Actually, we didn't say goodbye to my Estonian family. More importantly, we opened champagne to celebrate something, that was our friendship. Cheers then, until next time, to our health..
Ülle's Birthday: Sirje's one of close friends, the dear Ülle. I normally have trouble remember birthday dates. But we visited her on 4th September to celebrate Ülle's birthday. Previously, together with Mattias, we prepared "sarma", the local dish of the Aegean region in Turkey. Its basic ingredients are bulgur, tomato paste, spices, grape leaves, and lemon.
Especially after preparing the wrap, cut the lemons into rounds and cover your food, and let it cook covered over low heat. The smell and taste of lemon spreads homogeneously to the food. Its sour taste makes the wrap delicious. It amuses me to see the pleasure on face, especially when Mairo isi tastes the Turkish dishes.
We also shared a plate for Ülle. I will always remember her because her joy was so sincere. Along with that, she shared a few valuable tips that will light my way as I reminisce about the future. I didn't say goodbye to you, because considering our future plans, I will have the opportunity to say a few sentences to you face to face with my broken Estonian again. I love your energy.
Põlva Trip: We visited elder brother Merilis in Polva with Sirje, Mattias and Markus. They adopted a brown labrador as a friend to Sofia. We did a forest walk in Valgesoo Raba with Sirje. She loves to take walks in nature. There is something fascinating about the nature of Estonia.. It impresses me every time.
Turkish Week: After completing our reflection meeting with Rasmus and Madis, we thought about the activities I still want to do with Madis, and we decided to organize a Turkish Week. Katrin was more willing than me in the whole process, I can swear by it :) Katrin's phone calls, organizational skills and educator side are the things that are very famous in our working place.. :) Within this concept, I showed the children the similarities in Estonian and Turkish, that's way we practiced writing and speaking simple greetings. We made various patterns with Henna.
In my opinion, it is quite easy for Turkish people to learn and speak the Estonian language at a simple level in terms of similar linguistic features. Is it worth it just to be able to speak a language that an average of 1 million Estonians know and face some pretty sarcastic communication by local people? Not worth it, however, I personally enjoyed speaking this language, I have always liked the grammatical structure and sound of the Estonian language.
Cooking Competition: We organized a mini-project where young people competed in two groups by making a smoothie and a Turkish local dish "lahmacun" with Katrin. I was conscious of the fact that pressure/direct discussion does not work to bring new ideas to an audience and to break existing prejudices. In addition, it is possible to turn our direction towards the understanding of common values and to direct that audience to a new idea/idea through enjoyable activities. We decided on the young people to compete on the same day, maybe an hour before, and actually implemented our plan. I carefully watched the young people take initiatives and take on tasks naturally, regardless of the duration and the details of the recipe. They just simply took action.
Together with Katrin, we supported them when they needed it, that's all. The benefit of this mini-project for young people is undeniable, of course, but it helped me a lot as well. It was meaningful to observe human behavior growing up under the influence of different cultural understanding. In this way, I can easily understand the reasons for the differences in generation developments, and analyze what needs to be done in order to catch up with different developments with experiential experience.
Riga Trip: During my trip to Riga, the “art nouveau” style buildings were quite impressive. Basically, it is an art style that is very aesthetic and contains a lot of effort. It literally means new art. This movement, which started at the end of the 19th century and continued its activity at the beginning of the 20th century, is an art movement based on handicraft, in which elegant ornaments, curvy patterns come to the fore and herbal patterns are frequently used. I love it..
Poland Trip: Isn't it the turn of Poland? It was a trip consisting of the Krakow-Lublin-Warsaw trilogy. It was the time when my friend and I enjoyed street music, examined magnificent church designs and tasted street delicacies in Krakow.
I visited dear Nino in Lublin whom I knew during Erasmus+ training. She prepared delicious Georgian dishes with her close friend Natia. We spent time in the Old Town, actually we talked a lot. It's like getting together with friends you haven't seen for a long time and talking about what's going on for hours. This is why I find it valuable that the historical past has prepared us for a common cultural ground since 500 years ago.
Natia and Nino are two cheerful women who have matured and taken their individual independence into their own hands. I would love to see you again. I really enjoyed sharing my time with you.
Can I say that my trip in Warsaw drove me crazy.. I traveled from one end of the city to the other, sometimes on foot and mostly running. And I made this trip thanks to the map. The taste of delicious local food and the splendor of Lazienki Park are still in my mind.. I will go again..
Hiking in Teringi Raba: After a long time, my crazy friend Feyza came to Tõrva, welcome. I was exposed to Herry Harry Jerry Potter for days. Fiction films usually don't interest me, so I don't enjoy watching them. Feyza didn't give up, rewinded the scene if necessary, told, told,... She looked me in the eyes,.. She went crazy,.. Until she was sure that I understood.
Now I enjoy watching Hery Potter. But that doesn't mean I'll enjoy watching The Lord of the Rings. Maybe if I watch it with Feyza.. We made a raisin cake with Mattias. I can't say I'm a good student, I made Mattias's job a little harder, but he was a patient cook. He personally does not like to be praised and many thanks, but thanks to him we have pleasant memories. Both my friends and I. We spent an evening playing Dixit with Sirje and Markus. Again, we ate that delicious raisin cake that Mattias made. If he starts working in a quality restaurant in the coming years, I will be one of the happiest people.
Together with Feyza, we followed Sirje again. Mattias joined us, and we had a pleasant forest walk with Sirje's colleagues. We enjoyed nature and the sun. My eyes were not high, but I greatly enjoyed and valued every moment spent with my Estonian family.
Forest Views in Tõrva: In winter, Tõrva's forest view was magnificent. There is no traffic in Tõrva, there is no crowd of people, it consists of a 100% safe environment, you can easily distinguish various kinds of bird sounds while walking in the forest. When autumn comes, you enjoy the yellow and red colored scenery. I don't know how many times Mattias and I went to different parts of Tõrva. Sometimes by walking, sometimes by bicycle. When all these factors come together, it is quite simple and you live your life as a part of nature. That's what we did.
Farewell Dinner: I will start to tell you about my cool colleagues. I will discriminate positively against my tutor Madise, it would be better if I stated this at the beginning. We had a nice closing dinner with my colleagues as it was on Christmas. They gave very valuable gifts. In particular, we talked about the aspects that I am most satisfied/dissatisfied with and my future plans in Estonia. Madis gave a sweater with the inscription “Tõrva” on behalf of everyone. Now I have a sweater from Tõrva that I will wear at home or outside for a while.
Visit Teacher: This volunteer service provided the opportunity to discover new interests, especially personally. We made various animations during the semester with our dear Stop Motion Animation teacher Meeta. Before I left Tõrva, I wanted to visit her, her paradise in Pühaste, actually.. The house is in the middle of nature, overlooking a large garden. It seems like she has a natural power to fight in nature.. Well my friends.. If you meet an Estonian woman, make sure she has natural power, I've seen it many times :)
Coordinating Organization: I generally enjoyed working with the TANKLA organization. An organization that organizes various activities for young people on different subjects every season. Especially the fact that women are in an active working marathon is an aspect that I appreciate. Thanks to Rasmus and Ülla, the ESC officer who took a close interest in us throughout the volunteering process. They understood that I wanted to live alone before I came here, and they gave me this opportunity. They have effects on me providing my individual freedom and creating a life order according to my own decisions. I am sending a big thank you to TANKLA!
Hosting Organization: I state this once and for all; Choosing Tõrva to volunteer is one of the most meaningful decisions I have made. In a way, we developed together for 11 months. Madis always approached me in a friendly way rather than a formal attitude. He always asked for my opinion when I said a proposal didn't suit me. He warned me to work faster when necessary, and gave me time to rest when necessary. Actually, judging from what I've said, maybe it's like the features that can be found in anyone, but.. I mean, I enjoyed working with Madis, it was easy to communicate with him, he always showed him support.
When Madis came to meet me at the airport, he had a poster in his hand. When I found out that Kertu did this, I really wanted to meet with her. She is the most creative among them. Taavi and Kertu were working enjoyably during the winter, especially when others were sick. The two are a great duo, and they work well together. I wish I had more experience working with Kertu and getting some more inspiration from those creative ideas.. Dear Kertu, I hope positive energy always shines with you.
Heeyy Regina.. Normally, within the ESC, volunteers receive and should receive mentor support. We can say that my mentor was Regina in a way. He helped me adapt to the youth center, we practiced Estonian language together, we shared our daily life.. We created indescribable, enjoyable, crazy, most importantly, precious memories. How do you spend time with your family? Do you have a sauna party, do you drink champagne to celebrate your friendship, do you make a salad with mayonnaise, do you jump on snow naked, do you dance together and talk about your private life?? This and more, along with Regina and other members of my Eston family, we spent our time with normal daily activities. We didn't say goodbye anyway, it wasn't for us.
I have searched a lot for ways to introduce Turkish culture to young people and local people in Tõrva with pleasant intermediaries. One of the things I do for this purpose is to prepare a Turkish cookbook. And dear Katrin came to my aid. We checked about 40 pages of Estonian translations, and I was amazed by her patience. Later, I learned that she studied Estonian language and literature.
In preparation for the Turkish street taste day, during the preparations for the Turkish Food Contest, the Turkish week, in short, whenever I needed an organization plan, it was enough to tell her about it. Working with her, I knew that Katrin would definitely find a way and that problem would be solved. Thank you beautiful Katrin, for supporting me in every thought I share. I also want to ask something, sometimes you talk to the children or on the phone for minutes, you tell something so excited that I was wondering what you were talking about. Especially at those moments, I wish I knew Estonian.
** The mother of our youth center, Margit. ** I have participated many times in the activities of the “Defense League” group, in which female volunteers are actively involved in the winter season. She is one of those strong women who is active in the Defense League group. They provide training for children and young people about survival methods and methods they will apply when they are stuck in nature. The activities of this group were the most interesting and instructive I have attended during my time in Estonia. It was a great pleasure. Thank you Margit, you are such a friendly person and you have a very warm heart probably because you had five children. I hope the Defensive League Coloring book will be ready as soon as possible and I look forward to sending it to me.
Dear Alla, you are a cheerful woman. I hope your son will really excel at the piano in the future and do well. You used to come to our youth center when Regina was not able to work. The socks you give as a Christmas gift are my favorite gift. Let's be honest, and I'm really cool when I'm wearing those socks. Thanks to you.. You are a strong woman, I hope you will always be happy with your family. Thank you for the good memories you gave me.
Yes.. I would like to talk about Giia, who allowed me to show my art while I was working together. After seeing my Rick And Morty design, she suggested I paint on the wall. I had not tried it before, I did not know how to do it, what kind of material to use. This experience is literally “EXPERIENTIAL”. We looked at the drawing materials we had, took a look at the drawing suggestions with Giia, and decided on a peacock landscape painting with colorful details reflecting Giia's personality. I find Estonian women meaningful in this respect. Because they know how to support the person. In fact, this may only be a characteristic of Giia's personality. I had an amazing time from April to May. I would simply go to the Ritsu youth room early almost every day and prepare the materials and start drawing. When I wasn't sure, Giia kept her trust in me. I think her positive approach also excited my love for art. Thank you Giia for giving me this opportunity. I tried my best, aiming to beautify my environment and to show at every step how seriously I take my job as a volunteer.
The calendar you gave for the year 2022 will be very useful for me. I will shape my future goals on concrete materials that increase my motivation.
Let's come to Tõrva Youth... Of course, I have liked young people since the first time I came. We danced with Aveli for about 2 hours on the weekend we gathered with all the young people during the Malev camp. The most meaningful method of observing social orientations is to act as a part of the society, and when you let it flow, you naturally realize what works differently. We talked about this with Feyza before. When Mirja Mari grows up, she will be a beautiful young girl. Mirtel, I am sending lots of love to you and to your cute sister. You are all brilliant girls..
***I am used to saying “Hakan” when they say who my sending organization is. You have said so many times, Hakan, not to return to Turkey, but I'm sorry, I'm going back. I know that if I regret and cry, you will laugh at me. I hope to make up for it next year. I have a lot to tell, should I come to Adana or will you come to Denizli? Or have you already been to Slovenia?
**Now until I got to this point, there were a few valuable people who helped me with their experience. It's hard for me to believe, but last year I started speaking English. Dear Aykut, thank you for sharing your time with me even though you are in the master application process and even when the negativities overlap. Maybe you don't realize it, because I wasn't aware of it personally, your support was very meaningful when I didn't know what to do. Despite dozens of negative comments and long application processes, we kept each other alive and tried to give motivation. With the effect of the covid process and at the same time being stuck at home, we also had arguments from time to time. Let's look at the moment, I am most happy if you continue on your path successfully. I'll always be proud of you when you level up, because I can guess under what circumstances you're going with determination.
***Dear Barış, who guided me through his previous volunteering experiences in my volunteering process..The ESC process is not my main gain, frankly, so are the friendships I made during this process... You are a valuable friend that Esc brought me.You must have had a few words to say in the absurd events I experienced here, in the moments when I was left unsolved. There may be people who think that I do all this volunteer work on my own. The main question should be from whom did I get such various activity suggestions, who gave the inspiration? Who did I share this with when I was stuck around different kinds of situations? I have had negative moments here from time to time. However, the gifts you sent from Turkey allowed me to keep my motivation alive. You're on your way now too. It's good to see you succeed and live your life according to your own decisions. Thank you for everything.
***Dear Dilara, friend whom I met here. I know how active you were during your volunteering, from the pilates lessons you gave to your patients to the Turkish Ebru art exhibition you organized. I wish, this passion for learning and teaching always continue. Have a lot of inspiration. I think your father is proud to watch you overcome difficulties with compassion. When and where do we meet again?
Ülla asked if there was something I regretted. In addition to the people with whom I spent meaningful time without meeting face to face, there were also people who created the feeling that I wasted my time even though I spent time face to face.
When we came together, the vicious circle of conversations and adolescent attitudes of friends, who cannot go beyond limited subjects. There is such a perception within the European Union. To create an international common understanding. Safe, democratic, and egalitarian,.. However, in addition to this, the new generation, who do not leave their monotonous, superficial and adolescent attitudes behind,.. Prejudices against someone who is outside the general understanding, a distorted understanding of communication, the generation that has access to the possibilities of European Knowledge, but does not know the value of the opportunities offered by these opportunities..
I will criticize more if I can. Because youth is the future of a nation. Youth is the most meaningful and valuable treasure.
Thank you to everyone who shared their time and ideas with me to enlighten my path. I wish your path be bright!!
See you in the next adventure…
Most importantly, stay healthy!!