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Из писем от нашей подруги Крис - эстонского волонтера, находящейся на долгосрочном проекте в Мексике.

Hola Amigos,

I have been in Mexico now already more than 3 weeks! Day by day it's getting better and better.

My trip wasn't so pleasant. First they didn't want to let me on the plane in Frankfurt, because they thought that Estonians have to have a visa. No, first my plane from Tallinn to Frankfurt was late, so I had only 30 minutes to check in to my next flight and run to the gate. So, there I was explaining that since September Estonians do not need a visa anymore, then they started to look through some papers and they didn't seem to be in a hurry at all. Let є s say that they knew how to make me quite nervous. Finally came one guy who knew that I don't have to have a visa, so I was allowed to go on board. But this was just the beginning. Everybody was on board, and then the captain announced that our plane is broken. So there we were sitting at the mechanics more than 3 hours. At the same time there was no light in the airplane (and it started to get dark outside) and air was getting so thick. Instead of 12 hours I had to be in the plane more than 15 hours, fun fun fun+But this is not the end. There was only 5 immigration workers left at the airport, because we had arrived so late. So, next 1,5 hour I waited on line to get one fucking stamp on my passport. And then of course to make my day more perfect they wanted me to unpack my backbags. At this moment I was so deem tired and sure that I don't have nobody waiting for me anymore, cause I was 5-6 hours late and it was around 1 am. So you can imagine my happiness if I say my mentor Luis waiting for me with Kristel Lipand sign, auuuu, he saved my day.

But as I said earlier, it is getting better and better day by day. At the beginning I was pretty unhappy v I realized that it will be so hard because I don't speak Spanish, I was still ill a bit, had hard time to get used to the time difference, I asked myself what the hell I am doing, environment was new and so different, didn't have no friends and so on. But it is normal for the first days. I had the same feelings when I arrived to Montana, although softer version J Now I am almost over it. Still maybe 3 times a week for 10 minutes I have same kind of thoughts. But less and less.

First weekend I had on-arrival training were I met the other volunteers all over the world. Lovely weekend under the palm trees. There are 3 French girls, 1 Belgium and 1 girl from Switzerland in Toluca were I am living. So, I am not alone anymore!

Toluca is a city with approximately 500 000 inhabitants, 60 km to the west from Mexico City. As the locals are saying, it is definitely not the nicest city in Mexico. I like the center, rest of the city is industrial and pretty dirty. My project is well located it takes 10 minutes to walk to the center. I really enjoy my project so far. The place is called Hogares Providencia, which is a permanently shelter for street and abuses girls. At the moment here are living 12 girls between the ages of 6-17 years old. Most of the girls have been living here together around 3 years and for them it is their home and family. Hogares Providencia is a private institution, most of their income comes from donation, charity and sponsors. There are only 6 workers therefore the help of volunteers is really appreciated. For the 3 so-called aunts-mothers the work is really hard, they have 24 hours shifts and most of the time they are alone with the girls. I really admire their work and patience. My main tasks as a volunteer are to help to do their homework, taking them to the school, to play with them, to help to organize free time activities and just be with them and share my love. Soon I will start to give them English lessons (no critic, pleased). None of them or none of the workers speaks English, what makes my life hard, but at the same time really encourage to learn Spanish. I like my work, because I can give my love to the girls and I think this is what they really need the most, because everyone needs and deserves a lot of love around them. Of course all my days are not full of sunshine, it is really challenging job and you know how children are, especially teenagers. But everything what does not hurt is making me stronger. At the same time it is a really good opportunity for the girls, who are living here, to see that there is different lifestyles in another parts of the world. For them it is interesting and educating to have young people with lot of energy and new ideas. It brightens their everyday life.

I also started to have Spanish classes at university. I don't know why everybody is saying to me that Spanish, Spanish is so easy, you will learn it so quickly. For me it doesn't seem to be so easy yet. Hopefully I will pick it up!

One weekend I spent in Mexico City with one French volunteer. Huge, huge, huge place. I would hate to live over there, to spend so much time to get from point A to the point B. I never liked big cities to live, to visit it is fine, because you have a lot of opportunities and options what to do. During the day we just wondered around and visit some touristy places, in the evening went to the drink tequila and dance salsa. Too things with what I have surprised locals. I have been asked more than once - you can dance salsa, where did you learn? In Estonia! Really? Yeeeees! And ye, I like Tequila a lot as well Last weekend I met Corey (a friend from Montana) in Mexico City, had really great time with him. It is really nice to see someone whom you know, when you are away.

And it is good to know that you have many good friends all over the world, thank you!!!

Love you all,