Scraped ankle

Lucie Hronovská works for us as an accountant for BanglaKids. It was also caused by a fall from the highest mountain in Spain. Despite her young age, her life's journey has been a wild one. At 18, she left home, became a constructor, worked with autistic people, and did freediving. She says she has fears but also has an adventurous spirit.

Lucie, what's the first thing you'd tell us about yourself?

My name is Lucie Hronovská and I come from Mlada Boleslav. I'm about to turn 28, I'm a working student. I moved to Prague last year. I changed jobs, actually both jobs.

You worked for ŠKODA AUTO as a constructor. How did you get there and what did you actually do?

Actually, I got there by accident. First I was working in sales, but I wasn't enjoying it anymore, so I wanted to try a change. And my dad's an engineer. Cars, trams, all sorts of things. He's been doing it for over 20 years. He's got all kinds of parts and pieces in his agenda. And ever since I was a kid, I've loved the way he moves it around and puts it together into different models. I was so excited about it that he gave me an amateur builder program for my 15th birthday. :)

That was the beginning. But then I enrolled myself in a construction course. Then I had an interview with a construction company. I said I had no experience, but no fear either. And they said they'd give it a try with me.

I spent nearly three years designing car chassis. I'd run them over obstacles and see how they behaved. Based on my calculations and modeling, the car went into production.

Nice! We know you've worked with autistic people too.Yes, I've worked with people with a more severe form of autism. I liked that they lived in the present moment. They don't worry about tomorrow. Their only goal is to enjoy the day and be happy, which I find amazing because I can't do that myself. I'm often nervous about tomorrow and the day after, and I don't notice today at all. They can do it. So that's what I find so admirable about them.

And then there are communication barriers like they don't speak. But despite that, they can go to a person and get what they need or what they want. And they don't need a speech to do it. They don't have to figure out how to tell them. Should I even ask for it or not. And I really like that.

I understand they were a great inspiration to you. How did both jobs shape your life?

For a year, a year and a half, I did both jobs at the same time. On weekdays, I was a constructor, and on weekends, I worked with autistic people. In construction, I had to be accountable for my work. I had to stick to the details because my work was about hundredths of a millimeter. I had to stand up for my opinions and be able to enforce them. That was a big school for me.

Autistic people taught me that even though there is an order to life, it's not always strictly about the millimeters, but there is room for enjoying and experiencing things. There is also the relational-social aspect. 

And overall, that combination has given me a lot of clarity about what I want. I wouldn't want to be somewhere where work is strictly about results. I need to know that my work is meaningful. I like that ADRA is meaningful to me.Lucie, you're studying on top of your job. Can you combine your studies with this job?

I am a second-year student at the University of Economics in Liberec, studying financial management and services. It's my second time studying. I didn't finish the first school because I had no motivation. I finished just before handing in my bachelor's degree. I just didn't see the point. And now it's my second try. I'm studying services because helping people is great.

And you can combine it. Someone said that you can do what you want, that you determine your own priorities and what you want. You can combine anything. You can combine two jobs, school, and a good life, it's possible.

You got all that now?

I did. But I've only had one job since May. One job, a partner, and school. And I don't have to do it at any great sacrifice. Really. If it's set up so that there are priorities, it can be done.

The reason I'm studying and working and what I want is the same. It's all on the same wavelength. And that's what it's all about. 

What does helping people bring you?

Generally, it's a feeling of satisfaction. It has to do with my past. I've had various problems. Health, social, I left home at 18, didn't finish school... But I have to say, even though they were bad experiences, they turned out great. It was all manageable, but I had a hard time dealing with it because I was mostly on my own in those situations. And I really wanted someone to help me. But I didn't have anyone.

And then I was alone on vacation. And on the highest mountain in Spain, my leg went off and I fell off the top. But I just scraped my ankle, that's all. So nothing really happened.

And that's when I realized that I had gotten through all my troubles without much trouble. Well, except for the scratch. And I thought it was a shame that if someone was in a situation like mine, that no one would be there for them. So I started volunteering and gradually got into autism and non-profit organizations. But I don't know exactly what that brings me. I see it as a bit of a quid pro quo for the "scraped ankle" thing I've always had.The question about what it brings you already suggests that you are profiting from it, but we are "not profiting".


You're just giving back that happiness, that luck you had, and helping others.

Yeah, I think it's good. Why not offer a helping hand if it doesn't cost anything?

Lucie, what do you do when you don't have to do anything?

I'm the type that can't handle doing anything. I have a constant need to do something. So when I don't have to do anything, I like to learn. Or I like to read. Then nature, I like to walk. And I wander around.

Wandering around?

Yes, wandering around is best. I used to choose vacations where I just took a backpack, had a plane ticket to some place, and a date to return to work.

And where did you fly to?

I like Spain, so Spain. I flew to Málaga and I knew roughly where the airports were to get back, otherwise, I would have had to hitchhike. And then I went. All by myself.

You're an adventurous character.

But I'm so scared.

Well, you don't seem as a person with fears.

I'm really scared. I'm scared on the trip, but I see it as some sort of need to collect my thoughts.

Is it like being yourself for you?

Yes. Stepping out of my comfort zone and not conforming to what I know. Because when I'm away, the first day is all about going, "Why am I doing this? Why am I doing this to myself? Is it really necessary? I could have just gone on a trip somewhere." And from the second day on, it's easy.

Interesting. Do you have a motto? An idea that guides you in life?

I've never had that in my life. But I did like a quote from my favorite author, Paulo Coelho. And it's about someone who's afraid of change, who's afraid to take a risk, to do something, or generally to step out of that comfort zone... And he says to people like that, "Try routine. It's deadly."

That's true.

Honestly, I'm scared. I'm afraid of the journeys. I'm afraid of being alone. I have a tremendous amount of fears. I'm scared of large areas of water, but I've been freediving, which is diving in one breath. I'm afraid of heights, but I climb the highest mountains.

But the biggest fear for me is staying in one place, refusing to move anywhere. I like it when there's progress. Even in life.

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