You might believe my biggest challenge in Bulgaria has been rats at home, a broken washing mashine or a coordiantor who is never appearing and you and the other volunteers are feeling like he is not interested in your project. For problems like these you always can find a solution. Take a street cat to hunt the rats, wash in the house of other volunteers or talk to you coordinator that he should change his behavior.
My personal challenge had two legs, was tall and had blue eys. It was another volunteer in my project who, he figured out, was really similar to me. I didn't believe him so he told me why we is similar. As always he was right, as he was really good in discussions. And this annoyed me like crazy.-he always won discussions.
Me, a person who was jused to be always right didn't feel comfortable with this guy. Consequently I often left the room, not to face discussions or him. It worked really well, except of one evening were we argued about what would happend if we would have an argumentation. Yes super stupid and unneccessary but we are both persons who like to discuss and to provocate people. We are even both super subborn and can become really emotional. You can imagine a really explosive mixture.
What can I say. Different from what he expected we did not have a big fight.-and I am really proud.
It came completely different.-we both changed and he became one of the persons I liked the most in our project.
It started as we hitch hiked together to Macedonia. We had a lot of time to talk and to spend time together and get to know each other better. In the end of the day I felt a lot more comfortable with him. We still provocated us but as we became both more relaxed we took it not personal and laught together.
Of course this journey, with two other volunteers, was not without conflicts but we both understood somehow to keep calm and not to start a fight about stupid things.
Back home we started feeling more close and I felt comfortable with is presence. I still hated him for some things he said or did, but I realized that it was his goal to figure out were my borders are to freak me out. I guess I somehow did the same with him.
As I started analyzing his behaviour I started understanding that he was right. Yes I don't like to say he was right but he is.
However he showed me that you shouldn't put people from the beginning in a box "persons I like" and "persons I do not like". I believe that we can deal somehow with almost everyone. There is often no need to change the person mostly you need to change yourself, e.g. me. I became more relaxed and understood that I don't need to show other persons that I am "perfect". Yes no one is perfect! For me it was difficult to accept that there are persons who are better in things were I am good at.
To understand this I needed a mirror to show me things about my behaviour which are really not good.
Because of this guy I know I can work on myself to become a better person and I am not doomed for the rest of my life.
He and all the other volunteers gave me the feeling not to be a bad person and that I can use my skills, for example being super direct and honest in a good way and not to offend people.-which was never my purpose by the way.
I am really thankful to this person that he challenged me to improve and to question myself.