Different opportunity, I have in the Noortekeskus
Most of my week I pass on the Noortekeskus, I came for that and I like it. But on my EVS (European Voluntary Service) if you have one idea to do something more (where you are good, or you want to learn) you can do that. Just need to manage yourself and people, this is little bit hard.
So, me I though, that here I’m the person who know the better France, so I can introduce my cultures for the Nõo’s youngsters.
English teachers were a great help for that, they give me time during their lessons to present my country at the different basic school class.
It was one things that I really wanted to do, but on the same I wasn’t very confident, I don’t like to speak in front of many people. I remember when I was on university, and I did to do one presentation I was bad.
The day came and when I saw how many youngsters they had, I was little bit impressed. I manage myself and though must present your country at some youngsters, that’s can be worst. I present nice place in France, some food, fact about France (and Estonia together). This presentation was short, only 20 minutes for not be too boring, after this we did a Kahoot (we don’t do this king of game in France, and it’s too bad). And at the end they ask me a lot of questions, just need to push them at the beginning. Some of these questions was very funny and easy to answer it, some of them seemed worried about how a foreigner see their country. But few youngsters ask me very hard questions, like political and economics, and answered it as best as I could, I didn’t want to disappoint them.
Marco, the organizer of my EVS said me after, when you are little bit stressful, is when you take care at the success of something. I realise that, the only time that I wasn’t stressed were my worst presentation.
Hopefully to do that, I wasn’t alone, English’s teachers and Egle’s help was very useful to exchange and channel the different youngsters.
My target was also to ask who were interested to pass a France moment, once a week. At beginning there are a lot of students who seems interested, but after this it was hard to find a day and motivate them. Now I see, that my idea wasn’t very clear
But I’m feel happy to do that, when they come they are motivated and very friendly. We learn France, useful worlds and play games. As well for me is something new to explain, I need to be very clear, energic and think at everybody. Also, now I see, that I beginning I have no big plan for this meeting, and I expected that they talk to me about what they wanted to know. But this give this moment little bit confuse. Now with this little mistake I saw how I can do better with and improve this moment.
I do also this moment with the high school students. This moment is easier I have the big help of Kristo, my Estonian teachers. He helps me to motivate is classmate and organize this. Now
Now after do that, I realize how difficult is the teachers job, how my comportment was on school. I’m feel also better to explain and organize activities and speak in public. I just need to motivate more peoples.
Since few times I can also pass one day in a kindergarten. Due to that I will pass time with all the youngsters age 3 until 18 years old.
First day I started with the youngers one (two years old). It was a funny moment for me, less at beginning for the youngsters. At beginning they was so afraid of me, I’m enter on the room and there has been a so long silence “who is this strange people who speak so bizarrely”. But finally, they take habits of me and was very kind, but stay little bit shy. The following weeks were very different. It was with other youngsters each time, but one of them recognize him when we were outside, and instantaneity go to me, and since this moment they are no afraid of me. They try to show me their game, explain story. Talk with them is a funny moment, I think they don’t see that I don’t understand when they spoke to me. We can also see some nice moment, there had a little girl who was on his corner and she was so sad to leave his mum, but one of these little girls who was here, take her by his hands and invite her to play, this was nice to see. I think for the teachers is an extra help, and they can show at these youngsters, that everybody doesn’t speak Estonians around the world. For me it’s a nice moment, and I must adapt according with whom I am.
Be with other volunteers:
To be a volunteer in Estonia, give you the opportunity to discover a lot, travel, meet other Estonian, but also other foreigners.
To meet these peoples is organised some different meetings. First time it was on Tallinn, and I could meat people from Slovenia, Russia, Netherland, Belorussia, Macedonia, some country where I haven’t been. I loved this, but unfortunately, I had one of the worst English, so it was hard to communicate, and a big mess for me when they had big discussion with so many different accents.
The topic of this meeting was to introduce our project, meet new people, and explain better the specificity of our European Voluntary Service.
One very great moment of my EVS was the mid-term training. I had the time between is two meeting to improve my English.
One little car drive us in this place near Lahemaa Parc. We passed four days in some chalets, loose in the middle of the forests between volunteers. This place was so nice, and we were installed in of these chalets with sauna
This four training days was so passed so quickly, no time to be boring. The day was sharing between: exchange about our different EVS and all our difficulties, success, ideas and give us some advices.
They give us especially different way to explain our projects and to have the idea clear, but it was at ourselves with the help of the other volunteer to find solution.
It was a very good thing this exchange in volunteer, to find solution for other and listening their histories (we see things differently).
The first of this day was to share and explain our different EVS (some of this volunteer work in a kinder garden, tourist centre, youth centre, cultural centre, school…). It was impossible to consider this day like tiring, we had activities so various. Between each session we had different games like handicraft, energic games. All of us give into the games with good mood, and after that’s can be also idea to reuse for the youth centre, and we had all a lot energy to spend.
After during our free time we had so many opportunity ; try to learn how to juggle, wood games (I think Estonians because I never see this before), learn to do fire with stones (that seems realy easy when you show the example, but you understand that it’s hard when after ten minutes of try, the oly things that you have is some spark.
During all this stay I have the feeling to see more Estonian cultures. We had use a lot the sauna (when we didn’t forget to heat the water), and had the chance to try the smoke sauna, my favourite. It has so much charm, with the smell, the preparation, the sauna himself, use the plugged to cooldown. I’m not sure that every Estonian do that, but we try to respect the tradition to do a hole in the ice, and to get in between each time in the sauna.
Second day we did a long hike around the ice lakes and finishing this hike in the darkness, only lighted by the snow (we agree that we can’t use our mobile phone).
The last morning with five other volunteers and one trainer, we gone earlier in the morning to see the sun rise and prepare the coffee with a little fire.
During this stay I had the feeling to be little bit like a king, everything was great, the surrounding, the trainers and the food was so yummy (delicious meet and so much cakes to give a good mood).
With this different meeting you meet new people, you can invite them where you work, organize activity, and discover Estonia if you have a good feeling with them. Is also good to see that we are not alone.
Enjoy the winter time in Estonia
Tere, this is my new blog post, sorry you have not heard about me lately.
Since I am in Estonia I have a lot of free time and I have used this time to travel around in Estonia, to see a lot of pretty places. Winter and snow are comming, with that I started to looking for the big event during this time in Estonia. I saw that the Tartu Marathon is a quite big event, very famous for Estonian and a lot of people who from differents countries.
So I decide to participate and started to train for this. I was really motivated and loved that, I could learn a new sport and visit some nice places during the winter time. Unfortunately the snow just came after Christmas.
I found a place in Tartu to train; the track was perfect for a beginner.
I wanted to see nice places, so I went to Elva and really enjoyed this forest with his wooden sculptures.
Lähte and its big tower with a view of a beautiful landscape.
Vapramäe is still a little unknown to me, but so pleasant all those little twisted roads.
Kuutsemäe was my only chance to do mountain skiing, and time past so fast, no time to be lazy
In Nõo there are so much opportunities to do different activities (first time that I saw a party of snow football), and the track is near to the school and on the evenings it is the best thing to do.
When the big day came, I wasn´t sure to be ready for that, but it was what I wanted, try to do something that you are not sure that you can do. The place was so nice with all those people with flag colored hats. It was the first time that I participated on a marathon, but I feel, like it was a special marathon before Estonian 100 anniversary.
And the race started, time to see people with a nice style, they were already so far.
63 km was so long, I try to forget that I need to do that. See this funny people on the corner of the road with their bells and their encouragement that I couldn´t understand. It was funny to see those people who really seemed happier than us, the skiers.
It was also the moment to learn some Estonian bad words, when one people was not happy to be behind you.
My Estonian hat was my lucky charm, and it was the occasion for some people to start the discussion with me in Estonian. Unfortunately my only answer was “Ma raagin natuke eesti keelt” and that ended the conversation before it even started.
Finally with those moments, food breaks and other distractions, time and kilometers passed (not very shortly but they passed). When I saw the kilometers down, that gave me strength ”ten kilometers more, I can do it”.
The arrival was very nice, the speaker said my name, I was proud at myself that I manage to finish. It was a race for everyone, younger, older, even disabled people.
Now I´m really looking forward to Estonian 100th Anniversary this weekend.
Head vabariigi aastapäeva !
First months in a Noortekeskus
I write today to talking about the Noortekeskus :
The Youth Center is a little place of life, like a second home, where you can find something to play, spend your time just for chilling, or cook together.
In this place there is one Youth Worker and one teacher in handicraft to become, both of them have studied to do this job.
At the beginning, I didn´t know anything about this job, just my experience with some kids in football training or in my family. I just principaly add my different culture. One thing good in here is that we all have a different life cycle.
The first thing that I tried to do after I found out that I was going to Nõo was compareing things with the things that I have in France, to understand my job with youngsters.
But it is little bit stupid (it is like learning a new languague, you need to think in this language) and quickly I understood that this is not really comparable, because the history and the time table of youngsters are very different (and also our activity is not limited in the youth center).
To explain this, in French the school day ends at 5PM for the young from 7 to 12 years and after that we can wait our parents for few hours in a “garderie” (PIKAPÄEVARÜHM in Estonia).
In the garderie there are many things like here at the youth center – pool table, boardgames etc., but there are not some activities or events organized. It’s just for chilling and to do our homework.
In France using nannies is very common and 4 or 5 kids can stay in the house of the nanny to spend their time there and play together, but this is more for the younger kids.
I think the nearest thing is the “centre aérés”, wich is opened during the holidays. Like in the kindergarten you have a time table and all the participants need to follow the activites. While in the youth center there is no real timetable and the youngsters can participate in the activities if they want. It is their free will.
For me this difference is the thing that makes the Youth Center more funny. It’s necessary to think like the youngsters to find attractive activities. When the age difference is small (as I am 20 years old), it can be easier, but sometimes it is little bit difficult to think like them, because the mentality changes. I have seen that todays youth is a little bit less curious. Nobody force the youngsters to do something, they just have to rescpect some basic rules that sometimes we need to repeat.
Like I was saying before, we have organised some activities in the youth center. There are often some handicraft workshops – like once we built an Eiffel tower (la Tour Eiffel) out of recycled material. Or some cooking activities. The first week the youngsters prepared a meal to show me the estonian speciality. Few days after, it was my turn to find some recipes to make a three course French food. Cooking together allows them to get to know new recipes, but mostly learn how to cook by learn from their mistakes.
This last week there was also one event all over the Estonia, with the puppet movies – film festival “Kino Maale”. For some youngsters (I think the younger ones) and for me as well, that was a good moment and a chance to see the movies that you have and the habits.
What makes this experience abroad exciting is all the little and big things that we can do and participate outside of the Youth Center. I have had the chance to participate often at different events with the youth center. Sometimes I just give a ” coup de main ” (hand to help), help for implement, and sometimes I participated.
For example I participated at the visit to the milk factory (Laeva Meierei) with one youngster and that was an interresting moment. One other time we went on a hike during the night with some youngsters, that was funny to see them so happy in the darkness and after the hike so tired.
There has been other events like a camp for 7th grade students which was organized by the school. Even if I wasn´t so useful there, this moment was important for the youngsters and for me too, to see the things that we can do and spend some time together.
I think the moment around the campfire, which was taken care by the principle, was very successful from the beginning to the end.
The last event that I will speak today, is the Awards Event “Nõo valla aasta noor”, which was organized by some activist girls (Nõo Noorteaktiiv). And kindly they accept me to take part in this event. I had just a little tasks there, easy to do, but for me it was something that I don´t feel so confortable (not a lot) being in front of many people. Also it was useful to do that.
At the end I could see that was an event really well organized and I hope that more people will attend at this event in the future. Thanks to that I saw that in Nõo there are always something to do.
This time is little bit long, I hope that the reading was good.
First impressions about Estonia and Nõo
Minu nimi on Xavier. I come from France, close to Lyon. I will be here in the youth center for 9 months to attend my EVS project.
Before I came here, I didn’t know many things about Estonia (but I had heard that the main things that Estonians know about French is Edith Piaf and that we are « frog eaters »;).
Living in a distant country the main things I had been told is that Estonia is a cold country and that
there are beautiful landscapes.
About these too points, I was not disappointed:
I immediately liked landscapes. They are quiet, relaxing, like sleeping.
I came here in the beginning of september and the weather was like an autumn/winter month in France.
I have also appreciated that the Nõo’s center is dynamic and that people aren’t rushing as in a big city.
And they have time to explain you the way or others informations that you need.
It’s possible that it is specific to Nõo, but there are many activists: people work to have a better community by organizing different events.
It’s also very pleasant to ride a bicycle because you are not disturbed by cars. There are many pretty roads where you can find some nice old houses.
Tartu is like the rest of the country: it’s very easy to walk in this place. For a big city, the streets are very clean.
When walking in the city you can see many things in a short time. I visited a nice park with a famous observatory and a ruin of an old castle.
I was a little bit surprised by the difference of the english level between generations; young people have a fluent english.
In this country, I just miss some mountains.