After almost an entire day of travelling, I finally arrived at my destination: Bitola. Even though it was late and I was exhausted, I felt at ease pretty much as soon as I got here. Since this is already my fourth time in the city, I’m not going to share my first impressions. I didn’t really feel like I’m in a new, foreign, faraway place, but rather in a second home.
Not only are my Croatia, my homeland and Macedonia culturally not that far apart, but Macedonian culture isn’t new to me because I lived here a year ago. I was looking forward to coming here again, working in an international environment, but also being part of the local community.
We spent the first week mostly getting to know each other in SFERA, our organization, and exploring Bitola, but also helping with the preparation of SFERA’s 10th anniversary gala. Even though I’m new to the organization, it was amazing to see all of the people who showed up and supported SFERA over the last ten years. It shows how much the organization has done not only for Bitola, but for foreign volunteers who come and participate in various projects.
My project is called “SAY Social Entrepreneurship”, which means most of my work consists of designing and organizing projects that would help the organization and community here in Bitola. That is why my second week was all about helping the organization start this Weekly Volunteer Blog, as well as using my knowledge of English to edit texts by former volunteers in order to put them up on the SFERA website.
Two weeks down and many more to go! I’m excited to see how my story in Bitola will unfold, and who or what I will encounter on the way.
Nikola Kajin (Croatia)