3 months passed very quickly…
I`m remembering when I first came in Macedonia right now. It is like it was yesterday. I have lived very amazing moments during these 3 months in Macedonia. I was worried when I first arrived in Bitola because it was my first time abroad. I am used to living alone, but it is very different in comparison to my other experiences because I didn’t know anything about Macedonian people, their culture, even their language… At the beginning, everything looked very complicated for me, but, actually, it wasn’t!
I got used to Macedonia easily in time because Macedonian people are so friendly and helpful. I met a lot of Macedonian friends here. I`m so lucky. Especially because my neighbors were very good. They helped me every time, and even sometimes prepared something to eat for me. I celebrated Easter together with them, and I even helped them to paint the eggs. It was so funny for me because I haven’t tried this before.
In the meantime, I enjoyed so much with the children in the Center. They are so cute. When I came here, I didn’t know how I can communicate with them because I didn’t know Macedonian. But, it turned out that it was easy to communicate with them and I even taught them some things. Viktorija (my Coordinator) helped me when I had problems to communicate with them. They learned Turkish games, songs, words etc. thanks to me. This situation is great for me and I hope they will remember me because I will remember them for the rest of my life. Of course, I learned some Macedonian words and phrases thanks to them. This experience is priceless.
Besides this, I did various workshops on different topics each week together with my team mate Ahmet and gave Turkish lessons to adults. Especially Roma people want to learn Turkish, so me and my team mate Ahmet helped them with the lessons.
My favorite workshop was the one about Yoga because this workshop was my personal project here. I shared my Yoga experiences to the interested people and I showed them some basic Yoga poses too. It was a funny experience for me when we tried some poses together. Also I learnt a lot of things doing the workshops. I guess to be a teacher is a good thing because I felt good emotions when I taught something to the people.
The best part of this project is that I traveled to another Balkan countries and I learnt a lot of things about them. I have been in Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia. Everywhere is so pretty. My best country of the Balkan is Montenegro because it very touristic. There are a lot of people from another counties who live there. They are so elite and polite. Also there is the sea and the mountain which gives a very nice atmosphere in Montenegro. Especially Ulcinj and Budva are great. I guess I`ll go back there in the future.
Another nice thing is that I met with my friends when I went to Kosovo and Belgrade. I haven’t seen them for a long time, so it was very good opportunity for me. During my stay, they showed me around the countries. I think Belgrade is so luxurious, so compared to the other countries this felt like I was truly abroad. The architecture of Belgrade is great. The only bad part is that there is no sea. Kosovo is like a small Turkey for me because so many people look like Turkish and are very friendly. Also Kosovo`s language is so similar with the Turkish language and compared to our language, they have such cute accent.
I liked Albania also. There I visited Tirana and Pogradec. I guess I`ll miss Pogradec when I am bored in my life because it is so small and calm city and I felt very happy there. Tirana is bigger than Pogradec, so many people live there. I met so many Albanian people there who were also very helpful.
Macedonia has a very different importance for me of all countries because I lived wonderfully there for 3 months. Also the friendliest people I have ever seen are Macedonians. My favorite city in Macedonia is Ohrid and I guess I want to go back there in the future. Also Bitola is very good. I`ll miss hanging out on Shirok Sokak Street when I come back in my country. I`m so happy to have lived in Bitola because it is very calm and safe city.
I joined several events and we arranged various activities here. For example we were guests to a Turkish Cultural Evenıng of another organization. Even I prepared some of our traditional foods for them. It was a very good experience for me because I was proud to introduce my country to them. I learned something about Macedonian culture, and I even learned a little bit Macedonian. At the same time, and thanks to this project, I improved my English skills.
Definitely, Macedonia and my project contributed to me a lot. I will save great memories form here. I will never regret being part of this project because I met so many good people from another countries. I will miss my Macedonian experiences every time. I will always remember it as a great memory in the future. I`m so lucky to have been part of this project. Thank you so much for everything Macedonia!!!
The video from Merve’s experience can be watched on the following link https://youtu.be/m0Y4Y8m-jpw