Lost in Lithuania (and found in Dzukija)

Yeah, I know…I’m starting this blog a little bit later than my real arrival in Marcinkonys. It is just that I need time to process, to collect and analyse data and I’m still processing… What a terrible computer I am sometimes XD. To be honest, I was a little bit reluctant about writing a blog about myself, my experience yet here I am, challenging myself in the same way as I did when I first decided to apply for an EVS project in Lithuania.

I don’t want to start from the beginning, when I saw the project online, decided to apply and blablabla…let’s keep it easy peasy!

My journey started on the 3rd of April with a flight from Bari (my house, my heart)  to Vilnius (where is it?! XD). Of course first things that I noticed were colder temperatures and rain but I was excited as well and in the good company of Claudio, another volunteer from Italy. I didn’t know what I would find, with a new country, city and people to deal with but at least I knew my destination: Dzukija National Park in the region of Varena, southern Lithuania. With its 55 thousand hectares, 85 per cent of which is covered by woods, we can consider this park as the largest protected areas of Lithuania.

Where do I live? Marcinkonys, which is one of the largest villages located at the very edge of Dzukija and it is surrounded by green pinewoods. I live in the guest house in front of my office, which means so close luckily for me! I am surrounded by wild and fascinating nature.

Marcinkonys is one of the largest Lithuanian villages and it originated from a settlement of forest scouts mentioned back in 1637. Its development was mainly due to the creation of the Warsaw – St. Petersburg railway in the 2nd half of the 19th century. Currently, this village has over 800 inhabitants, two schools (the official one and the nature school), an interesting ethnographic museum and 3 local shops that provides lots of necessary items.

Here it is possible to see the coexistence of old local heritage and modern technologies.

 

And here is my first roommate ever, Julija. She is another volunteer, Lithuanian born (from Vilnius) so much more comfortable than I could ever be. She told me everything, from the situation of our apartment to public transport here (just one train three times per day and very few bus timetables). She also played the role of my official translator from Lithuanian to English. I still call her my savior. Moreover, she became my friend. Too bad that her volunteer service is currently over and I found myself alone. Yet thanks to her I have some tips about how to survive here in Marcinkonys.

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