At the End of the Rainbow?

My return from Hungary was now a little more than three months ago. And with the Comeback Event last weekend I got a last intense flashback on the year that lies behind me.

And now it is time to draw a final conclusion for my year in Hungary and, with the now-won distance from my time there, take a last focussed look back.

Success of the project and success of my stay

One question I hear time and time again is what I actually did there in Hungary.

I usually take a deep breath there, because the answer isn’t as easy as people might think it is. There is what I should have been doing, what I went for to Hungary in the first place, and what I actually did there in the end.

The European Voluntary Service - now part of the European Solidarity Corps - tries to accomplish a cultural exchange between the countries on the one hand and on the other hand, a volunteer’s aim is to take part in or help to develop a project in the other country. But the success of the project is not necessarily dependent on the success of the personal journey and vice versa. At least, it should not be dependent on each other.

My project’s aim was to develop the camp, train the horses and motivate kids and youngsters of the area to take part in regular programmes (archery, for example, and - after they were trained - horse riding).

During my time in Hungary, nearly nothing of this actually took place. We only got a trainer for the horses in April, I wasn’t able to properly help in the archery training because my Hungarian didn’t get good enough, except for the people who spoke German or English, and the same language barrier problem came up with the youngsters of the area.

But I would still call my year abroad a massive success. I learned so much about myself, I met so many amazing people:

I would have loved to have learned more Hungarian, but without a regular person of contact to help me gain access to this really strange and different language, that is very hard to achieve. Now other things take more room in my head, but I am sure I will try to learn more Hungarian again in the future.

Thus, I am able to say for myself that this year taught and gave me a lot - insight, into other cultures but especially into myself, new perspectives, new interests, new friends. A network of acquaintances and friends all over Europe, which I hope I’ll be able to fall back on in the future.

Souveniers - material and immaterial

Of course I didn’t return from Hungary empty handed. On the one hand the things I took back from Hungary are immaterial, on the other hand there are also a few physical items, and I’d like to present to you a few of both.

Material souveniers

Immaterial souveniers

View into the future

And what will happen now? some of you might ask now.

With my blog, in this form, nothing for the time being. “Chasing the Rainbow” was devoted to my year in Hungary, and this year is over by now.

But I found my love for travelling and living close to nature, and already managed to secure the ticket to my next adventure - next spring I am going to Canada, for some time of work and travel. How long exactly isn’t certain yet - it will also depend on the length of validity of my visa.

I plan on writing a blog about my experiences there, too, which will probably be very similar to this one and maybe even accessible on the same web-address. I also want to keep my Hungary-blog online for as long as possible, so people can still read it in the future. So, “Chasing the Rainbow” won’t simply disappear.

Expect to hear from me again, when I spread out my wings to disappear into the Wild West over the pond.

Until then: Thank you for following my blog this faithfully throughout the year! - Yours, Frauke

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