Internet is cool,
Therefore I made a a blog.
9 months as a Panda
Or the lasts words of my volunteering in Latvia.
In March 2019, I decided to quit my boring job in France and go for this 9 months project in Rīga: from April 1st to my birthday, December 31st, I was going to be a European Volunteer for the youth studio BaMbuss and BRF. I didn't expect much when I packed to come to Latvia, I was just looking for a change, to go somewhere I don't know.
The Youth Studio BaMbuss looked cool, Līga and Dasha friendly and easy-going, and their warning about the cold weather and the long nights made me more curious than afraid.
I discovered a city full of wonders, and a country with a unique vibe: very different from my Mediterranean/mountainous home, back in the Pyrénées. I always have been used to have giant peaks in my eyesight, you can imagine how surprised I was when I noticed that nothing of the kind waited for me behind the huge forests of Latvia.
I was surprised, but not disappointed! Some hikes all around the country taught me to love the country: Behind every tree, there's a beautiful landscape, and usually a lake.
It's super hard to be bored here in Latvia. During the summer's week-ends, I was camping around with my friends, and when Autumn and Winter came, the camping week-ends turned into hikes. During the weekdays, my work at BaMbuss with Borche and Maya kept me busy: Between the board game-related event I organised, the Eurodesk activities and my paperwork for BRF, I used my creativity to decorate the studio (Līga, I hope you'll take care of my panda mask, even if it's taking the dust, up there).
Those 9 months felt like one week: I met amazing people from all over Europe, discovered Latvia and the Baltic region as I would never have if I was a tourist. I improved my photography skills a lot and I tried things and managed things in the youth studio that I would have never done in France.
I learned not to be afraid to be spontaneous, that it's possible to create a board game, how fast a shoe can melt if you put it too close to a bonfire, and that Latvians are happy and kind; they just don't know how to smile.
I'm heavily grateful that the Pandas choose me for this European Solidarity Corps project. Latvia and Rīga now have a specific spot in my heart, and I would 100% do it again if I had the chance to.