End of June and I have just one month left in Estonia. :O
But before getting depressed about that I will talk about my June, as some really cool things happened in June, beginning from the Child Protection Day, the Art-week and finally the “Jaanipäev” (Mid-Summer Day), which I spent in Tartu (as I helped there as a volunteer at the “Gaudeamus”-festival).
To start from the beginning - June began as May ended - making a trip with all the youngsters - this time we went to Tartu.
Together with them I was in the cinema (first time in a long long time since I sat in a real cinema :D) and later in “game hall” with lot of trampolines and different kind of games.
After all the travel - what is of course really nice - I nonetheless was happy that a weekend where not I am going to travel somewhere else, but a lot of volunteers were visiting me.
So on Saturday Dan (from Italy), Carla, Antonia and Nadja (from Germany), Nais and Juliette (from France) and Esther (from the Netherlands) arrived to Hargla.
We had a really good barbecue together (including dessert – banana-boats (banana with chocolate) and just a good time - I really enjoyed having them around - cooking, laughing a lot and no stressing about anything.
As we were quite a lot of people (the busdriver as again very surprised to see so many young people that want to go to Hargla #tb to my birthday) we stayed for the night in the youth center, where we had, after the mosquitos got too annoying, a Just Dance competition and then went to bed.
In the next morning we went in our pyjamas from the youth center to my flat (we did so, because in the youth center they started to prepare everything for the child protection day), where everyone enjoyed a nice shower and good breakfast.
After feeling finally like not like a-walking-barbecue (the smell was everywhere) we joined the child protection day, as I organized a workshop, where every volunteer should do something of their home country. As Tamara (from Armenia) later joined us we had overall 6 countries and it became a great day! - the sun was out (it was pretty hot) and it was nice to have all those volunteers in Hargla.(I think they also enjoyed and in the end we got chocolate as a “thank you” - and who would be mad, if someone is giving you chocolate? :D)
After the volunteers left I began to focus more on the upcoming “Art week”.
The general idea of that week was to renovate the bus-stations in Hargla (the one at the school and the one in front of the youth center). For that I had to write the project, what I did already a long long time ago (so long, I am not even sure when exactly) and when we finally got the approval to do that project everything started to focus on that.
Thinking of what workshops,.. are really important, which persons could lead those workshops and what we need to do in general - a lot of things to think about.
During that week it was already a bit crazy, as I could not believe that my project is really going to be “real”, but it was nothing compared to how crazy the actual “art week” was. :D (you maybe also can read a bit about it in Tanias blog, as she was my flatmate that week and so also was part of that week)
But before the “art week” started I went for the weekend to Võru, where we celebrate Carla´s birthday. Together with 4 other girls (Antonia, Carla, Juliette and Mira) we went out in Võru and well - the club was half full, but nonetheless we had fun. :D As there are more or less “white nights” in Estonia also, it was kind of weird to get out of the club at 2.30, as we wanted to change the club, and it is already a bit light. So we went to that other club (Bermuda - would not recommend) and stayed there a bit - as we did not like it we decided to leave and this time it was already really light. :D - after finally going to bed we slept quite long and decided that all we need on the next day is good food and “How I met your mother”.
After that weekend, the “art week” began. It started with the “wood workshop” - and the goal was, to have new benches, a board, where you can put up upcoming events, flowerpots, a sign, where other cities,.. are and frames, where we sprayed pictures in. - So as you can guess - quite a lot of work.
Even though we could not do all the things during the workshop (so the workshop leaders Imbi and Andres had to do something at home) it was really cool, as we were allowed to help with sanding the benches (and looked extra cool during it, as we had some glasses and something to protect our nose and mouth) and got a bit of an “inside-look” in wood work.
When we put on the second day the bench in the right place it was already really cool as we could see the first, small difference. :D
The following days other workshops took place - such as “gardening”.
On that day a lot of older ladies came to the youth center to help Lea (workshop leader) to put the flowers we bought in the right place. Next to gardening, we (so Rasmus, Tania, some youngsters and I) started to sand the wooden parts at the bus-station, cleaning the bricks and the roof started to paint it. It was really crazy, as we were outside until 22.00, painting the bus-station white (and inside “greyish”). Even though it was exhausting, it was really nice to see all the people who came to help us. :D
The two days were all about “graffiti” and putting all things ready. :D
The graffiti made a huge difference to the whole outlook of the busstation and I was fascinated by the paintings Raigo (the workshop leader) sprayed (is that the right word for that? :D). But not only he created those cool art pieces, also we - so the youngsters and I - were allowed to improve our graffiti skills. :D
The next day we corrected the last things and finally could put everything together. It was a really cool feeling to see, how everything worked and that the outlook was/is great.
As Tania had her birthday the day before and she was not in Hargla that day, we decided to surprise her on Friday with a cake and I could give her already my present. (which was a tree, as she wants to plant a tree in Estonia)
After she left (as her last bus in Valga was already at 19.00) everybody who helped was invited to celebrate the new busstation - so we had a lot of different “stritsel” and a lot of cake. It was a very nice ending of an exhausting week and I think the people really like the “new” busstation. :D
<<<<check out the whole process HERE :D>>>>
After that crazy week I was really happy to not have planned a huge journey somewhere - instead I went to Tõrva, where Tania and Carla invited a bunch of volunteers, Estonians and me to celebrate their birthday. The party was really fun and we had a great time together. (with a lot of shitty pictures, but at least a good memory) :D
So our Saturday night was quite crazy, but we still had program for the next day as Rasmus and Ülla invited us (Tania and me) for a “motivation/thank you - trip”.
For that we drove to the biggest lake in Estonia (border lake to Russia) called Peipus lake, where we made a tour with a boat. Later we had great food and drove to “sandwall” (in Setumaa). While driving from one point to the next we luckily could sleep, as Tania were quite tired.
To finish the day, we drove to Tartu, where we bought ice cream and then went back to Tõrva.
The following week was mostly focused on the Mid-summer, which we celebrated in Hargla on the 22nd of June. Firstly we played some games, what was really cool, as I got in contact with some people that I didn't knew before (unexpectedly this is possible in Hargla :D) . Later a big concert took place and even though it was cold, a lot of people came. :D
The next day my actual plan was to go to Võru and from there to Tartu, where I had to help as a volunteer. Unfortunately, I haven't thought about the fact, that the 23rd is like a national holiday and busses are not driving as usual. So I was waiting and waiting - and of course no bus arrived, but luckily a nice family, that took me to Valga.
My hope was to go with the LUX-express to Tartu, but unfortunately it did not had a place anymore :O So I already saw myself being stuck in Valga with no idea how to get to Tartu.
Luckily trains are driving normally during national holidays so I drove with the train to Tartu and could be there more or less on time for helping.
So finally at Tartu my workplace for the 23rd was at the information, what was kind of weird, as I had no plan where is what and how the whole festival works. :D
Nonetheless it was really funny, as I had another girl to talk to and the house, in which the information was, was also really cool – because it was a mirror from the outside, but from the inside it was possible to see everyone outside. So we always had a good laugh, when a group of people came to take #mirrorselfies :D.
In the evening the “tantsufestival” took place, which was pretty impressing. Thousands of folk dancers from all baltic states (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia) danced together and then each country for themselves. It was really an amazing show and we were quite lucky with the weather. :D
Not so the next day, as it was raining the whole day. Nonetheless we could watch the “laulufestival”, which took place that day. Again - really impressing - as a lot of choirs from all three baltic states were part of it and sang together. Eventhough it was raining and I was so cold we had a good time and a lot of fun. :D (also because we got really “good looking” hats, we were supposed to wear, what we did, but more to make fun of it, than actually taking them serious. At least we have some “good looking” pictures with them) :DAfter coming back I had to start packing my big rucksack again, as it was time for “malev” (work camp). (Malev = work camp; youngsters from whole Valgamaa can participate in that and go for two weeks to a place (like in my case the “ökovillage”), where they work and just be together. It is really cool, as you get paid for the work and you can make new friends J)
So as I just mentioned, my work & living place for the last week in June and the first week in July is “at” the Ökovillage. We had to deal with plants, wood and all those jobs, that our group leaders told us to do. :D (and I also cooked for my group, as my allergy hit me hard – one step outside and I started to sneeze :´D)
Next to work there is of course also free time, in which we did for example “kanuing”, which was really funny. Luckily we did it on a hot day, as two “boats” flipped (not me, yey :D I was actually surprised that we never flipped, as we were a lot of times “living on the edge”). Even though Marion, Kätlin and I managed not to fall in the water, the two girls still ended up in the water, as they thought, we will be faster, if they push the boat (let me tell you – it is not :D actually it is really (like really) slow, but okay :D)
As on the weekend all groups came together, we had to prepare some things for that (like a song, a flag + slogan …)
So on Saturday and Sunday we drove to a place near to Otepää (I drove to there with a truck from the military and my plan to sleep did not really work :D), where all groups came together and it was really fun. A lot of different things took place and even though the weather was not the best everybody seemed to be in a good mood.
On the first day, we had to present our flag + slogan (for each “competition” every team voted (points from 1 to 10)) and then did a parkour. Actually, I thought that I don´t have to do it (I was already happy about it, as I am normally that person who is falling down or smt. :D) – but well, I was too optimistic, as from every group one of the group leaders had to do the parkour as well and lucky me, I was the one. :D – the good thing was, that I did not fell down and got a shower as well during the parkour (one of the stations were to drink a cup of water and they did not prepare the cup for me, so in that stress they threw more water in my face then in the cup, which I still had to drink).
After some more competitions, it was free time and, in the evening, disco-time. Tania and I had a lot of fun dancing and more and more younsters joined us. :D
Together with all of them we made a circle to dance “macarena” and jumped/danced around like crazy ones.
Unfortunately the DJ´s were not the best and at some point the music was really not our taste anymore, so Tania and I decided to get in and have sauna, what was a perfect and chill ending of a long day.
On Sunday we had to wake up quite early, to do “gymnastics”. Luckily the rest of the day was really chill – just so so cold. I thought I don’t have to freeze in summer but turned out that I was totally wrong. :D Nonetheless I had a lot of fun.
The weekend was in general really cool and I enjoyed it a lot. To meet all those youngsters, getting to know them, dancing with them and just having fun was amazing. :D But not only it was nice to meet the youngsters, also to see all the youth workers and Tania (#reunionwithwifey <3) was something I am glad I did not miss. :D <3
And now – it is July already and I can´t believe that this is my last month as an official EVS volunteer :O It seems just so unrealistic, that all this – like my work in the youth center, all the volunteers and new friend – just the whole experience will end so soon.
So I hope that I can get the most out of it … but we will see what July is going to hold for me. :D
Im Juni konnte ich auch wieder viel erleben. Obwohl ich nicht so viel gereist bin, konnte ich neue Plätze entdecken, Freunde treffen und Erinnerungen schaffen.
Mittlerweile ist schon Juli und die ersten Freiwilligen haben bereits Estland verlassen – und ich, ich kann noch gar nicht richtig glauben, dass es am Ende dieses Monats bereits vorbei sein soll. :O Aber bevor ich Estland verlasse habe ich ja noch etwas Zeit, die ich bereits verplant habe (Campingtrip,...).