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MY VOLUNTEERING EXPERIENCE IN MACEDONIA

Hello, my name is Ahmet, and I am from Istanbul, Turkey. When ме and my team-mate Merve came in Bitola, we just tried to get oriented in our home that day. It was actually a little bit interesting day for me. Anyway, we managed it somehow of course. The second day we went to the center and did some preparations for the children, like cleaning the toys, arranging the space etc.

I would like to mention the ‘Sumnal’ team because I really like them. They are always trying to do something to make us feel welcome and at home. I can easily see that. Their effort is making me willing to stay here. They introduced us to other people in Bitola.

We went to an NGO fair where I met new people from other countries and made some good friends. With them I went to the Krkardash church, ate hamburger near the bus station and hanged out on Shirok Sokak. This is just a part of our everyday fun. Days get by trying to get used to the city, our home and especially the weather.

Part of our project activities is planning and doing learning activities with the children who visit the center. For example, Aprils fool’s day was a very good and interesting day for me because we walked on the most famous street in Bitola with the  kids and we were wearing funny hats and costumes. But I can say that it will be so much memorable for me in the future. One day we went to the Zoo and there we had fun as well.

Also we are giving Turkish lessons to Roma people. We started at the beginning of April and for now it’s going well. We are also preparing a workshop for every week with different topics regarding the project’s goals. It is good for me because thanks to this I’m improving my presentation skills.

Macedonia is not a big country, but I can say that it’s a green country. I’m here for almost 2 months and I have traveled to so many places in here. Believe me everywhere in Macedonia is green. I did so many hiking activities with friends. We went to Neolitza in the Pelister national park. And there is a place in Bitola where they have two planes from WW1 or 2. We went there to see them. Also, I have been to Prilep, Krushevo, Ohrid, Resen and Skopje. I have good friends in Prilep and also they came to Bitola so many times. When we were in Resen, me and my Turkish friend were talking in Turkish and one guy heard us and realized we are Turkish. After that moment he bought us lunch and brought us back with his car to Bitola. That was a good memory also. And of course I will mention about Ohrid which is a very good city in Macedonia. The Ohrid Lake is wonderful. But there it is so crowded because of the tourists and I don’t like it so much as I like Bitola.

Finally, I can say that in the future I could live in Bitola because the city and the people here are so polite and calm.