Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Volunteers From Turkey

Hi. I am Berna. I am twenty-three years old. I am from Turkey in Ankara.

First of all I would like to give a brief introduction about my education and work experience. I went to the Ankara Anatolian High School of Fine Arts and then I graduated from Gazi University painting department and I am master student now. I have a lot of works about paintings, sculptures and prints.

Along with my collage education, I also have some working experience. For almost two years, I have worked at few public schools as a painting teacher.
Another important experience for me was volunteering for visually disabled children.

I have participated in many youth activities that there were held by various clubs and organizations.

What I enjoy most about volunteering is spending time and working with like minded people, genuinely caring for the people I am helping and also sharing the fun and excitement at being taken another culture.

When I researched Lithuania, I learned that there was drought in 20002. Within my project, I would like to try out a different approach with the students by using the waste material on our work.

This approach would allow us the recycle more effectively and try different techniques in order to decrease the consumption to prevent drought.

 Hi I am Gokhan 27 years old from Istanbul in Turkey

 After primary school I went to do Makzume Anatolian High school of science class.  4 years later I graduated from High school Than I decided to achieve my childhood dreams.

When I was a child i really want to be a fighter pilot. so after high  school  I went to the  Turkish Air Force Academy. 4 years from 2004 to 2008 I studied Industrial Engineering and trained as student pilot by the Fighter Pilots. But last term of last year  in 2008 some things didn’t go well as i want  some medical problems on my eyes  has caused to leave academy.

After Academy I prepared university exams again and  then I started to  department of Industrial Engineering of Kocaeli University  in 2008. It takes  5 years to be a engineer but I graduated there in 2010  because of some common lectures was giving to me  at the academy.

I had started working as an Information Technology specialist  before two months i graduated university. I had been working there for 6 months then I changed my job. In my second job I was a project specials  those projects were about  ‘Enterprise Resource Planning’  It’s a Method using with kind of software  program which is helpful to employees and bosses  managing their works and company.

When I was working, my friend told me about volunteering organization. That organization  include many things as what i want, to help the other peoples and sharing cultures each other.
It's really good and worth doing

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Pancake Day

Last Saturday, Lukas picked us up and we all (Lukas, I, and our Turkish volunteers Berna and Gokhan) went to celebrate Lithuanian national pan-cake day. As I was told, this is a holiday to chase winter and welcome spring, but that sounds funny... the second half of February is yet to come and we are saying good-bye to winter in Lithuania?! That’s so naïve! : ))

Anyway, everything there - people, food, music, dance, costumes, spirit, general atmosphere – was amazing! I took several pictures and here they are:

I really love pan-cakes, but the way they had been cooked on that day made them even tastier. Ladies wearing very funny, colorful dresses and make-up were preparing them on the field, so you could be watching how your pan-cake had being cooked.

I think it’s a worth of underlining that all the sweets and snacks were free. In Georgia, we also have this kind of national holidays but you have to pay for everything and, usually, to pay even more than you would pay some other regular days. 

My favorite part was dancing! Traditional instruments, joyful songs and friendly people made the day unforgettable. No matter what age or gender, everyone was dancing and laughing together.

Well, there were some really shameful parts for me as well. One man, with whom I was kind of dancing Lithuanian dances, insisted me to dance Georgian one. I really don’t know how to do that, because Georgian folk dance is complicated and needs a long practice. But the man was very strict and impossible to be resisted. So, I did… If any of you was there that evening, watching me dancing, please, don’t think that’s how Georgian dance looks! :D

But then I looked at Gokhan who was also trying to show his national dance and I realized that I had nothing to be worried about... :D

 It’s not easy to express all the emotions by words, for better understanding, you should see some more pictures here.

And, of course, special thanks to Lukas! :)


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Outstanding Cover Letter

Since unemployment is one of the biggest world problems, you can imagine how difficult it is to get a (good) job.

Whenever we feel a need of being employed, we start applying for different vacant positions in a desired industry, but there are thousands of more people also trying to get those jobs. So, in order to grab an employer’s attention at the very beginning, we have to make our cover letters and applications outstanding in any way that is possible.

Surfing the internet, I found two really creative cases of asking for a job/internship and I’d love to share them with you.

Yesterday, Business Insider received a cover letter by an undergraduate finance student who wanted to be accepted as an intern on Wall Street. The letter was short, simple, very honest and people on Wall Street called it one of the best cover letters they had ever seen. As a result, now there is a huge competition on the street to hire the student. 

"The truth is I have no unbelievably special skills or genius eccentricities, but I do have a near perfect GPA and will work hard for you." - this is my favorite sentence from the letter. You can enjoy the rest of it here.

The other case I've mentioned above is 24 years old Adam Facitti who failed many times while looking for a job and finally decided to launch a website .
"I hope that by displaying my work for all to see, somebody who is in a position to give me a job might just see a little bit of potential in me. It's worth a shot, eh?" Adam says.

Browsing the web, you really want to employ Adam because he's funny, he's creative and he's inspiring!

Any other creative ways you've heard about? You are more than welcome to share! : )


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Power of Social Networking

Much has been said and written about the dark side of Social Networking. People usually complain how addicted to Facebook they are, how much time they waste on the Internet, how worse their eyesight gets because of that reason and how the virtual world is destroying their real lives.

All these thoughts, partly, may be right. But actually, the prospects of social networking can easily overwhelm all its other sides. In this post, I’m going to underline only one particular benefit of it – how easy, cheap and exiting it is to communicate with people who are far from you through social networks!

It’s been only a week since I’m in Siauliai and as I don’t yet know many people here, it’s utterly important for me to keep in touch with those in my home country. When you are far from them, you miss not only your family and friends, but even those people who used to annoy you before. Communicating with others is one of the hugest sources of happiness in life. You are only happy when you can share this happiness with someone else.

My voluntary project at Šiauliai Didždvaris Gymnasium will be lasting for 7 months. They used to have two or more volunteers for that project before, but this year it happened that I‘m the only one. Every evening, when I‘m all alone at home, I can just sign in Skype and be talking with and watching whoever I miss. Some of my close relatives live in Ukraine, my family is in Georgia and I‘m here in Lithuania. It is just amazing how by a simple click on video conference we can gather again as we used to do it before.

So, I started thinking about how difficult it was for people to go somewhere far from their homes in the past when there was no tools like social networks. There was a time when all people could do was just sitting, writing a letter which could get lost even without getting the destination. In the best case, when the letter had reached the right person, you had to be sitting, waiting for the answer that could take weeks or even more.

Later, you could make phone calls that were more convenient and practical than letters but they were (and still are) too expensive at the same time.

And today, we are lucky to have Facebook, Skype, Tweeter, all other social networks, and it would be so silly not to appreciate them!

Below, I’ll provide several quotes about social networking by the people from all over the world.

Ø  “I think the internet will help bring about world peace. If you have 10 facebook friends in a country, would you feel a bit different about bombing it? The line between "us" and "them" is getting blurry, and for many, it's already disappeared.” Dan O'donnell


Ø  “How can you squander even one more day not taking advantage of the greatest shifts of our generation? How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable?” Seth Godin

Ø  People live longer today than they ever have. They live happier lives, have more knowledge, more information. All this is the result of communications technology. How is any of that bad?Tom Clancy

So, make a cup of hot tea or coffee, sit conveniently in your favorite easy-chair and enjoy your social networks!


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Goodbye :)

After 9 month in Lithuanian, we two long term volunteers, Manana from Georgia and Rabea from Austria, are leaving Siauliai to go back to our home countries. Manana will continue her Master program at Tbilisi State University, and I, Rabea will start a Bachelors program at a University either in United Kingdom or in the Netherlands (I just can't decide :D ). 
Looking back on the past 9 months it is difficult to say, how many times we have been asked, why we two decided to live in a country so different from where we are from. Still we don’t exactly have an answer, but we are very happy that we came to Lithuania and that we had such a great time here. Siauliai surprised us with its clean environment, calm atmosphere and hospitality. We also feel almost like pilgrims after our stay here, as we visited the “Hill of crosses” quite frequently, showing this impressive sight to our friends and visiting family members. As we two lived and worked together for such a long time, we went trough all difficulties together and shared many nice and exciting experiences. We traveled across Lithuania, went to Poland, to Norway and several times to Latvia (Riga definitely is our favorite city apart from Siauliai). 

We experienced a very beautiful fall, and (for me and I guess also for Manana) extremely cold winter, and a short, but very refreshing and nice spring here. Of course we are a bit sad, that we will leave now, as summer finally started somehow and we got to know so many nice people. 
We both hope that more volunteers will get the chance to spend some time in Siauliai, working in Didzdvaris Gymnasium, as our and then also their mentor Sonata, and tutor Rasa, will welcome them as warmly and friendly as they welcomed us two.

For sure we will always look back happily on the time we have spent together in Siauliai, considering the friendly and kind people we met here, worked with and the one's with whom we became good friends.

Ačiū for everything :)

... some pictures taken during our stay here :)

Rabea and Manana

Friday, May 11, 2012

Oslo here we come :)

Manana and I decided to go on one last trip together before we leave Lithuania - to Norway. As we both have never been to a Scandinavian country, Manana, I and another volunteer (who is currently doing EVS in Latvia but is originally also from Georgia), traveled to the capital city Oslo to spend a few days there.
As it happens, one of Mananas coursemates is currently studying in Oslo, and she agreed to host us while we are visiting the city and she was a great city guide :)

I guess I can speak for all three of us who went to Oslo and say, that we were all fascinated by the Norwegian nature, as it is incredibly beautiful. We were all a bit caught by surprise that Oslo wasn't how we imagined it somehow, but still, with it's access to the sea, very modern buildings, great public transport system and inhabitants who all speak and understand English, it is worth visiting it. We just would suggest everyone who decides to visit Norway, also to visit some more rural areas of the country, to experience the "real" Norway, as Oslo is an extremely multicultural city and you won't feel too much that you actually are in Scandinavia. :)

Nice view from the plane (by the way it takes just 1 hour and  15 minutes from Riga to Oslo)

living in Oslo city

Our Georgian friend in the most famous park of Oslo (with a lot of naked sculpture :D)

Manana, me and our host exploring Oslo in the evening

Hilly Oslo

I, our Georgian friend, and Manana sitting on the very modern opera of Oslo from which  you have a great view

Port of Oslo

At the sea side

Very cool University library :)