Bogdan Ș. (Romania)
Daniela’s a well-educated person, with a distinguished culture (I don’t know a lot of people speaking Swedish around here ), always up for a good conversation. She also has an iron will and is a great inspiration for all of us, others. When we think that the troubles we’re facing are serious, spend some time with Daniela and guaranteed, you’ll have much more lighthearted perspective.
Who are you, where are you from and where have you found Daniela?
My name is Bogdan, I’m coming from Romania and I’ve been living for few years in the Czech Republic. Randomly browsing on some Prague expats (or another one?! Cannot remember very well ) Facebook group, I had found Daniela.
Why had you decided to do this kind of service? What were your reasons for it?
It felt the right thing to do, giving much better use to some of my spare time; in the end, we ALL have free time, it’s just our own decision to fill it up with all sorts of leisure activities and then complaining how little spare time we have left , so why not sharing a bit of this time with someone who needs it much more than us?
How long and how often did you visit her and how long do you know her?
I started visiting Daniela in October/November 2016 (for roughly once per week) after I’d responded to the online ad (that’s when I got to meet her as well).
Did you have any expectations or even fears and how had they changed, how were they affirmed or stressed?
No, nothing alike, I wasn’t thinking ahead, just taking the challenge and embracing it as it came.
How would you describe your work at Daniela’s? Which kind of work you liked or disliked to do?
All possible household works, laundry, cooking, dishes to more… hm, how to call them, more personal(?! ) duties, when it came to dress/undress Daniela, lay her to bed, hand her different objects, to mention the usual. Honestly, nothing unbearable. But of course, it’s not a full-time job so, people, don’t expect to do something all the time.
How would you describe your cooperation?
Well, since we (as assistents, I mean ) are Daniela’s „hands and feet“, do expect to be told what to do around (and it’s a normal thing to happen, if you put it in the given context). A bit of patience is required (but nothing extraordinary). But nothing to worry about. Daniela has a good way of explaining what she needs you to do and how.
How would you describe her personality, character, etc. to the others?
Daniela’s a well-educated person, with a distinguished culture (I don’t know a lot of people speaking Swedish around here ), always up for a good conversation. She also has an iron will and is a great inspiration for all of us, others. When we think that the troubles we’re facing are serious, spend some time with Daniela and guaranteed, you’ll have much more lighthearted perspective. 😉
What was the biggest surprise for you when you started with assistance at hers. Or which aspect of reality varied most from your expectations?
Since I didn’t have any present ideas nor expectations when starting visiting Daniela, I cannot say I was surprised by whatsoever in terms of duties, instead, what I soon realized, is the amount of people who were assisting her (something 4-5 different people in one day!), all of different backgrounds, tempers, culture, way of behaving etc…. And Daniela had all the patience to keep explaining each of us at once, what it needs to be done, how… I mean, just imagine having 4 different people staying at your place for several hours per day! In a different context, that would be insane.
Which moments from assistance do you remember most?
Obviously, the one time when we went to church (I never go to church! ).
How would you describe your cooperation with other assistants?
With small exceptions, all of them speak English so the cooperation is not that hard. Honestly, since you don’t really get to spend a lot of time with the other assistants (only during the shift „relay“ ), there’s not much for me to say on this topic.
What was your reason to stop assisting? Would you decide for it one more time if you had a chance to do it?
I’ve been travelling away from Prague (first for work, then for personal reasons) but I’ll be coming back soon to Prague and to Daniela.
What was the impact of assistance at Daniela’s on you? What were its benefits for you?
It definitely feels good knowing that without any special effort you can be somehow helpful to someone who really needs it. It feels rewarding and it also helps becoming a better person (and seeing yourself as such).
What would you tell those who are thinking about doing assistance at hers?
Don’t hesitate and give it a shot by sharing a bit of your spare time with Daniela. You can actually give it a much better value and you can see how big of a change it can make in someone else’s life.
Don’t be afraid you’ll be asked to do extraordinary things, just be opened to take a challenge and you’ll soon see how rewarding it feels, both from the outside (Daniela truly appreciates every moment you get to spend with her) and from inside, just knowing you’re doing something nice, being a good person because it’s the natural thing to do.
Can you write something in your original language and translate it?
Romanian : Dacă vrei să trăiești într-o lume mai bună, începe prin a fi chiar tu o persoană mai bună! Acceptă provocarea!
Translation : If you want to live in a better world, start by being yourself a better person! Accept the challenge!
While assisting, Bogdan has worked as an IT specialist. He started to assist in November 2016 for 3 next years till November 2019. Bogdan was assisting irregularly as there were periods when he was not in Prague for several months or even half of a year. However, he had always returned and was assisting again, especially during the days in weekends. In the months when he was in Prague, he had assisted for about 12 hours a month on average. He has never accepted any payment but regrded it exclusively as a volunteer activity.