My name is Louisa Asfour, I’m from Germany and since the first of March, I live as a volunteer in Daugavpils, Latvia.
Why am I a volunteer? I graduated from school last year and didn’t want to study immediately afterwards, but instead go abroad, experience something new and also do some social work. So I applied for an EVS – short for “European Voluntary Service” and got presented several projects in different countries of which I liked most the one in Latvia. Thus, I sent an application for this project to the coordinator of my sending organisation Via e.V. and shortly after, I got accepted. I didn’t know much about the country before I arrived here so everything was quite new for me, but as far as I can say, I really like this country as well as my project in Daugavpils. As my hosting organisation, Odin/Vita coordinates a lot for me, e.g. providing a flat and money for daily supplies.
I work in the office of the RFZ (“Regionales Fortbildungszentrum für deutsche Sprache und Landeskunde”) together with my superior Marina Rumjanceva. We prepare and realise different kinds of events concerning German language and culture all around the year, e.g. the series of events “Deutschland meines Herzens” which took place in April. It included projects in kindergardens, schools, in the university and also in public areas and we had a wide span of visitors. We’re also planning a similar event for upcoming September where I’ll get support by another volunteer who arrives in August.
Apart from my work, I also get regular language courses together with my Portuguese flatmate Telmo. As Russian is a very dominant language here in Daugavpils, we both decided to learn the basics of this language. But of course you also get to know some Latvian in your everyday life as all the public signs, restaurant menues and informational sheets are in Latvian. I only hope I won’t mix up the two languages… 😉
Of course, I want to see more of Latvia and the Baltic states than only Daugavpils. I already did some small trips on the weekend to see some of the most popular cities – Rīga, Vilnius and Liepāja – but there’s still a lot to come and I look forward to travel more in summer when we’ll be able to enjoy swimming in the beautiful Baltic Sea.
So much about me – I will keep you updated about my plans and projects.
Until the next time!