Bart Bzdak: Volunteering seems natural
In 2009 Bart Bzdak was one of the European Voluntary Service’s volunteers in Faro. More than a year has passed as his YEU experience and we were curios to know what he is doing now and how does he see his EVS time now.
What are you doing now after the EVS?
After I finished my EVS project I came back to Poland. At first I lived with my parents, as I gave up my previous apartment and job. I can say that it was a new beginning for me. After a while I got a job - I'm a manager of Cinnamon Hostel in Poznań – the city where I studied and lived before EVS and where I live now.
Wow, how does it feel to be a hostel manager? Was that something that you saw coming or that you never imagined you would do?
It feels good. I have various tasks and I work with people so I'm not bored. Each day literally can bring something new and something unexpected. Of course there are unpleasant surprises as well but mostly not. It's also a big responsibility as I'm responsible for the entire enterprise, staff, finances etc. When I came back from Portugal, I didn't think I will work as a manager. It was a surprise and a bit of coincidence.
What did EVS give you? And what did YEU in general give you?
EVS gave me lots of opportunities. I became more aware of the world, people, other cultures and first of all - myself. I've learnt a lot of things that are very helpful in my current job. I've met great people, seen amazing places and experienced a lot of wonderful things! I see EVS as something extraordinary, as an adventure and a basket full of opportunities, which I was given and which I used.
Did the volunteering experience open new doors for you?
Even though I finished the project one year ago I think it's still too early to answer this question. Now I have skills, knowledge and contacts which will last for years so I don’t know how it will help me in the future.
Did the time in Portugal took something from you, meaning what were the sacrifices ff there were any...
Sometimes I think how my life would have looked like if I had taken a more traditional path of a career. What would have happened after graduation, if I had chosen to work in a bank, for instance. My life would look different, that's for sure. On the other hand if you'd ask me if I could change my choice my answer would be NO, as I know that my present life is very strongly affected by the people who I met and inspired me.
It is the European Year of Volunteering. Tell me why do you volunteer?
I was a volunteer long before EVS. For me, volunteering seems natural. It's a need to do something more and give something to the others - especially today, when people are focused on careers and consumption instead of seeing other people.
Project Manager & Newsmail Editor