Dreaming of skiing in the quietness of the Finnish forests

Saksalainen Folkert Mensing aloitti hiljattain EVS-vapaaehtoisena Suomussalmen nuorisopalveluissa. Samalla hän toteutti pitkäaikaisen unelmansa.

I’m currently doing my EVS in Finland, in an about 8000 people’s village called Suomussalmi. Suomussalmi is located in Kainuu region. First of all, I want to say that this village is placed in the forest, in the middle of nowhere. I really like this place, like I like all places that are small, quiet, calm and surrounded by nature.

Since I was a child it was one of my big dreams to learn how to do cross-country skiing and to do so somewhere in the silent and eternal Finnish forest. I didn’t know about Finland when I was about 6 years old, but then I saw some skiing sports in the TV and heard that it is in Finland. I immediately fell in love with the country and just wanted to go there!

Lasku_vielä pienempi_suoristettu_neliö

I made this skiing dream come true for the first time when I started my EVS in Finland. I went to the forest with my boss and her husband, and they showed me how to ski. I really loved doing that, although it was quite difficult at the beginning! On several occasions I needed to choose if I wanted fall in the snow or hug a tree in full speed. We spend almost two hours in the forest.

Kelo_pienempi

A bit later I went there again with my boss and another youth worker. During the second time we didn’t ski so long time but went walking to the forest. I saw an almost treeless hill. There was one old dead stem of a tree, and I really like watching those old, broken things. It was a really magnificent experience to stare at that tree and just enjoy the silence and listen to the sound of the nature. I was surprised that my body could still remember how to ski and I actually felt much more comfortable with it, so I didn’t even fall in the snow.

The end.

Kirjoittanut: Folkert Mensing, Saksa

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Metsäkartanolla tökättiin Tellusta

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Lokakuussa 2012 Metsäkartanon nuorisokeskuksen valloitti 16 nuorta vapaaehtoista Libanonista, Algeriasta, Israelista, Valko-Venäjältä ja Espanjasta. Kuukauden kestäneen ryhmä-EVS-hankkeen tavoitteena oli tarjota Pohjois-Savon ja -Karjalan nuorille matalan kynnyksen kansainvälisyyskokemuksia.

Vapaaehtoisten tehtäviin kuului Tökkää Tellusta (Poke the Globe) –päivän järjestäminen Mestäkartanolla. Vetämissään työpajoissa vapaaehtoiset kertoivat omista kulttuureistaan suomalaisille nuorille, ja suomalaisnuoret pääsivät tapaamaan ulkomaalaisia ikätovereitaan, puhumaan kieliä ja oppimaan eri maiden kulttuureista!

Telluksen tökkäämisen lisäksi vapaaehtoiset osallistuvat alueen ala- ja yläkoulujen teemapäivien toteuttamiseen.

Ryhmä-EVS onnistui hyvin, ja kokemus oli monille vapaaehtoisista jopa maailmaa mullistava.

Seuraavassa yksi vapaaehtoisista, libanonilainen Mireille Chamieh, kertoo millaisena kokemus hänelle näyttäytyi.

“On our arrival we had a training week with Antti and Elina. We learnt  to know each other through games and tasks and it helped us to be ready for the big day (Poke the Globe).

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The Poke the Globe was an amazing day. We had prepared a lot and we were looking forward to meet 200 young people! It was a really successful day that started by a welcoming song and percussion music played by our group. Then later we had a big bazar with each country presented. We talked about our country, culture, traditions, music, nature, and food. So it was a huge experience to talk about your country in front of youth, seeing their reactions, learning from them and also teaching them something they didn’t know or had never heard of.

We had also prepared workshops on sports, dances, and games. It was a really good experience because the also the EVS group could benefit from it… tasting the food, knowing more about others and their countries, sharing our cultures through videos, posters and pictures.

We also visited two schools in Rautavaara and in Kuopio. The day in Kuopio was really the best: the kids we amazing and everything was very well organized. We instructed games, we played with the children, and it was really a great experience for the whole group. We all had lunch together.

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For me it was really something that I won’t forget because I also teach sports in my country and I work with kids, so I was in charge of preparing the games and organizing the sessions for the two days. I was so happy to do that with kids from Finland and to see then enjoying themselves.

Our work in the forests of Rautavaara was something completely new! We didn’t care about the cold weather or the rain outside, we worked in the magical forest where kids can visit and play. To make it safer, we had to cut a lot of wood to make a bridge that would allow the kids to enter the forest without their feet getting wet. That day was long! We were all working really hard to finish the bridge.

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About Metsäkartano:  it is really calm, silent, amazing landscape, fresh nature, trees and lakes all around. It is really something not to forget! Especially living in the same house with 15 others taught us so much: respect, love, sharing, helping, being a family, taking care of each other, eating at the same table every day, cooking together, hiking together. Living together with such a big group you first know nothing about isn’t easy, but with time we discovered that we all might be different, but all of us shared the same aim. That made us unique – that made us the best EVS FAMILY EVER.

I hope that Metsäkartano keeps hosting EVS volunteers because the experience is unforgettable.

Mireillen Metsäkartanoon lähetti libanonilainen urheiluseura Chabibeh Chiah ain el Remmaneh.