Jõulusoovide puu

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They did not go to the aquatic centre to enjoy a sauna!

During the winter holidays from school, children staying in safe houses and substitute homes took a long journey to the Jurmala waterpark, in Latvia, with the support and under the leadership of the SEB Heategevusfond. Approximately one hundred children from Sillamäe, Viljandi County, Tartu, Harju County and Tallinn took part in this joint trip.

Throughout the day Latvian, Russian, English, Finnish, Lithuanian and other languages were mixed with cheerful conversations in Estonian and children’s laughter and squealing. All of the children enjoyed the enormous waterpark in Jurmala immensely; they especially loved the big and cool water slides. Everyone slid on the yellow ones, but some children needed encouragement from their older friends to go on the red and orange slides. A large pool, waves and gushing water – children were convinced that this is what the winter holidays of the “rich and famous” in warm countries look like, and after stating this fact they continued to enjoy aquatic fun even more.

The children were a bit reserved when it came to using the saunas, saying: “We did not come to the waterpark to take a sauna!” They explained that there is not enough time and they do not want to miss out on any of the slides, and they will go to the “steam sauna for old people” to warm up only when they have indeed gone on all of the slides and nothing has been overlooked.

Feeling cosy in the Jacuzzi, the children talked to their teachers more than they do on normal days at home, which meant that many things were discussed and quite a few issues resolved. Teacher Ülle summed up the day, saying: “We have come through water and pipes together and we have many mutual memories. This kind of trust certainly makes it easier for us to share and solve our everyday troubles.”

A big dream came true for these children – they spent a carefree day in the waterpark and had as much fun as they possible could. This enables the children staying in safe houses to feel more equal with their classmates and friends who go to spas during school holidays with their parents, now they have also travelled and enjoyed an waterpark!

Triin Lumi

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