EXCELLENT JOURNEY TO GERMANY
It all started with my application to the form published in foundation’s Facebook page and ended up with great friendships and nice moments of fun. Four of five participants from Turkey took off from Ataturk Airport on 13th July, plus our other 5th friend was already somewhere in Europe so he directly travelled to project place, and landed in Leipzig/Germany safe and sound. We had to take train from airport to Zwickau, which is project venue, and we were busy with trying to understand how this ticket machine worked for almost half an hour even if it was in Turkish too. For that specific region of Germany, there was such a train ticket campaign that if you buy group ticket of 4 or 5, you buy it at a discount. Not knowing that, we bought our tickets one by one, and we lost almost like 15 € for each of us. So be it, are not these projects for cash flow too –relieving myself in that way-?
Leaving the train, we grabbed our luggage and headed for the exit door of the station. The minute we left the station, a guy waving his hand from the van gave us a lift to the small place where we had our project activities. We do not know that how he understood that we were that “Turks”, but he had such a good sense of humor that even during our short trip from train station to project venue, we felt quite connected to each other by managing to find mutual speech topics.
As for the project, it was really nice and joyful meeting new friends from Romania, Germany and Latvia. The group dynamics were quite balanced in that we had almost no problem during the flow of the week. We all started introducing ourselves and get to know each other as much possible but the first job is to memorize the names, yeah!
During the week, we have been busy with activities about creating a working community, gathering people together, building bridges among the different parts of the community, feeling ourselves and others, and so on. It is easy to say that we had a great and fruitful week out there and we had so much to learn and share with others. Also, for each day, 2-3 people were responsible for the kitchen work – my work day was colliding with trip to Dresden, a stroke of luck, yes!- which includes washing the dishes, preparing the coffee pot and tea etc. The food was generally tasteful even if I had to eat jam and bread almost every morning J
Regarding the food issue, from the general perspective of Turkish participants, when you are applying for a project, do NOT just apply! Pay attention to each and every detail so that you do not regret having participated in any project. My advice for you is that every application form has a part related to food asking you whether you have a special dietary or not. This means, for example, if you are not in favor of eating pork meat or anything else, please specify this case in detail in the application form. Later on, if you did not tell this to project organizers, you might have to feel starving every day of the project. In Germany, we had already mentioned that we do not eat pork and they did not offer this meal to us, or even they did so, they put many other food choice too.
Continuing with the other topics, the participating groups from different countries were in such a harmony that all project activities could be implemented in complete peaceful and easy-going way. Also, the project trainers were very qualified in terms of their own personal and professional skills, and I had the chance to make use of their knowledge and experience on their own fields.
Looking back to the days when we were there in Germany, I will always remember this project as one of the milestones of my career as a youth worker because it helped me gain a huge load of information and field experience.
Thank you very much Yucel Culture Foundation for this excellent opportunity.