MARIAM: 3 months in Estonia

Tere! I am Mariam, 28 years old, from Georgia. It has been exactly 3 months since I started my volunteering service in Estonia, at Saku Valla Noortekeskus, and I already have a lot of things to share with you. In these 3 months I studied a lot of Estonian words and sentences, learned new things while communicating with kids, gained quite a lot of skills and most important, managed to survive this very, very cold and snowy winter. Unfortunately, exactly in 2 weeks after I started my service, the youth center was temporarily closed due to COVID-19, though it did not stop us from implementing our activities in other ways. At first, I was little bit confused, I did not know how I would manage to contribute to the centre’s activities in that way, though in the end, everything went fine. During this period, we were offering the youth some online and outdoor activities. I can say that kids were very motivated to come everyday and participate in various outdoor games regardless the cold weather. It was undoubtedly a lot of fun to make snowmen, skiing, playing ball and many, many other games. Finally, after being closed for more than month, we are open again! Honestly, at first I had some difficulties in terms of communicating with kids. Unfortunately, language barrier was playing a big role, but day by day, I realize that communication is getting smoother and easier as we found some things in common, became friends, playing together, participating in workshops together. Therefore, every day is different and interesting. If one day we are having a dance competition, the next day we are busy with making accessories with shrinking paper or with 3D pencil. Frankly speaking, I learn a lot from kids. If before I did not know how to make legos or play pool well, today I am almost professional. For me, spending hours with youth is the way to discover new skills, learn how to be more friendly, funny and on a good mood all the time!

To summarize these 3 months, I can say that it was very interesting and fruitful. Volunteering service would not be so good if not so wonderful colleagues who help me and support a lot every day! In my opinion, everyone should experience volunteering once in their life as it broadens your horizon, shows you new ways and help you to develop and grow as a person! As for living in Estonia, it is definitely amazing! This country with its nature and beautiful places surprise you every day! Also, living in Estonia made me realize that you can survive and still be happy even in -20. 🙂

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