The beauty of the ESC project is not only making a difference in your chosen field but meeting new people and experiencing the surroundings of the hosting county. What is a better way to immerse oneself in the culture and tradition of Ireland than Christmas? On the 28th of November, I and other volunteers, together with Janice Raine-Conick, Chair of Good Energies Alliance Ireland, helped organize the Christmas Market at Killargue, Co. Leitrim!


Decorating for Christmas is art here, no doubt! Our little adventure happened with this task of, as creating an atmosphere of celebration as the first step in a successful holiday. Magic of decorations always takes time, but it’s such a pleasure to the eye!

What is a Christmas Market without a Santa, anyway? Good thing that the GEAI team has one, just in case. Coming from the cold North, their new volunteer – me! Not to brag, but more than 30 families attended the photo session with Santa and story-time with his Elves. Santa (myself that is) met more than 50 children!

What can I say after this little, but fun and adventure? To be honest, I’m not good at acting or anything theatrical, but how in the world could I resist such an offer? I mean, it’s not the best time on our planet right now, so to see children smiling – is a reward in itself!

Ilya as Santa


The cold, chilling wind is no problem when a warm glass of mulled wine awaits you! Celia and Simona did their best to prepare snacks and drinks for all participants and guests of our little Christmas Market. No one left without a warm glass in one hand and minced pie in another! Of course, just in case, a non-alcoholic version of drinks was also present, but they didn’t have the same popularity as their alcoholic counterparts for some reason.

Last but not least, Tanya prepared her storefront with many potential presents, ranging from books to jewellery and many more. She is a veteran of community markets and fairs of all sorts; but this one was her last in Ireland. No doubt here, the legacy of Tanya’s Treasures showcase will surely live on in hearts and minds and days to come!

Not the first time and certainly not the last, the GEAI team is always ready to help the local communities and their people to make Christmas a little brighter and warmer.

Stay safe and stay tuned!

Written by: Ilya Linevich