Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Farewell sweet Estonia!

The time has come for me to take my leave. It is hard to say goodbye to so many things here...but everything has to end eventually - and my EVS ends here!

I'm leaving for the bus trip to Riga in less than an hour, so these are basically my final moments in this wonderful country...

So, I know I will return here someday, but until then...ESTONIA - FAREWELL BUT NOT GOODBYE!!!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Final EVS review

The time has come to write my final piece of mind. It has been a fabulous experience full of beauty, enjoyment and friendship...a life-changing experience which is acquirable only by living with the people, hanging out with them and learning their ways.

I thank the European Commission for giving me such a huge opportunity, even though nobody else might understand my life here in Estonia and the use of such a rewarding adventure. Unfortunately, people today are blinded and deafened by the urge to acquire financial profit to that extent, that they choose to ignore the clear wide sea of possibilities. Maybe most of the possible paths do not bring financial security, they are much more rewarding...and I can't emphasize that enough.
What has been given to me is so unique that in a one-year period (at maximum), you can get time for clear thinking and reasoning, a job that suits you best, full financial and moral support, all the necessary tools for personal development, the basics of a new language, an opportunity to get into (be a part of) a completely different culture - which is an immense gain in itself and much, much more...all that for a simple price - your motivation, devotion to the tasks and willingness to make a difference. This is the ultimate volunteering chance, this is a pure, perfect example of how it really should be. Of course, the European Union still has a long way to go - but at this stage already, all the other nations and world governments should be taking this as a guideline because with this form of volunteering, by giving the volunteer all the support, one can actually make a difference and break all the stereotypes about nationalities (as it was the case on my service). Meeting so many different people makes you feel like a real citizen of the world and encourages you to accept and believe that all the people are different, yet equal...that everyone wants the same as you - to love and be loved. Never mind the world has gone astray - with our time and devotion, it can change once again to the better. There is always a way!

As for the final stage of my service, my final project - I have created 5 posters which were already exhibited on the 73rd Trans Europe Halles meeting in Slovakia. There is a permanent exhibition in the Estonian Printing Museum as well. Finally, they will be exhibited in other places in Estonia and Croatia too, as a creative work which is imbued with the power or equality, diversity, anti-racism and peace. Every poster has a story behind it, cause it was created with my mind set on the message it gives.

The first poster consists of a panda picture and the text which is written in a modern, direct manner. The panda symbolizes purity, as it is an animal which is so pure and simple. On the other hand, not only that the text I chose to accompany it is funny (in a way), but it is actually true - cause pandas really are BLACK, WHITE and ASIAN...so it is a perfect example of a living creature which is so preciously unique and loved, yet hated by none. This is a great example of human folly, as we were all created to live in harmony, not to fight each other but to resonate with each other in unity.

The second poster is a simple choice of words which has a strong meaning - The words (or better say - phrases) are written in multiple colors which is an obvious connection to diversity and the text itself, as a whole, is somewhat of a description of the word DIVERSITY...that's why it is dominant in both color and positioning. So, with my own words I wrote that the definition of "Diversity" is: Understanding individual viewpoints, accepting differences, dismissing prejudices which ultimately fosters harmony. At least I believe it should be like that.

The third poster is my favorite. It presents, at the same time, a harmony of the four elements and the fact that those 4 kanji symbols: peace, unity, equality and freedom easily go hand in hand. Other than that it also contains my personal touch cause I really appreciate Asian culture and am deeply in love with it...so seeing that poster being created by my own hands plus actually making the kanjis myself really do make me proud :). The chosen text for the poster can be easily connected to the 4 main words on the poster, cause it is an altered version of a famous saying: "the grass is greener on the other side". I decided to change it to "where there are no sides" so it is unique and completely compatible.

The fourth poster and the simplest of all is the dove poster. As you all know - the dove is a symbol of world peace and it is depicted mostly with an olive branch in it's beak. I decided to use that symbol after I already had the text...which, as a vertical crossword puzzle, each word's first letter assembles the acronym PEACE...so it was only convenient to use a dove for the picture. Short and simple, yet beautiful :).

And last but not least - the Chuck Norris poster. As you might already know, Chuck Norris is the main protagonist of the past TV series Walker Texas Ranger. I used to watch it as a kid, as well. His massive positive approach to everything and an enormous sense of justice has made him the most fearsome and honored law enforcer on TV. Jokes about the strength of his "roundhouse kick" are still ongoing as he is thought to be stronger than even God :P. I decided to use his portrait on my poster cause of his fame as the authority...so whatever he says MUST be the truth. That's precisely why I made it look like Chuck Norris really did say to DEFEND EQUALITY! Other than that, I wanted to start and finish my series of poster with somewhat of a pun (seemingly on first sight, but with some quality behind it).

After finishing this year of informal learning, I cannot help but wonder where I will end up next...cause it is clear to me that there is no future in Croatia. If I happen to come across something similar to EVS, I will definitely take the chance and go on a new adventure wherever it may take me. I have long decided that I do not want to spend my life as common folk do...I don't say I'm special or something, but I just say I'm very different and I'm not willing to spend half of my life working mindlessly to have something - there are lots of different possibilities and after all, I'm just 21!

I'm yet to see my next course of action, but that will happen once I come back home and "test the ground".

As for the conclusion, I will quote my most favorite game character - Yuna from final Fantasy X-2:

"So much has happened. And I'm sure it's only the beginning. Through the smiles and tears, through the anger... and the laughter that follows... I know that I'll keep changing. This is my story. It'll be a good one."

Good night everyone!
All the best from GORAN HORVAT:D

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

5 days to go

So, not a lot of days left, eh?
For the past few days I've been helping with the workshops and tomorrow is the last thing I need to do - help load 2 printing machines in a van for tomorrow's Ecoprint workshop outside of Tartu. I have prepared all the necessary stuff and put it in a box.

Gonna go to sleep a bit earlier than usual cause I have to slowly change my habits back to how they were when before coming here.

Night all! 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

the night of the museums

Today was (generally) the busiest day of my entire EVS. We had the museumöö, a.k.a. the museum's night in both the printing and the paper museums. It was from 6 p.m. until around 11.30 p.m. and there were something like 260 visitors. Of course, most of them wanted notebooks so it was a very exhausting day of cutting, punching holes, cutting spirals and binding.
I believe that the museum's fame jumped up a bit today :P.

So, after this today, the only thing left for me to do is help with the preparation for the next workshop on the 24th which will be held outside of Tartu - so I have to help move some heavy machines as well :). Between that and after that are just regular days and I'll try to take it easy cause when I come back home I have to start working again. As the countdown until my departure has been started a while ago, I have exactly 9 days to go :P. I am really looking forward to coming back cause I want to see my friends and I want to try to arrange everything so I can finally go to university...as I have decided to take those stupid state graduation exams - which is translation means that I have to graduate again (that's a major screw up in our system, but to hell with it). Oh well, nothing can be done about that, as the fact still stays - without an university degree, I'll have a hell of a time finding employment...as I have already tried that out.

After 1st of June, I will visit my old high school, notarize my school certificates, diplomas and the certificate of citizenship by an official notary, send them to Zagreb to validate my old school grades and apply for the state graduation in July and choose the universities I want to apply to...after which I hope I will get a placement in one of them. To tell you the truth, I'm a bit late already cause I have missed the first deadline (it was the 1st of February), even though I couldn't apply for that even if I wanted to cause I would have had to take the exams and as I'm still in Estonia that's not possible.

Well, hope my luck will finally change so I can balance my life...I would be time, really.

Cheers till the next update!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

final 2 weeks in Estonia

The time has come for me to buy the return plane ticket :)
I'm leaving on the 29th of May, early in the morning.

Until then, I still have to be around and do stuff in the museum. Today we're actually having a short-ish meeting regarding the Museum night in 2 days as there will be a workshop in both the printing and the paper museums. Lemmit says it's a more important workshop than usual, but I don't really care cause as far as I'm concerned my EVS is done...and I'll just be my usual self, like on any other workshop - that is just being around and helping people which need assistance. All in all, whatever happens, I just won't allow to be pressurized cause as I said - the last thing which I was supposed to do here, the final project, I did 20 days before the deadline and hence, made an unplanned gap in which Lemmit now can squeeze additional help requests. Oh well, guess it's fine. 

Almost 12 months have passed since I started my EVS, a lot has happened and I am really happy I chose Estonia as my host country. I'm sure I will return someday, at least to see my friends here.

Cheers for now!

Monday, May 14, 2012

the next 2 kanji prints

I have managed to make 2 more beautiful kanjis :)

 kanji for Long life :)
 in 5 colors
 and made into notebook covers - nice, isn't it? :P
 kanji for Beauty :D
which still needs to be bound into notebooks...so I'll post the resulting notebooks once the paint dries :D

Until next set, cheers!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Printing special stuff, day 2

Today's linocut was a kanji for "luck". I made 5 prints - 1 for each cardboard color we have. Here's a glimpse:

 cut linoleum - cca 3 hours of concentrated work :)
 with a silent helper/watcher :P
 done - 5 nice notebooks :)

Next batch - tomorrow :D