Monday, May 24, 2010
What can be better than coming together for singing folk songs and playing traditional music instruments! So today at the lectures we sang different songs together as well as listened to traditional music instruments beauty. Now we are ready not only to sing our folk songs, but also the others! As it took a lot of energy, at the evening we went to the local farmer countryside, where we tasted honey and saw the bees – Bzzz! Kind a scared being, but, fortunately, they were friendly! Of course, they tried to attack for a while, but we sang folk songs to calm them down!

Sunday, May 23, 2010
Sunny and fresh sunday morning after last night in Riga,  coctail of emotions, a lot of new information about history and also real feelings how alive is Riga between day and night, Jurmala and Valmiera. The way to Sigulda was so calm like never before in Baltic Internacional Summer school 2010, but Turaida The Middle Age Castle with beautiful nature and views woke up everyone. Like always with lot of sun in our harts and around us. And of course with our best friends mosquitoes, we love them! Next stopt was Tarzan park - great adventure for each participant, although at the beginning it seemd scary. Ligatne – bunker review was great example about Soviet Union history, starting with radiostation, flags, books, premises and ending with real Soviet Union cafiterias smell in bunker kitchen. Latvia shows a different side each day.

Saturday, May 22, 2010
Which is the most famous summer city in Latvia? Jurmala, of course! The weather is perfect, so the plan is ready. Today we went to Jurmala -- but not only to rest at the beach. We have been to the art gallery as well as had an opportunity to draw with the paint glowing in the neon light! We also explored Jurmala from the top of the new tower. Some of the participants even swam in the sea! After having the rest on the beach we continued to enjoy the night life in Riga.  

Friday, May 21, 2010
Everybody's excited! Going for a weekend to explore cities of Latvia: Riga, Jurmala, also Turaida and Ligatne. the travel from Valmiera to Riga seemed to short -- we have got some very great entertainers in our school! As soon as we came to the city, we have got the great opportunity to visit Karina Pētersone in Parliament of Latvia (Saeima) as well as to discuss about the cultural aspects in advertisement in the Airport agency. We also visited Occupation Museum and explored Riga Old Town.

Thursday, May 20, 2010
Traditionally our morning started with "Labrīt!". Lecturer Anžela Jurāne-Brēmane today taught us how to compose the question sentences. Latvian language lecture was very interesting and useful as always. Later lecturer Žanete Cesniene from Lithuania teached us about body languages features in the various cultures, their differences and common characteristics. Are we so different? Yes, we are! And again -- we continue with getting to know differences in the various cultures. International Food party was unforgettable and full with interesting and tasty dishes from Egypt, Tunisia, Lithuania, Italy, Georgia, Latvia, Finland, Azerbaijan and China … Have you ever tried to eat Chinese food with chopsticks? It was quite interesting and for some of us  was “Mission impossible”. ;) Perhaps we should suggest to organize a separate courses in eating with chopsticks... thought that Fang and Omar would be good teachers in our summer school!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Have you ever thought what has the biggest influence on your values? Family? Friends? Culture? So, after the lecture and workshops we got to know it pretty well. All these  things make each person values! As the family is one of these points, the evening we spend with local people living in Valmiera. Some went to the country side and made  barbecues, others visited beautiful cities in Latvia. We all had a great time in a nice company and free atmosphere. Even mosquitoes couldn’t spoil this evening.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Introduce your culture! The weather was so nice, that we went outside for workshops. Each of us discovered many interesting things about the cultural issues of each country -- social, political, religious and political. After the intense, but exciting day, we decided to spend the rest of the day in action. Let’s go to the dance floor! All evening we were dancing Latvian traditional folk dances – tugadin-tagadin. We felt all-out, but it was worth it!

Monday, May 17, 2010
Monday, Monday -- a perfect day to start the Summer School. We began this early sunny morning with getting to know Latvian language. First phrases we already know -- Sveiki! Mani sauc.. Es jūtos labi! We also took our first steps in exploring intercultural communication. Get to know the basics and had amazing simulation to understand that different cultures might have different rules how they are operating. In the evening Official Opening happened- cocktail of positive live music and lot of fun with improvisation theater group and sincere speech from Rector of Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences. And the best of all -- finally all participants are all here! Just before opening Vafa came from Azerbaijan and later in the evening Vassim, Mohamed and Faiza from Tunisia also arrived. We are good to go!

Sunday, May 16, 2010
Welcome in Latvia! First day and impressions at 2010 Baltic International Summer School. Day was hot, sunny, but also with a little bit rain, full of colors..starting from yellow till dark blue and we are sure... finally summer time is coming. Participants brought us lot of sun from everywhere Georgia, Egypt, Finland, Lithuania. What we do when the friends visit our country? Mostly we go to nature and the first impressions was Valmiera Orientation game. Full of fun, creative ideas, winning spirit and over all good time with new friends. First impressions about Latvia was, green, sunny and light, sure we can agree, but we will have opportunity to show much more. Orientation game was also competitions and the best present for all participants was Gauja Riverside Picnic with presentation about first moments in Latvia and great time to know each other. New day - new life :)


<12. Baltic International Summer School has started!>


Exploring new tastes during international food evening
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Let’s think – what’s one of the most important things in humans’ everyday life? What are we looking for when we are going to another country? And how can you know more about the typical food traditions in particulal culture? Of course, just by tasting the food. Our participants also wanted to know more about the differences between our and their food so there were no doubts – international food party is what we need!

Exploring Latvian dancing traditions
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Already third and the last week has started but still we have many activities left. For Monday we had an opportunity to discover latvian dances. After the interesting lectures and workshops about family and kinship issues we went to the nice place near Valmiera called „Vīnkalni”.

Discovering new things during the field trip
Monday, July 13, 2009
The second weekend after the long week of classes and workshops was just in time. Our field trip to the capital city Rīga, Jūrmala, Sigulda and Turaida was exciting. So many things to discover for even latvians who have been in those cities for several times.

Getting new experience in the boat trip
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Oh, look, how time is flying! Already the second week is in the middle and still so many activities to do. The language day was full with interesting activities and passed unnoticeable. It was full of laughs because of our languages and trying to understand each other while speaking in our own languages. Trying to find similarities and differences by reading the latest news from Latvia and Lithuania. Actually quite easy to understand each other if you use international words. Conclusion – Latvians, Lithuanians, Hungarians and Belarussians can understand each other more or less easy. Difficulties starts with Greek, Thai and languages from India.

Making the new friendship with Latvian families

Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Tuesday came with the lectures and workshops about history, geography and culture. Professor Thomas Taterka introduced us with the relation between literature, culture, history and identity and about national epics mainly about reflections on identities, cultures, traditions and nations. In our workshops we discussed the Latvian national epic „Lāčplēsis” („Bearslayer”). It was interesting to know more about the characters in this epic and their real meaning.

The Baltic International Summer School 2009 has started with lots of fun
Saturday, July 4
, 2009
Finally yesterday we had the official opening ceremony with welcome speeches by the Rector of Valmiera University of Applied Sciences and other officials from the city council and Ministry of Education and Science. Nice evening with tasty snacks, wonderful music by choir „Cats” („Kaķi”) and other activities.

Participants discover Latvian culture during the weekend
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Time is running fast and first weekend has already gone. So many activities, so many things to do that it’s hard to follow the days! Sometimes have a feeling that there is only one long day. On Saturday we had very interesting lectures and workshops with Danute Dūra – a director of Education Program at the Museum of Occupation of Latvia.

Let’s begin our second week in the summer school!
Monday, 6th of July, 2009
Monday as always is a little bit sleepy but the classes are exciting. Valdis Muktupāvels – the professor of ethnomusicology talked about customs and traditions and showed us (and even played!) some traditional music instruments.