My decision to go to Latvia for 11 Months as Volunteer in the European Voluntary Service was based on the idea to experience a life in a totally different country with a new culture, traditions and surroundings. I didn’t expect anything because I knew pretty much nothing about Latvia.
As soon as my airplane touched the ground, I looked out of my window and realised: Wow, now you are officially in Latvia. The first thing I recognised was the fresh and cold air in Riga. The second thing was the beautiful nature. I took a deep breath, looked once again towards the blue sky and took my first step out of the airport which symbolises my start in a new and different life.
After one night in Riga, I went on my way to Liepaja. The city looked really cool at first but after a while I realised that I’m living in a totally new surrounding now. You could call it “a little cultural shock”!
As soon as I unpacked my stuff I went out to go to the beach and once again I saw one of the most beautiful things I have seen in Latvia: The Baltic Sea.
After my two arrival days I finally learned more about my project: I am working in schools in the morning to give English and German lessons, while in the afternoon I am in Karosta to work with the Karosta Youth Union. Everything seemed okay until I found out that a lot of people spoke Russian and not Latvian. I thought, well it will be tough to learn Latvian and Russian at the same time, but than I realised I have the best teachers: The kids. Now, I’m looking forward to my work and my task, even if it will be hard to break that language barrier, but I’m always saying: Nothing is impossible!
I’m in Latvia for almost two weeks now and I can say I’m feeling more and more comfortable every day. I made new friends, found my sport places, learned how to cook, learned a little bit of Latvian and Latvian culture.
I want to summarise my first impression with one fact I learned at the first day and still can say today: Latvians are really nice and cool people!