Tuesday, 6 August 2013

YOTA - the beginning of 2013 event

So we arrived in Tartu yesterday and spent a lot of the day getting settled in, it was slightly awkward at first when you realised that most of the participants had been here last year and already new each other.  That along with the language barriers made it initially hard to develop a conversation past an occasional nod or small smile. 

The food again didn't live up to my expectations but at this stage I had come to expect that. Other than the brief hello in the corridors nothing much was happening until the welcome party later that evening. That mainly involved everyone drinking as much as they wished (obviously not youngsters) and one of the organisers playing music over a sound system.  By the end of the night most people were "well on" and there was a bit of Irish dancing involved but despite this I still didn't get to bed until 3am. 

Today was much better with the organisation of activities that allowed the participants to interact as well as get to know each other. The schedule of activities meant everyone knew where they were meant to be although I was quite surprised that not everyone took part and didn't seem to care one way or another about the blatant non attendance that was presumably the reason they were there, as I hadn't realised you had the option to attend the program but not the event which I presumes isn't the case. 

The ice breaker games, although seeming silly at the time, proved to be really fun and by the end of it I knew the name of every person in my group. Juri is the main organiser of be event this year and he did a great job today. He comes across as a really well mannered and soft spoken man who is extremely nice. 

Cultural night was held tonight and was a great success. So many different decorations and types of food etc to be tried and tasted, and everyone was so proud to tell us of their cultures, some of which were extremely fascinating. Although we didn't manage to get through all of the teams today, it'll continue through to tomorrow, albeit a big party was still had by the youngsters, with the music and dancing still in full swing even as I'm typing this, being 1.30am Estonian time. 

It'll be interesting to see what tomorrow holds for us and I presume it's an 8am start again so ill have to leave it for now. 

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