Tuesday, March 6, 2012

On-Arrival EVS Training – Day 4

   The last with the three trainers was dedicated to the Youthpass, how to learn from everything we will be doing, how we saw the future during our EVS.
   As a European Volunteer, the European commission decided to create this diploma, the Youthpass. The EVS is all about non-formal learning, meaning we learn outside any school structures while doing preparing projects and doing activities. We won’t add to the 8 key competencies exactly the activities we did but more how we did it, how we managed to get it completed and the means we used to achieve our goals. The Youthpass is recognised throughout the European Union, it is just more used in some countries. Germany almost considers it as another diploma equivalent to university ones whereas in France, it is still pretty anonymous. Talking about future, some of us already took in account the Youthpass when they decided to join the program. 
   Our trainers had a good idea. As we were all actives and willing to do more than just sitting in one room during four days, they let us go outside to talk our plan for the projects in our EVs and outside our activities. I think they got this idea after we talked with one them while going back to our hotel. It was good they adapted to our ideas, like when they asked Sean and Heli to do some energising activities when the latter mentioned it during informal talks. After our lunch, we had a lesson of Estonian but it wasn’t a lecture. They gave us a list of 7 subjects and let us choose the words we wanted to know like colours, food (asking for some good food that exclude potatoes is pretty important), etc. After that, we made the balance of our week with them what we thought about the training. I gave two words to resume it, Communication and Connection. Communication as we talked about ourselves, between each other. We also had to interact with some local people on Tuesday afternoon. With communication, we sit back and thought about our own actions and shared our ideas on projects. Connection, since the EVs is based on that. We couldn’t do this training without relations with other volunteers, our trainers, and the local community where we are working or during our leisure time. All of us gave similar answers with their own words. It proves we were really closed together, shared some strong bonds during this short period of time. 
   The climax of the week, or better said what everybody was anxiously waiting, was the sauna moment On Thursday night. Some of us never went to a sauna since they had arrived in Estonia. To do like locals, we went downtown to buy nice liquids while buying our return tickets for the next day. We took advantage to go back to the castle while we could still see it in broad day light. The longest part was the waiting time after the dinner. I used this time to recharge my batteries with a little nap. When it was time to go downstairs, I changed to go not to the sauna but the saunas. The hotel prepared the two saunas, the dry one or finish sauna and the wet one or steam room. The latter wasn’t so hot was we used to open the door too much, hence the steam needed time to get back to a normal temperature for this room. We used our breaks during the sauna session to play poker while drinking (with moderation) our beers and cider. Those two hours went pretty fast and we had to go play billiards if we didn’t wanted to go to bed too early. After a few games and a lost bet to Heli (sigh, I have to pay her a lunch), I went to bed to rest and try to sleep a few hours before the last session of our training.

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