Tuesday, 04.09.2018, 07:00
My mother drove me to the airport and before I left her, I told her that although I may seem predominantly happy to finally fly to Tallinn, another side of me is terribly sad to leave her. I started crying. My mother looked at me surprisingly saying that it would have been boring if I would stay in Freising. She joked: “I am as a mother annoying you all the time. ” We laughed. When my mother hugged and said goodbye to me she was wishing that I will have the best time. “Avoid to get homesick as much as you can and enjoy your time in Tallinn!”, she said. I kissed her on the check and went with my two suitcases to the baggage check-in.
At the arrival I was kindly greeted by my mentor Loore, my coordinator Diana, my tutor Kristiina from the Pääsküla Youth Centre and Maris, a youth worker at the Valdeku Youth Centre. We drove together with my roommate Gina who is also from Germany to my new accomodation. Diana explained us there organisational matters for the next two weeks.
Subsequently, my mentor Loore invited me and Gina to take a walk through Tallinn. For the first time I saw the Vabaduse Väljak (Freedom Square), Vanalinn (Old Town), Linnahall (City Hall) and the mesmerizing panorama that you see if you climb the old town hill.
However, throughout the whole day I was confronted with the Estonian cold mentality. When I went with Gina and Loore to the pancake pub, Loore named the waitresses jokingly as “typical Estonians”. Unfortunately, I took personally the behaviour of the waitress. I cried again. At first I thought that this woman hates me. But I was aware of the fact that this is the mentality in Estonia and you shouldn’t take anything personally.
Wednesday, 05.09.2018, 13:15
Next day, new adventures: Finally we meet the other five volunteers from the Creative minds project: Enrico (IT), Nastya (UKR), Vlad (BY), Alla (RU) and Vladimir (RU) greeted us at the Tallinna Tehnikakõrgkool (University of Technic Appliances). After lunch we went with our coordinator Diana to our hosting organisation, the Tallinna Spordi- ja Noorsoamet (Tallinn Sports- and Youth Department). Diana’s colleague Kristjan came to give an interesting and educating presentation about the city Tallinn and the principles of youth work.
In the evening the welcome dinner took place at the Indian restaurant Lendav Taldrik. Volunteers, tutors and mentors as well as some youth workers from different youth centers attended the dinner. There we had the opportunity to meet all the members responsible for the Creative Minds project. After the dinner I went with the other volunteers, Diana and Erko from the Kristiine Noortekeskus to the train station. Before we arrived at the train station, we talked in our “Estonian circle” as Erko jokingly called it. He explained “Estonian circles” are especially gathered during the freezy winter where you especially shivering your a**es off.
Thursday, 06.09.2018, 10:00
In the morning I went with Diana, Kristjan and the other volunteers to the Kristiine Noortekeskus. Youth worker Brita greeted us in the youth centre and presented us the facilities of this place. Youngsters from the ages 7 to 26 are welcomed to the youth centres. Mostly Russian-speaking kids visit the youth centre. Besides, the facility offers summer camps for children that are unable to go to the countryside during their long vacation. After the room tour our group gathered to talk about the schedule of the European Voluntary Service and the emotions we’ll feel during the next 11 months.
After the joint visit I was on my way to my current workplace, the Pääsküla Noortekeskus. My tutor Kristiina introduced me to my new colleagues: Steven, Martin and Carolyn. Furthermore, Kristiina gave me a room tour through the Pääsküla Noortekeskus. The youth centre is a big house with three floors containing an indoor skatepark, an open area with a kitchen, an arts room, and a DJ room with a vocal recording station. All in all, it’s a great place for kids to make sports, music and art.
Saturday, 08.09.2018, 12:00, Ilmarise Rulapark
Saturday was an indeed wonderful day. On midday I went to the Ilmarise Skatepark in Nõmme, Tallinn, to observe the Tagasi Kooli-Keerdtrepp Jam! – scooter competition. About 40 kids competed in the categories Amateur, Professional, Best trick. The competition was moderated by Keerdtrepp, Estonian’s best scooter driver. Later the band Öed which, was formed by Kristel Aaslaid and Tuuli Rand, came to do a Q&A. Unfortunately, I didn’t understand anything at the Q&A, but the girls were very funny and they showed me their hilarious German skills: “Ohh, hallo wie geht’s?! Supergeil!” Both narrated that they learned German at school. Kristel embarrassingly confessed that she adored Tokio Hotel as a teenager. Besides, when I asked them about their favorite thing in Estonia, both agreed that they love and cherish Estonian’s nature. During the end, soundcloud rapper Villemdrillen performed wittingly his first show at the Ilmarise rulapark.
Sunday, 09.09.2018, 10:15, Vabaduse väljak
Finally, I ran my first half-marathon. As Estonia is celebrating its 100th birthday, the running route was a special one: I started at Vabaduse Väljak and then ran through Kesklinn, Telliskivi, the beach and Kopli park. During the end of the run, I accelerated my speed, my breast was burning, but everything felt great. Running felt like flying, and as it happened I reached the finish line in Old Town and got my silver medal! My body was rushed with endorphines and happiness, I felt exhausted, but proud. My muscles burned hard, but I was still able to walk back to my friends.