About March: Frozen Sea and Singing Revolution
Here I am in my second month in Estonia. March was full of new experiences and begginings. The snow is finally starting to melt and everything is getting greener. The streets and the places, the flavours and the people are not so strange now and I have a routine that gives me a sense of comfort. Estonia feels a little bit like home…
Sometimes homesickness strikes in, not much as I thought it would, but it still does. I can´t deny some days I really miss my family in Portugal, but I guess it’s only part of the experinece of living.
Looking back, time went by really quickly. It is a good sign, but at the same time I wish it would´t pass so fast: I just want to see everything and to discover new places in the remaining ten months. It was also a busy month and only now as I write I realize how many things happened in just thirty days.
Back to the beggining of the month, I started to give an oil painting class, at the youth centre, to a small group of children. I teach what I know about color, shadow and light, techniques and how to use the different materials. Painting is one of the most relaxing activities: mixing the colors and creating whatever you want from reality or from your head. On the other hand, teaching is also a good learning experience for myself. It puts thinks in a perspective that I would never think of otherwise.
I am also assisting a ceramic class in the school, where I help the teacher in the activities and get also the oppurtunity to produce my own pieces out of clay, which then go to a really hot oven, and are finally painted. It´s something I never really tried and explored, but that I have been enjoying doing a lot.
Somewhere in the middle of the month, I went to the school in Lüllemae, where they had a cultural coffee, and children talked in english and russian. They prepared a little food stand and sold russian and estonian food. I was invited that day to do a presentation about my country. I really enjoyed to show diferent aspects about Portugal, chatting and answering questions afterwords. A great afternoon.
Talking about new places…
One of the days I visited Pärnu. They say its known for its beach or sea, and usually during summer has lots of people. So, I decided to go for a walk, because in Portugal there is sea almost everywhere and it is just a place I used to go to gather my thoughts. Once I got there, I was really confused, the water was frozen and covered in snow. I didnt distinguish the line between the land and the actual sea. It was funny. I guess this is how estonian beaches are on winter. I should go for walks on the forest instead, which are so also great to calm down. They are so green and peaceful.
I also went to Luhasoo, which is kind of a swamp, I think,. There was a little hut in the middle of the woods where people can sleep one night and be with nature. So green and beautifull!
And finally, I ended being really tired this last week, because of my on-arrival training, in Viimsi: a metting that every EVS volunteer has to attend, and which prepares them to live in a new country.
It was really usefull, but most importantly for me, I met lots of great people. We were seven it total, from Portugal, Spain, France, Italy and Germany, volunteers doing EVS all around Estonia: Tallinn, Viljandi, Tartu, Hiiuma and Saaremaa.
It was five days of intensive learning and hearing information. On the first day we started making the cover our on arrival book using colored paper, collages and markers. The main goal was to create a title that would sum up our EVS project or our journey in Estonia. We got to know each other, our projetcs, and our role inside EVS, how we could bring the most out of our staying, and learn as much as possible: the whats, whys and hows of everthing.
We learned about the language, the food, religion, nature and history: a global view of estonian culture.
Wednesday evening we saw «Singing Revolution», a movie that gives focus on how estonia freed herself from soviets during the 20 th century, trough singing, trough little groups of activists and in a peaceful and non-violent aproach, while still fighting for their freedom. A really great documentary, giving an insight of estonia´s culture and why estonians are how they are. I always think this country has such an interesting and powerful past.
I can say march gave me new places, new words and new friends, and an on arrival training experience to remember forever. Hope April willl be as great!
Eva, from Portugal.