Time passed too quickly and today is officially the last working day of the project. It was an unforgettable time for all of us. We lived a whole life in just one month, discovered a lot of new things inside ourselves and met beautiful people from all over the world. On the last week we were asked to write briefly about our impressions. Not everyone managed to do it really briefly 🙂 But all the words below truly come from our hearts.
So here is the post about our impressions of the month in Bodrum, part 1.
David Pires, Portugal
Time was a paradox in this project, on the one hand it seemed to me that I’ve been here for years in a way it felt like home, not only the place but mostly the people. My life in Portugal seems to me like some loose memory lost in time and my life moved to Bodrum in some way.
On the other hand time passed too quickly. This month combined a type of daily life. We were a family in some way, we had our house in some way, we had our chores in some way, we had a kind of father in some way. Normal life… in some way. But a normal life in which each day is lived with passion, with joy, with new experiences, with love and friendship. Happiness.
It’s hard to avoid cliches and name things when talking about this type of experiences but you know what? It was the best month of my life so far. I don’t want to leave. I know i have to leave. I have to leave this peoples’ hearts and let them take a part of my own, I have to leave Bodrum, I have to leave Turkey. I’ll do it, I have to but with much pain and joy. But isn’t that what life is all about?
In a nutshell, this month was all about laughter, love, friendship, knowledge, breaking personal barriers, getting out of our shell, giving a part of us to people without hesitating knowing that everyone would be willing to give themselves also.
Also, I almost forgot, in the meantime we worked, but to speak truly, in this place with these people work never felt like work.
Someone once said “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory”. But actually I already know how valuable this experience was for me and I haven’t left this place yet.
Loussineh Karapetian, Armenia
I am Lusine from Armenia. I have had my first EVS short-term project in Bodrum, Turkey. I should be honest and say that every day itself was fascinating. I can’t count all the things I learnt here, because it was sooo much.
One month passed like a second and we are already coming back full of new ideas and also missed…
Missed… not so much. I felt me as at home. Both the participants and the locals were sooo good people that didn’t even let you to be out of the pleasures and learning, and you don’t even manage to think about your daily problems. I liked Bodrum so much that I have already decided to visit again. I liked the people here who are too patient to each other. You will never meet noise in the streets even at late night. I was also surprised to see the cleanness outside. You are walking and can’t see even a bin in the Central street, but there is no trash on the ground. I have taken and generated new amazing ideas which are in a safe place in my luggage.
Alla Chibiryaeva, Russia
Arriving at the EVS project you become a part of a large and friendly family, with their own traditions and customs.
You get unlimited possibilities and support from other participants, leaving a bit of yourself in the common cause.
Every new day becomes an invaluable experience for you.
You learn to communicate in an unknown language, telling the locals about the project; get experience, slept over breakfast and looking for the nearest cafe; losing complexes, bargaining on the market; you learn new things, even when you choose another pack of cookies in the supermarket)).
Participation in the project provides an opportunity to get out of the comfort zone, expand horizons of perception of people and the world.
Your experience is not the “son of difficult mistakes” on the project. Experience comes through curiosity, the joy of communication and openness to everything new.
Patricija Jurevičiūtė, Lithuania
Hey, my name is Patricija Jurevičiūtė, I’m 17 years old high school student from Lithuania. I was sent by “Šiauliai Didždvaris gymnasium” where I am studying. This project called “Let your creativity out” took place in Turkey, Bodrum from March 1st untill March 31st. In the project we were learning to work in a group, listen to each other, we spoke about the pollution in nature and how to fight with it. Also, we had activities where we were working in the nature. We made several objects from natural nature materials. This kind of work is called “Land art” we even got to know about it’s history. In the project I improved my english skills and got the basis of turkish language. With a professional help I learned how to sketch in a fast and efficient way, how to choose the right material for my artwork. Surprisingly enough, I heard that there is a festival about “Land art” in my country which I never heard about. Myself, I draw for many years and I like to try new kinds of art. After this experience I fell in love with “Land art”. When I come back to Lithuania I will continue to learn and make “Land art”. After some days in Turkey I understood that turkish people are very friendly, there is no rushing or stress, everyone is relaxed and it really helps to avoid routine. We walked a lot around Bodrum itself ate tradicional turkish dishes “gözleme”, “köfte”, “aci” also the turskish coffee and how it is baked. Besides food I got to know to Turkeys traditions. About what steps newlyweds have to pass before the wedding. It is fun that to this project came 30 people from ten different country’s. During the project we got to know to each others so well that we became a big family. In the meetings we were discussing about how we can protect the environment from huge amounts of pollutants. After several meetings we agreed to avoid using paper cups from hotels restaurant, because every big change starts with small works. Having in mind that the project is from 18 to 30 years and I am 17 and got this chance to participate in the project it is undescribable joy to be here. I recommend to all youth to come and try themselves in these projects because you never know what it will bring to your life.
Marco Crestani, Italy
During a meeting with some council members for the environment/cultural activities in Bodrum, one of them asked us to describe this experience in Bodrum with at maximum three adjectives. I answered to him: “wide” and still now I would answer the same. Think, if we consider ourselves like angles, before leaving home I was used to see only some points my wideness allowed me. I was used to a comfort range. Then I arrived in Bodrum. There were 30 youngsters all around me. Heterogeneous background and different future projections. We started collaborating, working together, understanding each other. The more we got closer the more our angle, our perspective, matches up to complete a figure really similar to a circle. And inside this circle we put our everything: our skills, our talents, our curiosities, creativity, critics, all our strength, all our carefreeness. So, here is where the most powerful experience of my life starts. Everything was new and Land Art was not only a matter of expression, but was a product of cooperation. We explored the forest looking for branches, had lunch on the sand with eyes full of blue sea, we dived in the cold water of March and we cut, tied, wedged in hundreds of wooden pieces that, eventually, created our Tentaculized Gigantic Cube! Telling you more details about this experience would be like writing a fairy tale with no imagination. So, I let you having imagination about this month. The imagination of Bodrum, coastline city with hills and windmills, the imagination of what were 30 volunteers, artists, photographers, Journalists, tramps, and the imagination of every minute spent together, of every I have an idea or any I am not agree. And I let you think, now, how much magic were the beach moments playing stupid games watching the sun setting and listening the waves of a life lived to the full.
Magda Iveković, Croatia
Love. Learning. Respect. Tolerance. Energy. Inspiration. Trust. I could continue with hundreds of other adjectives trying to describe how amazing this experience was, but the truth is that it is undescribable, you have to try it to understand. Before coming here I expected to learn some new skills, but it amazed me how so many people with different backgrounds, culture, age and perspectives can work in harmony and inspire each other. Being a part of this project is one of the best decisions in my life 🙂
Maria Christodoulou, Greece
Time passes so quickly. 1 month was not enough in Bodrum I think. This EVS project was an amazing experience. The topic of the project was so interesting. We learned more things about eco-friendly lifestyle and we also promote it in local people. Creating land art objects was also a new thing for me. In the beginning I find it so difficult but when we started creating our turtles I really enjoyed it. It’s so creative to make something from totally natural materials. We learned so many things and we did so many activities. It was really amazing sharing this experience with all these people. I loved each of them.They are 30 people from 10 different countries and they are all unique in their own way. I will miss all of them. We shared so many things and feelings during this month and it will be hard to say goodbye .During this month in Bodrum I also discovered more things about myself. This project helped me to understand more clear what I want to do in my life. I like to travel, to learn new things and sharing experiences with people from different places of the planet. I also loved Bodrum so much. It’s a magic place. I felt like I was in Greece. This place is amazing. I could live here forever. I also want to say a big thanks to Bodrum Dance Club for giving me this chance to live this experience. And also a big thanks to our coordinator Berat. He is amazing. The world needs more people like him. For the end I want to share a quote that really express my feelings about this project. “Sometimes you go to discover new places and you discover yourself.” Thank you people for all.It was perfect! Hope to see you again. Love you!!
Roman Balabashchuk, Russia
It was the best month in my life. Some people told me: how you can leave Kemerovo for month? How you can skip your classes? But I was sure — international volunteering more was more important for me at that moment. 10 countries, 30 volunteers, sunny Bodrum!
One month here was more intense than one year in Kemerovo. Here I was trying a lot of new things for me. For example I never tried yoga before, or tea ceremony or drawing and salsa lessons. And what was the most important for me, here I had tried my English in practice for the first time. And I felt a bit shy and nervous but there was no native speakers, so that’s why everybody could make mistakes and it was ok. The motto of the program is learning by doing, so we all have learnt a lot from each other.
One of the most unforgettable days was 21 March — The World Down Syndrome Day. We were together with other volunteers, inclusive choir with children with special needs and children from local high school led by long term EVS volunteer Arina making performance at the Midtown shopping mall. It was exciting for everyone.
I want to say many thanks to everybody for this project, especially Berat, Arina, Ezgi, Lucia and Bodrum Dans Club. Thank you for this amazing opportunity. You are the best organization!
Due to this project I could finally get out from my comfort zone and now I feel I have more energy to continue.
Rebecca Sforzani, Italy
This experience was very enriching in many ways, both for my personal and artistic growth. It helped me deepen the reflections about my connection with nature and, more in general, the relation between humans and nature. It offered me beautiful moments, full of smiles, hugs and conversations. It made me think about people’ strengths and weaknesses. And it gave me the opportunity to start new art processes.
Paula Rufo, Spain
Paula’s experience! What a cool one!
This experience has been one of the most beautiful and inspiring in my whole life. I have never thought that doing an EVS project could influence so much on someone. My name is Paula and currently I am in the final countdown of my short-term EVS in Bodrum (Turkey) on a project about Land Art and eco lifestyle. The group of volunteers consists of 35 members from 10 different countries with big talents and ideas. Many of them are artists back in their homes and many others are youngsters willing to learn how to improve our daily life and others’ lives to create a better future for everyone.
I enjoyed every single moment of the past 4 weeks of our project. Through working and cooperating, we have created a big team that at the end became a big international family. All these feelings are something that can hardly be described only by words.. It’s not only about the project, but also sharing experiences, travelling together and talking about dreams and ambitions… All those things have created a big impact that encouraged me to keep travelling and joining more similar projects in my home country (Spain) and abroad.
The project is based on the promotion of eco friendly lifestyle and raising awareness of over usage of different kind of materials in our everyday life. In collaboration with various institutions we also worked on educating locals about importance of recycling. For a week, we have focused on creating sculptures on a beach made from natural elements such as branches, rocks and trunks. We wanted to raise awareness and encourage peoples’ motivation to fight against the climate change and the species protection by creating a visual form inspired and made from nature. In addition, all of us have decided to change our daily habits through replacing plastic bottles with re-filler ones, and at the same time using reusable glasses to avoid the unnecessary waste of materials. By putting all these ideas together, we have implemented in our daily lives small changes that could become a reality in a future for all of us.
Both, Asociación Mundus (home organization) and Bodrum Dans (host organization) were truly attentive and in charge of provide us with all the necessary information and ways to make of this month a great adventure.
The place in where we are host is a three stars hotel in the beautiful touristic city of Bodrum, where we have lived and spend amazing moments. The hotel, Costa Maya is located in the city centre and close by the sea.
In general, Turkey is an impressive country. The people, gastronomy, hospitality and culture is something I wish everybody could experiences by themselves. I could not be happier with all the process. I am grateful to have been selected in this venture and to have the chance to take part in this beautiful initiative. I am thanking all those people that have made of myself a better version and have made wider my knowledge and awareness about environment caring and have encouraged me to keep continue improving on this field.
I highly recommend this project to everyone. Erasmus+ is not just travelling for free. It is having experiences abroad, sharing moments with other international people, make wider your knowledge and come out from your comfort zone to make it wider. It is breaking stereotypes and forgetting about prejudices.
Thank you for the experience. I will never forget it. I hope many people can join this project in the future for changing all together what we have today, and improve what we will have in the future.
We love you!
To be continued…