Hey it’s Laurine. I’ve been in İzmir for 6 months now and I can say that it’s truly an incredible city. The sun is out most of the time (it does rain, we’re not going to lie, and when it does, it really does – the streets are almost flooded but it’s okay), the people are remarkably friendly and the food is great. There are a lot of young people in İzmir, and you never stop meeting new people, which is great.

The last few months have gone by very quickly, December came in a flash and I blew out my 26 candles. We had a meal in a restaurant with a few friends where I filled my belly and we went dancing to Turkish music. Then Christmas arrived and I had the opportunity to organize a Christmas market for the association’s volunteers with Melika, another ESC volunteer. It was great, I had a lot of fun organizing it, creating the programme, the invitation card and the decorations.Lots of people came, there was a big buffet with lots of delicious food and we all exchanged gifts. We also played Werewolves which was great fun.

 My weeks are always organized around workshops and preparation time in the office. I mainly do conversation workshops in English and French, which are always non formal. We play lots of games, which is great fun, and I get the feeling that the participants enjoy themselves, which I particularly appreciate. Most of the time I work with students, but sometimes I help other volunteers with children, which is also enjoyable. At the end of December, I went back to France for a few days for the holidays. I didn’t want to stay away from my family during this period because I’ve already had the opportunity to celebrate Christmas away from them and I didn’t like the experience. It was great to see my friends and family again and I had a lot of fun with them, even though it went by far too quickly. My cousin came to visit me at the beginning of January and it was really great to be able to share a little bit of my life here with her. We went to visit Kuşadası, it wasn’t very crowded because it was early January but it was really nice. The city is very beautiful, I really recommend going there if you get the chance! The resumption at the beginning of January was a little hard but I considered it normal with winter. With a few other volunteers, we had the opportunity to visit other towns close to İzmir, such as Manisa and Bursa. These are two different and interesting cities. I really like the fact that we can go on day trips. I forgot to tell you, we’ve started Turkish lessons and we also have a Turkish Conversation Club. It’s great to learn more about the language but I can’t tell you that me and Turkish are really friends… 🙁 I tried at first but it’s really not easy, I think I’ve given up a bit now…

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