn’t easy, though, actually it was really challenging, especially when I came from the environment where everything has rules and instructions you can just easily follow. Here things are different. No one comes and tells you what to do, where to do, how to do – learning by doing works here. But it’s the way how you actually realize, how many things you can do by yourself instead of waiting for someone to show you how or do things for you. Let’s be honest, most of the times you just do all these things because there is no other choice, you just have to do it the best way you can, even though you don’t really know how. But at the end of the day – it’s done and the only person you can be proud of is yourself. And when you finally get it, just then you discover how powerful you really are and how many things you can do with your own bare hands. Like how silly it is that I never thought about learning a language on my own and here we go – I am on my way to learn Danish. Of course, it’s freakin hard, but it’s more than possible and if I wasn’t here I would never even consider doing so. Or who could have ever thought that I’m gonna drive a bus one day, which will most likely happen during our bus travel to Africa. Also organizing the event for 80 people in two days, including all the hall preparation, tables, decorations, food and so on. And everything had to be done while I still had my daily tasks to do working in the day school. It was crazy, but we did it and we did it great. All these and many other things it’s just one big kick-ass experience that just raises the levels of trust in yourself limitlessly. Every day here brings something new: new tasks, new locations, new people, new experiences, new emotions, responsibilities, and struggles. But after all, there is always a little secret smile of satisfaction hidden in the corners of your lips – how many small but important things you managed to do in one simple day. What seems impossible or super challenging in the beginning, comes out as a super inspiring and motivating result. I am here just for two months, but it feels like I’ve been collecting these stories and experiences for decades…Yeah, so this is my DNS experience – gifts one after another I unwrap every day and never know, what will I find next. Not all of them look so attractive in the beginning, but I just have a belief that anything I found makes me a stronger and more experienced person than I was yesterday. And this personal growth among all of these amazing people, wrapped in the paper of challenges and tied with a ribbon of unexpectedness is my biggest reward and motivation to move forward and keep checking what’s hidden in another box.