Last April, students from the Vanalinna Hariduskolleegium in Tallinn came to present a play, written in french, called “Le deuxième tilleul à gauche” (the second linden tree to the left) from a Romanian artist Matei Visniec. the staging was done by an estonian artist Lembit Peterson and adapted to suit the requirements of the 7th european festival of french-speaking high school theatre in Saint Malo (France).
Happy to have won for the second time the first prize in this festival, the young actors came to perform at the estonian embassy in Paris. The video will show you a short extract from their play. They impressed us with their acting in french. Certainly a good exercise to learn this difficult language. I’m not sure many french students would be capable of doing the same…. in estonian !
That was an idea, I aways wanted to realize… Promoting Estonia in my own town : Le Bourget du Lac, located in the French Alps.
As my mother is now in the city council , and with her team decided to organize one Festival about Europe on the 18th of July 2009 (with Irland as guest country), I proposed to take part in the event, through the european market set in the main street of the village, creating a stand on Estonia.
I had prepared everything, with the help of my family of course. My mother had found some artificial cornflower (national flower in Estonia), I brought back from our last trip some estonian specialities such as : dark bread with garlic, moose sausages, Kalev chocolates, roasted almonds with cinnamon. And my estonian flag was waving in the air.
At first, we had some rain, and only a few people were stopping by. But in the afternoon, the sky cleared up, and my stand was a success. I was so happy to explain, and to do my best to promote Estonia. I answered questions, first one was usually “but where is Estonia?”. But finally it is good point I think that for now nobody really know about Estonia, because thanks to this, they don’t have any prejudice about this country, everything for them is a discovery. Lots of people told me that the pictures we had taken (especially Jonathan’s one) were beautiful, and were given them the desire to go overthere.
I was so touched, when small children asked me if they could take the small estonian flags, and after that I saw that they were wearing them or brandishing them in the streets of my village. I was hearing “Tere, tere !” everytime I was crossing somebody in the street. And that was for me one of the best pleasure I had.
Thanks everybody for passing by our stand, thanks to our dear estonian friends who helped us promoting well their country ! Hope we are good ambassadors of this small country !
Here is also an extract of an interview on my EVS (European Volontary Service) experience in english done by a journalist from RFI (Radio France International) in Paris, during the Day of Europe on the 9th of May 2009 :
Imagine standing with 26 000 other people in a half dome, with in front of you one person frantically moving their arms and making faces. Behind, are sitting on the grass, a crowd so numerous that your eyes can’t even see how far they go to. There are even people in the trees, trying to get a better view ! Two seconds of silence…
Then all of a sudden as a wave of sound, you and all those around you are singing a powerful tune and each note goes through the air as if carried by one single voice. This was “to breathe as one”, the name given this year to the singing festival, or Laulupidu in estonian, which attracted thousands of people around songs of peace, love of nature, and freedom, some of which had been part of the Singing Revolution : a passive but efficient protest all through the Baltic States, to get rid of the Soviet and be free from the occupation.
Next to us, were standing some people who probably had lived through these events and participated in the liberation of Estonia. For them, as for all who know about this country’s history, this Laulupidu meant more than just a concert. It was a gathering of people wanting to sing and afirm their identity and culture. This, was particularly visible at the end when the flame of the festival was put out, and no one paid attention to it and continued to sing the songs they all wished to hear. When the crowd of singers finally dispersed, each one was still singing while tranquilly mixing in with all the other estonians. It was as if each one carried home the spirit of the Laulupidu… until next time !
For the common, going to Estonia is already quite a surprising idea. Going back puts you in the category of weirdo’s and other strange people you want to avoid, but a third time back has the effect of leaving most people open-mouthed and eyes wide open. Why would anyone impose himself such a long journey in a place like this ?! Amelie’s colleagues imagined that for our holidays we would be going to a warm sunny place somewhere south, but never would they believe the things we saw and did in Estonia !
Hopefully, you faithfull reader of our blog, you can understand our love and passion for this little country. We were welcomed as kings and our friends took us around as one of theirs. It was as if we had never left and even though time had passed since we had last seen each other, we caught up on news and told them all about our new life.
The excuse was the huge singing festival, UNESCO world heritage, called “Laulupidu”, which united 26 000 and more singers, plus two French, who were lucky to be invited as part of this incredible choir. But, Estonia was for us a haven of tranquility, friendship, and a simplicity which we have a hard time finding anywhere else. It just felt as if we were coming home in some way.
Thanks to all of you whom we saw during this trip, to the others, hopefully we will meet again next time !
Since we are living in Paris, we always wanted to visit the estonian embassy in France. Last Wednesday evening, an estonian concert was given there, so it was the perfect occasion for us to go. Jaak Sooäär and Tuule Kann, two famous estonian musicians, after a short stay in Lille, for Europe XXL festival, and especially for a kind of a “midday-midday on Baltic countries” event, were stopping by in Paris, before going back to Estonia.
We went then in La Baume street, where the estonian embassy is located, in the 8th district of Paris. We were already so excited to see only one estonian flag, so you can imagine how happy we were when people, and the ambassador himself, welcomed us so warmly in french and in estonian. Strangely we felt as “at home” again.
The atmosphere of the concert was intimate, only 30 people were there to listen to it, that enabled us to enjoy this traditional estonian music in the best conditions. The originality of the group was that they played kannel (sort of zither and one of the main instrument of estonian folk music) with electric guitar. That gave us an impression of mixture between past and future, heritage and new technology, a good symbol of Estonia in some way.
During the whole evening, we could hear with pleasure, “regilaulud”, these songs with only one chord, lasting hours and hours, sometimes without real end… And we could even understand some lyrics. We were also so surprised to discover one popular song coming from our dear estonian village of Joelähtme, a song you sing traditionally when you go on a swing, and called “Kolm Järve” : the three lakes. (it is the last song of the video)
At the end of the concert, we even sang some songs from Setumaa and southern part of Estonia, and danced all together with musicians.
This evening gave us the chance to feel as we were back in Estonia, thanks to this authenticity and simplicity which we missed a lot. We found back estonian humour, through musicians words, and we were so happy to be able to hear and speak estonian again.
For all these reasons, we surely will be back for other nice receptions organized by the estonian embassy in Paris !
After having been elected European Capital of Culture in 2004, the city of Lille, located in the northern part of France, offer this year festivities until the 12th of July 2009 around the theme of Europe XXL (a wide vision of Europe from Berlin to Kazakhstan passing by Baltic Countries and Turkey). From March to July, four months of different kind of cultural events linked to this theme are taking place overthere : exhibitions, concerts, dance, shows, theatre, movies, conferences, etc…
Saturday 14th of March, was the opening parade and we were there ! For this occasion, a project called “A thousand voices” proposed to Lille’s inhabitants to sing songs from different european countries, especially from western Europe. We listened to one very nice concert from a french choir about traditional estonian songs written by the famous composer Veljo Tormis. It was a success, the room was full, and the estonian music sounded particularly well in this closed place with a good accoustic. We really appreciated the effort of the different members of the choir to sing in estonian and we could hear that they were doing their best for the prononciation of the words, and for the adaptation to estonian rythms and sonorities really differents from our traditional french songs.
We are really more than happy that one event like this help promoting european countries almost unknown like Estonia in France. We are now waiting for the midday-midday event around Baltic Countries from the 10th to the 12th of April 2009, still in Lille of course !
Here is an article to wish you all a Happy New Year 2009 (”Head uut aastat” in estonian) ! This is the occasion also for us to catch up on the end of 2008 during which we were surprised to hear about Estonia in the “Fête des Lumières” in Lyon. This festival of Lights is famous in France for its different works of art using light in the city.
Apparently, the French Institute in Tallinn had cooperated with an estonian artist to propose one estonian participation at this festival : “Re-Use”, a contemporary work of art using traditional folk songs and lights and shadows. It was a bit strange but at least represented this small little country to the inhabitants of Lyon. What many people appreciated most of all was the complementary shot of vodka (Viru Valge, an estonian brand) and a piece of “leib” or dark bread.
We were so thrilled to see these familiar things that we immediatly poured all our refraint estonian to the blond girl holding the bread. We hadn’t spoken for a few months and thought she would be happy and surprised. She was surprised for sure and we could see that on her face by the was her eyes looked wide at us. But she did not seem as happy as we thought. We found out quickly that she wasn’t estonian but german and was just helping out for this event. A little frustrated, we still met THE estonian guy who held the stand. He made us feel better by saying that “we spoke perfect estonian” but in reality we didn’t understand his indications for another place we should see very near by. In the end, we said “head ööd” (good night) and walked in the direction we thought was good, we never found it !
As one old lady once told us “you’re like birds, you fly away when winter comes and spend summer in Estonia”. The leaves are turning yellow, the weather is getting cold(er) and there are so many unmistakable signs that summer has ended, it must be time for us to go back to France. We held our promise as good estonians would. We came back. Estonia has become our second home though this time we discovered so many new things we hadn’t seen as volunteers.
As last time, it was hard to part, but concerts, restaurants, tea with friends, made things easier. We received even some mysterious gift from unknown people in Joelähtme with “have a happy life” written on it with money, sweets, a small painting and a very lovely card but though we do not know who gave this to us, this is another proof (as if we needed more !) that we have been more than well greeted in Estonia. But cheese, family, and friends are calling. A new life, new work (we hope), is waiting for us.
The best thing was to sing together (see video) and we also rented a private sauna to party with the volunteers which added to the warmth of these last days. A second time on this blog we want to thank you as well for following our adventures and hope to keep you posted on future news about Estonia.
Before coming back to France, we had been asked to participate in the Day of European Languages by organizing a “french day” in a small school in the seaside village of Neeme. Inga, one of our friends is a teacher there and had prepared this small event with the children. We were surprised to see drawings of the Eiffel Tower and proverbs in french and estonian when we entered the school. “To be great, one has to have been little” was the schools motto. Our mission was to give the 27 children in this school a better idea about differences and similarities in France and try to show them that though there are 25 national languages in Europe, we could still find ways to communicate.
What we did not know, or hadn’t realized was that Inga had planned to leave us alone for three times 45 minutes in the morning, with the children and two hours with all the school to entertain in the afternoon. It was as much a challenge for the children to understand us as it was challenging for us to use all the estonian we had ever learned and put it to use at last.
Through games, short movie extracts (in french, which they thought they would not understand if there were no subtitles), dances, songs and best of all through the tasting of some of our most famous stereotype food (baguette, salted butter, croissants, and false champagne). We gave our best to be good embassadors of french culture. We spoke about different regions and they asked questions like “you said you lived in Versailles, do you live in the palace ?” One of the most popular games was “Do we eat this in France ?” That’s when they discovered for the first time that we have very strange eating customs : first, we do not eat moose (as in Estonia), but snails, pigeons, frogs, oysters (live !), horses even, rabit, we all do. A little bit of culture shock can’t really hurt, can it ?
Haven’t you ever been tempted by taking the trains you see every day when passing through a station? Sometimes, one can make great discoveries without travelling very far. We took the train and for a few estonian kroons, went to the very end of the line. It wasn’t really the countryside but there was a definite feeling of nature close at hand, the breeze was blowing from the sea and this would be our only sunny day of the week.
Across the bay, we could distinguish the Pakri islands. The pictures on the guide showed white cliffs and an old rusted lighthouse. The maire has been fighting really hard to change the image of Paldiski. We must say that for someone who only just arrives there, it might be possible to believe one instant that indeed Paldiski is in fact “a green city”.
A few steps away from the train station, a graffiti on a rusted door welcomes the visitor (”Welcome to Paldiski”) translated in russian below. The history books describe it as the major nuclear submarine base under the Soviet occupation. Along with other military bases, this city was off the maps for many years.
“Are you happy to live in Paldiski?” I asked a man called Olav which we met in the street. He had helped us find our way and had some time ahead of him and insisted on showing us some parts of town. “I was born in Paldiski. For 80 years it was very bad here, but now it is not so bad.” He smiled, revealing a mouth with only two teeth. We felt how proud the people in Paldiski are : working today in a very prosperous trading port, when just a decade or two ago this was one of the most dreaded place in Estonia.
The museum still reminds of the old soviet times to the courageous visitor who manages to find it. The food is ok in the tavern, and Olav assured us that “there are no criminals there”. Peter the Great’s fortress still looks like abandonned ruins but Paldiski is changing fast, for the better… and maybe a little for the worst. No one but the tourist seem to like the nostalgic atmosphere that can still be found there.
Hiiumaa is the second largest island of Estonia (after Saaremaa). “Hiiu” means giant and “maa” means land. The legend says that Leiger a giant was living there and wanted to link Saaremaa and Hiiumaa by throwing stones into the sea to meet his family and friends. For us, we had to come by boat for he apparently didn’t have anybody he liked on the continent and we came with our friend Maude.
We stayed in the south of the island, in an old estonian farm. It was a wooden house, with ballots of wool hanging on its walls and furnished inside with antiques and a great estonian touch. It was pooring rain outside, and like us, hundreds of mosquitos prefered to stay inside. Though we spent quite some time killing some of them, there were far too many for us to exterminate. We therefore tried to take advantage of the day, knowing full well that the night would be unbearable.
We hopped on some soviet bicycles and roade along the coast discovering the beauties of the countryside. The night came and we snuggled into bed. We were surprised the next morning and the day after that we had not one single mosquito bite ! I think we have found a rare specie of vegetarian mosquito, or very well educated by our host !
Though the giant Leiger never finished his bridge to Saaremaa, this trip to Hiiumaa made us feel close to the wonderful times we had had last year in the neighbouring island (with another Margit). Hoping to come again one day with a little more sun.
As the Olympic are finished now, and have left the place to the paralympic games, the athletes all over the world are going home. It was the occasion for us to see the Estonian champions coming back to Tallinn, hailed by the crowed, and thanked by the president, the sports minister, the maire of the city and other should-be-known-but-not-by-us-people.
Estonia finally brought back 2 medals, one in disc throwing, by the champion Gerd Kanter (that we had already met last year at the airport !) and a silver medal for Tonu Endrekson and Juri Jaanson in rowing. that puts Estonia at the 46th place, (just after latvia !) but at the same level as Portugal or Belgium… not so bad !
We were therefore very glad to see all this enthusiasm with our own eyes and also hear (again) the national estonian anthem being sung in the old town.
To celebrate the 90th anniversary of Estonia’s first independance, and the day of the fall of Soviet Russia in Estonia on the 20th of August 1991, a singing festival as estonians only have the secret took place in the singing festival ground.
We had had the priviledge of listening to the Laulupidu (”laulu”= song ; “pidu”= festival) last year with 18 500 singers. But this time, it was different in many ways : first, it was a night song festival (öölaulupidu) which reminded the gathering of thousands of people during the Singing Revolution and also gave it an incredible atmosphere with the lighting of the stage (see picture). Second, this event had a more political dimension, for all estonians in their 40’s and over remember coming there to protest against russian occupation, and with the events now happening in Georgia many georgian flags could be seen in the crowd among hundreds of blue-black and white estonian flags.
The songs were not only those of the Singing Revolution, but also more popular tunes which every one could sing to. More than 136 choirs performed at the same time with almost all the major artists of the country represented. The temptation was too big and as thousands of singers filled the singing arch, I found myself following them all, to see how it must feel to be up there in front of 1/10th of the country (as some figures said). You will be able to judge for yourself in the video, though the impression is not quite the same, but to sing the national anthem with all these estonians was quite something ! I joigned Amelie later on for the rest of the show (where you can hear much better) in company of a few estonian friends and a couple of volunteers.
This blog has been, since last year, a fabulous way, not only for us to tell about our adventures in Estonia, but also to create situations that only internet can make happened : a couple of months ago, we had received a message from some french scouts searching for a place to help a local community or parish, so we immediatly thought of Margus the pastor and his plans for building a place for seminars. There is enough work there until 2015 and four young people wanting to help is always welcomed ! We forgot about it and then one day Margus told us about the arrival of these scouts. They did some work for the church, but our friends from Jõelähtme are so welcoming and took them around to different concerts and places they had to see.
On the day we were supposed to go and help them, we found ourselves in just a few minutes, all 6 of us, all french people, on the island of Rammu, not knowing exactly how this happened. Being on an island with a bunch of scouts is really a pleasure : wood is picked in no time, doors which don’t open, open ! , and water is fetched from the weel (the latest being unquestionably their favourite chore).
Though we enjoyed some walks around our 3km long island and admired splendid views from old rusted soviet watch-towers, we wanted to do something usefull as well for the family which was letting us use their small summer house (and sauna !) by reinforcing the pier. It was in construction still and the main structure made with logs needed to be filled with granit boulders. We therefore carried more than a ton of rocks and consolidated the pontoon for the next who will come enjoy the island of Rammu…
Living far from your home country is usually having to get used being far from one’s family and friends. We must say that we have been quite priviledged on that part, for last year we have had up to 6 people from both our families come over as well as a couple of friends who made the trip all over to these northern lands.
This year, we were honoured to receive my uncle and cousin from France who have been faithfull readers of this blog and very good guests. It was a real pleasure to take them around and we must say we ate so very well during their stay. We had rented a car to show them around some of the more isolated places and for more comfort. We felt as kings enjoying a spa in Haapsalu, like Indiana Jones (some would say Tarzan) in the tree adventure park in Otepää, and finally like naturalists, strudying the plants and wetland lanscapes of North Estonia.
In just a few days, they made us feel at home, with nice conversations and laughs over card games late in the evening, but strangely we were like estonian hosts, proud to show our favourite spots.
During our small trip to Setumaa, we took advantage of being in this region to visit the sand caves of Piusa. These caves emerged as a result of manual mining of glass-sand between 1922 and 1966 and represent a system of underground galleries with sandstone columns and vaulted ceilings. The sand is still used for the glass factory just nearby. In the 1950’s thousands of hibernating bats were discovered in the caves, and they are now part of a natural reserve.
One of the two abandonned caves can be visited. That’s what we did, trying to understand as much as we could the guided tour in estonian.
Then, we walked around, fascinated by all the colours the sand can take from white to dark red. Jonathan even took a little of it for his sand collection.
Couple of weeks ago, we went to the very south-east of Estonia, in a place called Värska where lives a minority of a few thousand people (4 000 in Estonia, 3 000 in Russia). We chose this particular time of year because on the 2nd of August the Setu people elect their king. Actually, this king is the representative of the god Peko, which symbolises fertility.
The Setu people are said to be “half believers” but they should be called “double believers” for they are orthodox and also have their own divinities. They also have their own dialect which is closer to estonian than russian and they are famous for their songs dances and food. Their costum tells a bit their strory : they carry long necklaces and heavy silver plates (between 4 and 6 kilos) because the Setu people fled with all their richness and therefore made necklaces with rings, coins and melted all the rest. They have a strong oral tradition and hopefully some songs have been transcribed from an old lady called Hilana Taarka, the mother of Setu music. Though she was illiterate, she had memorized up to 30 000 verses of leelo songs (eight syllable verses to a repetitive simple tune).
We were able to discover this event with two other french people that we had met during one of our guiding tours in Tallinn, with whom we spent two days. There was lots of good food, we even participated in a cheese contest to elect the members of the court. That is when we met some people from our village which we learned had some Setu origins and authorized us to vote as well for the Setu king. After some songs in which each candidate was praised, people were invited to stand in a line in front of the person that they chose. Lembit Lennuk (his family name means “airplane” !!!) did not win but we didn’t mind, we were happy to see the other man parade on a horse with the Setu flag, followed by his “army”, a burlesque crowd of supporters in costum marching and taking their role seriously.
As we enjoyed it so much last year, we could not avoid the Viljandi festival this year ! It is a folk music festival, that takes place at the end of July in a small town in the south of the country.
Like we did last year, we took the train to go to the festival. It was full of young people, dressed with the most strangest clothes they could find, with colourfull hats, etc.
This year, we slept in in our tent at some friends of our friend Piia’s (the pastor’s wife) garden. It was a particularly beautiful house and an immense garden. And Christian and Anita, our hosts, were so nice. We really spent some good times together, sharing 2 hours long breakfast with estonian specialities, such as kama (some keefir/sour milk mixed with some cereal powder), cold beetroot soup, some cherry jam, eggs, bacon, pastries, and even more !
As last year we really enjoyed the festival. We met many people that we knew there : volunteers, colleagues, friends who we hadn’t seen for a long time. It is really a special place to meet again with people during the summer.
On Friday night, we only saw one concert, called “Armastuse ja rõõmu laulud” (songs of love and joy), it was a very nice concert, in a small room, with traditionnal estonian music. Some of the songs were very old, and we particularly loved to hear kanel, this typical estonian instrument. The artists also sang some Regilaulud, these songs which tell stories and which repeats all the time. The public was completely into it, the atmosphere was intimate. Well we enjoyed it !
On Saturday, we had took the day pass to see as many concerts as possible. If the music of the first russian band Trio Solnyshko was good, we prefer the ukrainian estonian one called Svjata Vatra, who really shared their music with the audience. We then heard one american guy Bruce Molsky who charmed us with his blues music and his banjo. After we decided to see the end of one famous estonian band Vägilased, and to go to see Majorstuen, some very good violonists from Norway. Impossible to access to the Zetod concert, a Setu band from the southern part of Estonia, because it was full of people.
We instead decided to go with or new friends Christian and Anita to a such nice place : a very cosy open air café, where we could eat home made estonian food. And the originality of this place was that there were no prices at all, we could give at the end of the meal what we wanted to give. It was very popular during the whole festival, so we were lucky that Christian and Anita arranged kindly a table for all of us !
We finally finished the day, assisting to a gipsy music band concert. If we are quite used to this type of music in France, it was a complete discovery for the estonians who were jumping all around at the rythm of the music. Even the members of the gipsy group Parno Graszt were amazed by this so warm atmosphere.
On Sunday, we were first planning to leave by train in the beginning of the afternoon. But we finally decided to stay a little bit more longer, to see Mari one of our estonian friend who we haven’t seen for a long time, but also to hear the Flook concert, an irish band and we didn’t regret it. The concert was really good, the musicians were really talented, the one at the irish flute but also the one at the bodhran. They even played a breton piece, and we loved watching estonian people trying to dance with their little fingers !
We are now back in Tallinn, but we will keep in mind all these nice memories from the festival !
Recently, during the last training we participated in, we were lucky to be able to test a smoke-sauna or the authentic estonian sauna. This is the time for us to explain a little more of this tradition is in Estonia. Most people know the finnish sauna which is broadly spread in the scandinavian Europe.
Without getting too much into the details, it is basically a fire which is lit under some granit stones (sometimes this is replaced by an electric heating) in a pretty small room, more like a closet, but very well isolated, in which you get in with a few friends if possible to enjoy the heat. It is a very dry type of heat, so you can pour a little water on the stones to make it more humid. The humidity actually brings down the temperature slightly but it feels suddenly much warmer and some find it hard to breath. In reality, it takes time getting used to going to the sauna and it should be done gradually (without trying to beat reccords) to fully enjoy the experience. Each one has his own technique but the options are usually between :
a) jumping into a river or lake
b) rolling yourself in the snow or in a hole in the ice
c) taking a cold shower or pour bucket of water over your head
This stimulates the blood circulation as you can imagine and also cleans your body (and your mind as well, for the only thing you can think of is “it’s hot in here, it’s hot it’s hot !”
The estonian sauna is based on the same principle, but the heating is different, instead of an electric or wooden stove, it is an open fire which is done inside a small house (well isolated), the smoke accumulating inside and the heat warming up the stones.
A person has to maintain the fire going for at least four hours before it gets warm enough inside (that’s probably why they are not so common as the finnish sauna), then the smoke is let out very quickly and you can enter the small cabin with a plank of wood to sit on. You have to try not to touch the sides for the walls are hot but also because of the soot.There was always a little smoke left which gives it a peculiar smell. Some throw beer on the stones in addition to the water to have a nice smell similar to that of baked bread. Purist will go as far as whipping themselves with branches of birch to help stimulate the blood and the sooting. Personnally, we liked this new type of sauna, which we hadn’t tested yet and which left our skinks very soft. This by itself would have been a reason to come back to Estonia !!!
The picture is that of a smoke sauna being prepared in Soomaa during our mid-term training last year, unfortunately we had not been able to try it at that time.
As ex-volunteers (which is now the status that we have to accept), we have been asked by the national agency for volunteering, to participate in on-arrival trainings for people who have recently arrived in Estonia. Some might remember the article we wrote about us going to Pärnu, this time it was deep in the forest, about 16 kilometers from the main road, in the region of Kõrvemaa. The name is usually associated to vast landscapes of wetlands (as in Soomaa), but this time we stayed in the woods and though it was pooring rain, we joined the other volunteers on a hike.
Though we were very wet, a bit cold, and have been devored by mozquitos, we were relieved when we finally discussed different topics around a table, after a nice warm tee. Our fourty five minutes presentation lasted two hours in the end but trainers and volunteers seemed interested and asked quite a few questions.
It was also the occasion for us to meet new volunteers, from different horizons, trainers which we hope we will meet again, and surprise the few volunteers we knew already during their on-arrival training.