Dear Estonia (Hargla)...
… I want to thank you for an amazing year full of new experiences! I was glad to make my EVS in this wonderful country. Thanks to you I have met amazing people, that became friends and I don´t want to miss them in my life. (hihi <3)
Because of you I travelled a lot and saw many new places, I did not even knew that they were here. :D
Dear Estonia - because of you I had the most amazing year! During my 11 months I have got to know so many people - because of my new work, because of travelling…
July was a great “finish” for that a fantastic year.
Normally I am more describing what I did, I will do that in this blog as well, but just shortly (or at least shorter than normally :D), because I would like to “use” this blog this time as well to say thank you to all those people who made my eleven months that great. :D
So as you maybe know from my June-blog, the Tankla-”malev” took place in the last week of June and the first week of July. So in that first week I still helped in the Parmu Ökoküla. :D
One day I took of to say Nadja, the volunteer in Torva, goodbye, as she was going back to Germany. After having a chill day with her I went back to the malev. On our last day there we went to Latvia, to a climbing garden. It was really cool and I enjoyed it after two exhausting weeks to do something different than dealing with wood and all those different works we had to do.
Nonetheless I was also really happy to finally sleep in a real bed again and having a shower + tiolet in the same house and so on. :D
So after coming back from Malev it was all about washing my clothes, as on Sunday the road trip together with Carla and Antonia started. :D We rented a car for a week and drove around Estonia. It was an incredible week - we had a lot of luck with the weather, saw amazing spots (including a lot of photoshoots) and great road-trip-vibes thanks to Carlas playlist. :D
My highlights were definitely the camping in Lahemaa national park, Hiiumaa (we went to Saaremaa as well, but I liked Hiiumaa more - I felt like in a southern country - a lot of summer vibes :D), swimming in the sea and the “sinine järv” (blue lake), the Paldinski-cliffs and in general the being-together with good friends- <3
During the week we had a lot of fun and I am really glad that I could be a part of that trip. <3 Finally I can tick off the islands and Haapsalu from my to-do-list and I saw even more than I expected. :D
After coming back (Sunday evening) there was no time to get again used to sleep in a bed (we were sleeping the whole week on mattresses, that
were losing air by the way, in a tent :D), as on Monday morning the “looduskool” (Defence League Camp) started (again sleeping in a tent) were Tania and I were supposed to be group leaders.
The camp was luckily not far from Hargla (I think for the first time I was the one who had the shortest way to go there) & we had 2 and a half nice days there. I was a group leader of 8-year-olds and together with two other group leaders I was looking after them and doing the workshops with the kids.
After this camp the next one was already around the corner :D - as on thursday the Tankla summer school started. There I was as a group leader for Taheva area, but as this camp was organized differently I did not do the workshops with them. Instead Tania and I had a part in the “Volunteer-workshop”, where we tried to show the youngsters through games how an EVS-journey can look like. :D
After doing our part we mostly “chrased” other workshops, what was really funny and so it came that I painted Tanias face and know a bit more again about selfedefence. :D
I really enjoyed the Tankla summer school and I got to know more youngsters from different areas. :D
After coming back from the camp I felt so tired, so I spent my Sunday mostly with sleeping. :D
The week in the youth center was mostly focused on the upcoming “fishing day”, which Rasmus in organzing every year. :D The event itself took place on the 28th and it was really cool - a lot of people came to fish (even though it was really hot) and could get a prize in the end. :D
The following days I mostly spent with trying to squeeze in as much stuff as possible in my suitcase, just to see then, that it is to heavy… Damn it :D
But while stressing about this at least the last two official workingdays in the youth center were really nice.
On the 30thin the evening there was a “summer-concert” in the youth center which turned out to be kind of a surprise party/saying goodbye party for me. It was really cute, as Rasmus was showing some pictures what I did this year and after that everybody came to give me a present and a hug.(and a lot of flowers) <3 It was so nice to see all those people from Hargla – I will miss the people and my second home so much (I will come back :D). <3
And then the 31starrived – my last workday – it did not really feel like it, more like a normal day, just as if I will come back tomorrow anyways. :D
But well … unfortunately it really was my last day and in the evening I drove to Tõrva, where I went together with Tania to the lake (finally I jumped from the wooden tower) and we had a chill & fun night. <3 – I will miss her, our conversations and just being with her. <3
The next day we drove together to Valga, to have breakfast and later I was meeting Tamara, to say her goodbye. We had a good time, which we mostly spent in the Youth Center. :D
The next day I went to Võru, where I had picknick at the lake with Carla and Antonia. It was so nice and the time flew way to fast. This time saying good bye was really hard - they gave me a really cute bracelet, which they also have. <3
Ich werde euch sehr vermissen - die Gespräche über Gott und die Welt, die H2O-Momente und das einfache zusammen sein mit meiner Gang. :D <3
So as I sayed in the beginning - I also want to thank some people, who made this year as fantastic as it was! :D
For that I want to start with that person that made it even possible for me, to come to Hargla - Rasmus, my tutor.
I want to thank you for everything you did for me in those eleven months! I don't even know where to start :D During the eleven months you always supported me with my ideas, you always answered my questions (even though I always had a lot) and tried to help me as good as you can.
Of course without the youngster the youth centre would be boring - so to all youngsters - big thanks, for coming to my events and club, trying to speak in English or just letting me join during board games. I will miss you all! :D <3
Of course the project is the main reason, why I am in Estonia, but along my stay, I also had the opportunity to travel and thanks to that meeting new people/volunteers. I have met volunteers that became closer and closer to me and now I think I can say, that they are real friends, with which I hope to stay in contact with. <3
You may ask yourself which people I am meaning with that - and, if you are an active reader, then maybe you can guess, that it is those people who I mentioned more often in my blog. :D (coincidence? - I don't think so)
I am going to start in the order I got to know these people - even though when I met them, I had no idea how important they will be for the rest of my year :D
The first volunteer I got in contact with was/is Nadja. Even before I came here we already started texting and philosophizing how our life in Estonia will be. I was very glad when we first met at a parkour event in Ritsu and we got along immediately. Looking back, there was no need to worry, what I should wear and if she will like me. :D <3
Together we had some great experiences (I will never forget our Riga-trip or the kanu-trip, where we looked like alive trees in the end), endless photoshootings and just chill nights in Tõrva.
Also quite immediately after arriving to Estonia I have met Tamara. She was (or still is, at least until the middle of August) a volunteer in Valga. I want to thank you for interesting conversations about our cultures and for always letting me stay in your flat when I needed it. Because of you I got in touch with the Armenian culture, about which I am very glad, as before I was not thinking much about that country.
Thank you for always being incredible hospitable and for always caring about me. :D <3
Following these two people I would like to mention Tania- I was meeting her the first time in Otepää, after she arrived to Estonia. She became not
only a friend, but also my mother and wife. :D - I want to thank you for making “reflection”, the camps and everytime we were working together as much fun as it was. I am glad I could (well I still can) call you my co-worker. But not only for the working part I want to thank you, also for becoming a great friend :D I will never forget our trip to Russia and all the adventures we had there. <3
Thank you for being always hungry during the camps, so I did not suffer alone, thanks for making working together so much fun and thank you for all the experiences while not being in work.:D <3 (you are making a great wife by the way :D)
Last but not least - Carla and Antonia. Even though I met them also quite early, we were not so much in contact in the beginning - this somehow changed after christmas, about what I am very glad.
Carla- thank you for always making weird faces with me, for sharing the love to snack-tomatos (or in general food) and for becoming a real friend, with who I can talk about God and the world. :D <3
Antonia- thank you for inviting me to your flat when I was visiting Võru for the first time, freezing with me during ice fishing and even though you are German, you are always trying to use “Austrian” words.
All those volunteers I have mentioned became closer and closer to me - Even though I know them for less then a year, it feels like I know them so much longer, as we were sharing so many stories, adventures and deep talks. <3 I hope we will see each other in the future, because good friends, as you are, are hard to find. (#deep) :D <3
As you maybe already recognized, I made my EVS in Hargla. And what would a youth centre and all it's events, clubs and so on be without people? - nothing :D
So I want to thank all the community in Hargla (and surrounding). Even though in the beginning I was the weird girl who is smiling and saying “Tere” to people - now I am not the "weird" girl anymore, and people are greeting me as well. :D
I want to thank everyone who came to my German club (special thanks to Jandra and Mathias, who were always there :D), helped me with all different questions and came to help during the art week. I want to thank the “old ladies club” as well for always asking me to join and giving me a lot of (free) food. :D
Some persons I want to thank in special - like Jandra. As her German is better I will write the following in German:
Liebe Jandra! Danke, dass ihr immer zu meinem Deutschkurs gekommen seit. Doch nicht nur dass, ich möchte dir auch dafür danken, dass du mich zu euch nach Hause eingeladen hast (darüber habe ich mich unglaublich gefreut). Dadurch konnte ich noch mehr Leute und estnische Traditionen kennenlernen. Vielen Dank auch dafür, dass du, immer wenn ich eine Frage hatte, schnell geantwortet hast und versuchtest mir zu helfen.
Along with youth work it makes sense, that I have also met a lot of youth workers. (whaaat :D - I know, quite shocking)
Special thanks here goes to Ülla, who is Tanias tutor. :D Thanks for telling me how sushi-rice is made, for always having complicated questions to answer during reflections and for having someone to talk to during the fishing day. :DD
Of course all these people I mentioned I have met in Estonia - but without the people at home, so in Austria, it would have never been possible.
I want to thank my family who always supported me - my mum with sending me ideas for my handicraft-club, my dad who always sent me stuff I did not even know I needed (like cables,...) and my sister who always took over my snapchat when I knew I will not have internet for some days. :D and of course my grandparents who always called in worry I am not eating enough. <3
I want to thank my boyfriend for always listening to my stories over and over again, for even learning some words Estonian and for visiting me during the coldest week. :DAnd of course I want to thank all my friends who were asking me how my year here is going, sharing the gossip from home and for being friends, even though I am/was so far away. <3
So now - this is the end - eleven months in Estonia and it was an honour! <3
July was great! A perfect ending for amazing eleven months :D I hope I will stay in contact with the people I got to know here. SUUR AITÄH!!
Nun freue ich mich aber auch auf zu Hause - obwohl ich noch gar nicht so richtig realisieren kann, dass ich bald wieder in Österreich bin. Ich freue mich meine Familie, meine Freund und alle meine Freunde wieder zu sehen und gutes, österreichisches Essen zu genießen. :D <3