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MY EVS EXPERIENCE IN MACEDONIA

Hi, my name is Merve and I’m 22 years old. I’m from Turkey. I was born in Ordu and I live in Istanbul. I’m Marketing Manager by profession and I have been working for approximately 1 year managing the Digital Marketing tools. But then I was accepted for an EVS project in Macedonia and I resigned my job because I wanted to participate in this project very much.

I’m in Macedonia now. I have been here for about a month and a half. It is quite a different experience for me because I live in Bitola which is a very small city in comparison to Istanbul.  By the way, there are so many people from different countries who live here. Especially the Roma people, which are in great number here and unfortunately most of them don’t live in very good conditions. Their financial condition is bad, the education level is low and, unfortunately, the worst is that they get married very early.

Obviously it wasn’t too much trouble for me to get used to living here because Viktorija has been very interested with us since we arrived. Firstly she told us the details about the project, and then she shared helpful tips about the life in Bitola. Me and my team-mate Ahmet prepare activities regarding the project, like workshops, Turkish language lessons and games for the children.

There are also many Roma in our center and we are managing activities for them in order to make them learn more which will help them in future. For example, we organize various workshops, events, training etc. for them. Even I will teach Yoga to them as my personal project. Also me and my team-mate teach the children who visit the center Turkish and English.

We do different activities every day with the children. Sometimes we draw pictures, sometimes we play cooking and even sometimes we play basketball and bowling with them. For example, we made masks with them for April Fool’s Day and then we walked outside with them masked in different costumes. It was a fun day indeed… Sometimes, I try to teach Turkish games to them. To be honest, I’m really having fun with them and I feel that they love me. They are all innocent. It makes me happy to see them smiling, so I want to help them as much as I can. When they grow up, I want them to remember me one day in the future, because they will always be unforgettable for me.

Bitola is very interesting experience for me because I live with someone I have never met before and I didn’t even know where I was exactly. But I got used to here in a short time. Bitola is quite calm and funny city. I feel comfortable and secure here. Besides, Macedonian people are very friendly indeed. By the way I have a lot of good Macedonian friends here. I will miss them when I return in my country. Generally, Macedonia is very cold since I came here but Macedonian people have warm hearts.

By the way, I traveled in various cities in Macedonia till today and my favorite city is definitely Ohrid. I think everybody should go there because Ohrid is an unbelievable city, quite natural and touristic. In addition, Ohrid has very big lake and people can swim there.  Also, I have been to Skopje and it is a really very interesting city. Skopje is the biggest city in Macedonia and it is very developed city as it is the capital. Matka Canyon was excellent indeed. Even I saw a lot of Turkish people and places there. I`m sure Macedonia is wonderful about this because Macedonia has people from various countries and from different religions and they communicate very well among themselves. To be honest, I was shocked because of this situation when I first came here. This situation is a big change for me.

Thanks to my project, I have very good friends from different countries. I have different experiences and I`m sure this project will improve my personality and skills. Macedonia is the beginning to unbelievable experiences for me.