Blog 07:European youth week “ Democracy and me” with Vertit- Voice of youth

 

The day had arrived, it was time for Vertit- Voice of youth to hit the road to promote European youth week in Finland. The theme for this event was “Democracy and me”. Vertit has been working very hard to decorate the van with awesome content and advertise the event.

Want to see or amazing decorations and advertising, Let’s go …

 

 

Ah yes, our new T-shirts arrived, take a look below we are ready to embrace the world baby.

59523500_2485686028131853_1638765452056330240_n.jpg

The whole group was so excited to get rolling, we all got in the van and went to Perho, we set up the games and events outside Perho , open youth house.

It was time to set the tone for the event by blasting some Finnish music on our portable speaker. The event was now in full swing, there were sweets, fruit, drinks, dancing volunteer’s and awesome vibes! …Let’s Go…

… The Finnish youth loved rising to the challenge to try catch a real-life unicorn…

pic2

 

The bowling game was a big HIT Literally. Just look at this picture below…

10

There were colourful bottles flying everywhere. Strike, strike, Strike…Let’s Go…

… Of course, we had a competition to win a free pizza, We love free pizza at Vertit -Voice of youth. To win the pizza, you had to take a picture with this awesome selfie board, Everyone was so happy to take some quirky pictures, here are some pictures from the day.

Overall the day was a massive success in my eyes. we had great conversations with Finnish youth, we all had fun taking part in the activities and enjoying the positive atmosphere. Let’s go spread that joy!

pic13

Let’s go youth work, Let’s go Vertit-Voice of youth

See you next time !

 

 

 

Advertisements

Blog 06: Vertit- voice of youth

We are getting things ready at Vertit- voice of youth group for the van full of games, surprises and democracy. This amazing event now has a name. Nuorten ääni – Youth voice !  We will travel around to some towns in Finland with games, inspiration and our van …Let’s Go…

…All the group got together on the 9th of April to start creating the decorations, games and designs for the event and of course there was pizza for everyone ..Yess!.

We discussed together with our group coordinator Sari Juvani the plan for the upcoming event, and what we would all work on during this group session. It was decided we would get started creating the games, making designs for the van and create awesome quotes in many different languages, The group mascot is this amazing unicorn you see below…Let’s Go…

WhatsApp Image 2019-04-13 at 10.05.51 AM (2)

…We split up in groups to do different tasks. There was an EVS volunteer in each group with Finnish youth. At one table we were painting plastic bottles for a few games that we will have during the event.

WhatsApp Image 2019-04-13 at 10.05.51 AM (4)

At another table we were designing a massive logo and slogan to be displayed on the van. The details of the slogan are yet to be revealed; we are keeping it for a surprise on the day of the event.

WhatsApp Image 2019-04-13 at 10.05.51 AM (1)

At another table we were creating quotes about democracy. These quotes where in all different languages. At the last table we were doing some valuable game testing for the event! just to see how fun the games were…Let’s Go…

WhatsApp Image 2019-04-13 at 10.05.51 AM

…the group session was nearing an end, we had finished most of the games and designs for the event. We decided to finish up everything else on our next group meeting on the 24th of April. Another EVS volunteer Daniel and I were given the awesome task of marketing for the event.

WhatsApp Image 2019-04-08 at 6.51.09 PM

We decided we will work together to create an online presence and pretty posters. Some of the Finnish youths were given the task of promoting the event on Instagram. We were all very excited at the end of our group session.

We can’t wait until the next group session to put all the pieces we have created together, stay tuned to see what Vertit – voice of youth gets up to next…

… Let’s Go youth work!

Blog 05: The Halway Point Baby !

I have officially hit the half way mark of my volunteering project. 6 months ago, I left Ireland to take on a new adventure in Kokkola, Finland…Let’s Go…

…Half way in I can confidently say it has been an immersive experience for me. I have made international friends from all over Europe. Embarking on travel adventures, exploring new places, food and cultures, meeting the big man Mr. Santa,  missing some buses and trains of course…! Let’s Go Baby

IMG_8961

…After spending half a year here in Youth centre Villa Elba, it’s the perfect time to talk about what I am doing here when I’m not travelling.

12983996_1283595474988115_7408165183191883567_o.jpg

I am working on a project called “Maailma maaseudulle!” With a 12-month timeline. This project involves producing content for Villa Elba to market their youth activities at the centre. I help in this process by producing video’s, posters, photographs, flyers and creative content online.

International club is a big part of my project, in this club we work with Finnish youth to explore international opportunities available to them. These opportunities include volunteering abroad and taking part in youth exchanges. International club helps organise such opportunities for interested youths.  Another group I am humbled to be part of is “Vertit- Voice of youth” This group is an example of mobile youth in action.  As part of this group I work with Finnish youth, other volunteers & youth workers to help promote the topics Finnish youth are passionate about. Currently we are working on a project which involves a decorated van full of games & surprises travelling to youth centres promoting Democracy. I am grateful and couldn’t ask for a more pleasing experience while volunteering…Let’s Go!

54798734_10217780993186091_7053439316353089536_o

…What have I gained from already spending half a year in Finland you might ask or even not ask, here I am telling you regardless! …

Where do I start …I have learnt valuable life lessons since I have left Ireland in September last year.  I have learnt to trust my gut, follow my own path, embrace things for what they are and push on. Embracing new experiences and people has become second nature since arriving here in Finland. I’ve gained a wanderlust with international travel & work opportunities. Most of all I have learnt to fully accept everything I am. Keep that self love flame lit girl !

55495939_10217802174795618_8537330472508719104_o

…Let’s Go!…

I would recommend anyone to travel and experience a new culture, whether its just for a month or 12 months. Its utterly life changing. Let the last six months of my adventure be even more surprising!

See you all back in Tipperary youth centre Ireland in September, Thank you  so much for this opportunity ❤

IMG_9093

 

Blog 04 :Just Run away or walk or whatever just Go….

The Independence day trip to Turku >  Tallinn>  Helsinki  > Kokkola

The other volunteers and I decided to go travel for Independence Day in Finland.

Austria, Hungary, Portugal and Ireland began there journey Wednesday 5th of December at 1 am….

I mean Phelix, Anna, Vanina and Myself began our journey …

…Let’s Go! …

We spent all night on the bus, I could not sleep so I just continued to eat all the snacks I packed for the trip. Using the toilet on a bus was quiet an experience for me. Believe it or not, I never used one on a bus before …Girl was I in for a surprise…

…I sat down half asleep, just hoping I wasn’t pissing on the floor … thank god I didn’t miss lol. The whole room was shaking, this was a fight for my life situation…

…I grabbed the tissue, flushed, took care of my business and got the hell out of there. I did it, I survived the challenges of public transport. TASHA 1 TIOLET 0…. Let’s Go …

… I packed light for this trip, so I only had 3 bags hanging off me when we arrived at our first destination Turku. My friend Tobiasz aka Mr.Vodka  from Poland was waiting to welcome us all…

Let’s Go… Toby gave us a quick guided tour of Turku as we all made our way to catch the no.18 bus to his house. It was 7 in the morning, we were all looking forward to a cup of coffee. Toby’s roommate Marco from Serbia was still getting his beauty sleep, so we didn’t meet him until later that day. We all had breakfast together and made an awesome plan for the day …

…It was Independence day in Finland and also Anna’s birthday, given these were two very important occasions, we decided to grab sausages, drink …. some more drink …. And head into the middle of the forest. It was an amazing experience, we were all around the fire we lit, cooking sausages, having a few cans and laughing about everything and anything. We all sang happy birthday to Anna enough times to annoy the shit out of her, and to make it worse, we sang in many different languages…Happy Birthday Anna…You’re the best girl …

47575332_10217014762830811_781769118289231872_n

…Let’s Go…

That night I got to check another experience off my bucket list…

…Yes, I took off all my clothes, grabbed a few cans and went into the sauna naked and free…

…Relax back home if you are reading this. The sauna culture is massive in Finland. Finnish natives enjoy intriguing conversations, have a few drinks and socialise in the sauna, being naked is just a plus. I was nervous at the idea of being naked around other people, I really wanted to embrace the Finnish culture …So …I challenged my comfort zones. It was such an amazing experience, the conversations we had were very relaxed and interesting. I forgot I had no clothes on. I don’t know what I was nervous about. If you are in Finland, I fully recommend you try out the sauna, It’s amazing…. We all went out dancing that night in Turku…Let’s Go…

47684014_10214670768817470_7291411213567655936_o

 

… The next day we all ventured to Helsinki, the plan was to go catch a ferry over to Tallinn, Estonia for the day. Hey…. A plan never goes the way I expect it to …. I lost my ID and was refused entry on the ferry. I did try using my Facebook page as valid deification. I mean I have most of my life on Facebook. To my surprise they did not accept this. The lads went to Tallinn…I walked in the rain, full of much sadness……Ah no I was grand lol. I met up with Toby and Klemy for the day. We had a great time chilling around Helsinki. It was such a random day, we bumped into so many people we knew. It seemed that everyone was in Helsinki that day…

…Bam! Let’s Go …

Vanina rang me, they missed there ferry, therefore they would miss the bus back to Kokkola…

…Not to worry we had a plan …Mr. Poland (Tobiasz)to the rescue …

Tobiasz was kind to let us stay in his place until we got another bus the next day. This was a massive relief as we were so tired from all the travel…Wait there is more …

…Vanina’s bus was not due in until 1.30 am that night to Turku, Mr. Poland had to bring the one bike he had to the bus station for her, He then ran 6km home in the middle of the night, showing Vanina the way…Let’s Go …

…I have so much Love for this dude, Never fear Mr.Poland is here !

Let’s Go! …Until next time.

47685936_10217031373006055_8719588384672055296_n

 

 

 

 

Blog 03: Run Baby Run !

It’s -1 degrees outside, I can’t decide if I am going running or ice-skating,I Literally have 5 tops , 1 pair of thermal leggings, a Pants and fluffy socks of course …

…Let’s Go! …

It’s the 3rd of November in Kokkola Finland, which means the darkness in all her beauty comes crashing down at around 3 pm. Logically I choose to go running at 8pm, when it is almost impossible to find light… but yeah, I got this sexy looking head lamp to keep me LIT as fck…yep darkness back the hell up, Let’s go …

cuteRun.jpg

 

… I find it very beneficial to go running, now more than ever. When its dark most of your day, it can affect your whole mood and body. I can’t say it is easy but the feeling after a run is worth it every time… well maybe not this time…

… Firstly, I began running slowly up along the long road through the woods where I live, it was pretty dark there. Not to worry I shined bright like a diamond and continued to Rihanna my way through the forest…

…At some point during my run I realised I was no longer running but ice skating across the road, this did not stop me, I still persevered …WELL…I kind of had no way of stopping at this point so yea …Let’s Go …

I have to say running in such cold conditions has greatly improved my stamina. I usually run for a few minutes then stop and walk then run again. No more of that craic let me tell you! …

…When I stop even for a second now, I look around and see I am in the middle of a load of tall ass trees, covered by darkness in the middle of nowhere… The most logical thing to do at this point is …

…Yes, you guessed it! Run for my freaking life.  No way is anyone coming out from behind the trees and catching me today…Run Baby Run…

…Let’s Go! Noniin

 

Blog 02:The Journey to Kokkola

The journey to Kokkola …

On September 17th I arrived in Helsinki Airport from Dublin Ireland. The journey to Kokkola just got started.

My awesome travel plan was to get off the plane, get my bags and continue to the train station to catch my train to Kokkola…. Sounds simple right? …. WELL…. Do I ever do anything simply? …

Let’s Go …

So, I got off the plane, feeling quite overwhelmed and excited about the adventure I just started in the Land of the Finns. I was all business, ready to go get my bags, grab a coffee and hit the tracks…

…Oh my Gosh, I had no freaking idea where I was going, what the hell I was I even doing, I mean who even am I?… I got a heart-warming text from my now ex-boyfriend which reminded me why I was doing this…So…Let’s Go! …

…Yes, this was on repeat in my head as I stared blankly at the signs in the airport that were all in Finnish. Did I take the time to study Finnish before I left? …No, No I did not.

I couldn’t help but laugh at my amazing life decisions. I did the best thing one could do in the 21st century and followed the crowd, hoping to arrive at the baggage area…

…I made it, luckily enough I got my bags fast, it was like they were patiently waiting for me! …Patiently waiting to mess me up …

…I am 5ft 2”, and as you can imagine I needed two massive suitcase weighing 20 kg each to survive in Finland for 12 months. It’s bleeding freezing, all my jumpers and fluffy socks had to come…

train_01_2591.00_00_05_21.Still004

…Let’s Go! … I grabbed the two suitcases, reminding myself that all those days spent lifting weights at the gym will now be put to the test. “I got this, I am strong, I am beautiful …I am THE HULK, move girl, get out of the way!” …

…I struggled balancing the suitcases, they fell over, I fell over, myself and my suitcases just laid there on the airport floor staring up at the stars and thinking of boys …lol…. No seriously Let’s Go!…

… I managed to get a suitcase trolley and roll through the airport in search for coffee. After my refreshing cappuccino I went to the train station. The art on the walls was captivating. I knew then I was in for a life changing year…Let’s Go…

train_01_2591.00_00_00_13.Still001

A train arrived, and I got on, not having the slightest clue if it was my train, I was so tired at this point…I accepted my faith, where this train brings me is where I will find a bed and sleep. Getting to Kokkola would be tomorrows issue…

train_01_2591.00_00_20_21.Still002

Thankfully I got on the right train, 4 hours later I arrived at Kokkola. Finnish people are so nice, these two guys helped me get my suitcases off the train…YES it took two men to get them danm suitcases off the train…ffs.

…I got my taxi to Villa Elba, I was so excited to see where I would be staying…

… OMG! The 4km road into Villa Elba was something out of my worst nightmares …It was pitch black with tress on both sides of the road. All my creative mind could think is…this is it, this is where my horror movie begins…Finally I arrived at my cottage, there was light ….thank god! …

I was met by a fellow volunteer Andy from London, I was so happy to meet a friendly face whose mother tongue was English. Andy introduced me to my roommate Vanina from Portugal. We chatted for awhile about everything and anything. They made me feel so welcome! …I was overly tired from all the travelling and suitcase lifting…Let’s Go …. Let’s Sleep Girl!

novSun06.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 01 : Where it all Began for me

Tipperary Town, Ireland… Where it all began for me.

I had just graduated with a creative multimedia honors degree. I did the next logical step and got a job that had nothing to do with my college degree in the slightest …YEAH. I know some of you can really relate to this awesome life choice…like , why not.

23519019_10214078072735394_8740199618212132075_n

After spending 9 months working in a job that ignited no spark in my soul, I was presented with an amazing opportunity to travel with the European volunteering service and put my creative multimedia skills into action …Let’s Go!

35281069_10215755260984052_458707566684274688_n

European volunteering Service (EVS) is an amazing opportunity that allows one to travel & volunteer abroad between the age of 18-30.

I always had a wanderlust to travel and see the world. This dream always seemed out of reach. I had fears such as financial, medical and would I find suitable work.

EVS was presented to me by a local Youth worker Pauline. Pauline explained how all the travel expenses, food, and accommodation are financed by the European volunteering service. Your local youth club sets up all the paper work, any personal support and sends you on your way.

As you can imagine I was like WOW ! Thanks Pauline .. Let’s Go ! …

I did another quiet logical thing and quit my well paying job, packed my suitcase, kissed my dog goodbye and got on that beautiful plane.

13975542_10209729837672235_1211995128404056298_o

Bam ! Here I am in The lands of the Finns.

Stay tuned to here about my first 2 months in Finland, my un-expected relationship ending, my new life experiences, nearly flying home to Ireland and my somewhat dark humour reflecting on my life choices…Let the Adverture begin…

…Let’s Go !