Biohacking: Step 1 — Estonia


ERASMUS+, Key Action 1: youth exchange

Venue: Pärnu, Estonia

Youth exchange dates: 22—30 April 2023

Czech team: Tomáš Kantor (GL), Vojtěch Bystřický, Jonáš Pejcha, Dorota Sobotková, Nicol Kovaříková, Tereza Krausová

Please read the info-pack.

Hosting organisation: NYH

Project report:

The project with this attractive name took place close to the Estonian seaside, near the city Parnu. The name reveals that the main topic was our body, mind and connection between them. Program was well balanced and except the informative sessions and meetings we tried different types of meditation and also some sport activities. Beside that, an amazing group of people from different countries came together and became a group of real friends. We all hope these friendships will last forever.

The official program started on Sunday and was full of team building activities and games. At the end of the day, we knew everybody by their names and even though some of them we have heard for the first time and were difficult to remember, we made it! Next day we started to dive into the biohacking topic and started our learning process from the beginning. We got some new information about nutritions and diets, obstacles we might face during our lives and we have learned something new about our minds. Very useful were sessions, where we learned how to name our emotions and more, how to handle them. All were facilitated with non formal education methods, so once we worked as a group, another time we played theater and we all liked the diversity of our sessions. 

Every day, we tried some new sport or physical activity. Once it was joga, another time zumba and we all enjoyed the martial arts workshop almost at the end of the project. Everybody was interested in some Krav Maga moves and learned how to protect themself. The last day was about evaluations, feedback and Marco (the main organizer) explained to us the aim and mission of the Erasmus projects and how to fill the youthpass. 

During the Biohacking: Step 1 project the tasty estonian food was served to us, so we tried not only how it is to be in Estonia, but we lived as estonians. Venue was in a village, surrounded by forests, so we were really close to nature and we all enjoyed the walks around to clear our minds and to talk with our international friends. The place we worked and lived in was spacious, so we never struggled with lack of space and while one group was singing Queen and Ed Sheeran songs, another was playing cards and a few tired ones could sleep without disturbing each other. 

During the week, each country tried to facilitate one session with different topics. Italian participants showed us the ways of meditations and explained to us, how active listening could look like. During our session we facilitated the external biohacking and teached the others how to work with different sources. Our team was very passionate and we all had a good feeling after it. Apart from that, our english level increased a lot and we lost the fear to speak and to not to care about mistakes, because everybody is doing some. Each country also presented themself at the intercultural evening and we did our best again. We let the others try some czech products and invited them to try our czech dancing lessons we all participated in at our high schools. It was a pleasure to see all Europeans dancing polka, valčík, mazurka or letkis. With the same passion we have learned something new from them. Now we understand their cultures much more and cannot wait to travel there once. During the free day we visited Parnu and explored some nice cafes and restaurants, as a one big international group of course. 

The best of all were people who surrounded us. Without them, this magic could not happen. It is that simple. We become stronger and better people, able to cooperate, to have fun together, to understand each other, to support each other and to accept each other. So you can imagine, leaving was very hard and tears were appearing one by one. We all loved our facilitators Ksenija and Zoja, who gave us their hearts and were not only holding the sessions but mentoring us during the whole project and they were always there for us. 

After we came back, we asked ourselves: Was it just a perfect dream or did it really happen? Yes, it happened. And the feelings and emotions will stay with us forever. I will never forget when we woke up at 6am to go swimming in the sea. I will never forget our singing during the night with feelings that we have known each other for many years and we don’t want to come back and we just want to stay in this dream forever. It is over, but not really. We took something with us. We have learned something about ourselves, how to find our happiness and how nice it is to have good people around us, who are always willing to listen to us and give support. The tears during our goodbyes were tears of happiness and grace. After the biohacking project, I am sure we are more aware of who we are, will be willing to challenge ourselves more easily and by these changes, we are ready to change the world to become a better place. This all could not happen without amazing organizers and EYCB as a sending organization, so we all thank you a lot for supporting us and looking forward to being part of our next adventures.

 Tomáš Kantor

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