My name is Tania and I’m from Spain. I am the first volunteer with my colleague Nina in NGO Valga County Youth Work Center Tankla and I’m quite proud of this. Everybody ask me WHY did I choose Estonia and if I’m doing ok with the weather, but the fact is that I’m not coming from the typical sunny and warm places in Spain. Galicia, my home county, is in the northwest of Spain and every storm which comes from the Atlantic Ocean touches first Galicia. So I’m used to have rainy weather almost every day. The rain it’s a friend to me and may be a reason to feel nostalgic but never depressed.
You may notice that I’m not talking about snow because it’s really rare to see snow where I came from. So I’ll explain my experience and sensations about it in other chapter when it had already started to snow. I hope as you, I could see mountains of snow in the street and have a proper Estonian winter.
Now I’m here living in Tõrva with a Russian boy and a German girl, working in Ritsu and in Ala with a group of youngsters that had already started to steal my heart. I work in these two youth centers as a co-instructor but I also work in several projects for my coordinating/hosting organisation NGO Valga County Youth York Center Tankla including this blog.
I just had a couple of lessons of Estonian so far but I want to be fluent on Estonian and that is a goal I set even before to arrive here. By now, I can say that it’s very difficult but at some point I will start to write in Estonian. As Spanish is my mother tongue, and Spanish is a Latin roots language, to confront a Uralic roots language means to modify all my knowledge about languages and all grammatical structures I have learn at school. I feel that my learning process is slow and that’s completely true. I just hope that people around me could be patient and emphatic about my Estonian and communication skills.
Going back at the questions topic, I should say that I’ve majored in Sociology and that is part of the explanation of WHY I chose Estonia and Tankla project. As a sociologist I’m interested on different societies, different human behaviours and I also have a lot of “why” questions to answer about Estonia. There is a quote that clarifies my decision perfectly and it is: “You have to go there to know there”.
May be, you cannot imagine how amazing is this experience for me at the moment, but don’t worry, I’ll explain it all in that blog. Just be patient.
Little explanation of my trip day to Estonia:
My journey started in Santiago de Compostela where I picked a flight destination London, where I would stop and get tired of waiting so long because there is no seating outside the security controls at the Stansted airport. I had already travelled a lot, even to that airport so getting there did not make a big difference to me. But, suddenly, I had to embark, and a smile settled on my face and I couldn’t take it off. It only got bigger and I did not even mention the happiness I felt when I landed in Riga. (Clarification: Riga, as you know, is the capital of Latvia, but it turns out that both, Riga and Tallin have the same distance to Tõrva. The difference was the price of the ticket). Of course, I did not have a battery in my cell phone, because in Stansted the plugs are different and I missed this detail, although I was not going to carry the adapter, so I was not sure who was going to come to pick me up, if there would be someone or not or if they would have tried to contact me. And what happened? My fantastic Ülla and Rasmus were waiting for me with a poster with my name I loved that detail because I always wanted a welcome like that). It was already the next day when I arrived at what is now my house and I was very tired, but that permanent big smile would take several days to leave me relax my face.
Mi viaje a Estonia. Pequeña explicación:
Mi avión salía de Santiago de Compostela hacia Londres, donde haría escala y se me cansaría el culo de tanto esperar porque en el aeropuerto de Stansted no hay asientos fuera de los controles de seguridad así que todo el mundo se sienta en el suelo. Yo ya había hecho muchas escalas y un par de viajes a Londres, por lo que llegar hasta allí no supuso una gran diferencia para mí. Pero, de repente, tuve que embarcar, y una sonrisa se me instaló en la cara y no fui capaz de quitármela. Esta solo se hacía más grande y ni hablar de la felicidad que sentí al aterrizar en Riga (Aclaración: Riga, como sabréis, es la capital de Letonia, pero resulta que tanto Riga como Tallin tienen la misma distancia hasta Tõrva. La diferencia la hizo el precio del billete). Cómo no, yo no tenía batería en el móvil, pues en Stansted los enchufes son diferentes y se me había pasado este detalle, aunque de igual modo no iba a cargar también con el adaptador, así que no estaba segura de quién iba a venir a buscarme, si habría alguien o no o si habrían intentado ponerse en contacto conmigo. Y ¿Qué pasó finalmente? Mi fantástica Ülla y Rasmus estaban esperándome en la salida con un cartel con mi nombre (detalle que me encantó porque siempre quise una bienvenida así). Ya era el día siguiente cuando llegué a la que ahora es ya mi casa y estaba cansadísima, pero la sonrisa tardaría en quitárseme de forma permanente varios días.