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Eea Grants

…even if there would have been a few situations, action, stress and fun always distracted me xD. This month I spent on two camps, got some visitors from afar and used my covid pass to cross a few boarders. As you can see, my bed missed me also in July xD

But let’s start with the 1st of July: On this day, Madli and Elina picked Xaver and me up for a little surprise- Our “farewell”-trip. Yep, soon it’s time to go, but thankfully not in July (at least for me). So our Tutors organized a nice day for us: First we went to a climbing park in Otepää, then got some delicious food and ended with spotting Estonian animals in a rescue center. Probably one climbing parkour was the first time I nearly shed a tear (of fear), but thankfully, a woman before me did that job (she had a panic attack I guess) and so I pulled myself together. As I said, no time to cry in July lol.

Already on the 2nd of July, I met Xaver and Madli again, this time to help them with their sports day. There I got the chance to experience something completely new: Kiiking. This Estonian sport is basically swinging in extreme. Ever wanted to do a 360 on a swing? Well, then try this crazy activity! Sadly, I didn’t manage the full circle and also the rain messed with our planned activities, but at the end every participant was happy (I think) and that’s all that matters.

On the 4th of July friends visited me and we went to a concert of the band “TradAttack” in Valga. On the next day Matvii, Xaver and I got up early to drive with the car in the direction of Pärnu. Final destination: Saaremaa. We visited a meteorite crater in Kaali, an old church somewhere near and then headed to Kuressaare, the capital of Estonias biggest island. We strolled around the cute city before we made our way to some big lighthouse at the tail of Saaremaa and camped nearby. The following day I wanted to see Vilsandi national park, but it was a bit of a failure (Spoiler alert: not the last). First, one of our team members (I don’t want to say names ; ) lacked in competency as a navigator and so we ended up in the middle of a forest of a peninsula. On the way out, the car suddenly had starting problems. Last but not least, the chosen hiking trail wasn’t existing anymore, but the tourist information gave us a tip for a nice cliff, which we visited instead. Since that wasn’t enough, we made our way to the famous panga cliffs, which were so beautiful, that we decided to spend a night there. A fatal decision. I don’t want to spoil it, I guess Xaver will tell you more, but let’s say it like this: We found a village swing and the boys were inspired by kiiking, so they kinda escalated a bit. The result lead me nearly to tears again, partly because of despair but mostly because it was also extremely funny (the whole situation was just crazy) But well, again no time to cry- I had to drive our patient Xaver over the whole island to the hospital. We came back at 3 in the morning. Amazing. As a result, the next day marked the early ending of our road trip. Sad, but at least unforgettable xD

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Two days later, I was on the road again, this time alone on the train to Riga. Did a bit of sightseeing, then slept in some volunteers house. On the following morning, I took the bus to Vilnius, where I also strolled around the whole day. In the evening I met with my couchsurfing host (I tried the app for the first time). She was super nice and we went out with her friends. They showed me Lithuanian specialties and we went to a few bars. A super cool evening!!!  After a night on the couch (obviously), some special guests picked me up: My parents and my brother came with the car all the way up from Austria to visit me! I was very glad to see them again after nine months :) We spend a few days together but then I already had to leave them: It was time for the second summer camp!

This time, the defense league was the organizer and we (the Tankla-volunteers) prepared some water games inbetween the breaks (the kids had some workshops like masking). It was all fun until the weather had a sudden change, which lead to a huge thunderstorm. Tents flew into the water, trees broke and a lightning hit the house, under which all the kids searched shelter??? It looked like the end of the world and I am still wondering, how nobody was physically injured (except from one defense league guy, but that’s another story). After this traumatizing experience, around half of the kids left the camp (mostly because their tents were damaged), but we continued and tried to give the remaining youngsters a nice time.

After the official end I immediately took the bus to Pärnu, where I met my family again to celebrate my dads birthday in a typical Estonian restaurant, where I could also practice my language skills a bit (the ettekandja understood me, yeyy). The following day, it was really time to say goodbye, because my loved ones had to drive home. As it repeats, there was again no time (and necessity) to cry, because the day continued with a farewell party for Xaver.

Since my live wasn’t stressful enough, the day after was also the start of Malev, a 2-week long working camp (old soviet tradition xD). Honestly, I was a bit scared of physical work, but all in all I just spent those two weeks just like an average Estonian from countryside: Collecting rocks, potatoes and berries. Could be worse. Ok, cleaning the raspberry field from ohakas (..) was worse, but on the other hand I was also allowed to care about the ponies a few times. Oh yeah I forgot to mention: I spent my time on a farm near Puka, where Kajia, our team leader, lives. She was actually a volunteer in Austria once, so we could talk a bit in German ;  )  She has horses, the cutest dogs, sweet kids and a cosy sauna house, which we used nearly every day! Our other team leader Pille was also super nice and I also got to know some cool youngsters who talked a lot with me. Yeah, sometimes our group had difficulties, but all in all I really can’t complain: They were all crazy but very motivated and had a group spirit. I think on this camp I learned more about the Estonian youth than I did the whole year in the youthcenter haha. Malev was definitely way more fun than I’ve expected!

There was just one very sad thing: In the middle of Malev I went to Hargla to the night market, to spend the last day with Xaver, before he finally left : (( He was my best friend here in Estonia and again, I nearly started crying. But then I had to go back to Malev, where work kept me busy. Oh well, life goes on and soon I will leave, too… But first, I will hopefully have a nice (and calm) August here in Eesti!


Ok, danke, wers bis hier hin gelesen hat, sorry für den Spam, aber es ist im Juli einfach zu viel passiert… Ich muss gestehen, vielleicht war ich beim Schreiben ein bisschen überemotional, denn eigentlich hatte ich im Juli eh viel Spaß. Hoffentlich wird mein letzter Monat in Estland auch noch ganz nice ; )

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