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Projekti „Vabatahtlikud Valgamaa noorsootöös“ toetab SA Archimedese noorteagentuur Euroopa Solidaarsuskorpuse programmist.

 

 

Already on Latvian land, waiting for meeting with Estonia!

I get off the plane, already on Latvian land which greeted me with a cool refreshing breeze after two hours of flight!

The first face besides the workers and tourists I met here was the smiling face of a very cheerful and friendly guy named Vallo, who  went to drive me to the city I'm gonna live in. We greeted each other, left the airport and passed through Riga, beautiful city that reminded me of certain Ukrainian cities. We headed to Valga, the city in Estonia that would become my home for the next 11 months ... my volunteer life had just begun! !

So after a few hours, I arrived to Oteppa camp, a beautiful place with smiling people. And the reason I went  there as I found out later- was because my apartment was not ready for living. People greeted me very kindly there, and in general there was a lot of attention, everything in my mind was (foggy?)... 

After settling into the room, I also met with several volunteers, with one of them, Gabriel,  I became good friends later on, and I have to admit that, while Im writing this blog, I have sad feelings because he is already flying back to his home in Spain. His volunteering experience in Estonia is over. But I feel that we will definitely meet each other very soon ..

The first week of my volunteering I lived in kinda unexpected conditions, I did not expect that I  would need to help building a fountain for a future luxury hotel. That was our mission together with Gabriel, the youth center staff and teenagers. I will skip my negative feelings, but from the positive ones I can say that a week of work together with Gabriel, teenagers and others was pretty fun during free time, but even during work hours it was fun as well ... guys and girls were friendly and fun. We played volleyball together, jumped on hammocks,  dove into the lake and went to the sauna, lying on the grass afterwards and talking about many different things…playing piano in the evenings was also a very charming moment!

Nimetu

We all became very close in just a week we spent  together ..

Bathing in the lake with jumps from the pier together with cheerful teenagers reminded me of my own childhood and for a few seconds I felt like  I was one of them .. but everything has a beginning and an end.

The working camp ended pretty fast (time flies) and we rushed all over our homes in different towns in the area. So that's how I lived my first week of volunteering in Estonia...

For the first weekend, I decided to take a walk by the river that flows through the city to Latvia...! The park with the river is probably one of the most beautiful places in the city of . I don’t know the whole city yet but I have plenty of time to discover it… People  are slowly taking a walk and talking about something in an unknown language to me, someone swims near a small beach, enjoying the warmth, someone is sunbathing, even ducks are slowly traveling from one place to another, looking for food and drying their feathers under pleasant summer sun ... Sumner  here is raging, It won’t last long here, and every living thing around is enjoying this short warmth :)

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But to contemplate constantly is not possible, so I go back to everyday life, settle in an apartment that met me with such a familiar Soviet landscape...

Probably one of the biggest first challenges here for me was the lack of internet in the apartment for the first few days, but I managed and now, while i’m writing a blog, I understand how fast time flies…

First week in the youth center where I’ll spend the next whole year, was pretty fun and in summer mode. Sun was warm and shining in the windows of the youth center, friendly and joyful.Together with one guy -to whom I already, jokingly, call my ping pong partner-, we spent many hours at the tennis table, improving our technique while competing with each other. I was surprised that my hands still remember how to hold a racket and practice with the ball, because the last time I played ping pong was, at least, 12-15 years ago. I already forgot those times, but my hands remember everything they need to do...

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At the end of the week, Gabriel came to visit me, and we had fun and productive hours in the photo room in the youth center. That room will probably be one of the most productive and fun rooms with a bunch of laughs during the photo club I intend to create here. As they say, knowledge must be shared and also something new to learn!

I'm in love with the music room in the youth center, you won’t find Bosendorfer there, but the electric piano  is pretty cool... the drum set and the electric guitar together with the acoustic guitar give so many opportunities, that it’s enough   to fulfill any musical needs in any music souls in Valga city ;) just come and play as much as your soul wants, it’s really cool .. And what it is even cooler is that you can record yourself playing in the recording room.. I think this room will become one of my best friends here. Yamaha already tested, and I believe that we will have long conversations during  my time here...

The first week flew by very quickly and the first tasks  were outlined…

50 things I need to do  in Estonia, an interesting task, and 27 of them have already been written down... it remains to begin to fulfill all of them with travels, music and new literature ... these will be interesting months.

I didn't have time to look around and I'm already in a car and going to a camp where teenagers in military uniform will test themselves for endurance and survival skills in the forest ...

Chuckles, everyone stands in line, as in the army, with participants from Switzerland here as well, Holding our breath together, we are waiting for what the command will tell us to do and what we, the volunteers, the participants of the competition and the workers, will experience for the next four days ...

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The second day of the competition, I am on my feet in early morning(6.30 am), sitting in the field on the road in the tall grass and waiting  some noise or conversations from the side of forest. It will mean that teams with participants are going to the next check point and my task is to make their lives more difficult, take a photo of them on the road. And if i’m gonna be successful, they're gonna lose points... My camera is ready, I feel like a sniper in the army, the noise, I see four figures walking in a field near the forest, I lie motionless on the road  behind tall grass, from which they are clearly visible in my lens, I click the shutter and their faces are stored in my camera .. That’s how most of the days went by in the military camp. I called it military because it was the most military of all the camps I’ve been to. So, in general, these days were spent waiting in the woods or the field for teenagers in uniform. We chased after them, took photos, followed the birds that flew nearby while waiting and enjoyed forest life,  sunset and sunrise, clouds with interesting shapes...

There are many interesting adventures ahead waiting for me and I am more and more in love with t Estonian nature. Forests, forests and once again, forests. Thanks to them I am falling more and more in love with this country, gradually but surely ..

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The first month of volunteering is almost over and now I can say that the life of a volunteer is definitely a life filled with adventure…

And to make the evening more fun, my musical recommendation this time is Pres & Teddy by Lester Young / Teddy Wilson Quartet.

Good evening to all my readers and I'll see you in a month!

Bye bye :)

 

Прибув в Естонію..отже мої волонтерські пригоди офіційно почались. Перетинаю Естонський кордон і перше, куди прямую зовсім не квартира, де я б міг відпочити з дороги, а шлях до робочого табору, де я проведу свій перший волонтерський тиждень в мому житті...це було важко але й весело водночас. Багато нових знайомств і весело проведений час і вільний від роботи час. Третій тиждень вже тут, і вже встиг побувати в двох таборах. Другий військовий був справді цікавим досвідом і знайомствами в ньому. Тому так, волонтерство це однозначно пригоди, це не завжди просто але очевидно цікаво і інколи абсолютно вражаючи...

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