I am Noelia Marrero, I am from Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain, I am 27 years old.
Now, I am a volunteer in Antalya Turkey. I want to share with you how my volunteering is going. II decided to choose Antalya because it is a very beautiful place. I really like the sea and in Antalya there are many beaches and places to swim. I really like Turkey because it is a very different country from Spain and I wanted to get to know a different culture. When you get to know different cultures, your mind is more open, and I thought that this would help me in my personal and professional future. In Antalya there are many places to visit like Lara, Konyaltı, Kaleiçi, Kemer, Demre, Kaş. I like to travel and this city gives me the opportunity to discover wonderful places.
I arrived in Antalya at the end of April. I had to fly first from Tenerife to Madrid where I slept in a hotel to catch my flight to Antalya the next day. My flight lasted about 6 hours, with a layover in Frankfurt, Germany. When I arrived at the airport, I took the tram to Markantalya, where my coordinator was waiting for me to accompany me to my new apartment. The apartment is very nice, it is renovated and it is in a central area of Antalya, 10 minutes from the most central places. I already had experience in Turkey, since I had been in the country for 2 months, so I already knew the customs and life here, so it was easy for me to adapt. My first days I visited the city and met my colleagues. It was very easy for me to make friends my first few days as this city is so much fun and there are people of all ages and nationalities.
As for Antalya, the reality exceeded my expectations as it is a very open and modern city, different from the rest of Turkey. It is also a very clean and organized city. However, due to the economic crisis, as in the rest of the world, prices have risen a lot in recent months and the expectation that Turkey was a cheap country was not reflected in Antalya, a very touristic place with very high inflation. Despite this, I have been able to travel throughout the city and other nearby cities. Something that exceeded my expectations was the good transport connections by bus, it is very easy and comfortable to travel from one place to another in a few hours.
After the first week, I started my activities. We do very diverse activities in Lidosk. We go to Kindergarten on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:00 to 15:00 where we help the teachers take care of and play with the children. Every Tuesday we have our activity at the Fish Center, a very interesting place where they show us experiments and the researchers talk with us and practice their English. There they have taught us alternative forms of fishing and different investigations that are being carried out at the moment
Every Thursday we have Turkish class in the morning in the office and I also help Lidosk with the organization’s social networks. Also, on my own initiative, I proposed holding Spanish tables on Thursday nights, which are always a success.
On Thursdays and Fridays we go to the Youth Center in the afternoon to give English classes to children from 6 to 13 years of age in social vulnerability. All the activities enrich me as a person and are very entertaining. In addition to these activities, we have participated in sports activities with refugee children from the war in Ukraine. Also, I myself have organized international events (picnics, barbecues, rafting, boat parties) where people from more than 20 nationalities have come together.
During the weekends, we always organize activities with the big family we have in Antalya. We always do fun things like boat parties, barbecues where everyone brings food from their country. We also party at Latin and Spanish music venues like Café Mira and other pubs in Kaleiçi like Holly Stone, Odin pub. I really like going to the beach and every weekend I go swimming in the Mediterranean Sea and tanning. Life in antalya is so much fun and there is no time to get bored.
My great passion is traveling and discovering new places, which is why I chose Turkey as my volunteer destination. In this country I have seen impressive places. I remember my first visit to Istanbul with great enthusiasm because I saw snow fall for the first time in my life. Without a doubt, Istanbul is one of the most beautiful places in the world. There visit its great monuments, take a boat ride on the Bosphorus and enjoy the lively life of Istanbul. Another of the essential places in Turkey is Capadoccia, where I stayed for two days. I have also visited Mardin, a lost place in ancient Mesopotamia, with a great history. Thanks to the national agency of Turkey we have also been able to visit Diyarbakih, where we did a training that was very interesting and enriching, and where we were able to share experiences with volunteers from all over the country.
But, without a doubt, my best experience has been discovering Antalya, a jewel of the Mediterranean. My favorite places are Kemer, Adrassan, Olympos, Demre, Kaş and Fethiye where I have traveled by boat along its coasts, I have enjoyed its beaches, I have eaten fish in front of the sea and I have enjoyed its lively nightlife. Another city that I fell in love with was Alanya, where we visited its beautiful tower and became pirates for a day. Also in Alanya I lived an experience of magic and illusion that I will never forget. Side, Ephesus, Aspendos, Izmir, Salda Lake, among others, are other destinations I have visited. Without a doubt, Turkey is a great tourist destination ideal for those travelers who want to discover history about the world in a totally different and beautiful culture.
VOLUNTEERING WITH ERASMUS + IS AN EXPERIENCE THAT EVERY YOUNG PERSON SHOULD HAVE ONCE IN THEIR LIFE. THIS EXPERIENCE CHANGES YOUR LIFE SINCE YOU NEVER RETURN TO YOUR COUNTRY BEING THE SAME PERSON. IT IS VERY NICE TO BE ABLE TO SHARE MOMENTS WITH PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD. IT IS A PROCESS OF REFLECTION ON YOUR LIFE AND YOUR FUTURE, VERY NECESSARY TO BE ABLE TO IMPROVE AS A PERSON AND AS A PROFESSIONAL. THANKS TO LIDOSK AND ERASMUS + FOR GIVING ME THIS GREAT OPPORTUNITY
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