Volunteer Anna says goodbye to summer:
“Cold days decided to be very punctual this year: I woke up on the 1st of September and felt this familiar algidity of the coming autumn. For me this year`s autumn is also a reminder of the fact that my project is slowly (or not very) coming to the end. This article will be about the summer that has passed very fast and some thoughts about what I gained from it.
Obviously, after months of the canceled events and lockdown we decided to fill BaMbuss summer days with as many events as possible. Some activities were happening in our studio almost every day. Youth who were missing meeting friends in person and BaM events were actively coming to create Dream maps, make pelmeni or play music on the Jam session. One of the highlite events for me was the first real-live Board games evening after the lockdown. Personally for me it was a high record of the attendees coming to my event! I am also kinda proud of the Free market event, after which we decided to organize a constant swap place in BaMbuss, where people can freely bring and take good stuff (check it out, by the way).
Summer would not be complete without travelling. Finally, I visited Estonia and Lithuania (even though Vilnius is still on my “Must visit list”). My travels were overshadowed only by the cancellation of a trip to a more distant European country… The quarantine lists, as we know, are updated every Friday. Despite that, of course, we were enjoying time with friends by the seaside, walking in the woods and parks and exploring new places in Riga.
Separately I would like to highlight the topic of hitchhiking. Before my arrival at the ESC project, I had a very rough idea of hitchhiking. Frankly speaking, the phenomenon itself evoked rather negative impressions and associations exclusively with danger. But my colleague Aynur, who is a big fan of hitchhiking since her first short-term project in Bulgaria, inspired me to try hitchhiking from Riga to Liepaja in June. I was overwhelmed with positive impressions from this trip, because we met good people, got there with only two cars, and, of course, saved money on travel, which is important for a volunteer! In July, Aynur and I learned that other volunteers (from already mentioned Liepaja) Madalin and Gloria are organizing the so-called Hitchhiking competition throughout Latvia – “Latvia Express”! In two days of travel, we covered more than 700 km of road (partly covered on foot), visited 9 cities, changed 14 cars and received an innumerable amount of emotions of the entire spectrum! Now, looking back at this experience I can say that it was a very unique experience for me, memories of which I will carry for years!
Mid-term training caught me by surprise: is it really the mid of my project?! Oh, even less, actually… These were three days of reflecting and trying to formulate what did I gain from this experience. And what I still want to do? Sorry for everyone reading this, but I will leave these thoughts for the end of my stay here. “