Our ESC volunteer @Timo shares his experience of Riga.
“Sveiki! Mani sauc @Timo, es esmu brīvprātīgais @Jauniešu stundija BaMbuss un es esmu no Šveices. Man patīk mācīties latviešu valodu! I started my volunteering on the 12th of March this year. With ups and downs and together with amazing people I prepared to leave for almost 4 months, so when I was finally able to go I was ready and super excited for a big change in life. And yes, I arrived five days before the closing of the airport due to the lockdown. And yes, of course it affected my volunteering experience. However I feel I was lucky because I was prepared that many things will change, and I did not have to deal with losing something I worked for before. That being said, a big part of quarantine was a wonderful time for me, as strange it as it sounds. Even though I was not at all a fan of social media before, I loved the freedom we had in creating content that was just entertaining and distracting in these times. I had a creative output I didn’t know from myself in quite some time and learned a lot in areas I never touched before.
We were just three people in the team and we had to do everything by ourselves, which was sometimes truly nerve-wracking, but often amazing that it actually worked out. I really can’t write how grateful I am that I could spend the quarantine months with my flatmates, @Aynur and @Anna among them who are also volunteering in @jauniešu studija BaMbuss. That family was almost all we had in that time, and yes, there were moments where I wished I could shoot myself to the moon and build a house there, and yes, it left a toll on us that is not completely gone. But there were so many moments of fun, surprise, happiness, solidarity, teamwork, reunion, energy and creativity. So even though there were quite many challenges in this time, because of the quality of these good moments I can say that the lockdown really was an amazing time in my life.
The transition into regular work that started about 6 weeks ago was harder to handle for me. I worried that a lot of the activitiesand people I loved so much in the early months will be lost and that everything will be boring
and I won’t have any freedom anymore. I could not have been more wrong! I’ve gained a new hobby in studying and practising Latvian, played a first true concert in Latvia, have more concerts coming up and last but not least: I was able to travel and oh my, it blew my mind! The places, the culture, the incredible Baltic summer nights, and above all, all those wonderful people! Needless to say, looking back I’m a bit surprised I was so happy with online work before and I’m super excited now for the summer months in Latvia and curious what else life will bring.”