Forests, forests and again forests!
This was my first impression when I landed, at the end of August, in Riga. After an exiting flight, it was my first flight ever, Elina, Vallo and Volodimir picked me up from the airport and then my adventure started. I had emotional first days because I realised that Estonia will be my home for the next 11 months and I won’t see my family and friends from Austria for a year. There will be definitely ups and downs in the coming year but I am surrounded by nice and symphatic people, so what can go wrong? :)
My first month in the Tõlliste youth center in Tsirguliina was amazing and I also enjoyed to work together with Elina, my collegue. From playing card and board games to outdoor activities, my days in the youth center were full of different activities and will be also in the future. I am looking forward to the coming activities and clubs we already planned! The youngsters also teached me how to play billiard. To be honest, it was the first time for me to play this game, a bit embarrassing, right? :)
The first event in my ESC project was the school start party in Valga. The kids had possibilities to join some games but then suddenly a heavy rain suprised us and we fled under a roof. The main attraction for the youngsters was probably the appearance of a famous rapper from Estonia. To be honest, it did not quite hit my taste of music but it was great to watch the happy faces of the youngsters. :)
And another event followed: the overnight in the youth center in Valga. We played ping pong, billiard and cooked some nudelsalad together. Mmmh, it was yummy! Here, I had also the chance to get in contact with my mentor, Janar. A few days later he showed me Valga and the latvian part, called Valka. I really like the size of this city, because everything is within walking distance and there is a beautiful river where I sometimes walk along and think about my life abroad.
The first days in the youth center flew away and then I thought about doing a little presentation about my homecountry Austria, that the youngsters know me a little bit better. We watched some pictures about me and then we tried to make „Palatschinken“ (similar to pancakes). Luckily there were some youngsters who are very good in cooking and so after a few fails, we had delicious „Palatschinken“. :)
One of my best highlight this first month was definitely the on arrival training in Rakvere. I met many volunteers and made within a few days very good relationships. We talked about the estonian culture, language – I try my best but it is a very hard language to learn, and also about the climate in Estonia – about the cold, dark and long winters. Even though the winter will be probably very cold, long and dark, I am looking forward to it! From building snowmen to a snow fight with the youngsters, it will be definitely funny :)
And then Ülla, Madly and me picked up Flora from Riga airport, a volunteer from Germany. It was like a flashback for me. A flashback with very good memories. I started my ESC year also a month before at this airport. Now, my first month in Estonia is over and I had already so many different adventures and experiences, so I am very looking forward what this year will bring!
And now some words for my austrian readers:
Mein ESK Projekt startete Ende August in Riga am Flughafen. Nach einer dreistündigen Autofahrt durch die schönen Wälder von Lettland und Estland, kamen wir in der kleinen aber feinen Stadt, namens Valga, an. Die ersten Wochen vergingen sehr schnell, da ich in einigen Events teilnehmen durfte. Von der Übernachtungsparty im Valga Youth center bis zum „Palatschinken“ kochen im Tõlliste Youth center. Kurz gesagt, dieser September war ein abenteuerliches Monat in dem ich vieles erleben durfte. Mein Highlight war aber definitiv das On arrival Training in Rakvere, in dem ich viele neue Bekanntschaften machte. :) So, und jetzt bin ich schon gespannt auf die nächsten Wochen, was da wohl alles passieren wird? Ich halte euch am Laufenden und bis zum nächsten Mal!