CHAPTER 4 – Getting Into The Hectic Workdays

One of the most important moments in my project so far was meeting my Estonian friend Kai. I mentioned that I volunteered at AIESEC BURSA- Local Committee between 2010 and 2012 when I was at university. Kai came to Bursa in 2011 to do her voluntary internship through AIESEC. Meeting Kai in Tallinn after 11 years was a very different feeling. We reminisced and talked about our future plans. As of March, the intensity of my project started. Because the second of the six projects Marco said I would be involved in was the first meeting, we had with him in March. We held the “Peaceful Leaders” Youth Exchange on March 22-30, 2022, in Viljandi with 31 young people from Estonia, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Spain, and Hungary. I was also on the Estonian team.

Apart from being a project participant, I collected the necessary tickets and boarding pass for the participants to make their travel payments. I wrote the activity report for each session throughout the project. In addition, I registered all the information of the participants into Mobility Tool+. (Mobility Tool+ is an online platform offered by the European Commission for the management and reporting of the projects of the beneficiary organizations of Erasmus+ projects.) Starting to use Mobility Tool+ for the first time was one of the most significant achievements of my assignment for me. On the last day of the project, the participants were required to hold a session on “Mindfulness” or “Leadership” as a national group. The day before, I informed the participants about how they could organize more effective and productive workshops with my Estonian friend Hendrik. This project also had a different feature for me. We invited 5 of my ESC volunteer friends to our project for the last day when countries would do their workshops. Artemis, Marianka, Marina, Tanya, and Theo were included in all project activities that day and gave feedback on the group work. It was a lovely feeling for me to share my work with them concretely for the first time.

In March, we also invited all our volunteers and mentors from different cities of Estonia (Tallinn, Tartu, and Parnu) to Tallin for training. We had the opportunity to get to know each other in this training organized by our ESC coordinators, Tairi and Liis. We evaluated our projects and shared the problems we experienced if any. I explained my blog idea where our volunteers will share their experiences. I also mentioned that each volunteer would share their experiences as stories on NÜH’s Instagram account and that I would create a weekly program for this. During this training, I met Alican, Mustafa, and Ogün for the first time, working in the disability center in Tartu, to which Pi Youth Association supported the sending organization. We organized a city tour in the afternoon during the training attended by 18 people. During the tour, our ESC coordinator Liis shared information about Tallin that many of us had heard for the first time.

One of my most essential responsibilities in March was to write the final report of the “The Power of Storytelling” Training course project implemented last year. Apart from this, I organized an online Erasmus+ and ESC Information seminar for the first time. Although the participation was less than expected, it was a good experience for me. I sent an e-mail to all universities in Estonia to organize such seminars at universities, but unfortunately, I could not get permission due to Corona. I hope that with the new term that will start in September, I will have the opportunity to organize physical information seminars.

When I am in Estonia, I try to participate as much as I can in the activities of their other organizations. Thus, I meet more people and learn new things. One of the first things I did as soon as I arrived in January was to become a member of ESN (Erasmus Student Network) Tallin. ESN Tallin has a lovely and scenic office in the city center. Apart from participating in ESN’s events, I also help their organizations. The other event I attended was the “Board Game” night organized by Shokkin Group, one of Estonia’s most active organizations in the youth field. One of the things I noticed here is that board games are much more common than in Turkey. When we think of board games in Turkey, games such as Monopoly or Dixit come to mind, but there are many different board games here. These games are played intensively regardless of age group.

Moreover, one organization I am involved in Tallin is the “Estonian Refugee Council”. The ERC aims to work on the integration of refugees and non-EU citizens into Estonian society. I attended the meetings organized by the ERC and shared the experiences of people who had come to Estonia many years ago.

In March, I made my second trip outside Estonia to Riga, the capital of Latvia. I organized this trip with Ezgi, Müşerref, Selman, and Anastasia. We watched the play “TOSCA” at the Latvian National Opera during our one-night and two days trip. Riga will always be a special city for me as my first experience watching an opera was there.

See you in the next chapter 😊

CHAPTER 4 – Getting Into The Hectic Workdays

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