Hi! I do not even know where to start. At the end of November, I took part in the Santa Paws Charity Walk lead by Max and Paddy (the two canine ambassadors of Keswick, celebrity Springer Spaniels) and Eden Animal Rescue. I have never seen so many dogs walking, playing and swimming together. Keswick really is the best place for dogs.

Then, I volunteered at The Keswick Victorian Fayre, an event for local charities and non-profit organisations to sell homemade Christmas crafts, products, food, etc. to raise money. I volunteered for the Cricket Club, we sold burgers and hot dogs. I knew that burgers were popular in England, but you should have seen the masses of people, lined up in a queue, waiting to get a burger, that was crazy! It felt like a proper workout and a speed test to serve them all. At the end of the day there were just buns and bacon left, even the tissues ran out. Nevertheless, people still bought bun-bacon-sauce burgers and ate them without tissues. It was a good day and we raised a lot of money.

Keswick looked very beautiful during Christmas, there were so many lights and decorations everywhere. Christmas is about being together with your family, so I went back to Estonia for a week. I had an amazing and a very busy time.

After all that food I ate during Christmas, I decided to climb the highest mountain I have ever climbed in England – Skiddaw, 931 meters high and the 6th highest mountain in England. I made the wrong decision while packing my bag before hiking. I only had mandarins at home, so I took them with me as a snack. When I reached the summit, I understood what a big mistake it was to take these mandarins. It was freezing, I preferred starving to taking off my gloves to get them out of my bag. A good lesson: do not take mandarins to a mountain top in sub-zero temperatures. At least the view was brilliant, it was a clear and sunny day. I was once again reminded that I live in the most beautiful place in England.

At work I finished inserting the contacts into the database, now I am looking for different fundraising opportunities and there are still more tasks to come. Our supervisor invited me and Mathis (a German volunteer also working at Momentum World) to take part in a “Walk and Talk” day with him and Momentum’s Policy Advisor. We walked along Hadrian’s Wall, which is a defensive fortification, a very impressive Roman structure. It is located in northern England, runs from coast to coast, and is 117.5 km long. It is a British cultural icon, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. That was a very nice and different working day, we were talking about ideas, plans, personal branding and a lot more while walking at that nice historical place.

My homeland – Estonia celebrated its 100th Independence Day on the 24th of February, the whole country was celebrating. I celebrated it in my own way, I took a walk around the Derwentwater Lake. It is very beautiful, but I will not do it again, as the walk is a bit too long, about 14 kilometres.

On one Tuesday we had a very special “office day” again. We visited Keswick School during the “Meet your future employer” day. We talked about Momentum World, opportunities with the Erasmus Plus programme, with EuroPeers, our European Voluntary Service and many other things.

Two weeks ago my family visited me here, we had a superb time. I showed them beautiful places, we climbed mountains, ate fish and chips, scones with jam and cream and the full English breakfast of course. They fell in love with the Lake District National Park too.

      

Last week I had my mid-term EVS evaluation meeting in Glasgow. Yes, my EVS is now at its midpoint, time really flies here. There were 9 different nationalities altogether, aged 18-29. I am used to be the only Estonian everywhere, but I was not the only one there at the evaluation. The meeting lasted only two half days, so time went super quick, I wish we had more time. It was very good to discuss and talk about our volunteering experiences in England. After the training we had some spare time to discover Glasgow, we decided to visit The Glasgow Cathedral, The Necropolis and The People’s Palace.

Another adventure awaits – I am going to London to take part in the Marketing Technology Expo at the Excel Centre in London’s Docklands. Soon, in April, I will be taking part in Momentum’s project called “Time for Tea” in London and I simply cannot wait for these events!

Here are some great photos taken from my bedroom window:)

Till next time,
Joanna