IJK (Internacia Junulara Kongreso) – was a lot of new meetings and a lot of conferences. It was the confirmation that this EVS is the good one, that this EVS is mine, and the one who can change and made me learn the most – more than any others.
I remember I was once wondering if Slovakia, more than an other country, would made me grow and allow me to know myself more. And now that I’ve visited Bratislava, High Tatras, Partizánske or Trenčianske Teplice, I can answer yes. But, the place I liked the most was Liptovský Hrádok.
This year, IJK took place in this town, from the 28th of July from 4th of August. And, if SES already was the apogee of my EVS, IJK was its perfect echo. A confident and sincere echo that all esperanto congress and its community will always be the place where I feel home.
To be honest, at the beginning, I was really anxious. The travel was hard, long and full of twists (but not as much as the return!), putting severe hardship on my poor French heart. However, I would have liked that this week never finished. I found the friends I had made during SES, and I’ve discovered new persons.
Within my EVS, I have also participated in the conference about active listening. If this was a constraint at first, I quickly came to really enjoy it, and I still retain some words that have changed my view of things, of others, and of myself. We only can learn in Esperantujo and no maps can guide you: the communication and your heart are the only ones that can confirm that, yes, to go to breakfast you have to cross the road, a forest, three beaches and a border. And the bar? Is it really necessary to remember the all obstacle for all those who wished to drink and dance? I have at least been able to be certain that my love of Tatra tea was sincere – although moderate.
I also attended a talk about prevention and prejuidice – I learned little because I knew already, but I was affected in front of these people who change the world, in this world that is already evolving. I have been happy and interested in exchanging on all types of topics with you all – and with you who will come.
Finally, without mentioning the kindness and organization of the members of IJK, their adorable dog or their beautiful stickers, I would like however to remind you how much everything was pleasant, precise and how good mood is invited each time – even the time I broke my charger, which allowed me to spend more time in the company of hundreds of funny and friendly Esperantists. A lot of names come to my mind now – especially those French people who only know how to speak French. But do not worry, if you join us, we will always know how to speak in our common and family language, Esperanto.
I will end with a thank you. A sincere and loving thanks – a thank you full of theses memories and photos that I keep preciously, a thank you laughing, certainly remembering the performance of a few on stage, an affectionate thank you, a thank you dancing on your music, a thank you who travels and who speaks today a language that it would like to be its mother tongue – thank you.
This article was written by Léa Pillot-Colin within her European Voluntary Service.