Drawing Emotions in Black and White –

A Personal Project during Volunteering in Romania

by Anna Koch

„A long long time ago… There was a volcano…”

Well… there aren’t any volcanos in Austria, BUT there where two young hitchhikers and one – not to brag – really talented young driver who picked those two up and brought them to the train station. To not sit in awkward silence – and because those two seemed like adventurers who had a story to tell – the three young people started talking and the two girls told the driver, who at the time given had no clue what to do after the summer, about the EVS.

Well, as it turned out: The driver was me! (Surprise, surprise) and I called “akzente Salzbug”: “Are there any projects for this autumn?” – “Yes, there would be a short-term project in Constanta, in Romania”
To be honest, they had to push me a little, not because of Romania, but rather because it was so near in the future… and I was not quite sure about the state of my mental health. However, everything got settled, I shocked my mum, the flight was booked and off I went… without my important bracelet I got from my granny and lost at the airport, but instead with a lot of flight anxiety. Yea!

I am a single child. I am not used to sharing my room with other people.
I am quite liberal and open towards anything – but I am not used to have to tolerate conservative points of view.
I am not girly at all – I am not used to spending nearly 24/7 with somebody who is.
And looking back, I have to admit that I was a real d… dumbass towards my roommate sometimes.

I got so uncomfortable. I did.
But do you still remember how your knees hurt when you grew as a child?

You will get the same sensation of pain throughout your entire life, but it means that YOU are growing.

So, I arranged the wall over my bed, I made a “cave” for myself (I used the lower bunk bed). I arranged my life in an easier way. I tried to take it easy, as easy as it was possible for a natural born overthinker.

I started drawing… I don’t know why, really, I don’t really know what for, but … it turned out to be something people seemed to be interested in, so… Yeah.

I grew,
and as I came back,
still had no real plan for my life.


It was just a little more “okay” not to have one. Who knows? Maybe I will meet some hitchhikers again some day.



Note: Anna was an Austrian EVS volunteer in EV-yeS to Emotion project, during 1st of September and 30th of October 2017, sent by akzente Salzburg NGO and hosted in Constanta, by our organization. She began to draw underneath The Inktober Initiative and shared their drawings in a private exhibition for high-school students in Constanta, together with her teenager stories from Austria.


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