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May 6MAYbe this was the best month so far. The summer finally arrived in Estonia and not only for one week, but for the whole May. There where countless hours of sun and so many different activities, that I hope I don’t forget to name them all.

On the first days the Valgamaa volunteers gathered again and we visited one of the southernmost points of Estonia, Paganamaa. For this I again borrowed the car, because the bus connections to rural areas in Estonia are very unsatisfying. On this astonishing day in the nature we also made the decision to spend a night in the nature in the upcoming weeks, but more on this later. In Pagnanamaa we walk a small hiking trail that also includes a wooden observation tower (the Estonians just love them). Also did this trail lead us right next to the borer towards Latvia and even though it is not allowed to cross the border without some restrictions, we set our feet into the neighbor country because border patrols were obviously missing in the forest.

May 1May 2

May 3The next week I used while working in the youth center to clean up the garden of our flat in the evenings. Now it is accessible again and I started to work on a fireplace build with bricks that I will finish in the begging of June. You see, the month was quite packed with a lot of things to do, so on the weekend, Vici, Mylene and I decided to drive to Tartu and visit the national museum alongside the famous upturned house. Unfortunately we couldn’t visit the second one, because of the time it took to visit everything in the national museum. For me the best and most interesting part about it was not the exhibitions, but more the modern museum technology and the building itself. Because the museum opened just in 2016 it is the state of the art. The museum was build on an old airfield and therefore resembles a runway, which is just massive to look at. The exhibitions were all mostly interesting, but in the end we were so exhausted from constantly reading everything and walking around, we kinda rushed through the last meters.

The next trip a week later brought us to Setomaa. This is a historic region in Estonia in the county of Võrumaa, which is with Valgamaa the two counties in the south of the country. Setomaa is famous for its very own history and culture, but mostly for the infamous Setooma Boot. So we visited a few important villages and landscapes in the region and on the way to our next station we drove through the boot. The Boot is is a very small area in south-east Estonia that belongs to Russia because of historical reasons. But because of the shape (it cuts right into Estonia) people are allowed to drive through there, even without a visa. The street is just about 800 meters long and while you try to comprehend that you are outside of the EU and inside Russia, you already drove back into Estonia. In conclusion it way more interesting to read about it and plan on driving through there, but the actual street looks and feels like a normal Estonian street: Straight and in the middle of a forest.

May 8May 13

After this scary experience we quickly brought some stuff in a local groceries shop and drove off to Meenikunno, a bog I have already been with the youth center. There we settled on the shores of a lake, lit a fire and slept in a tent until we where woken up by the sun. We went hiking on the same trail as I did in winter times, but the nature and the landscape was completely changed. So I could experience the bog as it would have been the first time.


May 4

The day right after Rasmus met all of the volunteers in Hargla to have a relaxed refection. We went fishing to the biggest lake in Valgamaa and I finally, finally caught something. Unfortunately those fishes were way to small to eat, so we had to leave the lake with empty hands.


The last major trip I did this month was to Tartu again. There I met with the Volunteers from Võrumaa who sadly already left us in the end of May. So we wanted to spent a last day together in Estonia and experience something we hadn't done before. In order to archive this, we went to a boulder facility and spend some hours there. In the end I couldn’t feel my fingers or arms anymore, but I was able to beat some, for my understanding, hard courses, even though there were two I was unable to finish. Afterwards we went to eat something in the city center and while we walked through the old town, we coincidentally walked by two second hand shops, were I found some nice clothing. There are advantages to be the one with the map.

May 16May 17

In the evening we met at Vicis flat to collectively watch the Eurovision Song Contest. This was the first time for me and I have to say, I really enjoyed the show and the idea behind it, even though the voting is often to politically influenced and my favorite song didn’t win.

May 18To wrap up the month, Vici had her birthday and invited all of us one more time in her flat to celebrate. Lately Vici got a bit insane and tried to make out of trash more or less good stuff. So we all were forced to wear some cut open and colored bottles. I, for myself, was unable to bake something out of a yeast dough, but I still feel like the critique was a bit to harsh on it. Nevertheless the party was real fun, personally I most enjoy bringing some inexperienced drinkers to bed early and having a long chat in the morning on the balcony, while the sun is rising (at 3.00 am).

May was one hell of a month. It didn’t feel like so much while doing all this, but writing this reminded me how many things I’m actually doing in my service here. And I didn’t even mention everything this month, for example the village also put up a tree statue to honor the past and future volunteers of Hargla. Next month will be as amazing as this month was. Maybe even better.

May 15Im letzten Blog habe ich mich ja überhaupt nicht auf Deutsch gemeldet, dafür bekommt ihr hier die doppelte Ladung.
Hargla, beziehungsweise die Organisation, die für mich verantwortlich ist, hat eine Holzstatue zu Ehren der Freiwilligen aufgestellt.
Der "ESC-Baum" ist von dem Holzkünstler aus Hargla gefertigt worden, ebenso wie die Blätter auf denen die Namen der bisherigen Freiwilligen eingraviert sind. Wenn mein Vertrag hier am 16.Juli ausläuft, darf ich mein eigenes Blatt dort auch aufhängen. Unterhalb des Namen steht auch der Heimatort und die Entfernung zu diesem.

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