Programme and action: ERASMUS+ programme, Key Action 1: Youth exchange
Dates: 21-27 May 2015
Venue: Aksaray, Cappadocia, Turkey
Participants: Tereza Prokešová, Kateřina Voštová, Adéla Šimáková, Alena Matoušková, Alžběta Trčková, Romana Vlčková
Participating countries: Czech Republic, Lithuania, Latvia, Spain, Italy, Turkey
Hoşgeldiniz! Welcome to Turkey! Such a beautiful country, country of big differences, with the scent of Orient, full of never ending hospitality, helpful people, amazing countryside, that takes your breath away, and much more, than you can imagine.
I was so lucky person to be chosen for the project TO oBese or NOT TO oBEse, which was held in Aksaray from 21.5.2015 to 27.5.2015. Aksaray is a conservative town, of 200.000 inhabitants, with the position in the middle of Turkey in the Central Anatolia region, approximately 250 km far away from Ankara. Aksaray region was an important stopover along the Silk Road that crossed through Anatolia for centuries and the city of Aksaray has a long history.
The participants of the projects were from six countries, Turkey, Spain, Italy, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Latvia. There were 6 participants from every country and 12 from hosting country – Turkey, including two coordinators. Our team consisted of 6 girls. That was maybe only a little problem of this project – non balance gender, but anyway, we had a lot of fun.
Just as the name of project suggests, we spent our week by talking about problems, which obesity can caused, about unhealthy life style, we were trying to find reasons of obesity, comparing the eating habits in our countries, looking for solutions, how to prevent obesity of youths. We have done a lot of workshops focused on the project topic, we asked inhabitants in the center of the town, what they think about obesity, and we had a chat with doctor from Health Department of the city. As the result of our work during this project, we made a book – we wrote down everything we learned about obesity, described one day of youth in Czech Republic, we pointed out some Czech specifics about obesity, unhealthy habits and life style and so on.
If it sounds a little bit boring, be sure that it wasn’t. We played also some funny games to know each other better, there was a culture night every evening to learn more about participating countries. Almost at the end of our stay we had a workout in the park in the morning, where we could find some funny exercise machines. That was really cool and we regretted not to do it every morning, bcs we enjoyed it so much. Our coordinators had also another surprise for all of us – we went to the Youth center in Aksaray to try Ebru painting – painting on the water. I have never heard before, about this kind of art (my shame J ) and I was really excited – my Ebru painting is one of the best souvenirs I have ever brought to my home. Everybody could do their painting – and everybody did. We also went out several times to have our lunch – so we could try also typical Turkish meals – pide, döner kebab, ayran etc.
Now let me tell about our trip to Cappadocia. This trip was not in our schedule, but we were so close to Cappadocia, that we couldn’t miss the chance to see. Just a little information about it – Cappadocia is an area in Central Anatolia in Turkey best known for its unique moon-like landscape, underground cities, cave churches, and houses carved in the rocks. It is so unique piece of earth, and it’s really something worth seeing it more than once. I attach some photos, words are not enough in this case.
At last, but not at least – I have to thank so much to our coordinators and Turkish participants, because they prepared amazing week for us, they were so friendly and helpful, they made for us a city tour and everytime we needed, they were close to us, ready to help. We enjoyed together smoking the nargile, we tried Turkish coffee and Turkish tea, we visited mosque and of course, we did a lot of shopping. It wouldn’t be so easy without them, bcs it was very difficult to find somebody on the street, who could speak English. That’s why we really appreciated their attention.
What to tell at the end. I can say only – we are so lucky to get into this project. I see a lot of benefits from participation in this event. We have visited beautiful country, we have met a lot of new friends, we have improved our English and for sure, we were able to get to Aksaray by our own – well we have improved also our travel skills. And we can keep our memories forever, nobody can steal it.
Well, one big thanks must be sent also to EYCB. Thanks so much for your work, for your support and help, whenever we needed it. Hope to participate again at any project and have to chance cooperate again with EYCB Břeclav.