Hubert P. (Poland)
Daniela explained everything to me and she made a great impression on me. I was really impressed how everything is organized and how Daniela is organized.
Who are you, where are you from and why were you here in the Czech Republic?
I’m a Polish guy who came to Czechia as a student, first to do my last semester of studies in Czech Univeristy of Life Sciences and then to do an internship as a part of my Erasmus Programme (02.2018 – 04.2019).
How had you found Dani?
I was searching for a job in some Czech Facebook groups but with English description. And I have found Daniela’s offer in one of them. Her advertisement was pretty interesting and clear so it convinced me to make an appointment.
Why had you decided to do this kind of service? What were your reasons for it?
Honestly my first motivation was to earn some extra money because my schoolarship wasn’t enough to survive during my internship. But at the same time I wanted to do some social work. Previously I always did some actions as an activist, both for people in need and sustainability. So, this opportunity really suited me in this aspect. I could got a salary but also satisfied my need to do something for a good cause.
How long and how often did you visit Dani and how long do you know her?
We started to cooperate with each other in autumn 2018 and we finished in april 2019. My work was very flexibale. I had days that I was in Dani’s dormitory everyday but sometimes just once per week which was also fine. From my side it was easy to set up a schedule with her. The only problem is that assistants sometimes cancel their shifts „5 minutes before“ and this is really irresponsible because Daniela needs to look after her 24 hours. And it really makes unnecessary mess and stress. It’s good to remember that she doesn’t have any manager for setting up the schedule for several dozens of people. She is just doing it on her own. And because of that, I admire her logistic skills even more.
Did you have any expectations or even fears and how had they changed? Were they affirmed or stressed? And how do you see those fears and expectations from today’s perspective?
My only fear was that I will let the person I’m taking care of down. I have never had this kind of experience and I haven’t even known what should I expect. But I have had very nice first converastion with Daniela. She explained everything to me and she made a great impression on me. I was really impressed how everything is organized and how Daniela is organized.
How would you describe your work at hers? Which kind of work you liked or disliked to do?
I cannot say that there were things that bothered me. It’s more about tasks that I was anxious about. I didn’t want to hurt Daniela and do something wrong or sometimes I was wondering if I was unpolite or tactless. However, Daniela gave me a lot precious instructions and she also told me that I shouldn‘t worry to much. Everything is about a proper communication and to feel a kind of rhythm with your partner.
How would you describe the cooperation between you two?
I got clear instuctions. I’m not a good cook but thanks to very precious Deniela’s tips I knew what exactly Daniela expected from me. Her kitchen (fridge and cupboards) are well prepared. You can find many labels just in case if you are confused in names in other languages. But nothing to worry about! This work is mostly about good listening and understanding another person’s needs.
And how would you describe her personality, character, etc. to the others? You know, they may be ashamed or afraid to meet a person in wheelchair whom they do not know at all.
The thing that I appreciate the most about Daniela is patience and peace. She has never screamed at me even when she had a right to do that because I have done a mistake that could physically hurt her.
What was the biggest surprise for you when you started with assistance at hers. Or which aspect of reality varied most from your expectations?
I didn’t know how disabled people’s daily basis looked like until I experienced it with Daniela. For me this job was a kind of a journey while I could figure many things out. First of all to find more empathy and understanding in me. But also stop complaining about casual affairs and appreciation of small things.
So which moments from assistance do you remember most? Were there any that had some impact on you or which you will never forget?
long evening conversations with Dani
going with Dani to film festival in the city center
sharing many thoughts before Christmas
physiotherapy visit in hospital
How would you describe your cooperation with other assistants? What did you appreciate and what did you mind in their behaviour, acts or attitudes – finally, what would you warn the new assistants to do?
I met many interesting people who were working with Dani. Sometimes sharing duties was a good time for nice conversations, especially because Daniela is working literaly with assistants from the whole world. From the other hand is also a perfect chance to improve your language skills. Not only English but much, much more. It was very interesting for me how Slovak and Polish (my native language) are not so different at all, how Czech and Polish are far from each other and, again, how Slovak and Czech are similar. Do you understand it? No? No worries, me neither!
What was your reason to stop assisting? Would you decide for it one more time if you had a chance to do it?
I went to Mexico to do an exchange programme, and then I returned to my country of origin where I stay till this day. But me and Daniela are still in touch and more or less we know what’s going on in our lives. I hope to visit her one day!
And what was the impact of assistance at mine on you? Was it worth doing? Why? What were its benefits for you?
As I said before I gained a wider perspective about disabled person’s life. Working with Dani had a positive impact on me for sure, as an individual and human being as well. Even if it’s been a while when we have finished working together, I still remember our conversations and things that she taught me.
So what would be your message those who are thinking about doing assistance at hers?
Don’t have too many doubts!
Give yourself a chance!
And live it!
Can you write something in Polish, your original language, and translate it?
Dziękuję za bardzo cenny czas spędzony razem! Polecam każdemu. Nie tylko jako pracę, ale jako wartościowe doświadczenie! Pozdrawiam!
Thank you for such a valuable time spent together! I recommend being an assistant to everyone! Not only as a job, but as a valuable experience. Greetings!
Thank you very much, Hubert, for your time and answers!
As a student and then a community manager at coworking space, Hubert was living in Prague for 14 months. He started to assist in November 2018 and finished in April 2019. Taking both daily and night shifts, his time dedicated to assistance varried from about 5 to over 60 hours per month.