The 6th of February was the official start of the EVS in Action Project for Lucia Araiza (Mexico) and Thomas Sauvage (France); this first month of a long term program was mainly oriented to settle down and get to know the environment in which they will be working for the next year.
For the first week they had the chance to meet with the Baltic Regional Fund and BaMbuss Studio staff, as well as with some of the local volunteers. They also had their first cultural awareness experiences by discovering some parts of Riga, eating Latvian food for the first time (yummy!), introducing themselves at a self-organized welcome party in BaMbuss, and even getting welcome presents and a survival kit for their time in Latvia, which included many local goodies and lots of information about the traditions and upcoming seasons to live.
Once well settled, also some assigned tasks started coming for the new volunteers, so they helped putting together the materials of the ”8 competences game”, developing a stop motion animation video, teaching some spanish and french (stay aware of upcoming language courses) at a Cafe Lingua encounter on the National Library and promoting BaMbuss Studio at a NGO market in a gymnasium downtown.
In terms of seeing around and participating in the daily life of Riga, this month Lucia and Thomas went on a first road trip in Latvia to Ķemeri and Jurmala (which they absolutely loved). They also attended local cultural and social events such as the kino screenings at the Kaņepes Kulturas Centrs and the Lapas ‘International Tax System Discussion’ at the European House.
For the last days of the month, our volunteers immersed themselves into a cultural and creative exchange with other EVS volunteers (from Lithuania, Georgia, Ukraine, Italy, Poland, Ireland, Iceland, etc) who came to this country as well as with the locals who are participating as mentors in the volunteers’ experiences. This on arrival training was a great time for planning, learning and sharing with others at the recreational space called Puduri near Ķegums. And they even got the chance to interact with the local community of Ogre in some challenges and collaborative interventions towards sports, international cultures, languages and more. It happened in streets, shops, local institutions such as kindergarten.
Step by step our new volunteers are experiencing Latvia and will continue to improve their language skills and knowledge of the local culture, as well as start working in their ideas and proposing different workshops and events and collaborating with others volunteers and partners in this task of being in action. For sharing their personal experiences during this time they have launched a blog https://evsinactionblog.wordpress.com/blog/ which anyone can follow to stay updated and get more details of EVS in action this year.
We wish them a great year with us, and hope that all of their projects will be successful !