I am really happy to inform you about that our EVS office promotion has started! The first point was the from our colleague event. That was Rädda Barnen Ungdumskaffe. It was on 27 of February. We were a little bit nervous about because it was first time that we are presentating about European Voluntary Service for some people. It was pretty nice to try ourselves in that roles when you should present some official program in nice and funny way. But it think we succesed.
Also we had one more presentation in Ålandsyrkesgymnassium on March 15. That was also nice to face. To present something in front of new people everytime is kind of challange for me but it is still nice possibility to increase your own self-confidence as well. And soon we will go again and again to share the info about our project and about EVS in general
When I came back home after visiting Spannish friends I had to discover new people and that were Laurie's parents and her godfather's family which came to visit her for more then a week. That`s really cool and nice. This week for me, as a person who hasn't so much travel experience, was really nice and full of fun but the most important that I could learn more from French culture and "what is that kind of person called "French"" and how we say in Ukraine "with what you can eat them".
It was really nice to spend time with them. In short description I can say about them only nice and warm words. People with which you don't feel age limit and wonder for the same energy and life optimism in your future! So for me that's pretty cool to met that French, people which I even haven't know so much but for now I can say that i like french people so much even they eat frogs or not (kidding, it doesn't matter).
Also I should let you know that they presented me 2 sweaters! So, nice and warm sweaters, now I don't have any possibilities to get flu and even flu.Merci beaucoup!
And yes! Aperooooo! If you can say one word which will discrube one nation, for example, for me for Spanish I would use siesta, so for French I will use "Aperooooo" and use as many "o" as your lungs allowed you to spell. As well we were cooking ukrainian national meal - VARENYKY, hope they liked it.
It was so short time but they should go. And became to the last goodbye words and one thing that I can say: if I can count their kindness with points from 1 to 10 I will give them 11! Thanks for the time that In had possibility to spend with you all! All nice French!
I still remember about your invitation and soon! Life is long way and I hope I will wind one path to Nantes or more! I guess more! See you soon! Welcome again to Åland! In summertime Åland island are much more beautiful! Merci! Au revoir!
Good news guys! Finally, we recieved reply about our EVS project from Finnish national agency! Here we go!
This time that I am here in Finland I have met so much people. Of course huge amount is from Ålands, especially from archipelago. But there are so few people that I know from mainland and which made a big mark in my life story. And know I want to tell you about them a little bit.
They live in Northern Ostrobothnia! All around and in Ylivieska. It is so nice to have some people outside your motherland and when you can share your "not the best moment in your life" and just have fun, a lot of fun! For this moment I felt s little bit empty and just need something outside my rutine here in Åland. Just needed some little changes to recieve more motivation for future time here in my project. And I really miss them since our last meeting in Helsinki. Yes, I am talking about Spanish! For me they were a huge discovery. I everytime feel like I am home, like with my childhood friends, time when you can spend in totally silence and still have fun just being together. I forgot to mention about Austrian girl from Ylivieska! She is also part of this group but usually I say that they are all spanish, maybe to much general thinking in my mind.
So, let me talk about travel. As a rule Finland is king of expensive to travel and it is huge minus, espacially for me but still when I was going to visit them I didn`t think about money at all. I just was happy that I could visit them! Ferry (to Turku), then bus (to Kokkola), then train and I was in Ylivieska. Started at 2:10 pm and I arrived to Ylivieska at 5:40 am. Kind of short time to got so far from Mariehamn. When I reached my final destination I felt much more cold outside then in Åland. It was around -15C but it was still ok to survive. When I left home it was around -2C. So, nice change as for one night.
Finally, Ismael met me and we went to his appartment and went to sleep, I was kind of tired after "comfortable" 7 hours in the bus. Then we woke up and went to Lisa´s apartment and asked about breakfast as a joke but she was so kind to us. After Albajoined us and we went to their working place - youth house "Spuntik" and it means "Satellite" in russian, weird to find some place named in russian here in Finland. During this David joined us. And yes, Ylivieska is totally Finnish place, everyone speaks in Finnish, all advertisements in Finnish, no Swedish at all.
The second day was really nice and we went to frozen lake and sauna. And, and, and ICE SWIMMING! But let me talk about all in order. Walking time was cool and beautiful. It was so beautiful to be in the center of the big lake, yelling like grazy and hear echo. That probably my best impression about Finland and I will keep it for long years with myself. Then after geeting cold for our bodies we went to sauna! Real Finnish wood sauna next to the lake. And after warn up our bodies we went to the lake and were swimming there for few moments and run again to the sauna. It was awesome, taking breath and so on. I don't have enough words to discribe it. Just one advice - try it and you will know how it feels. After that we had fika and went to bowling. After we were so tired and went sleep a bit. And then for the midnight dinner we cooked ukrainian national dish - VARENYKY. Hope, that Spannish liked it.
Sunday was sleeping day and time to say goodbye! It's nice to have this moment to understand that you can miss someone or something. That was that case. But we will see each other soon, in March and have fun again. Looking forward for this time again. That`s all for now.
Great! It was so great to be here. I am on my way home and still miss those Kökar guys! If continue talking about them: again and again my life gives me more and more opportunities to learn different life tips. That time was about first impression about people. Honestly, when I have visited this school last year I didn't have the best impression, though that they are close minded, super shy and finally not interested in us like persons. But it was my WRONG first impression.
While the ferry is going to Mariehamn I have enought time to tell you all about cool guys from Kökar and how that came that they are so nice now! But let me talk everything in order!
Everything started on Sunday. We took the bus to Långnäs and then ferry to Kökar, it hard to imagine but all our small jurney took around 4 hours, too much as for so small Ålands how you can see on the map. But reality says other things and with this you have to live and never will run away from it. That is all about life. And there are life on lonely island in the Baltic sea. Then we came to school and Diana, school headmaster, picked up us from the ferry to school. Yes, this week we stayed in the school, because unfortunately, noone could host us. It was´t so comfortable to sleep there but enought to survive. So, that was our Sunday.
Monday, woke up early and went to meet pupils! That was day of breaking steriotypes about them all! They were so welcome and open to us! WOW! I was surprised! Also they had the school cafe and all people could visit, eat cakes and talk with pupils. During that time we have possibility to talk with them and ask their names. As for me I have big problems with all names here, particulary because I am slavic being and particulary I really have bad name memory. Then, what a surprise, they asked us to stay with them overnight and do some activities. So, that was the next step to brake steriotypes! We told a little and then they went home.
Tuesday, that was day full with talking with pupils and day of horror evening. Guys came after school and we have watched horror movie and then played "hide and seek" in school without lights, scary backroúnd sounds. It was funny and espesially see boys which were scared but didn`t want to show this. At moment like that you can recognise yourself in the same age. Yep, but need to say they were brave! Respect to you all! But the most funny was that moment when they wanted to do spiritualistic seance. They were so motivated but when it came to the reality everyone was too scared. At least they tried to play other game "Charlie-Charlie are you here?". How was scary that moment when pensil was moving by itself. Ha-ha it was so funny to see their faces. Then we had a little talk and went to sleeping bags!
Wednesday and Thursday were kind of the same. We were playing card games with funny talks after. So, in general we had fun! Also on Thursday, one teacher was sick and we had to lead two English lessons, of course, you can guess and it was time for games and talking with pupils! That was really fun for both sides. Hope we will have such possibilities in that school in future.
Friday, it was day to say goodbye, for me it was so nice to be there. But everything has the end. It was also in that case. But we gonna return as soon as possible! Miss you guys and be that awesome people as you are!
Well, it is the short story about how the first impressions can be wrong as hell, how you can learn new stuff without any expectation! And that is what life is all about!
So, first of all we were looking forward to being there since On Arriving training. Meet our friends, hang out with them and of course get new things for our project and do evaluation of what we have done for all this time.
And yes, about travel: The midterm training took place in Sopukka, Sippo, 35 minutes by bus from Helsinki. But of course we took the ferry to Helsinki, were in so hurry to get from harbour to Kamppi (central bus station) and we wenen't late! Bra jobbat! Then on bus station we met some our evs friends.And went with them to Sippo. As we arrived we met all other volunteers! And this time there were around 20 volunteers.
First day we met our trainers and I wanna mentioned that they are open minded and inspiring, you really wanted to get more and more from them. We were talking about "How have we come to Finland". How it came to our minds, which steps we had done before and so on. It was really interesting to heart different stories and of course share your own story. After this discussion we had a dinner and some relaxing time in sauna and swimming pool all together. Play different games after and eat-eat-eat!
Thursday was really nice and we were talking about our projects and how you can learn more from it. It was also nice to share your own experience, heart new ideas and inspired yourself for future. Then of course we had delicious lunch and ya, maybe it's time to say that food in general was so tasty! Oh year!!! And then sauna + swimming pool and rolling in the snow. And after that we had a small food party near fireplace. We cooked sausages and crep (kind of pancake). And a lot of spanish music as from spotify and from one spanish girl - Noelia, she has so nice voice!
Friday! The last day of training was about our future. Some of us wanna stay in Finland, someone wanna study and travel, someone wanna go to Africa as a volunteer. We did evaluation of the trainings and said goodbye to our trainers and some volunteers. And one more news that the manager Sopukka allowed us to stay there for more to days and have there some kind of party. And greetings for always good person from Spain!(He had birthday this day) and what was interesting we have sung the "happy birthday" song in 12 different language. I also tried sing it in Swedish.
Personaly, I just wanna add that I am so happy to meet so much nice people again. If compare to Kokkola where I have discovered for myself Spanish people, here I have built more deep relationship with all of them and also met so cool girls from European Australia, land where you will never find a kangaroos or koalas in wild nature, yes-yes, I am talking about Austria! Also I have discussion with one Spanish guy and we talked a lot about different stuff in the world and it makes feeling that all people are the same and have so much in common despite your motherland, religion and so on. It was awesome to talk with all you and spent some good time with you again. Thank you again that you help me to discover the world and insipired me for future. But everything has end and that helps us to meet places, people, things. That makes us people! Miss you so much! See you soon!
Awesome! That's all I can say about this school. I have so full schedule and meeting with pupils even I think neer to stay there more to discover every curious pupils! They are so open minded and welcome! Huh, I would love visit them again as soon as possible.
So, first day I spent with 4-5-6 grates where I presented Ukrainian culture and made with them my first workshop. To be honest I need to improve my workshop for this age group because as I have seen it didn't work so well as I have planned. By the way all of us had fun. That was my first day in the school but then with my host Pamela showed me a lot of lovely places in Föglö and surrond islands. I can definatelly say that is so nice place and worth to visit.
The second day started eairly in the morning and we went to the school. That was day of Lucia! Let`s talk about this holiday. Basically, it is traditional Swedish holiday which is also celebrated in Swedish speaking part of Finland and of course in Ålands! In school children together with teachers prepeared it in advance. On this event there are one main girl with a candle crown and others support girls which are dressed in white dresses but without red belt as has girl which symbolizes Lucia. Aslo there are few boys with the hat looks like conus and they hold stars in the hands. And few small boys with a candle lantern. All of this makes so nice picture. Of course all of them have been singing swedish traditional songs (maybe you have probably already guessed it was Lucia songs) in the hall for all parents which could come. That was nice! Then they went to the kindergarten and elderly house to share all this fairytale atmosphere. and yep! Festive Lucia lunch with traditional Lucia buns, made with saffron. But to be honest this buns wasn`t something super tasty and deicious.
After all this mess in the school I had hosted 2 lessons in 7-8 grates where I presented my culture and workshop "Outside the box". That was cool! Pupils were so interested and it was so exciting. But as everything has the end... All I wanna say that's I wanna see them again and talk! Hope it will be soon. Also in the evening I cooked ukrainian traditional soup - BORSHCH. Hope that Pamela liked it.
The next and the last (UNFORTUNATELLY) day I spent with 9 grates. There were more shy and ot so open like 7 and 8 but still we had nice conversation and they teach me the longest swedish word which of course I couldn`t spell but I will try to do this next time! I promise! I have been doing the same things for them and hope that they had fun.
So, for now I am looking forward to the new visit to Föglö. Still full of expectation and hungry to share with you something new.
It has been week full of everything. But let me talk in order.
Laurie and I came to Rebecca's and Nico's house to celebrate the Lillajul(small Christmas). It was so nice to see different tradition. I think it's kind of important to have this holiday here because in so dark and depress place like Scandinavia you should have possibility to have fun one time more than for example in sunny Portugal. So, clever scandinavian had done such a great case to have holiday mood in this way. And yes, julskinka(traditional Christmas ham) was delicious! So with full stomach we had recieved presents (Angry Birds Christmas calendar) and had of course some glög (like sweet mulled wine but without any alcohol). For me this traditional swedish drink was too sweety. So, yes and everything has been finished by the nice film.
So, then Monday - first day in the school. I was impressed by teacher's welcoming. There were so kind. Also this day was full of the Ukrainian presentation. It was also a record for me! The longest presentation, more that one hour I had been talking about Ukraine. That was a day of presenting myself to the school.
Then, it was Tuesday, it was more informing day for me. I could talk with pupils more then yesterday. Also I was able to be part of the lessons also everyday I was a part of that. During this week all pupils had been preparing themselves to the Lucia! Lucia is so big event in Sweden and Swedish speaking part of Finland. But let`s talk about it later when I will be in Föglö where actually I will be celebrating this holiday. Well, about preparation: everyone had been learning songs and iron their costumes. So, it had typical atmosphere of the coming celebrating and I felt it as well.
Also I want to mentioned that pupils are quite shy in speaking English but still are interested in being and get to now something new for them and this is the most important as for teens. Be courageous and curiousand you will discover the world!
So, my school week had been finished with doing Christmas handicraft with pupils.
As I said this week was full and busy. But as everything in the world I want to take like life experience, so it was exactly that!
Well, see you in Föglö!
Finally we got Helsinki! I have been waiting for this moment almost all time after Kokkola. Of course I wanted to meet our old new friends and also my brother`s family which live in Espoo. And also I need to say: Tack så mycket Nico for the free tickets!
Well, when left our home at 11 pm it was -1C and I though that it shouldn`t be colder in Helsinki or even warmer but Finland as a Finnish people are so complicated to understand. When we came to Helsinki at 11 am rhere were -11C and just imagine how it was for us. And there it`s -11C but you felt it like -20C or even more. As for me it wasn`t so cold but when you didn`t take your winter shoes and clothes it was a little uncomfortable, just a little, sure. Fortunatelly, we found my brother`s wife - Irena and she picked up us. After few warm minutes in the car we were walking in downtown. I really like Helsinki city style even I can use Swedish word to discribe that "lagom" and also restrained. Also we could see there few malls in the downtown but it`s also useful. Finnish says that it brings more money for the city from tourists which shoudn`t go outside the city. But for me the symbol of Helsinki is the Kamppi Chapel. It is also known as the "Chapel of Silence". Really nice place waste to visit.
Then Irena drove us to her home and we ate traditional ukrainian dish - borscht. We were playing some games and talking a lot. Then my brother came from his work and gave us a lot of advices "how to servive in Finland". In the evening we visited Ukrainian ambassy where we had been listerning ukrainian band "Zapaska". After that Laurie and I went to the downtown and met other friends but unfortunatelly only for 20 minutes because we should go and my brother (his name is Evgen (read like Jevhen) picked up us and we went to sleep.
Saturday of course started with breakfast then we were playing some games and then after lunch went to downtown to buy a sleeping bag and meet friends. So, we bought wrong size (we just took first one with good price and quality but as we understood later it was only for teens, yes now we know). Also we met friends! And all decided to go to public sauna but as I didn`t have all equipment and unfortunatelly I couldn`t visit that place with all. But my evening wasn`t boring! With Irena I went to other concert of different bands from all around the world. Also there were "Zapaska". Then we picked up Laurie and went to sleep. That day was great and long, fortunatelly.
Sunday! Breakfast and also it was a Father`s Day in Finland. So, 2 nieces and nephew had been thinking about present for my brother a lot days before. And his wife present a special present for whole family. Visit to Toyota sport center, so after that we all came home and had lunch. Then we packed all our stuff and said goodbye to everyone. Evgen drove us to the downtown then we met with Spanish and went to the ferry terminal and went to Åland!
And now, it`s time to say thanks for all who helped us in Helsinki! Hope that we can meet again and soon! Hej då!
So, i wanted to start with word "unfortunatelly" but it it`s not so good to start story with negative words i think. But next (not first) sentence I can start with that word that I have planned before.
Unfortunatelly (but also I think it`s fortunatelly) noone could host me in Kumlinge and that`s why I need to stay one more day in the office and came only on Tuesday. Of course we always can recieve help from Mia. And that`s why I wrote before "fortunatelly". i had chance stay in her house and live with her husband and also school headmaster - Kaj. I really like to talk with him for many reasons. For example, he has a lot of expierence with children and that we call "live expierence" (for me it`s the most important) and he is also person "out" of my work routine.
So, he picked up me at 4 am near appartments in Mariehamn and we went to the ferry. It has been horribly snowing for all evening and night before so our road to ferry wasn`t so easy as I thought. But hopefully Kaj had been driving in this conditions for many years. Then we came to the ferry without any traumas and alive! After visit their little farm with 2 horses and 3 donkies gave them hey and go to the school.
My first day wasn`t so full of everything and I just follow lessons and was playing games on breaks with pupils. I did presentation of Ukraine for 8-9 grates. After all lessons in the Tuesday eveningsall pupils have additional 2 hours with Ken(sport youth leader). They were playing floorball and football. And it was great anf remainded me my school.
Next day(Wednesday) I was more and more integrated to school life. I did one more presentation for 7 grate. The same schedule with playing games on breakes. But in the evening with Christopher we planned ghost walk with 1-4 grates. As my Swedish is so poor at the moment I needed his help. Children really enjoy this walking in the snow. To be honest to the last I was a little impressed. They aren`t so afraid of snow and cold conditions. They are happy to lay and play in the snow. For exaple we were not allowed to play in the snow during schoolday in Ukraine. But as one teacher said me: There are no bad weather to play outside. You just need right clothes and shoes". And it is true! Now though all of my time here I can see a lot of mistakes at least in our Ukrainian school system.
The last day before I came home I had one more presentation anou my country and was involved to the media lesson where we were discussing about US election. For me as a peson who is not interested in political games at all it was boring and I forced myself to read some articles in ukrainian and russian news about that question. But it`s also realy good that pupils talk about current events. After lessons I had 2 hours with middle grates. We were playing different games and I felt really welcome. For me that 2 hours were very important to understand more pupils and be in that same atmosphere.
So, now I should end the article with possitive words and I will do it. Tack så mycket för hjälpen Kaj and Mia and all whomade myself welcome in Kumlinge school!