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Big fluffy snowflakes are falling behind the window. I'm under a warm wool blanket, with the laptop and nice Christmas music from New York Jazz Trio-Christmas songs & Classics album-. And even though, technically, outside the window it’s already December and the real winter has finally come to Valga, I will write about an outwardly gray November, but full of color and warm memories and experiences.

November did not stand out either on long journeys nor new acquaintances. I spent most of my time in Valga, at the youth center, and somehow, it turned out that many friends came to visit me.

In the beginning of the month, on the weekend, friends-volunteers from Voru came to Valga. We spent two days having fun. Sushi for 2 euros, funny second-hand T-shirts, a two-to-three-hour photo shooting in the studio on the third floor in the youth center and even karaoke together with Binghan in the TV-room...

Yes, there is a sushi bar in Valga, and its prices are moderate. And even though we ordered some of the cheapest, the sushi was quite delicious.

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We spent more than two hours in the studio and took some cool photos, as you can see.

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I felt so comfortable for the two hours we karaoke sang Christmas songs. It was really fun and relaxing.

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During the working days in the center, I played a lot of table tennis and billiard with youngsters. I've noticed that my tennis skills have improved a lot and now I am more and more capable to challenge advanced tennis players from our youth center.

Apparently, at least twice a week, we have a kitchen club where youngsters cook all sorts of delicious things like waffles, shaurma, sushi and chocolate cake, and there was much more...

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Somehow, those days went by really fast. It’s insane how fast time flies away.

On weekends, we -volunteers- gathered together in my apartment to watch movies. So my bedroom can be officially named as a small cinema for volunteers in Valga. Watching a movie on a projector is way nicer than on a small laptop screen. So our little movie club has evolved.

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For one week Flora, German volunteer in Hargla, joined me at work in Valga youth center. So we finally had enough time and space to play Schubert together on cello and piano. Even though we chose not the most cheerful song to play, we had a really great time playing together.

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On Thanksgiving Day, Laura and I were invited by Emily, American volunteer, to celebrate Thanksgiving with her and other volunteers from Valga. It was our first Thanksgiving celebration and it was an interesting and warm experience.  Mac and cheese was really tasty ;)

Probably one of the highlights  in November was during the last weeks, when I spent most of  the time in the photo studio, taking photos of friends and everyone. The equipment in the studio is really cool and, when used properly, you can take quality photos.

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Afterall, I had a small trip during November, even two. The first one was to Riga, to meet Laura, who came from Spain to visit me. So we had a really nice time in Riga and enjoyed the city at night, when it is especially charming. And   then, Tartu day-trip. I'm still asking myself why I didn’t visit Tartu in summer, when it was much warmer and more comfortable to travel. This is the mystery of my logic...

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In the last day of November, in Tartu. I felt that winter is already here. So Flora, Laura and I were trying to find a warm place from time to time during our sightseeing in Tartu, which is a pretty and cozy small town in Estonia. 

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One day It's definitely enough time to walk and see all its landmarks, what we accomplished.

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For one day I had an opportunity to work in Tolliste youth center, together with Ronja, a volunteer from Austria and also my flatmate. Yeah, Tolliste youth center is cozier, and there were many more smaller kids than in Valga. We played together boxing and skiing on xbox kinect. It was really fun. Later we had bingo time. It was my first time playing this game. I lost, but had a lot of fun during the process with a kid with whom we worked together during the hellish working camp in summer. 

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One of the events that we also took part in, was creating our own reflector. A reflector is a shiny thingy that can save your life on the road in dark times. And in Estonia you are obliged to wear it, otherwise you can be fined by the police. 

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One of the new experiences I had in November, was writing a project to get money from the municipality so we can set Christmas lights in Valga youth center. My idea is pretty simple but cool. I would like to decorate our youth center with Christmas lights and a light up decoration deer in the youth center yard. And also, to have a real Santa Claus inside, that would make december more enjoyable and fun for kids in our city. Christmas movies, cookies, board games and much more. That’s just an idea, but the first step is already done. Now let’s see whether city hall will like this plan as much as I do.

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Valga b&w cityscapes

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I started writing this blog with falling snow behind the window, and I’m finishing it alike. It gives me a great mood, even though I am wrapping up this blog in a bit of a rush. But the weather is amazing. Snow is falling down, yellow light from a streetlight is playing with the snowflakes and gives us this fairy tale vibe. And Mozartpiano concerto nº 15 makes me feel all this beauty in a sharper way than usual. Winter came and I’m really happy about it.

Для моїх українських читачів:

Листопад був менш інтенсивним в плані подорожей, але багатий на затишні вечори в компанії волонтерів за переглядом кіно. І хоча я все ж встиг зїздити в Ригу, нічне місто зачаровує. Також відвідав Тарту, культурну столицю ЄС в 2024 році. В робочий час, до мене приєдналась Флора, волонтерка з Мюнхена, яка працює неподалік від мого міста. Ми співпрацювали протягом тижня, і встигли також пограти Шуберта в дуеті віолончелі і фортепіано. Також протягом одного тижня, кожен день не менше двох годин я провів в фотостудії в нашому молодіжному центрі. Студія справді має багато інструментів, з допомогою яких, можна добитись професіональних результатів. Якось отак і пробіг листопад. За вікном вже зима, і зима в Естонії дуже красива..але про це вже в наступному блозі:)


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