9 Aug 2018

Maka about her short term EVS in Jelgava, Latvia


On the 1st of July we (3 Georgian EVS volunteers - me, Luka and Sopio) arrived in BJMK, in Jelgava city, Latvia, which became our home for the next 1 month. The participants in the project would come one by one, so we had to wait for others to join us for the first 2 days. On July 3, we all the 12 members from 4 different countries were here at the music school and ready to start working to renovate the lovely old building and make it colorful and alive again!
We were distributed into 4 teams and each one had to take responsibility for one room to repair and decorate it with own imagination. I really loved the fact that we were totally free in choice and could do anything we would love to do in the rooms that we were given. So it was the time to let our creativity flourish and we tried to do so!
In the beginning, the site looked like that it really needed to be renovated because all you could find there were some old, almost antique objects and dusty shelves, covered with spider webs. We used to work every day except weekends for about one month and in the end, we managed to make the rooms look cleaner and nicer, maybe even artistic! Finally, I was kind of satisfied with our work but still had the sense that we could do better maybe because I was expecting more from myself but overall, I liked the result that our enthusiasm and collaboration gave!
Besides working, we would spend our time preparing the cultural evenings and presenting our countries to each other. On those special days, the country representatives would make a presentation and let others taste their delicious traditional food along with listening to the native music and songs. On those days we learned more about Spain, France, and Italy from the locals.
Regarding Georgia, not a lot of people knew much about it. So, we the Georgian participants tried our best to introduce our country to others as comprehensively as possible and get them acquainted with our history. We even attempted to cook Georgian food which took us around one day because not any of the 3 of us has ever had any experience in cooking. But still, I think the dishes were not so bad, at least that's what our friends said!

On weekends as usually, we would set out together to so many beautiful Latvian places to visit and explore them(containing Jurmala, Liepaja, Sigulda, Riga, Jelgava, and Bauska).
 Once 9 of us went to Estonia by bus and the others including me stayed at home to take the adventure to hitchhike to the same destination instead of traveling by a comfortable and safe transport. We the 3 adventure seekers (Camilla from Italy, Luka from Georgia and I) found a host on Couchsurfing, bought two tents and after work on Friday, at 3 PM we were off to the road to Estonia. Although it took us around two days to reach Tallinn, we loved the experience and did not really regret that we preferred hitchhiking over going by bus, because while sharing the ride with the drivers we would talk with them and by doing so we learned and heard more about the places were passing by from the natives.
I loved being here, it changed me a little maybe, since I learned many things by observing and communicating/living/sharing with others. I made friends and am quite sure that we will meet each other again at some time in life. Now I am a better team player and individual worker which are going to be really helpful and useful gained qualities in life!

Maka Buchunteli

GYE note: Makas, Sopos and un Lukas hosting organisation in the Latvia was Biedrība “Bērnu un jauniešu mūzikas klubs” , PIC 940071136. The project was about creating interior for Youth Leisure Centre.  Project activities included some repair work, drawing patterns, painting walls, building furniture from creative materials, like wooden boxes, cardboard etc., also some simple renovating.