What happens when a reserved Estonian arrives to a country where people speak loudly, talk with their hands and don’t respect rules of the road? My name is Triinu and I arrived to Italy a week ago for a volunteering project called “Equal in Creativity”.
I’m from Estonia, a small northern European country next to Finland, Russia and Latvia. After graduating my Master’s degree in University of Tartu, where I studied French language and literature, I didn’t know what to do with my life. Should I find a job? Should I go and travel around the world like many people do nowadays? At the beginning I didn’t think about becoming a volunteer, but the right things come to you at the right time. I found a sending organisation in my country and they had many possibilities in different countries. I was hesitating between some projects, but when I found the one in Faenza, I knew that that’s what I want to do.
After I’d arrived, people from my hosting organisation came to pick me up from the airport. During my first week in Faenza, they showed me the town, I’ve eaten Italian ice cream and I’ve tasted Italian coffee which is really good!
During my university studies, I spent a year in France as Erasmus student. So as I’ve lived abroad before, I can’t say that this experience is too stressful for me. There are quite many similarities between French and Italian culture, but for sure I still need a bit time to get used to certain things here.
Maybe it’s a bit irrelevant to mention it, but for me, the weather is so warm currently and it’s only September! I can’t even imagine how I’ll survive during summer…
One of the important events here is the flag-waving contest that I had the chance to see during the last days. I really liked their costumes which gave the impression that I’m in Hogwarts School. It was really amazing event as I enjoy drumming a lot and the performance was just great.
I’ve also visited some parks like Parco Bucci. That was interesting for me that the animals there were put in a cage.
A huge difficulty for me is definitely the language. As I’ve studied French, I’m able to understand some words, but I’m not able to speak myself. As Faenza is quite small town and it’s almost impossible to find anyone who can speak at least a little bit of English, I need to learn Italian pretty fast. To be honest, I quite like the fact that people don’t speak any English, so I’m forced to make an effort to learn a new language, which is something that I’m very happy to do. That’s also why I wanted to choose to a country whose language I haven’t learned yet. One of the most interesting experiences was an open day in a yoga centre. It was quite a challenge to follow all the instructions in Italian, but on the other hand, it’s the best way to learn a language.
So, my experience in Italy has been absolutely amazing so far and I try to give my best to learn some Italian. Henceforward, I’ll write more about my projects and things I do here.