At 07.45 we had breakfast and as always salim was too late! After breakfast we went to the bus, a rental bus, to go to a bakery! There they gave us a lot of information about bread and stuff, then we had to make our own bread, after we were done we had lunch than we could get our own bread we had made!
We took the bus back to getlini, it is a waste management company. There they told us about their company, how big it was, what they do. Later they showed us the tomatoes they produce there, it was very nice. When we were done, we went back to the hostel around 16 o'clock. We had free time till 17.20.
At 17.20 we went playing paintball, that was awesome! It hurts a lot, but its fun. The two teachers thought they were going to win, but they were wrong haha! We played 2 hours. After paintball we had to go to the hostel and go to bed!
Today, the day started with a bigger choice of breakfast. However, the planning didn’t go as smooth as we thought it would go.
There was a meeting in the Latvian Parliament, which is why we had to change our planning for the day. At about 9am the Latvian students came to get us and we got a tour around the block to watch the Jugendstil houses in Latvia. The Jugendstil houses are some of the most expensive houses in all of Latvia. One of the Latvian students explained all about this style. After a nice trip around the streets, we went on another excursion to a University in Latvia, which gave us information about astronomy. We also got to see some very old meteorite shards, with the oldest one being over 4 billion years old! That was actually really quite cool. After we checked a few more things there, we could also gaze into a telescope and view some things that would normally be way to far away. That was really interesting.
We got some free time to lunch till 1:50 pm. After our lunch, we went on our way to a social media company called Draugiem. You can actually put it in the range of a Latvian Facebook. We got a little excursion through the building and soon after we got a PowerPoint explanation about the company itself. After a really interesting talk by one of the employees of Draugiem, we went back to Riga Center and got our free time till 20.00pm to eat dinner etc…
After we ate dinner we gathered back at the hostel and went together with the Latvians to a movie. We first had the choice between The Avengers and The Fast And The Furious 7, however, we soon found out that The Avengers wasn’t actually out yet, so most of the people chose the second option, while others just stayed back in the hostel. The movie was really entertaining and really action-filled.
After that, we said our goodnight to the Latvians and went back to the hostel.
It was another fun day in Latvia.
On Sunday the 27th of April, we had a delicious breakfast around 10 am. At 1 pm the Latvian students picked us up to go to the zoo all together. There we saw all kinds of animals. It was interesting because there were more or other animals than in the Zoo of Antwerp.
Around 5 pm we went to a game, called Psaicho... And it was really scary and psychic... It was the most scary house I have ever seen... We were all very excited to be able to do this game. In the house were several legends. It was scary and fun at the same time...
After the game we had some spare time and so we went shopping, as there are a lot of shopping malls in Latvia. Some students bought some clothes or souvenirs for their parents, brothers, sisters or girlfriend...
We started or day with breakfast at 9:00. At 10:30 we left our Hostel and went to the bike rental to pick up the bikes, some lazy people went to the train station so they could take the train to the aqua park. It took us 2 hours and 30min to get in Yurmala. We first visited the beach, we took some nice pictures there. After 30min we grabbed our bikes again and went to the aqua park.
It was a great aqua park with a lot of slides. We stayed 2 hours and 30min in the aqua park. After swimming, some people went to a shop, after that we immediately took our bike and went back to the hostel. We had a few difficulties, our teacher's bike broke so we had to fix it. After 3 hours we arrived back at the bike rental en about10min later we were back in the hostel.
We got some free time until 23:00. The most of the people just relaxed and stayed in the hostel. At 23:00 we went out with the teachers. The plan was to find a bar where we could laugh and relax. But there was a problem, some pupils aren't 18 yet. So we had a very hard time to find a bar, because in Latvia minors are not allowed to enter a bar or to be outside after 11pm. After 1 hour of searching, we just decided to go to a pool bar. We had a lot of fun there, Mr Toebosch wasn't that good, he lost every game except for 2 games. At 1am the teachers decided it was time to leave, except for Mr Toebosch. So they took the -18 pupils and went back to the Hostel. The +18 pupils and the Latvians stayed a bit longer.
We had to get up at half past 8 which is too early for most of the students of our group. When we climbed on our bus for the first stop of the day, everyone, except 2 guys, were sleeping. I think it is a little bit normal because of the almost 2 hour ride. The first stop was Cesis, wich is a town with a very old castle, old? Maybe not so old... It was built 800 years ago wich isn’t so old, compared to some castles in Belgium. That is due to the fact that Latvia lays in the very north-east of Europe. The Rome empire had an influence on their culture, but it took a while to see those influences in Latvia. Their believe had the same thing. It was influenced very late and in Latvia it was called Lutheranism or something like that. They have told us how their castle was conquered many times by many different cultures. They showed us the dungeons and towers and the guide called us their prisoners.
When it came to an end and the guide let us go, we went to a small science center which was pretty cool. Our groups were separated into 2 smaller groups so that the first group could just walk their own way in the building and check all the nice and weird things out, while the other group was making a kind of robot. After an hour we switched groups.
When it came to an end, we went to a kind of restaurant to eat something. The Latvians had already decided that it would be chicken or fish. I think it was pretty good. For dessert we had some strawberry thing with 'slagroom' (don't know the english word). Many said it wasn't 'slagroom' at all and thought it wasn't good at all.
When we had eaten we went back to the castle for a next command. It was like a town game. We had to make a line, youngest in the front, oldest in de back. The funny thing was that we could not speak, so we couldn't use words. After we did it, they gave us numbers and we had to go to the other persons with the same number. Now we were separated in groups again, so the town game could start. Th first task was to make a difficult puzzle. After you did that you could begin with the other tasks. You basically had to go to the given points which were signed on the map and do some tasks at that place, but when you are walking to another checkpoint you had to look for some cards who were also hidden.
And then it was time to enjoy the local bowling area... We were divided into groups and apparently Ilyasse, Naim, Said and Chaima had never played a bowling game before... It was funny to see... We also discovered some local talents, Mohamed and Ilyasse appeared to be star dancers... We don't have any pictures of them, but the trip is not over yet! So they are warned...
Here are some other pictures of our night out.
On our first day in Riga, we met the Latvian students, teachers and head master in their school. Afterwards the Latvian students had organised a team building game in the centre of Riga. Here are some pictures... They had to make the word 'RIGA', take a picture of themselves, look for special buildings,...
We gathered for breakfast at 7:30 am. After we ate, we waited for the latvian students to come pick us up. When they arrived we all went to their school by bus.
When we arrived we all had to change our clothes and we went to the sportshall, when we everything was setup, we had to warm up first and we had to run a couple of laps. After we divided ourselfs into 4 groups and we played football. When the time was up we went back to the changing room and changed clothes.
At 1:30 pm we went to the local cantine where there was plenty of choice.
We gathered at 2:30 pm and we headed to the open air museum by bus and tram, when we arrived we went to the entrance and waited for our guide to start the tour around a beautiful old city of the 16th to 19th century. We visited three buildings: a house for the poor people, a house of the rich people, and the church. The old village is still in a really good standing and you when you walk trough the village you get the feeling that you were back in the 16th century.
After the tour in the open air museum, we all went to the bus and you could choose between, going to the Alpha mall or head back to the hostel.
When everyone was back to the hostel we took a short break to rest a bit. At 8 pm we all gathered outside of the hostel and we all went to the bowling were we had a really nice time.
When we got back to the hostel, the +18 students could go out that evening to go to a club or bar, the -18 students had to go their room to sleep.
We gathered at breakfast at 8 o’clock in the morning and around 10 some Latvian students came to the hostel to pick us up for school. We went there with the bus and luckily nobody got a fee this time, as Nikita did on the first 5 minutes in Latvia.
The building of the school was quite old just like, half of the buildings in the city… but all we were really curious about the toilets, because old building or not, we were sure they couldn’t be as bad as those at our school.
Anyway, we went to the top floor where the principal, a teacher and some students (all Latvian) did some presentations about the school and Latvia and its culture. We also got to know the Latvian students a little better thanks to some little games. Well done!!
Around 2 o’clock we had lunch and after that we did a sightseeing game around the old city so we learned about the history and had to do some fun tasks with the Latvians.
After that we had the evening off and went back to the hostel where some of us crashed in the couches and others went out again to go to the shopping mall just around the corner or just wander around a bit.
I think that after all it was a really nice day and we had quite some time to socialize with the Latvian students, which is of course an important part of this whole experience! (: