I have been living in the Czech Republic for about 3 years and I have been one of Daniela’s assistants for the length of 5-6 months (starting from January 2018).

In December 2017 I posted an advertisement on a group on Facebook called ‚Volunteering in Prague‘ with the intention of doing something better than spending (wasting) time after work. In fact, at the time I didn’t like my fulltime job at Sony so it was taking a lot of energy from me. Once I was at home after work, I was still feeling useless and trapped in a wasted life, sad and brainwashed from the job and its corporate’s regime. Then I was still wasting the rest of my time on Facebook, Netflix and so on, lazy and with the need of ‚recovering‘ by doing almost nothing. So I simply decided to offer my free services (without previous experience) in order to de-intoxicate myself from the emptiness of the work-home routine and with the wish to improve my condition.

I was meeting with Daniela every week, when she was in the Czech Republic, of course. Always in the evening from about 6:30 to 22:50. Straight after work I was going to Daniela. The trip from Nové Butovice to Nádraží Hostivař was +/- one hour long so sometimes I was getting home at midnight or even later. Those were hard days as much as they were good days.

Things started to change in March while starting a relationship with my girlfriend. I started to feel more pressure from the lack of time and because of my artistic work (simultaneously I got an important art commission). In the end this led to the decision of not being an assistant anymore.

Regarding Daniela I would like to say that she is a patient person. If an engraver (myself) can say it, no one can deny it. Also, she is extremely organized and a great example of strength and discipline. When we were together, we were spending the time chatting and, sometimes, each of us working on our personal projects or doing such tasks as cooking and trying to make her life as smooth as possible.

Of course, she often had to repeat things. Even to me who was coming every week. But I was always so tired and Daniela always so patient. It was beautiful because of our genuine empathy for each other’s position. Even if Daniela was on the wheelchair, she never underestimated my efforts in coming to her every week and supporting her. The opposite, she was always enormously thankful and showing kindness.

Talking with Daniela openly about everything was also very enriching for me. She is very mature and she deeply cares about all people. Even though many people might think that she simply needs assistants, I would like to say that for most of the time, her real need was actually a fair exchange: I was volunteering and I never felt the need to ask anything from her, because during that time I was learning/growing. I knew that the time spent with Daniela was good for me because I was having the chance to re-discover values of life and simple awareness.

Today I work part time for Siemens and part time as a craftsman by taking private artistic commissions. I found this stability also thanks to the time I spent with Daniela and I truly, fully recommend to all people to try to simply give her some of your precious time. Believe me that she will make it even more precious. At least, it worked for me and her support, patience and affection, I swear Daniela, are still cuddling me.

Guys/girls remember: before Daniela gets in her bed, make sure to close the blinds and to turn on the small light next to the window! 😀
Bacio, Manuel

4th September 2018

At the time of doing assistance, Manuel was working in Sony, later on as an administrator in Siemens, and, as a passionate engraver, he was accepting art commissions and doing artistic work at the same time. He was assisting once a week for 4 months attending Daniela exclusively for evening shifts from about 6-7 p.m. till 10-11 p.m. after his work. Manuel was doing this activity free of charge as a volunteer.