Dear diary!

It’s been already two weeks since we, 30 new volunteers, came to Bodrum. Unlike Arina and Lucia we are here just for one month and it is hard to realise that half of this term has passed. These were rich days: we made new friends, learned useful Turkish words, explored picturesque Bodrum and its surroundings, draw more than 30 pictures of windmills, watched movies on the big screen, brainstormed about green initiatives considering our project and of course had a lot of fun.

Here is a shortlist of the most memorable moments from these 14 days.

1. Bodrum city tour & quest

On arrival we had trainings with our coordinators. One day they gave us a tricky challenge: to split into groups and to complete several tasks outdoors in 1,5 hours, e.g.:

  • Find on streets objects starting from A-Z (in Turkish alphabet) and bring them to the meeting room
  • Find out the recipe of the Çökertme kebabı
  • Find out who is the most popular artist in Bodrum
  • Learn some of the local wedding traditions etc.

This quest turned into an exciting adventure. Our group was seeking for city legends. So we went to talk to people on streets and in the museums, which led us to a small cafe where old men told us the story of Halicarnassus fisherman. At the end we didn’t find any mysterious tales about Bodrum but had a unique and inspiring experience. Btw, if you know local legends, please share them in the comments below — we are still seeking 🙂

2. Intercultural nights

Coming from 10 different countries, we were really curious to get to know each other’s culture. That’s what we dedicated two evenings to: went up with short presentations, taught everybody our national dances, played True-or-False quizzies. We learned 16 italian gestures, watched a video starring a bear in the streets of a Russian town and ate 12 Haribo bears to a chime of bells (to celebrate the Spanish tradition with grapes). Everybody brought therу national food and drinks, so we all enjoyed original Italian Parmigiano and Slovakian tea liqueur (52 degrees, so better don’t repeat our mistake).


3. Turkish lessons

In a week we learned the most important Turkish words: volunteer — gönüllü (to use on the market: I’m a poor volunteer, give me discount!); bye bye — güle güle; very beautiful — Çok güzel. We learned that there is no gender in the Turkish language, studied the difference between “bey”, “hanım” and “canım” and even sang a Turkish song, at least tried to.

4. Drawing classes

We were lucky to have a special guest — artist Konstantin Prusov, who gave us lectures about history and theory of art and, what is more, actually taught us to draw! We had unforgettable classes outside — by the sea and in an ancient city Pedasa, where we met a herd of enthusiastic cows greeting us with their loudest moo.


5. Traveling around

Bodrum is great and I think most of us have already found their favorite spots in the city. Also some of us made short trips to the villages Gümüşlük and Turgutreis, met amazing local people, enjoyed wild beaches and delicious Turkish food. Right now half of the team is in Izmir, so we’re sending hugs to them and hope they really enjoy their trip! Send kisses to comments guys if you read this!

There are many more things to be mentioned: our dancing classes in Bodrum Dance Club, daily energizing games, live concerts performed by our new friends, and above all the creative project of the two of us on the 8th of March. But this post is already too long, so we’ll tell you about all these things next time.

Now, if you read all of this and wonder, if we do even work here or only entertain ourselves, that is a fair question. The motto of EVS is “learning by doing” and we’ve indeed learned a lot in this weeks in a non-formal way. Now it’s time to put this knowledge into life and we’ve already began to take action on organizing land art and environmental projects here in Bodrum. We’ll keep this blog updated. Please stay tuned!

Thanks for all pictures to our amazing photographer Edoardo Montaccini 🙂

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