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My name is Charlotte, I’m 19 years old and I’m one of the new volunteers at EPI. I just finished High School this summer and came to Slovenia at the beginning of September. I’m from Germany (who would have guessed :D), more precisely from a city called Bielefeld which no one knows (even though it has 100,000 more inhabitants than Ljubljana).

I thought I could give you 5 facts about myself so you get to know me a bit :).

1. I have watched about every travel documentary about Slovenia on YouTube, because I knew very little about it before coming here and was really keen about finding out more about the country I was gonna spend 10 months living in.

2. 90% of my friends and family thought I was either going to Slovakia or Serbia when I told them about my plans.

3. I love »The Lord of the Rings« so much I actually know the first part of the first movie when Galadriel tells the story of the ring by heart because I have watched it that often.

4. I love all kinds of outdoor sports such as hiking, surfing and kayaking. Luckily, Slovenia is the perfect place for those activities.

5. After my ESC experience, I want to study either International Development or Law and my dream is to work for the UN one day.

My first month here has really flown by. Although I am definitely still having some language difficulties, I can say that Lucija is starting to feel like home and working at EPI is more and more fun as well. I feel like I have more responsibility for doing my own projects like German Club and I feel like I’m getting more open when interacting with the kids.I have actually only been working for about 3 weeks because I’ve had my 5-day on-arrival raining in September and then I got sick for a week and had to stay home (it wasn’t Corona though :D). Nonetheless, I really feel like the kids are getting less shy around me and accept that I am now a regular sight at EPI.

My key learnings so far include a lot of K-Pop and Anime facts, some Slovene (mostly to be able to say that I can’t speak Slovene… in Sovene… It’s confusing) and how to buy bread in Mercator. The first time I tried to buy some bread rolls, I only found out at the check out that you have to put yor bread on a scale and put a sticker on it, like when buying vegetables. The lady at the check-out told me, I took my bread and went to the scale in the back of the store while the line behind me got longer and longer. The product number of my bread was 540, so I put that number into the scale. It didn’t take my number ath first (or so I thought) because I had to put in that number again. Finally, I got my sticker and went back to the check-out, relieved that the embarrassment was coming to an end. However, the lady just took a quick glance at the sticker and told me something in Slovene. I looked at the sticker and realized that I was about to pay 130€ for bread. Apparently something had gone wrong. So I went back to the scale (the line was getting longer..,) and found out that the second number was actually the number of pieces you are buying of the bread, so I had almost bought 540 pieces of that bread. It was a really embarrassing experience overall and I wouldn’t recommend it.

Apart from making a fool out of myself, my favourite activities so far have been to go for a run around the coast in the morning and to go SUP-ing in the bay. Me and Matjaž also hang out with the Spanish ESC volunteer working in Koper a lot and have already visited some people from Ljubljana we have met on the on-arrival training :).

So even with Corona going on and new restrictions coming out almost every day, I am really enjoying my time here and I would say that I have settled in quite well over the last few weeks 🙂