I’m currently on a European Voluntary Service in Ankara, Turkey, as part of the project NesilFEST. This is a country full of contrasts and cultural contradictions, but that also that takes you in a magical atmosphere when you walk through its streets and bazaars, when you eat its delicious food or simply when you have a cup of tea with someone you just met five minutes ago.
First of all I can say is that EVS is an opportunity to feel, discover and do different things that you not normally would do in your everyday life. My project is about meeting with generations. How did our project has start? We are six girls from different countries and in different ages from 20 to 29, living in one flat in Kecioren. In the beginning it was strange and we had started to meet each other, our unique personalities and behaviours which I found little bit difficult.
Meeting with all people involved in the NesilFEST project was really nice; the local people responsible for this project are brilliant hosts. Also talking with the Turkish people was not easy for us in the beginning, but thanks to our Turkish teacher Eren we have lessons once a week and I like the language, because in my mother tongue there are many similar words like in Turkish.
Once a week we go to visit the elderly people, helping them to do some gardening, planting seeds for the upcoming season of fruit and vegetables. Grandmas are showing us their beautiful flowers in the balconies and nice crafts in their rooms. I can’t forget to mention Mrs. Yelda, to whom we are very thankful, because she is our biggest support when we are talking about the Elderly House. On mondays we are going to the Clock Tower where Ertan Bay is in charge. There we are supposed to prepare and serve Turkish tea to the tables.
I have learned to make the tea together with flat mates. I have noticed that the guests in the Clock Tower are mostly men. They go there to drink tea and talk about man stuff. We have very good relationship with Ertan Bay and he is helping us with turkish language and informing us about things happening around Kecioren.
In short I can say that EVS is an experience that changes your life. I feel really lucky that I got to know a different culture from mine, I feel lucky that I got to share my life during two months with people from five nationalities and I feel fortunate that I got to do my bit to make the world we live in a better place. To me this experience is priceless and I am really blessed having these new people in my life.
In my opinion everything was perfect there, the organization and the people who led it were great and professional. We had perfect conditions for living and working and the group around me was amazing. Also the local people were polite and treated us with respect. I wouldn’t change anything except cheaper beer 🙂