Monday, 28 April 2014

Nature, birthdays and seminars (21-27th of April)

After the great experience on the Eastern event in Anchupani, the week continued on a similar happy note.

Thursday was an especially exciting day. On this day we jointed the participants of other  JACis’s project: Connected by rivers. With them we have a very interesting excursion around the River Rezekne, where we were told about the history of the river, her geography and also some very interesting legends.

Did you know that Rezekne river is one of the longest rivers that are fully in the country. And that it connects the lakes Rāzna and Lubāns
Or that there used to be a beach around Rezekne river? Very close to JACis on top of that. Sadly now it’s cover by plants.

 The most interesting though was the legend of the three castles – in Rezekne, Ludza and Vilaka. According to it, this territories was ruled by a lord with three daughters: Lusia, Maria and Rossita. Because neither of them wanted to have an arranged married their father got angry and locked them in the three castles: in Vilaka, in Ludza and in Rezekne, guarded by monsters. The legend says that they still are down there waiting for a man to come and save them. Once a year they are permitted to go out and search for their savior.

Another part of the legends says that because this three castles were owned by one ruler there is a secret tunnel that connects them. No one was able to find it to this day.
It was a truly interesting experience, getting to know something more about the beautiful river in Rezekne.

In the end we were so much happier because we get to go to the Ortodox church and ring the big bell. According to the Christian tradition this can be done only during the two weeks after Eastern. The noise from the bell is so loud that it

Friday was a busy day as well. Pilar has went to Kuldiga for a volunteer’s festival wo it was only the three of us – Georgi, Prokop and me.


First of all in JACis came Tanja, a local volunteer in JACis and my mentor, who had her birthday earlier this week. Of course we celebrated it. We had made two birthday cards for her, one from all JACis and one which I made myself for my mentor. We could see on Tanja’s face that she was very happy and touched.
After this celebration however we had to run to Zeimus as we had to take part in a seminar organized by Svetlana – the director of theater Jorik. It was a very interesting discussion about the differences of the people and the cultures and how can we learn to accept and appreciate them.

But we did not have enough even when Friday was over. On saturday, another activity of the "Connected by rivers" project was planned, namely the clean-up of Rezekne river in the Zeimuls area. This date was chosen specifically because it was perfectly synced with a World clean-up day, which is quite a big thing in Latvia. So on Saturday morning most of the project participants, us from JACis and anyone else who felt like giving a helping hand gathered up outside of Zeimuls, divided tasks and started the clean-up. This took around 3 hours and as  a reward to everyone who helped, a huge bowl of delicious soup was prepared outside on the open fire. In fact we made so much of it that we ended up offering it to passers-by and tourists, too.

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