“So now I thought it would be interesting to get to know the other side of Europe. Estonia is so interesting because it is a Nordic country and it is also in the East.”
This week we will get to know Alexandre Avignon. He came from France to do his EVS in Tallinn where he works in a kindergarten in Tallinn.
What was your main motivation to do EVS?
I love traveling and discovering new things. Furthermore, my professional dream is to be active in the field of history reenactment. I got this idea thanks to a training period in Spain in 2016.
What exactly is history reenactment?
It is the recreation of certain historical stories or developments. It’s supposed to valorize heritage of a city and it can involve any period of the human history. In Spain, we created the 13th centuries because in the city we did the project they were some old love stories we recreated. The idea is that it is about passing something to the younger generations. You definitely need different activities to get a connection with everyone and all the different generations. So it is always different and therefore, interesting.
And why did you choose Estonia for your EVS?
I already did three experiences abroad. Firstly, I went to Great Britain with the Leonardo program. My second one was with Erasmus in Portugal. The third experience was the training in Spain, I already talked about. So now I thought it would be interesting to get to know the other side of Europe. Estonia is so interesting because it is a Nordic country and it is also in the East. EstYES was looking for volunteers from France and I decided to apply.
As you are so interested in history, did you get to know a lot about the history of Estonia so far?
Yes, because I for example have visited the open-air museum in Tallinn and a few cities like Viljandi, Rakvere, Padiski and Tartu. Estonia has a very interesting history. The people here suffered a lot because they have been invaded by so many different countries. At the same time, they look towards the future in different way. To understand it also helps if you can speak the language so I am learning some Estonian. It is not easy because it is so different from all the languages I can speak like French, English, Spanish and Portuguese. But I do my best. I can order a beer or coffee in a bar. I can create simple sentences. So I am quite confident.
Has your work experience helped you to understand different approaches especially for young children in context of historical reenactment?
Yes, it is a very interesting experience. Not only to learn how to react with younger children but you also discover how the field of work is like. It has a different mentality to the working field in France. The way people act with children is not the same as well as there is a different mentality of working properly in a formal environment.
Has your experience here helped what to do afterwards? Has it changed you?
To be honest, I have no clue about my future. Fortunately, I have some connections thanks to my past experiences in Spain.
Do you feel any change so far? Have you learnt something new?
If you work abroad and are concerned on what to do on a daily basis, of course there is a change in your personality!
Alexandre Avignon stays in Estonia for 10 months within the project ”Broadening Horizons II ” which is funded by Erasmus+ European Voluntary Service program.