Wilderness DiaryDiary of European Wilderness Society Volunteers

Overtime in Tamsweg

When I last wrote something on here, it was still the beginning of winter. I had just had my first taste of the infamous Krampuslauf in Tamsweg and still had to catch up on my skiing skills after a few years of absence from the slopes.

Now, three months later, I had a winter full of picturesque snowy landscapes, winter sports and work.

A week after the Krampuslauf, we started a stand at the christmas market in Tamsweg. Six days – two weekends from Friday to Sunday – we sold crepes, waffles, punch and wild art. Our goal was to raise awareness for the European Wilderness Society and earn some money for current and future volunteers. We reached both goals and at least the second one even more successful than we expected. Even though quite some work went into it, everybody was happy to stand in the cold, learn how to make a real crepe and enjoy the winter wonderland that Tamsweg is during winter.

Christmas at home

The following Christmas holiday also meant that my time as an IVY was coming to an end. However, in October we had applied for a spot in the European Solidarity Corps (ESC) for me. And just a few days before I was about to leave, we got the confirmation that I could stay as an ESC volunteer for another year. So, I went home to spend the holidays with my family and friends. This was a much needed vacation after I had not been home for more than two days since June.

But, after 10 days full of cheerful reunions, eating and drinking, I was already eager to return to Tamsweg. Not because I missed work so much, but because I was excited to explore the ski slopes of the Lungau. So, after returning to Tamsweg on the 2th January I tried all three ski resorts, which you all reach from Tamsweg within 30 mins with the free bus.

Back in the office

On 7th January, we continued working in the office after the holidays. And there was a lot to work on. Just one month after the holidays, we had the deadline for the most comprehensive project proposal, we had ever worked on. This almost 500 page document kept the office busy during the days, evenings and weekends. Now, all we can do is cross ours fingers and hope that the project gets approved and all the hard work pays off.

After this Herculean task, all I wanted to do was to return to the slopes. So, I took a well deserved vacation in the third week of February. My sister came over from Frankfurt to get to know the ski slopes of the Lungau, too. Even though I could get a few days of skiing in between work, it was great to just have a full week of skiing. And we were so lucky with the weather! We could enjoy the sun for the whole week and cover not only all three ski Lungau resorts, but also Obertauern, the huge famous ski resorts that is just 45 min away from our office.

The perks of Tamsweg

The great thing in Tamsweg is that you don´t a vacation to enjoy winter to fullest. I did cross-country skiing, ice skating, tried ice hockey (which was a desaster), sooo much downhill skiing and it was all crowned by an amazing snowshoe hike with my colleague Hanna, most of it durind the weekends. As you can see below, you can get creative, build an igloo over a table completely made of ice.

And even though it is always a long journey from Tamsweg to anywhere for a weekend retreat, I was willing to spend that time for the sport I love so much – rugby! Or in this case, snow rugby. On the last weekend January I went to Innsbruck to compete in a snow rugby tournament. And even though I played with a team, where I only knew a handful of people, we actually won the tournament! There are more stories to tell from that weekend, but what happens on tour, stays on tour…

What´s to come?

So, I had a great winter in Tamsweg! Workwise, not much changed except my official “title”, but in reality that means one year more of the same for me. More new projects, more lessons and more chaos.

And the next big events are already in the pipeline: Next week my parents will get to know the Lungau, the weekend after we will finally use some of the money we earned at the christmas market and at the end of March I will have my ESC “On-Arrival” training in Vienna (9 months after I arrived in Austria).

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