“A diary is a book in which you record your thoughts or feelings or what has happened each day”. Cambridge Dictionary

Meet us – Lucia and Arina, EVS volunteers from Spain and Russia, – and our EVS diaries. Here we will try to capture the most interesting moments of our EVS adventure in Turkey, convince you why it is worth going in for your European Voluntary Service and show you the beauty and hidden gems of Turkey. Enjoy!

Our EVS journey started more than a month ago when we’d arrived in sunny Bodrum, the city located in the south-western corner of Turkey. Since then we have been working in our host organization – Bodrum Dance Club – as volunteers, and this first EVS month have been filled with outstanding events and unforgettable experiences that stem from our tasks and responsibilities in the EVS project “Perform Arts Connect Hearts”.

So WHAT ARE THEY, the responsibilities of EVS volunteer? Frankly speaking, it’s a very tricky question: tasks vary from project to project, from country to country, from volunteer to volunteer! For example, Lucia is responsible for photo and video shooting, social media management, web and graphic design. Arina creates content for social media of Bodrum Dance Club, assists Project Coordinator Berat in the field of project management and gives music classes for disabled youngsters from Bodrum Health Foundation. Well, basically our everyday schedule looks quite the following:

  • MONDAY: office work (SMM, project management work, photo and video shooting, music classes planning etc.)
  • TUESDAY: office work
  • WEDNESDAY: office work and Conversation Club for everybody willing to improve their English speaking skills (and Turkish, Russian or Spanish, at least that’s how we plan to extend this activity)
  • THURSDAY: music vocal classes at Bodrum Health Foundation for kids with cerebral palsy
  • FRIDAY: office work
Lucía working at office
Arina teaching children music

Obviously, European Voluntary service is not only about working shifts and schedules. EVS motto is “Learning by Doing”, and during 9 months of our project we’ll be doing a plethora of things learning and educating ourselves. By the way, we have already started getting to know Turkish culture and Turkish people! Here are 5 random facts about Turkey, our new hometown Bodrum and its dwellers:

  • there are surprisingly many street animals in Bodrum, and locals and Bodrum Municipality take care of them giving food and water and providing vaccination
  • Turkish desserts and sweets are extremely tasty and irresistible! We can’t stop eating chocolates and cookies from the nearest supermarket!
  • people in Turkey are very friendly, generous and hospitable, they are ready to share their everything with friends and guests
  • Turkish traffic is literally crazy! Roads are loaded with cars, bikes and scooters, everybody is beeping, and you must think really fast how and when is the blessed moment to cross the road, even though it is an intersection with the pedestrian
  • it is quite cheap to travel within Turkey. We have already tried it, take it from us 😉
Kağit kebabı (paper kebap)
Gaziantep baklavası (baklava from gaziantep)

During the first month of our EVS adventure we have found good friends, first of all, each other 😉 Also we have an amazing private pilates teacher – our wonderful Bahar who works as a secretary in Bodrum Dance Club and simultaneously studies how to be a pilates trainer. Have we mentioned that we have simply awesome Project Coordinator, the best in the world? Berat is always ready to help and support us, he’s an experienced youth worker, and we are happy to be volunteers under his supervision. And last, but not the least – “The Big Boss” Fatih, the President of Bodrum Dance Club and a person capable of solving literally any problem starting from “Could you please take us to a shopping center by car?” to “Fatih, the ceiling of our apartment lets the rain water seep!”

We bet you must have heard that EVS volunteers always travel a lot, and we are not an exception! In September Arina had a trip to eastern Turkey, and next week Lucia is going to have unforgettable time in Istanbul! More info about our journeys you’ll totally find in some of the following blog posts here – yes, we’re trying to keep it intrigued 😉

Well, dear diary, that’s pretty much it for today… See you next Friday!