News from Edyta in Sweden

Hej !

My name is Edyta. I have had the opportunity to spend the last four months in Kalmar, Sweden, where I carried out EVS in a table tennis club.

Why Sweden?

Well … to be honest, the Scandinavian countries have never been on my travel list of must-see places. But as they say: never say never. The aspect that determined my decision to participate in this project was what I would do there. Table tennis picked up a piece of my heart already when I was a little girl and accompanied me for almost my entire life. I decided that perhaps an attempt to taste Scandinavian culture in conjunction with the table tennis passion would bring about quite a positive result.

During the project, mostly I worked with children aged 8 – 12 years, teaching them the proper technique of table tennis, organizing games, supporting children during competitions by coaching, while drawing inspiration from the richer experience of trainers. From time to time, I also had the opportunity to participate in training for seniors and handicapped people.

What made this project to me?

Patience and consistency in action can work miracles.

For several years I have been taking care of the kids in the camps and so far I have not had any major problems with making contact with them. Here it turned out to be a huge problem because of the language barrier. Unfortunately, the children, who were attending the training, either did not speak English or were just ashamed and as soon as they saw me, they fled to the other end of the training hall, just not to speak with me. Such a game lasted about 1.5 months. But I realized that all you had to do was smile, give them time to get used to, and little by little the children’s attitude changed every day. It was an amazing experience to see how they develop, they become more confident, more open.

However, cooperation with the seniors and the handicap people reminded me how to enjoy the game and how to enjoy the smallest achievements, starting even from hitting the ball with a racket.

Lack of knowledge of the Swedish language, unfortunately, hindered communication with children or handicap people. But what interesting did I discover in that language?

The most important word in the Swedish dictionary is “Fika” – kind of coffee / tea break. No matter how busy you are, you have to find time for “Fika”. So you sit in a cafe, office, wherever, just with your friends, and you enjoy a delicious cofee or tea with something sweet like cinnamon rolls or cookies, in peace. Hurry? Inadvisable. So relax, take it easy.

Other interesting fact about Swedish dictionary: you will never find in there the expression “bad weather”. Rain? Snow? Sun? It does not matter what is happening behind the windows – the Swedes always bravely get their bikes and go in a certain direction. I watched with admiration the men in suits struggling with at least a four-inch snow.

Observing the Swedes, I understood why the Scandinavian countries are considered to be the happiest countries in Europe. Total slow life, a lot of physical activity and a lot of time spent in the fresh air (really fresh one).

The first sun at the end of February? It’s the perfect time for the first barbecue (according to Swedes).

Do you have any problem? No worries, it is time for Fika and we will discuss this problem and we will figure it out.

A lot of friends asked me: “And how is this Sweden? People are closed, aren’t they? ”

Ah these stereotypes. In fact, the Swedes have no open nature, but behind all this there is incredible kindness, helpfulness and positivity, you just have to give them a chance.

To sum up: Am I satisfied after the project? Do I recommend EVS? Would I go again?

Big 3 times YES.

 

Meet Seweryn who is volunteering in Germany

Germany vs. UK – culture differences

First of all tea, tea is a national drink of Britain, it is a tradition to drink it at any possible break time: in the morning, evening even midday breaks. This unfortunately is an aspect which lacks in Germany, and a lack thereof is likely to cause frustration for a German is much more likely to drink coffee with tea being reserved more for the elderly. For someone like me who doesn’t drink coffee it was rather a shock and immediately had to stock myself with some Earl Gray and Green.

Demonstration in Berlin, this is a weekly occurrence, left right, centre etc.

Another rather stark difference is the mentality especially when it comes to communication, a typical English interaction starts with two people exchanging pleasantries, what went right is the code that the British speak, what went wrong is something you learn after a compulsory cheeky pint with the lads 😉

Opposed to that is the German style of directness, for instance let’s say your pet passed away, in Britain you can’t just say that, you have to entertain your listener and having established a right level of trust such information can be shared; British people are often confounded having to listen to a German who they have never met before tell them how their marriage is going, how their kids are at school, what prospects do they have, it all leaves us with just ‘woah’ and ‘wow’ So that just happened!

Furthermore it is hard to disguise your emotions, in Britain we have a culture of understanding that what one sees is not necessarily what one feels, we have to guess and can never be sure, given the circumstances assume what someone feels despite what one says, in Germany what you put out either verbally or via expressions is what is taken for granted, it is what it is without further need to occupy yourselves with the feelings of others. It sounds harsh and can initially produce many incorrect conclusions, after all who is to know that you sitting down with a grumpy face in the morning doing work is not you being dissatisfied with what you do or others but just letting the morning tea kick in and carry on doing what you enjoy!

Another difference is following the rules, in Britain it goes: ‘if it’s not going to kill me and I can get away with it then let’s do it’. We are quite averse to danger and strangers but when it comes to cutting corners we do it, nobody bats an eye since everyone does it! Cross the street where you weren’t supposed to, ‘ehh, whatever’ says the chap next door, ‘back in my days I did the same’ an intergenerational understanding and trust is the story of the British. Germans however, oh that wouldn’t fly with them!

Coming from the Prussian style educated people, obedience to the state and the rules is overly upheld, and cutting corners is a risky business, it’s 2 am middle of the street with no cars and 2 minutes till the light turns green, well you better wait, God forbid you cross and someone sees you, if you’re lucky maybe their stern look of disapproval will be it but if you’re unlucky a hefty fine is already being written by the local Polizist.

No cars, ready to cross? Oh no, don’t even dare!

Another difference is how they educate people, a typical British school teacher will tell you what to do and write, your goal is to remember and apply further, the ground is set you just need to make sure something grows out of it. Memorise and apply and there’s a lot of freedom to do what you want. Teachers are there to teach what is in the curriculum, your own motivation and passion is what is supposed to drive you through the boring bits. This isn’t always a good thing, students are segregated into ability sets based on that curriculum with set 1 as the highest and set 3 as the lowest but nothing is more demotivating than being put in the lowest set despite some initial motivation, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy of failure for those selected systematically to be lower.

Germans on the other hand do things differently, a teacher doesn’t explicitly say do this and that but rather it’s always on you to follow your intuition and use logical thinking skills to produce an effective solution. Let’s say you want to connect a device to the right port, a British teacher would just say connect the yellow cable to the yellow port and then connect it via HDMI into the television so you can move on with the lesson, a German teacher on the other hand will ask you questions and the task is on you to figure out how everything fits. The usual boring bits which are seen as nothing more as a distraction or annoyance are given greater attention in the German world. Initially seen as rude or impolite, or even pointless for a person raised in Britain, the genius of that reveals itself with the fact that it teaches patience and thoughtfulness; not brushing things aside to get to the ‘fun’ bits but seeing the potential fun in what is normally brushed aside, a valuable life lesson which may betray the secret of stereotypical German efficiency, after all if you take care in performing even the most mundane tasks, you are bound to do everything right, right?!

Elections, Germans unlike us in Britain take their democracy seriously.

 

Text and pictures by Seweryn, EVS/ ESC volunteer sent to Germany by IB Polska.

Meet Izabela on her EVS in Turkey

Merhaba! I’m Izabela, 23 years old and I spent two months in Ankara, Turkey doing my EVS project. Was it worth it? Am I recommending EVS experience? You’re about to find out.

When anybody asks me, why Turkey, I always answer that it wasn’t like I chose Turkey but Turkey chose me. I’m during my gap year, so as it is commonly assumed it’s time for travelling. I hadn’t any specific country I want to visit, nor things I want to do. The only thing I was aware of was my will to travel abroad, no matter where. I found out about EVS projects by accident and applied for some random ones. My project, Meeting of Generations hosted by System & Generation was first to answer my application, so I was like – why not? Ok, I’m kidding, decision was the hardest part of my experience. I talked a lot with my friends, family, hosting and sending organisation. I was afraid of losing my job, taking a break of my volunteering in Poland and most of all that I’m doing it due to social pressure, not because I want it. Words aren’t enough to express how much support and kindness I got; people understood my fears and at the same time enabled my journey. So I took my stuff and flew to Turkey.

My project focused mostly on disabled people but it was mix of everything. In addition to this activity me and other volunteers were teaching English in one school, taking part in meetings with politics, hosting language exchange, working in the office and many many more one-shot actions. What I really want to share with you is my experience of disabled people’s attitude, which I was happy to came across especially in cafeteria I was working. Cafe Down is small cafeteria in the centre of Ankara. Almost all of staff has mental disabilities, not to mention nobody speaks English there so communication was a challenge. Many times we didn’t understand what they want us to do and they didn’t understand what we need. However, despite that everyone were so thrilled that we’re there. We weren’t able to give them much, just a little help in cleaning dishes or making tea, we couldn’t give them even a small talk but that didn’t matter. All we could give and all they needed was our time. Time spent together meant everything. How wonderful philosophy; everyone, no matter of age, religion, country, education is able to give and receive time and that’s enough. Disabled people taught me that I don’t need anything more from people that are willing to see me. It’s like disability opens their eyes for this simple truth that I can’t see. That’s of course not everything I learned during my EVS. But what I find important is the fact that not everything I learned was so beautiful as the lesson above. I found out that what I considered my strength isn’t this strong as I thought. I found out about my new flaws. Everyone before my EVS told me that it would be the greatest experience in my entire life. Everyone said that travelling is so amazing. I blindly believed in all this stuff without any thought and that was my bad. During the journey bad things happened too. And it wasn’t like excitement all the time, I faced everyday’s life and even boredom there. It was my first real journey abroad and the first time I really felt like foreign somewhere, so it was a surprise to find out that there’s something beyond all this great adventures that people always talking about when giving you speech about their travels.

Okay, I’ve got probably little too deep into this but I really hope that my experience and words will be helpful for someone who’s not sure whether to make EVS or not. For me it was worth it, even if I learned there that I did it because of social pressure and travelling is not for me. Now I know that everyone is different and I don’t have to feel about something the same way most people feel. It’s a surprise that it took all of this for me to finally get to know that. Take care and see you somewhere somehow!

 

EVS as a constant learning

Cześć! My name is Lilith, transformed in Poland into ‘Pani Lily’. I come from Armenia. Yes, I know, you have no idea, where it is, so feel free to googlemap it. No worries… I’m lying! How on earth you don’t know where is Armenia?!

I passed 2900 kilometers, survived 11 hours on the road with 3,5 hour stopover for one destination -Kraków!

There are many reasons why people decide to do an EVS. Some need refreshment, someone got stuck, for someone it is a perfect gap year, somebody eager to travel and meet new people. But there is one thing that unites all EVS volunteers – willingness to grow, to become a better man year after.

Presentation of Christmas traditions of Armenia, Germany, Belgium and Spain at kindergarten

Through EVS you will discover a brand new culture. I found myself in the streets protesting against shooting of wild pigs, singing polish carols at the Main Square, celebrating Great-parents’ Day. While diving into polish way of living, you start to live like a local, you start to care. And this is one of the most important lessons for me so far.

Through EVS you will experience tolerance at its finest. Talking about Catalan Independence, seeing emotions of a German coming from Auschwitz, getting to know about Albanian-Macedonian relationships, learning about new established Ukrainian church, exploring tension between south and north of Italy and so on… I’ve become more curious, more interested, ended up asking countless questions.

Through EVS you will appreciate more your country. I may not be in Armenia, but I carry Armenia with me. You are becoming an ambassador of your country in Poland. You are appreciating its uniqueness, which I never thought about before coming.

Through EVS you are learning constantly, every day. Being thrown into totally new environment you have no other chance than to flourish.

And yet there is so much to discover:)

Meet Marija and Series of: How I got addicted to ERASMUS+ projects: Introduction: The beginning

Hello everybody! My name is Marija and I am 25. Do you want to start traveling and get addicted by discovering something new? So, please read my stories carefully, and I am sure you will get interested in this projects.

It all started when I was 21. I was in my second year of University in my country, Macedonia. One day, at the Faculty, one of my colleagues came to me and asked: “Do you want to go to Turkey for one week?
With covered food, travel expenses and accommodation?” Of course, at first I said, I have no idea what are you talking about it, tell me something more. What is it about? What I will do in Turkey? With whom? How is it possible that I do not pay for accommodation, travelling and food??? Here was his answer: “So, my dear Marija, the European Union has a program which offers to the young people across Europe to travel, learn new things using non-formal methods of education and make friendships around Europe. That program is called ERASMUS+.

However, this project that I am talking about, is part of this program and it is called Youth Exchange. In other words, this is a project led by one organization (usually Non-governmental Organisation), which has international NGO’s as partners, and they organize a week (7-10 days) on given topic where around 25-60 participants can take part. In this specific project, they should have 30 participants from 5 countries, one of them is Macedonia. The others are Georgia, Azerbaijan and Romania. And of course Turkey, as a host country. So, they need 6 participants from each country, who will have non-formal activities and tasks, so in the end they will get more knowledge about the multiculturalism in Europe. The topic of the Youth Exchange is “Small steps, big effects”.

Back to the main point, the NGO which is international partner from Macedonia, is looking for Macedonian participants and I remembered that you are always open to learn something new, so I was wondering if you would like to be part of this group of six young people! In addition, definition for young people in the EU is 18-30 years old, which means that all the participants on this project are between that age. Back to your question about how is possible that you do not pay anything of this, here is how: The European Union is providing all of the expenses. The only thing you need to do before you go there is to buy your flight (travel expenses), but during the project or some days after the project is finished, you will get your money back on your bank account, or in cash (depends on the hosting organization), because they need to reimburse every participant for their traveling to the country of project and back. That is how this ERASMUS+ program for young people works. Do you like the idea now? We already have five participants, would you like to meet them all and to make your first international friendships next month? “

I will keep you updated what happened after. I hope you realize that I accepted being part of this Youth Exchange. And for sure I can say, that was one of the best decisions I have ever made!

Meet Ewa in Beauvoisin, France

My name is Ewa, i’m 21 years old and one year ago I moved from Poland to Beauvoisin, France for EVS. During this year a lot has changed in my life, but also in myself.

When I came here, to REV, my hosting organisation, i was not expecting a lot and I couldn’t imagine what the next year would be like. Of course, I had some information about the project, about the other volunteers and collective life, but for someone who has never been in a place like this it’s impossible to imagine what would be happening exactly.

During my stay i did plenty of different things, i discovered various fields of work and of course I also learned a lot. The project, the people I have met on my journey, just my experience there in general, had an impact on me and I am sure I will never experience anything like it anywhere else.

Every activity and work assignment I did this year taught me something new, even if sometimes it was difficult or I didn’t like it from the beginning, in the end I can just say I’m really grateful for everything, because it was an amazing experience, which changed me (I hope) in good way.

The part of the project which I really love and I happy I’m exactly where I am, it’s collective life.
For me it’s the weirdest idea ever, to collect group of random people from different countries and cultures and let them live together. It can sound like a mess, but surprisingly it’s amazing how you can create a new family in this way. From the group of strangers we create a group of really close friends. I’m really glad I had the possibility to experienced this and if I will need to choose again to come here, if I will have all the knowledge from now, i will not hesitate.
Also the thing which I’m really happy of is I discovered a lot of new cultures, differences and similarities between them and I’m sure I will never get this knowledge in any school. I feel like by this year, this projectIi touched in beautiful, amazing and definitely unforgettable way, a real life which is waiting for me after my volunteering.

In REV we had many different activities, one of them was visiting a nursing house in our village and making some manual animations with old people once a week. It was really good opportunity to talk in french with local people, get to know them and their stories. The other activity was english classes for local people (adults and teenagers), often it was actually language exchange while we were speaking only english and just a little bit french, so it was good occasion to learn also for us.
Except social activities we had some workshops and physical work, for example for few months we were building running path for the city, which was cool possibility to get new skills.

During my EVS in REV we were also hosting few groups from all around the world and France. Every group was different, so every hosting and dynamic was also really different. Sometimes we have difficulties in different area for example with language and communication, but even if we have small problems, in general these hostings are really amazing experiences I think for everyone. We have possibility to discover new languages and see the differences between our cultures and environments, so it was never boring!

 

One of the most beautiful memories for me will be international workcamp, which I lead with Antonia, REV volunteer from Germany. It was a teenager workcamp, full of motivated young people in L’espinas, in Cevennes, an incredible place with also incredible local people. Our job was caring for the wood in chestnut forests, helping local people to prepare the place for the autumn harvest of chestnuts. Except work everyone was cooking, cleaning and taking care of the camp and for most of the people it was their first time with this kind of work. Fortunately we had a group of motivated, full of energy young people, who were not scared to learn new things. When we were working with local people we heard a lot of great stories about the area and we had occasion to meet amazing people with equally amazing life stories. After work we were hiking and visiting wonderful places, rivers, mountains and small villages and also playing games and talking to get to know each other better, because we were from different places and cultures.

One day we planned to make international evening on which we invited local people from around the place and we share with them a little bit of our culture and traditional food from our countries.

Personally, for me the best feeling was to have the possibility to share all the experience i have with other people and teach them new things.

Why not try? My EVS adventure by Rafael

Living abroad, be more independent, improve your skills, learn new things, have more experience, meet people from different countries, share culture, make friends, feel identified with them, travel around Europe, or around the world, have a personal growth, opportunities to find a job… It’s sound good, right? All that things I’ve lived doing my EVS in a beautiful city like Krakow, Poland. I’ve had the opportunity to learn a lot, meet people I’ll never forget, feel more confident with myself, travel a lot, improve my English, improve my skills and my knowledge in a special school with autistic children and the most important thing, enjoy, more than I’ve never done. I totally recommend to everyone to do this, because this experience change your life. After 10 month living in Krakow, I can say that EVS has been the best experience of my life, giving me the opportunity to be happy.
Here you can find my memories here:

Meet Guillaume!

My name is Guillaume Libralesso and I am from France. I grew up in Grenoble and lived in Montpellier, the best city ever in France, comparable to Alicante in Spain. My EVS started in the beginning of July, it was a really peaceful time and I did some workshops. School started in September and I will finish at the end of April.

Here we are in a special school for autistic children (Centrum Autyzmu i Całościowych Zaburzeń Rozwojowych w Krakowie) and I learn a lot because I never worked with autistic children before.I studied about autism but I was not really an expert. You can say that every student is different, you can say that they all have an autistic syndrom but actually it is impossible to put them in cases. I tried that because for me there were some cases to put children but in reality you cannot do so.

My advice for new volunteers In Krakow: Try to enjoy a lot. It all depends on you and you have to find your own role. You have to try a lot and don`t be scared. Try to find your way and try to communicate with people.

 

K: What would you never write a song about?

G: Sports!

 

K: If you had to write a song about sports, what would be the 1st line of it?

G: Why? Why so much suffering?

 

K: Are Polish people strange?

G: For me sometimes yea. Sometimes they look so sad.

 

K: What surprises you most about Poland?

G: The difference to my country. It`s a diffence of people, a difference of history. Sometimes it`s difficult because we (our countries politics) are different about immigration, integration, multiculturalism. Also about how I can speak with people, about polite distance. I mean I need to learn to not shock Polish people, for example when I`m singing in a bus I can the the faces of the people. Then I say “oh, I`m not in a right way“.
The kids surprise me a lot, me coming to the Center of Autism and this kid speaking better English and French than myself. Comparing to France we cannot speak any languages.

 

K: Tell me three emotions to describe your work as a volunteer?

G: I feel I`m very useful. I can feel the love when I`m with the kids. It`s a lot working with behavior therapy and so on and I try to be passionate. I try to find my way. I try to give passions and love to kids. Sometimes I feel very useful, for example last lesson with Ania (name changed) because we can speak with people and can improve their language skills by talking English or French. Sometimes however, I`m just waiting for the end of the lesson and being useless.

What feelings I feel? It`s a lot of feelings, sometimes my work is very important, exciting, also boring. I feel love. One kid is very touching me, because he can`t speak and has problems and I try to help him.
They are different but in the same time they can give a lot of things to normal people.

 

K: What`s your favourite food?

G: It is Japanese food.

 

K: What`s your artist name?

G: I don`t have. When I was young my nickname was Marcel but today I`m just Guillaume and I try to be Guillaume.

 

K: What do you plan to do after your EVS?

G: I never plan nothing! I want to stay until September in Poland, maybe find a job just to have money to stay.

 

K: Dziekuje bardzo for the interview!

G: Thanky you too!

 

interviewer:

Katharina Becker

interviewee:

Guillaume Libralesso
volunteer in EVS project “INTERvolunteering”

Meet Paulina – EVS volunteer in Germany

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Hi, my name is Paulina, I’m from Poland and I’m 28 years old.
I am a Technical and Computer Science Education graduated in Poland. I want to find my way in life. I want to share my experience and my skills with another people. I see more development opportunities in another country than Poland. When I studied, I was 6 months on practice in Germany. That was it! I feel good there, but I could stay only to the end of practice. I decided to find a some European project. That was EVS ,so new challenge. I didn’t know how it would be… I start my adventure with EVS in October 2016. I finding on IB-Polska website, 3 offers for voluntary work. I choose some project in Arche Neuenhagen near Berlin. So, great I’m near a capitol of Germany, the largest multicultural place in the world. I knew already Berlin, I was here in 2009. But Berlin is such a big city, so to get to know it well you must to spend a few years. In my work I was the only foreigner. I had a great chance to learn the language quickly. I could also develop my graphic skills. In my work place we organizes open-air concerts, events, courses, so I can make posters, flyer, concerts tickets. Two days a week I work in senior’s house. I prepare breakfast, help with cleaning and to keep senior’s company. EVS is a combination of gaining knowledge, learning the language and possibility to meet people from all over the world. Teach a patience, understanding, openness.

 

article by Paulina Krych

(EVS volunteer)

Meet Laura

“I jumped in the water by myself”

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A famous figure of speech says that if you want a child learn to swim, and he’s afraid to do that, you have to push him in the water.

If he won’t drown, he will learn it.

It may sound a little extreme, but my experience with EVS can be related to this story. With just a difference: I jumped in the water by myself, in order to understand if I would have managed to survive.

Decide to live six months away from home, from everything I knew, from everyone I love.

I thought that I wouldn’t have enough strength, ready to book a flight to come back after one week.

Buuut I am here now, writing these words about my 160 days in Poland.

The main question that someone could ask me can be, would you recommend EVS, after all you have been through?

I answer, YES.

YES if you are ready to reconsider yourself and the person you are, ready to fight everyday to reach your purpose.

YES if you are ready to face difficult situations, bad days, problems with flatmates and co-workers, evenings in which you think that the only thing that can make you happy is go away.

YES if you are ready to learn a new language, follow lessons and discover new sounds, new letters, words with no vocals!

YES if you are ready to give yourself completely to your project, become a part of your association, give your heart to the people you will work with – in my case, a group of kids (3-4 years) in a colourful kindergarten in Krakòw.

YES if you are ready to meet a lot lot lot of new people from all over Europe, live unforgettable moments, share stories of life and hopes for the future with someone that is so different from you!

 

EVS for me was an incredible, difficult, satisfying experience: I learned how to communicate without a common language (with lovely children that decide, after a little time, to become my teachers in order to help me with the knowledge of words like flower, butterfly, cat, dog, cow, horse…); I improved without doubts my English skills (starting to think that the years of lesson at school were such an important present, since they allowed me to speak with people from every country of Europe); I visited a totally mysterious new country (which was Poland for me before leaving); I tasted new food, did things that I would never thought to do!

 

Some days it sounded like a war against myself. And now, for sure, I can say that I won.

 

I come back home with a really big backpack of experiences, tears and laughs, smiles and thoughts, photos, voices in my mind that say “dzień dobry, pani Laura!” every morning, jokes, wonderful plane built with Legos, football matches (because I was really lucky: during the training in Warsaw, our hostel was two minutes far from the stadion of Legia Warszawa; besides that, in June Krakòw hosted the Championship of European U21).

 

 

So, are you thinking to leave for EVS, but you are not sure because of this and because of that?

No excuses, start to look for your project, put your clothes into a big suitcase (ok, really big) and jump on a plane.

Something beautiful is waiting for you somewhere!

 

Laura

 

article by Laura Caruzzo

(EVS volunteer)

Meet Olga in Turkey

“(…)Turkey is a country full of contrasts and cultural contractions”

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Hi, I am Olga, I spent two months in Nestil Fest project in “System and Generation Association”.

I always wanted to go to youth exchange, my favourite destination was Denmark. In winter I started to look for the trip. For a few months I planned my time there, but at the end of May I got information that it is impossible during this summer holidays. I was disappointed, I really wanted to spend abroad more than two weeks. At this time I saw an advertisement about EVS project in Turkey. Two weeks later I was there . Before my EVS I have never been to Turkey or any other Muslim country. My interest always was around European Union countries. That is the reason I had a cultural shock.

In Ankara I spent June and July. I was there during the Ramadan and Bairam. It was a very good time for learning Turkish customs, because with my friend from five different countries: Georgia, Ukraine, Italy, Macedonia and Slovakia I had a possibility to take part in „Iftar” (it is a special dinner which people eat at night during Ramadan).

For this two moths I worked in three different places: in elderly house with elderly people, in youth centre with Syrian kids and in Clock Tower where I prepared a tea for men which discussed there together.

Turkey is a country full of contrasts and cultural contractions, but that also takes you in a magic 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.

I came back to Poland a month ago, I already had a lot of time to see that I miss this hospitable and helpful people I met during EVS.

EVS is not easy, for instance in Ankara nobody speaks English, and I often had to use body language. During EVS you will have many unexpected challenges, but when you want to become a stronger, more independent and more confident version of yourself, there’s nothing better to do than an EVS.

 

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article and photography by Olga