My name is Dinah!! I am 20 years old, I spent 12 months on Chios Island. ~ katarraktisvillage

My name is Dinah!! I am 20 years old, I spent 12 months on Chios Island.

Άλλη μια κοπέλα που διάλεξε την Χίο για να πάρει εμπειρίες από Ελλάδα !!! Είναι πολλά τα παιδιά που διάλεξαν την Χίο, εμείς για να τους δείξουμε την αγάπη μας εκτός από την γενναιόδωρη φιλοξενία μας το μόνο που μπορούμε να κάνουμε είναι να τους αφήσουμε να μιλάνε μόνη τους για την εμπειρία τους!!

 Έχω ρωτήσει πολλά παιδιά και όλοι είναι πρόθυμη να μου πουν την γνώμη τους ( Θα δείτε σιγά σιγά πολλές απόψεις από πολλά μέρη του κόσμου!)

My name is Dinah, I am 20 years old and I come from Germany. I spent 12 months on Chios Island. After I returned to Germany in the End of September, I moved to Chemnitz to study European Studies at the university.

I had just graduated from school when I decided to take one year off to do a voluntary service abroad. I found out that there is a program called European Voluntary Service under Erasmus+ and I thought that this could be the perfect way for me to do something totally different to what my life looked like before.

I found many nice projects all over Europe, but the project I decided to join in the end, was called „Experimental“ TES and took place on Chios Island. I was not particularly attracted by the place in the first moment. I haven’t even heard anything about this island before and I was mainly focused on the great program where I could fit in very well and where I would learn many interesting things.

When I arrived on the island it quickly turned out, that I didn’t just find a fantastic project, but also a beautiful and cozy island where I was excited to spend the next year of my life. I was very surprised when I found out that it isn’t a very touristic place. But this fact seemed even more charming to me. The island is authentic and original. I saw crazy car drivers, many taxis, bumpy streets, many small old but also modern houses with its own character, many street cats and dogs, palm-, citrus- and most important for the island mastic trees, mountains and much beautiful blue water. It is just stunning to look at

 the sea and to watch the glittery lights that shine from Turkey in the night, the sunrises from the eastern part of the island and the sunsets from the western part. 

All those characteristics and many more made this island so special and became home to me after a short time. For me, the year on Chios Island opened my horizon, I learned many things regarding independence, skills for my future professional life, social skills, cultural understanding and european feeling. Europe itself doesn’t seem that big to me anymore. 

During work, at home and in my free time I spent much time in our little multi cultured group of volunteers. Those friendships are the most precious things I took with me from my year on Chios Island. They are living in different corners of Europe and I am already looking forward to visit them there one day! Until now, we already met a few times and I am sure we will stay in contact.

In the beginning our project only took place in the village Vrontados, where I spent 12 months living and working. I lived together with always around four to five other volunteers from all over Europe and we all worked for the organization „Experimental“ TES. For those who don’t know, the organization „Experimental“ TES is a non-profit organization which offers next to other activities like Summer and New Technology Activities also volunteers who go to schools of Chios Island where they assist and support the local teachers. During the school year 2014/2015 we had a variety of tasks including painting the school yards, creating work shops for children, but also crafting and supporting teachers by preparing projects, presentations and costumes for celebrations. We always gave our cultural input when it suited to the project, so the children got to know differences and similarities between various european countries. I for example helped the sports teacher of the third primary school of Vrontados to create an international dance celebration, where the whole school danced dances from all over Europe and because of my origin also from Africa. The work in the primary schools was always fun and I felt so well accepted by the teachers and the children. Especially the children were curious and very lovely. Sometimes they crafted things for us and made us little presents which mad all of us very happy. I loved the work with children on this island. I noticed that Chios’ children were very open minded and curious towards our different cultures and also very polite. As I experienced living in a German city, German people are not that warm hearted with each other as Greeks if they don’t know each other. I appreciated and loved this welcoming mentality.

Since the summer 2015 our project extended and also took place in the village Katarraktis. So, I luckily had the chance to visit the small village various times. I was very surprised by the openminded and warmhearted mentality that everybody in the village put in us volunteers. There was always a huge support and kindness from the side of the parents with whose children our volunteers worked, but also from the rest of the village’s inhabitants. I remember having great evenings sitting in a tavern together with the volunteers and locals talking and laughing for hours. I loved those relaxed moments where so many different cultures met each other and just had a great time together. Katarraktis in general isn’t a big village, but the inhabitants bring so much life in this small place! One day, we joined a little party in Katarraktis and for all of us volunteers it seriously was one of the best parties we had on this island and in general! We had so much fun together, old and young locals. It was a family feeling there. So Katarraktis and its inhabitants are definitely worth visiting. I am looking forward to see Chios including Katarraktis again as soon as possible.


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