Three months in Hiiumaa as a french volunteer

It’s been quite a long time now, three months living here, learning new things. Changing my way of thinking, adapting to the Estonian people.Quentin

You can’t see big differences in the first place, but staying for a long period takes you to another level, you clearly see what’s different from your mother country. Estonian people are quite different from french people. They are careful, it’s funny because one of my friend made an analogy about Estonian and french behavior, he says that Estonian are like coconuts, hard in the first place, but really soft inside, it’s quite reverse for french people, we’re like peaches, soft in the first place, but with an impenetrable core inside.

I was afraid of the cultural shock, lot of friends of mine warned me about it, but i guess i passed through it.

Working in Kärdla’s youth center gave and give me a lot of opportunities to discover new things, or moving around Estonia like in Narva, Tartu… or camping by the sea.

Also, it is quite better for me to be here, if i want to learn Estonian, it’s really hard, but i keep focusing on it. we’ll see in the future if it will work.

I have met tons of people here, and it’s quite cool, there is always something to do, or someone to hang out with, I’ve got the chance of being a European volunteer, it helps me a lot for moving around, because even if i don’t know every other volunteers in Estonia, we got something in common and this link provide me lot of friends i don’t know here.

At work, everything is okay, we managed to have lot of activities for entertaining the youngsters of Hiiumaa and it’s a win-win situation with them, they learn a little bit more of English as i learn myself more of Estonian.

I try to do my best to get understood, and it’s quite okay, the more I stay here, the more i understand the language.

I don’t know what will happen next months, but I’m quite sure i will manage to speak Estonian, « Natuke raagin » at least. Living in Hiiumaa gives you also one big thing : it’s really a peaceful place here, really different from the mainland in my opinion.

How can i write down such a big adventure on a paper ? quite difficult, but to be clear, i will just say that: you can’t count the benefits of living abroad, and adapting to a new culture. I can already feel it, even if I’m here since just three months.

Head aega, Quentin

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