It’s been already four months since I work as an EVS volunteer in Izmir, at Pi Youth Association and everything is going just perfect. My English Conversation Clubs are going on and the participants seem to really enjoy them. I was sad a little bit because I had to “skip” the classes for one week, as I went to Ankara for a training organized by the Turkish National Agency.
Among the trainings that are going to be given to us, as volunteers here in Turkey, the “On-Arrival Training” is one of the most important, as we have the opportunity to meet, for one week, with all the EVS volunteers present in Turkey for long-term projects, which is a perfect opportunity to discover other volunteers’ projects, ideas, ways of handling different situations. At the same time, we get the opportunity to meet with experts from the National Agency, to whom we can talk about our experience, the hardships that we go through and about our achievements.
I have to admit that I am really happy now, having met so many and different new people, from whom I learned some things, even though it was only for a week. Most importantly, I learned some other things about myself as well, by taking part in the professionally organized sessions of our trainer Serap.
Firstly, we were informed by our organization that we will be given an “On-Arrival Training” in Ankara. We registered for it and got the infopack, containing all the details about the event. Bought our ticktes and flew to Ankara where a bus was waiting for the participants to take them to the hotel. Well, the hotel, our new home for one week, was simply amazing – from my point of view, it was a 5-star hotel. (The place is managed directly by the Turkish government and is generally used by employees of ministries)So, the accommodation (food, rooms, training halls, coffee breaks, materials provided) was perfect and I would like to thank Turkish National Agency for giving us, the vounteers, such a great opportunity.
What I learned new from this training? Well, I learned once again the importance of teamwork, as, for me, it is something that I still need to work on. Apart from this, I learned some new games, warmups, energizers, that I will for sure use with my groups during that English Conversation Clubs that I organize. Honestly, working and trying to accomplish something with people that you know for only few hours is not easy at all, but it is very interesting.
Teamwork and building a tower
Turkish National Agency organized for us both a trip to their office and a trip to the city center (Atatürk’s Monumental Tomb and Museum), in the same day. I have to say that visiting a National Agency is very cool and pleasing, because it is a rare chance for a volunteer. We saw that place from which all the organizations and projects from Turkey are coordinated. We took photos together with the experts, talked a little bit about ourselves and received some beautiful and useful gifts, to remember this visit.
After that, we visited Atatürk’s Monumental Tomb and Museum, where a tourist guid helped us understand better everything we were seeing.
In the same day, after visiting Atatürk’s Monumental Tomb and Museum, we visited the Anatolian Museum and a castle from the top of which we could see all Ankara. I discovered in the Anatolian Museum useful information for me about the Hittite Civilization, as this is a subject of great importance for me and I was extremely happy to find out more about the Hittites. I even bought a statue of King Supiluliuma, whose original can be seen at Hatay Archaeology Museum, in Hatay, Turkey.
We ended the day with a delicious dinner organized by the Turkish National Agency, in an amazing restaurant in the center of Ankara.
Coming back to the hotel, we continued our training where we found out even more about Turkish culture and shared experiences – as I said, it was the perfect opportunity to discover Turkey more, as the participants were coming from different parts of the country.
I came back to Izmir safely and I am now thinking about the new things and ideas that I discovered during the training, happy that I can be of much more help to the local community and to the organization that I work in – Pi Youth Association.
I would like to conclude that this “On-Arrival Training” organized by Turkish National Agency was far beyond my expectations and I am already looking forward to the “Mid-Term Training”, that will be organized in March-April 2019. Until then, I am going to focus on my volunteering activity and I hope I will accomplish more beautiful and efficient things both for my organization and for me. Thanks again Pi Youth Association and Turkish National Agency for the great opportunities that you offer me!