Manca war Freiwillige bei der CIPRA International und lebte fast ein Jahr in Liechtenstein. Im Text berichtet sie über ihre Arbeit, ihre persönlichen Erfahrungen und die Eindrücke von Liechtenstein. Ein Abenteuer mitten in den Alpen.. Why would I do my EVS again? I was actually looking for a job. I was already 4 month unemployed and my feeling of usefulness was continuing to grow, when I applied for European voluntary service at CIPRA International in Liechtenstein. It was not what I was looking for (a job), but I got the EVS. I have to say – now I’m pretty happy I was jobless at that time, otherwise I would never go to Liechtenstein, where I kind of find myself. My work at CIPRA International in Liechtenstein I was studying ecology, so working at a nongovernmental organisation on youth projects about the environment was kind of what I was studying for. I was communicating with partners, taking care of projects administration (enough for me to keep me interested and enough to get experiences in it), organising international meetings and workshops, translating between German, English and Slovene (sounds like I’m soo good wit languages, eh?), etc. I have to say I liked the work. And I loved my co-workers, all a bit wonderfully strange, so I felt at home. I learned A LOT about myself as a worker – now I know that I don’t work the best under time pressure, but on the other hand I can consciously calm myself down and then still manage to do a lot. If the participants of the workshops looked happy at the end of it, we must have done something good – and I was part of the organisation and consequently a bit proud of myself. I understand better the ethics of team work and I know I have to trust myself better. Also, to keep my head when a lot of smaller tasks are waiting to be done and not try to do all at once. I knew some of those things about myself from the studying, but it was a bit different as during the work. “For me, EVS was an important intermediate step between studies and work.” When I knew, my time in Liechtenstein is kind of running out, I started to look for a job again. I remembered too well how I felt being jobless and I didn’t want to be so long without work again. I applied in Germany, Austria and Slovenia. A schoolmate from studies made a recommendation and I got the job in Ljubljana. The latter wouldn’t be possible without my experiences I got at CIPRA. What employers usually check, are the working experiences and if someone can guarantee you can do the work. This time I had both. MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE Now I know, I can pack and move my things to another country, speak a foreign language that’s not English, shape a good life in an unknown country and take care of myself. I haven’t been single for a while, so the time I spend in Liechtenstein was also the time for myself, to learn what I am without someone else around. I met a lot of new people and found some very good friends and I am as happy as I haven’t been in a while. “Being away from my family and my place of schooling gave me the freedom I would otherwise most probably never taste.” I was able to be, what I am now, without my relationships with people that have known me for years. I thought over some memories from the past and talked with my parents about family matters – something I think everybody should do. Coming back for summer and winter holidays I still saw I have many people in Slovenia, which make me feel good. At the same time I want to bring back my new self – the stronger self from Liechtenstein, (I feel like this at least). WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT LIECHTENSTEIN The surrounding, the environment in Liechtenstein is unbelievably taken care of. Almost a bit too much. Already aseptic. On the other hand, walking my dog through Vaduz in the spring, I could smell so many wonderful flowering plants, I was almost floating along. The roses from a neighbour and from Hofkellerei are definitely something I will miss. I just love the landscape and I don’t know if there was ever a day, when I didn’t stare at the mountains. (OK, really cloudy days don’t count. But there were not that many anyway.) The weather is more predictable here. Once the “Föhn” is blowing, the air is surprisingly warm and the sun is shining. Everything looks so good in that light. You only need to be careful not to get something falling on your head, since the wind can blow really strong. I also find it amazing, how the pedestrians actually ARE part of the traffic! While in Ljubljana you almost have to carry a bomb for a car driver to stop you, here just standing at zebra suddenly stops all the cars coming. This is not exactly about Liechtenstein, but I thought Slovenia is small. And Ljubljana as well. Here I learned this might not always be true, (only Ljubljana, the capital, has about 300 000 inhabitants, while the whole Liechtenstein has 39 000). My feeling of measuring changed slightly, staying here. Another thing, that makes a connection with Liechtenstein only for me, is my very first favourite band – I never had one before. No, they are not from the Alps, they are German. AnnenMayKantereit forever! Let’s just say with speaking another language, another music world opens ;). FINALLY … I could go on and on, but then again, if my “report” would be too long, nobody will read it, right? I just want to say, that staying abroad can be a very good opportunity to learn something or simply have the time of your life. If you are planning something, I just advise you to do something you like and stand for yourself if your experiences are not as sparkly as mine. I wish you all adventurers good luck and lots of nice new experiences!