Monday, 22 July 2013

What do you know about Estonia?

The only thing personally I knew before going to this country were some jokes about their slow way of talking and thinking, which is completely wrong, and that's actually it. Nevertheless, I was pretty excited to travel somewhere not too popular but still Europe :) I'll tell more about the country (with pictures, of course) in the next post.

3 days ago we ( me and my close friend Kate) came back from 'teach and work' camp in Estonia, which was held by Tallinn language school 'In Down Town' with the help of our sending organisation SCI and our hosting organisation EstYes. Our job was to work in camp with kids from 11 to 14 years old, to organize day programme , to keep them entertained and to practise as much English with them as possible. 
Our 'camp staff' consisted of students from different countries (Germany,  Hong Kong, Macedonia, Kazahstan, Spain) which made it so much fun and gave us incredible opportunity work with new interesting people.

 We arrived in Tallinn 3 days before the camp to do all the necessary planning. We came 1 day earlier to school so we managed to meet the volunteers who were finishing their city camp . They were incredibly friendly and full of emotions, so me and Kate  got kind of foretaste of our future camp. The planning went well, although not as friendly as I expected. After day planning we had some amazing strolls around the city, which still stand out in my memory. I honestly fell in love with Tallinn and  finally found the answer to 'What's your favourite place in the world?' question. at least for now, haha.

Then we packed all our stuff and went to Vaibla, little village on the shore of Võrtsjärve (the second biggest lake in Estonia, kind of reminded me of Svitjaz), where our camp took place. The whole place was very peaceful and charming, even though it was quite a mosquito kingdom.
Working with kids of that age was completely new experience for me, moreover I wasn't sure whether I would be able to communicate if some of them didn't know English, so I was very excited to challenge myself.  The camp itself went pretty smooth, even though sometimes exhausting, but still very fun. 

Me and Kate made country presentation of Ukraine, which was kind of challenge for us at first, but at the end I think kids liked it a lot. We managed to unite inside of our volunteer's team and spent amazing time , swimming in the lake, planning the next day in the middle of the night, having 'cat naps' together and just dancing and singing (I just can't put in words how much I miss it right now).
Also, for me as a christian while working in non-Christian camp, it wasn't the easiest task, but  I tried my best to be good example of Christian in camp, to support other volunteers, to witness my principles and position and I hope that God worked through me there.

A piece of advice I want to give to future volunteers is the following: be friendly! to other volunteers, to campers, to supervisor, try to break the ice, even if you are tired or frustrated - make an effort ! that's what your team work depends on; let your fears (of unknown places, unknown languages, unknown experience, whatever) fade in the light of God's protection.

I am very grateful to God, my parents, friends, SCI and EstYes workers - who made this whole thing possible. This camp is definitely one of the highlights in my life (oh common - first time abroad!), and I can't wait to see my new international friends again (yes, I am talking to you - Deni, Sofia and Cadence.)
Feel free for ask me any question about the volunteering here.

1 comment:

  1. I am reading this article and I have tears in my eyes. I was working after u in Down Town School and I liked there so much. I know also Alex, Cadence, Maria, Oleg. Wonderful people and I also find a lot of frieds there. Nice words about this camp and amazing photoes!!!!