Hello! My name is Rapolas and I am coming from Lithuania. I started doing my year-round ESC internship at Zavod Bob during the first days of September 2018.
Before coming for EVS to Ljubljana I was mostly doing seasonal summer jobs in my hometown as well as have shortly worked as social worker abroad. With the passing of last summer days I started working with LivadaLab team on the field and slowly getting to know who is who and who does what in youth center Bob.
Being overwhelmed by the amount of activities I was slowly getting to know people with whom I will work together for a year. It happened in the middle of September that we had immersive theater collective Slepa Ulca building up a show in the field of LivadaLab and I was asked to join them preparing the site for the outdoors horror show with sunflower labyrinth.
During the weeks of preparing the site and building up the scenography I grew familiar with Slepa Ulca’s collective as well as exploring the bushy corners of LivadaLab field. With the time passing and first days of show approaching I found a sudden interest in performing and started preparing for my first minor role in the show- being a ghost in sunflower labyrinth. With the clock ticking last minutes up to the show, a tremendous lightning and thunder started to roll over our heads and a massive rain broke out- such strong, that it almost destroyed our labyrinth and make-shift decorations but gave raise to a type of Frankenstein that was me- spending the idyllic sunny days on the beautiful meadow of LivadaLab, taking care and observing plants, animals and pace of season change, while devoting the dark and rainy days to the underground tunnels of fear, thriller and darkness with Slepa Ulca’s immersive theater collective.
During the winter time I grew stronger with both of the collectives as well as my colleagues at Bob. Little by little I was learning the structure of organization, taking up new tasks and learning new things.
Once the spring time came I started working on the vegetable garden in LivadaLab. Having all the practical knowledge aside that I got through the time I spend on the field learning about the natural cycle of plants and their different characters, the most valuable quality that I acquired is patience.
Closely observing the change of seasons, the slow awakening of spring and subsequent explosion in summer has left me more patient and calm. On the dark side of my EVS, the one with Slepa Ulca, I believe I managed to get much more confident with my artistic expression as well as becoming more confident in situation where you suddenly are exposed to public or a crowd of strangers.
At the same time, I started to explore a field of horror and found it extremely telling and intelligent. Horror is a silent tool to tell the unspoken, it is a way to talk about forbidden, repressed and uncomfortable. When deployed in a non-banal way (forget the zombies) it is a tool that invokes fear for the sake of overcoming it.
The experiences that I got through EVS internship are vivid and unforgettable. I am happy to have had a chance to spend a year in an environment that gave me food for thoughts everyday and helped me grow as a person. If each and single positive experience counts as a drop- then after the year I am standing here with a full glass and cheering to you.