My first three months in Telsiai
2020 12 28
Hello, everyone. I am Oguzhan from Turkey. I have done a lot of volunteering projects in my own country before, and I thought it was time to do it abroad. If I ask why the volunteering project is important, it makes me very happy to see the happiness on their faces and share this happiness with others after helping people. It's only been 3 months since I came to Lithuania and I feel lucky to be in this country of perfect nature. As everyone knows, we're having different days because of the corona. After coming here, I was in quarantine for 2 weeks and then we started our project. Our first 2 weeks were very fun because of the activities outside and that's how I got to know Telsiai better. Then, instead of spending a lot of face to face time with young people due to the new rules, we did online activities. I am going to celebrate my first Christmas soon. Good experiences await me. I think the days to come will be better. Especially beating Saulena on football table is an excellent feeling.
After the darkness comes the light
2020 12 15
Labas, Lietuva! I am Ana from Georgia. I hardly can put into words how excited I am to be here happily volunteering at the youth centre, in Telsiai. This is my very first time in Lietuva and before I came here I have heard a lot about this beautiful country from my Lietuvian friends. I decided to apply for this programme because I have participated in and organized plenty of projects and I do know the real value of voluntary commitment and the role of non-formal education in raising civil awareness. Truth be told, being a part of voluntary work at ATJC is a great opportunity but at the same time, it is a big challenge for me as I have never been part of a long-term foreign voluntary programme. To be honest, everything happened so fast and sometimes we faced obstacles caused by the COVID-19 pandemic but with an instant help from Aleks (Georgian Youth for Europe) and amazing people from Telsiai Youth Center we handled everything quite well. I am so honoured to be part of such a wonderful team as Telsiai Youth Center, everybody welcomed me warmly and since my arrival, I feel like I am among friends and comrades.
Obviously, this kind of voluntary programmes are not only designed for gaining professional skills but to expand one's cultural horizons, meet new people, make new friends and create new connections as well. Unfortunately, it is a hard time for us because of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am not able to work as planned, to meet people in person as we all try to make everything distant and online in order to avoid spreading the virus. Still, day by day we come up with the new ideas on how to digitalize our work and I am happy to say that I've already established friendly relationships with youngsters. In spite of the current hard situation, I strongly believe that we will handle it gracefully as we know it. I do have a faith that soon we will get back
to the normal lifestyle and with renewed fresh energy, we will do greater things. I could not agree more with Nepos that after the darkness comes the light.
The biggest experience in my life.
Labas! I am Nika Javakhishvili and I`m 22 years old, from Sakartvelo (Georgia). I graduated in Tbilisi state university faculty of tourism. I am refugee in my country after 2008 years because this year was war between Russia and Georgia, and now that territory is occupated by Russia. I am also the beginner guide in my country but I couldn’t find job because my English wasn`t very good. My sister found this project and suggested me to join it. It was my first trip in my life so I was a little bit afraid. Alexs Metreveli is person who helped me that everything would be fine and finally I am a volunteer in Telsiai city of Lithuania. I work with youngsters in the Youth Center. I came here 1 st of September and I will go back home on August.
When I came here it was very unbelievable because it was my first visit visited country. My family isn’t rich and I couldn’t travel to Europe. At the time when I started my studies in the university, I started to work. I was working in restaurant and studying at the university together. It was very hard for me, because I had no time to study English so I couldn`t join any projects. After some time I am finally here and I am very happy. At first when I came here volunteer Rasa helped me to adapt. I`ve already met some great and friendly people. Few youngsters said me that Telsiai and one Georgian town Mestia are friends so I met four persons from Mestia here once. Also l have a roommate from Turkey who is very nice person, we help each other all the times. By the way, my mentor Ele helps me a lot. She is the English teacher and I had 10 English classes with her. I`ve already spent five month here and this period brought me some experience:
My English now is better than before but I will try to learn it even better.
I had a training where I met another volunteers from Georgia but different cities.
I flew by plane.
I met here very nice people as youngsters and employees. I became friends with some of youngsters. They always help me if I need something and teach me Lithuanian language.
I learned to play a guitar.
Traveling, this was the biggest dream for me and nowI can visit different cities and countries.
When I go back to Georgia I will share my experience with my friends and I will go also to school which I finished because there also are youngsters who have dreams but have no money. I will tell them about this project, I will teach them how they can use similar projects. In my opinion this project is the best way how you are able to learn English, meet new and different people and gain some knowledge. This project inspires me to help others with their future. I hope that after 7 months my English will be suitable for working as a guide. I want to say the biggest thanks for EVS, thank you for this center, thank you for everything, for the chance to visit Lithuania, to meet great people. I suggest everyone to use same projects because it will help you to become what you want. I am very happy .
Hi everyone! This is Elif. I’m from Turkey. I have just graduated from university, I studied psychological counseling. At the same time, I was working as a volunteer as well. I had a lot of projects in my home country. I like being at the field. I want to be productive for humanity. I was always thinking about volunteering in abroad. I was like, “I already have some experiences at the field in Turkey, why not try a new experience?” (also I was totally free with my life. No job, no school, I was looking for something new.) Then I started to applying for EVS projects in Baltic Countries. Bc I was so curious about baltic culture, I wanted to see it closer.
Now I’m doing my voluntary work in the ATJC, as a mobile worker. We have 9 villages around Telsiai, we visit the young people who lives in those villages, every other day. Why young people? I feel like I can easyly get connected with young people. And I love that young blood, it makes me feel alive. By the way, my coworkers and youngsters in the youth center are so nice and friendly. I feel like I already have friendships last forever. I have met with new friends in the town, and there are other volunteers in other cities as well. So it’s a social area for me. Usually on weekends I go to other cities and spend time with my friends. Week days mostly calm for me. Otherwise, I try to go other countries on my free days. I am kind of a beginner traveler now on.
I’m so glad I’m in Lithuania, especially in this calm and peaceful town Telsiai. It feels like I live in a Hobbit Village written by Tolkien. It has a perfect nature uh it is beautiful! And people are so nice here. Me and my flatmate Nika are the only foreign ones in this town, so even the shop workers treat us special. I feel like the sunshine of the town (yet, they do not have any other sunshine lol) There isn’t a lot of options for fun in this city actually. Outside is cold, and places get close early. So you have to spend time with yourself/friends at home. But it’s not bad, when you get used to, it feels warm.
Speaking of which, everyone says that, this is the hottest winter in this country. However it’s still too cold for me. I’m not used to cold weather at all, because I’m from Izmir, which is one of the hottest cities in Turkey. But I’m doing well so far. I believe I can survive this winter. The weather also an adventure for me. I’ll tell about this to my grandkids.
English language is not very common in this country. People speak Lithuanian and Russian, but no English. So I have to learn Lithuanian language, trying my best. I already know some impressive words, when I say those words, people love it!
Meeting with new culture, new people, new minds is a special experience. I am so greatful for this. And I am pretty sure of that, this is the best year of my whole life.