VILLAGES ON MOVE BALTIC on the road - #healthyandhappy part 3

Hey everybody,

last time I told you “behind the scenes” preparation for the Baltic tour. I am really happy that now I can tell you story about 2300km long journey ESLi and ESLis sportti vaunu took in May 2018. It is hard to find only a few words to describe how much we have experienced and learned during the journey. But I will give it a try.

Villages on move Baltic project team with students from Finland, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia and Denmark were on the road for 8 days, driving all the way from Mikkeli to Lithuania and back to Savonlinna. As I told you last time the idea was to visit different sport events, where we disseminate our project and implement our activities that people can do in their everyday life.

First stop was Kaunas, Lithuania. We have joined Kite festival, with thousands of visitors, who were very interested in trying our activities.

ESLis crew and sportti vaunu in Kaunas, Lithuania
Villages on move activities, Kite Festival, Kaunas, Lithuania

After Lithuania we continued to Latvia, where we joined different kind of orienteering event, with very innovative pit stops. In Latvia, we visited also Rancho park, Camphill community, where we were able to learn about implementation of different projects into local communities.

ESLis team was very proud to be able to represent idea of the sportti vaunu on the tour.

Testing ideas in Mucieneki, Latvia
Our bus driver infront of VOMB bus in Camphill, Latvia

Next stop: Estonia. In Estonia, we prepared fun day at local kindergarten in Haljala. Our Estonia partners invited also local elderly dancing group. After they performed, we offered them some relaxing massage. We have also visited youth house, where community educator students from XAMK, got many ideas for their future professional career.

Preparing activities for kids, Haljala, Estonia
Massage for local elderly dancing group, Haljala, Estonia

You can only imagine how tired we already were. If I tell you that we were sleeping about 3 hours per night, but somehow, we were still super motivated to show our ideas and share them with the people, and on the other hand we were “hungry” to learn new things and get new ideas.

Finland was waiting. We managed to implement steering committee meeting on the ferry between Tallinn and Helsinki. It was good to be home, but there was still a lot waiting for us. We visited most active community in Finland, Asikkala and got very inspired by their work. We have also stop in VOMB “home town” Mikkeli, where we visited new sport stadium and XAMK active lab. Lithuania students were so impressed, that were starting to plan their next practical training in Finland. And this is one of the things, this kind of projects are all about. To share and inspire people, to exchange knowledge and ideas and work together for better future.

Last day. ESLis event in Savonlinna, Linnanneitokierros. Project team was representing the project on the run and students were testing the ideas with the event participants. It was amazing to see, how people enjoyed learning new possibilities of physical activities.

Active lab, Mikkeli, Finland
Linnanneitokierros, Savonlinna, Finland

The end. No no no. Even the tour has ended (after 2300km, 4 countries, 4 sport events, 7 professional visits and thousands of people reached), I can not say the end. I can only say that end of the tour is the new beginning for many of us, who took part of this journey.

It might be new business idea for our Danish business and innovation students?

New way of instructing for our Finnish, community educator students?

Practical training abroad for our Lithuanian, health care students?

New social skills for our Estonian, social work students?

Ideas to be implemented in local communities for our Latvians?

One thing I can say for sure. This project is making changes in many different ways and I am more than proud to be part of it.

If you want to know all the details from the Baltic tour, feel free to ask me or visit our Facebook (Villages on move Baltic) or Instragram (@villagesonmove).

Petra Muraus

Human resources, M.Sc.

Etelä-Savon Liikunta ry