Today, when I started to write this blog post, I had exactly 7 days left till the end of my project in Pi Gençlik Derneği. 8 month passed surprisingly quickly. When I started work here, summer was about to end, and now when I am about to finish my work, summer has just started. Not only have the seasons come full circle, I have also come back to the point where everything starts all over again. But before I will take a step to the new adventures and experiences, let’s stop for a moment to memorise what is my present today and what will be in the past in a few days.
When I look back now and try to sum up this period I ask myself one basic question: was the experience of voluntary work in İzmir like you wished? Unfortunately for simple questions, not always wait simple answer. Not all what I imagined to happen during this time happened, also not all what I desired came true, but what would be life if we could predict all our experiences? I believe that we should always be ready for unexpected twists and just try to take maximum benefits from them.
In the autumn, when I came to İzmir, life seemed to come back to normal after the Pandemics. During the first weeks, together with my flatmates, we were doing long walks along the coast, visiting cosy cafes and making plans for little trips around Turkey. It quickly turned out that Covid-19 hasn’t finished yet and not only our travels must be postponed, but also we cannot enjoy time outside as before. First, it was announced that all cafes, restaurants and pubs are getting closed, after we got information that also our office will organize all work from home. So we set the little, private office in our salon, the only room in the flat where sun was shining through the window. Positive thing about this was that we all got some extra time, which normally we would spend on the way to work and from work. We could also save some money which most probably we would spend on eating and drinking out.
Luckily, we could conduct our activities via the Internet. I was organising English, Russian, Turkish speaking clubs and Polish lessons for beginners. Everyday I was meeting with a different group, and each month those groups were getting new participations. Thanks to it I could meet a lot of young people from all parts of Turkey. Each week I tried to think about new interesting topics to discuss, as some people were participating from the beginning in our meetings and I didn’t want them to be bored. It was the best price to see their names at the beginning of new registrations for next month that they want to continue! I was also very nicely surprised that many Turks want to speak Polish! And moreover- I met so many who already speak very well and during last month I organized for them a few more meetings to practise together. I wish we could have started this earlier! Most challenging for me was my Russian speaking Club, as my level is also not fluent yet, but thanks to participants we could learn from each other in a very nice atmosphere although some months were crowded and with more advanced speakers, while another less occupied with also just starting their adventure with this language.
During work in the organisation, despite all the restrictions resulting from the Pandemics, I also managed to discover a little bit of the beautiful Ege region. Richness of flora, variety of landscapes and history on every corner made me want to stay around. Even though I have visited many places I have a feeling that there is still a lot to discover. I have tasted during my stay here amazing turkish food and slowly I try to learn to cook it by myself. At the same time I try to teach my family Turkish traditions and get them used to Turkish flavours by bringing them all what is possible to hide in the luggage.
Now, with the hot weather and summer, came time for a little rest and reset of mind. End of the project luckily doesn’t mean that I have to say goodbye to Turkey. I definitely fell in love with this country and I can’t see my future without it. What will I do now? Time will give the answer for this questions. I have my dreams and step by step I will try to make them come true. I am sure the way to this is not going to be straight as life is not predictable. But small curves and hills on our way make the road interesting, give us better views and what’s most important- they allow us to enjoy the little things more. After all, what is life if not the sum of the little things that happen to us every ordinary day?