A day at the park


Estonian Culture

We shared some Irish dancing and we got to learn some Estonian dances.

Welcome to Valguta!

When you hop off the bus at Valguta village you may take a second glance the bus stop.


Do you see this large pile of wood? It's about to become a leisure addition to the community garden. It's cutting and treating wood time! We cut a million pieces of wood for the gazebo.

Irish Night!

Irish Night! We pulled together our talents and shared a little bit of Irish culture and history. We taught some of the local people the one, two, threes!



We had to have a go at the swing, but first we had to be taught how to work it!

This is a swing in Estonia and these people are wearing tradional clothes worn at Estonian dancing performances.



When you are packing don't forget some of these essentails...we discovered the hard way that some of these items are invaluable!

Mosquito spray – 100% Deat

Irish Night – music, toys, a talent!


Presents, books of Ireland or map of Ireland.

Anthisan cream



Goggles or masks for working

Learn some Estonian

Long & short sleeves

Where do we hail?

Over the two weeks we shared with people we met about where we are from in Ireland. Of course we argued over how some counties are better than others...

Co. Cork- Jenny
Co. Sligo- Marie
Co. Roscommon- Theresa
Co. Galway - Aideen

Co. Dublin - Rachel
Co. Mayo- Deirdre

Co. Meath - Deirdre
Co. Mayo - Lisa
Co. Clare - Lorraine

These are all the places we are missing and representing!

Our last day in Valguta

Ok I know its strang to start with our last day in Estonia...but it was such a special day!

In the morning we dug out the mud around the gazebo to ensure that when it rained the mud would not slide down the hill and into the gazebo. I think I can safely say I never want to see a shovel again! The chief held a tea and cake party for us in his home with his family. We watched the video of our adventurous two weeks, we had a great laugh reliving the moments and he gave us all a copy.

We were invited to the local primary school “graduation ceremony,” where students are presented with flowers from their teachers and family to congratulate them. Some students received books, others sang in a choir, and some students had little speeches prepared. At the end of the ceremony we were called up and presented with presents, the pack included a Rongu t-shirt, to remind us of our time. The Mayor said a few words about the very special bus stop in Valguta. He encouraged everyone to visit the bus stop!

Estonian Map

We were located near Tartu on the banks of the second largest lake, Lake Võrtsjärv.


Some random thoughts on being in Estonia...

great accommodation, really lovely people. the girls are great, we have all we need except showers are two hours walk away!
work is good, so looking forward to the rest of it. we were so tired at the start, we slept loads cause we lost a nights sleep on the plane.
no tv so we play cards and read books. the weather is hot hot hot.

We are here!

Day One- Arrival

Hi all, we have arrived safe and sound. Helena, our Estonian friend, collected us from the airport with her mother. We drove 2 1\2 hours to Valguta. We got a huge welcome from the local community and are staying in the community hall. The community hall has a library, hall and music room. There are two shops and the ice cream is great! We walked to and from Rõngo, a local village last night. The countryside is beautiful. We are all looking forward to getting into the work.


Shake, rattle and roll!

Shake your bucket! Throughout the year, thanks to the generous people of Galway, several successful fundraising events were held to support our volunteering. Bags were packed at Marks and Spencer, Easter eggs were raffled, and we rattled our buckets on Shop Street. Fundraising enables the project and we are grateful to all those who donated. The President's Award, also known as Gaisce, is a registered charity. For more information on Gaisce's charitable status please see the website link.


Connemara Community Radio

Thanks to Connemara Community Radio for yesterday's interview about Estonia and NUI Galway's ALIVE programme.

If anyone was listening sorry the interview interrupted Eye of the Tiger! They were very interested in the volunteering project and rural development in Estonia. The interview was fifteen minutes long and we chatted about volunteering in Galway, student engagement and our planned Irish night. We also touched on the perceived decline of student involvement and an increased sense of apathy. The main message was students need the avenues to get involved and want to give back. The interview concluded with an invitation to return and talk more about NUI Galway’s CKI an integrating community into the classroom.


Who's Who?

How did twenty NUI Galway people come together to volunteer in Estonia?

Aoife, NUI Galway's Gaisce Society Auditor, is our fearless leader. All twenty of us are going for the Gold President's Award. The Gaisce award has four parts- community, physical, adventure and skill. For more information please see the link to the Presidents Award. Lorraine, NUI Galway's SVC, is the Presidents Award Leader for gold applicants. Hugh is the President's Award Repersentative for the region. Aoife lead a group of ten volunteers last summer to Estonia and based on their successful project, we are returning!