I`m Bojana and I was volunteering for 2 months in Mersin, Turkey for the first time in my life and I loved it. Although it was a short term project (September-October) but it was full of different experiences that it`s hardly possible to compress everything in one page.
Most of all this EVS gave me the opportunity to meet new cultures and traditions and the pleasure to work in a international group of young people. And of course, a chance to spend two months on the beach.
We have been hosted by the organization “The Third Eye Association of Mediterranean”, whose main motto is: Be aware, and create awareness. We lived in 2 apartments located on the beach in a small village of about 10,000 people called Kazanl`. Our mentor Yusuf was living just next-door so most of the time he was easy to access for anything that we needed.
The main purpose of this project was protecting the sea turtles. So most of the time our activities were related with the turtles. In the afternoon we were cleaning the beach where the turtles were coming to lay their eggs. In the night on the beach we were searching for baby-turtles that were going in the wrong direction (because of the artificial lights) and then release them in the sea where they belong. That was our main occupation in the first month because of the hatching period.
After the hatching season was finished, in the second month our daily activities were workshops when we were preparing theatre and after present it to the schools, mostly kindergartens but also elementary school. Our goal was to raise the awareness of the smallest about the endangered sea turtles but also about the pollution that is the biggest threat to all living species. Except for the theatre we were doing lots more things like painting shells, making wallets out of cartoon juice bottles and gave them as presents to the kids in order for them to get in touch with Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
We were 13 volunteers altogether, coming from all around the Europe. They were from Poland, 2 from Litany, 2 from Italy, 4 from Spain, Slovakia, Check, and Portugal. It was a good group of volunteers, mix of different cultures and traditions and I enjoyed spending time with them. I also improved my cooking skills and learned some traditional dishes from the others in the group. Also the local people were very polite and treated us with respect.
During our free time mostly on weekends we were travelling and discovering amazing places in Turkey such as Cappadocia, Pamukkale, Nemrut mountains, Asthma cave, Heaven and Hell caves, Aladaglar mountains and even more places near Mersin…
This EVS project was an experience of my life. I’ll always have nice memories about it and if I have a chance for another similar EVS project I will definitely go for it.