„Htio sam promijeniti svakodnevnu rutinu i okolinu. Doći u drugu državu, volontirati i na taj način promijeniti sebe“
“Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise.” (Martin Luther)
Words once said by the seminal figure of the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther, are the words on my mind, while I am trying to answer the question why I decided to come to Croatia, to work here as an EVS volunteer, to stay in a rather small place called Ozalj till the end of May?
I am Taavi. I was born 21 years ago on a wet October day. I have lived through 21 years of surprises, and I know that there are even more surprises waiting somewhere around the corner. It is really hard to say who I am – I am not sure.
Back in Estonia, I was studying blacksmithing and jewelry in the Estonian Academy of Arts in Tallinn, and I truly hope to continue next year. Before university I was living in a small town/village, studying in a gymnasium, being active in school-theatre, and all other performing fields. I loved to be on stage. It made me feel alive.
I still do, I really like to create and perform, but shortly after graduating from gymnasium I felt different about it. I made my mind and thought that the stage I am going to perform from now on is the World.
Perhaps that´s the best explanation why I am here.
I have been here in Ozalj for almost 2 months. Time is flying, I must admit. I truly hope to gather great thoughts from these 8 months abroad, and hopefully, I manage to leave something good and useful behind for the local community.
My first months here have been covered with quite a lot of activities still, I´ve had enough time for myself, time to wander around and enjoy surroundings.
On my first weeks here, quite a bit paperwork got done, local police permitted me to stay here as a resident, a bank account was opened for me, and I got my insurance.
The first week of October here in Ozalj, wasn´t just a regular week, it also happened to be the Children week. I participated in Children week with some interesting activities. We did face painting for kids, also went to see artistic storytelling workshop and on Wednesday painted an elephant sculpture, which I and my co-volunteer built before out of cardboard boxes.
From 9th to 14th October I had my on-arrival training in Orahovica, which prepared me for everything that may happen during my stay in Croatia. Everything was explained about European Voluntary Service and Erasmus+. We spoke about cultural differences and possibility of a cultural shock. And we implemented a project within 2 days just to understand how project management works. It was truly interesting to me and I hope to put everything I learned in practice while staying here in Ozalj.