The rEUnion was an event organized by the Ventspils Youth House, Ventspils Jauniešu māja, in cooperation with Ventspils locals and international volunteers from all over Latvia. Participants had the opportunity to do a workshop or performance of whatever type, and they were supported by Ventspils in resources and organization. There was music performances, Zumba, discussion with EuroDesk, “Map of Volunteers” Workshop, Photo Exhibiton, Board Games, Henna Tattoos, Party with DJ and a Football Pit.
After a long trip to Estonia and Helsinki, I participated in the Ventspils festival. To be honest I didn’t expect that 3 long days are ahead of me, with not that much sleep. I can hear you murmur “It’s the typical volunteer life – all day long parties” – Naah! I fell in love with being a volunteer and being surrounded by international volunteers from different cultures and countries. I enjoyed every second of the festival, and learned a lot of things non-stop for 3 days. We danced like crazy, ate together (The best kebab in Europe – Mazais Džordžijs), listened to the funniest songs ever, discussed all aspects of life (deep crap), shared our secret song Playlists, and ahh wait ✋, of course, new cooperation and bonds with other volunteers. We had the chance to meet a person who actually works in EuroDesk and asked way too many questions (hope she was fine with that😀)
When she was sharing her personal experiences, I stopped for a moment and thought back to myself “Maybe one day we all are gonna be in different countries and in the future it will be our turn to share our experiences with other youngsters”.
During the night we also celebrated our Hitchhiking competition and shared our amazing experiences with the other volunteers.
That day left beautiful impressions in my heart. You come together with people who don’t have set-in-stone ideas about their life, backgrounds and culture. You share your memories and dreams or listen to songs together and these touch your heart deeply. I could feel that nothing is actually important, but your small happiness. Being united makes me feel what volunteering is and how it can make you feel better. At the end of my thoughts I would like to give my regards to all international volunteers and the team that organized this irreplaceable event. You guys are just amazing!
I love my life. In weeks like that I can say that, no doubt in my mind. Amazing people, travel, culture. What else do you need? In the beginning of August, I went to Ventspils for five days to support the youth festival, prepare a music performance and spend the weekend there.
I ask myself: Why was this week such an incredible experience? Hard to say, and hard to explain. Was it the type of work? The place? Or something else?
Well, the music project was quite a ride for sure. The plan was to make an electronic music project with live instruments together with Ovidijus and Jakob. When I arrived on Wednesday evening, all we had was some acoustic songs with me and Ovi, and Jakob and me tried a few things with electronics in BaMbuss twice. We never even played two songs right after each other. Well, we didn’t even have more than one song to play! Oh, and Ovi will actually arrive right after the soundcheck, before the concert. So that will be interesting! Bet nu, labi davaj! Two and a half rehearsals and a bit of sleep later, we had something that resembles a band. Just put some Ovidijus on top and should be fine.
So when me and Ovi were playing the last acoustic song, we all knew: The end is near, and it’s now or never. The plan was to play our three and a half electronic songs in about 20 to 30 minutes. In the end it turned out to be more than an hour of improvised and yeah, quite experimental live music. Renowned critics that witnessed the happening praised it as “It was horrible”, or “It was fun, but it was not music”. Nūūū, I guess it’s not for everyone, but hey: We played half an hour longer because people kept dancing and listening! J
Coming back to why I loved it so much, yeah this music project means a lot to me and for me there’s beauty in putting something together from scratch in so little time and helping each other out to reach excellence. And I LOVE improvisation and playing live because you never know what happens with the music and the people.
But the true reason that made this week so special and precious to me was PEOPLE. Beautiful people, everywhere. I’ve seen so many passionate, happy, relaxed, thoughtful and focussed faces that week, on the actual event itself and the following days relaxing together.
That’s why I love to contribute to projects in the volunteering community. It doesn’t really matter what your individual contribution is, when it’s getting closer to an event, you’re all in the same boat. You laugh together, you go crazy over problems together, you celebrate together, you collect ideas together. And many of your colleagues are friends. Even though you do have your unique part or job in it, the big picture is what matters. Doesn’t matter what it is you do, only with people it starts to have meaning. It’s these moments when I feel the most happy and connected to myself. Of course there’s more to happiness than what could be written in an article, but it is definetly a big part.
Thank you so much Jakob, Bene, Renaud, Niks, Helena and the Ventspils Jauniešu māja team for making this happen!