Comenius week in Latvia
- our last project meeting

The last project meeting connected with the project “We Do Care Children” took place in Pelci near Kuldiga, Latvia between 11th and 15th of May 2015. Teams from four partner schools arrived from Poland, Italy, Spain and Turkey to actively work together.
During the week we spent in Latvia we participated in many activities that broadened not only our knowledge about Latvian culture and history but also the variety of methods which can be used in work with children with different needs.

The first day was the time when we could visit the school, meet the students and teachers. We learnt a lot about the history of the place, its mission and the way it allows children with diverse needs to develop and adjust to the outside world. On that day we were welcomed by the head teacher of the school and the students who had been to Poland. They sang the song “We are the children” which we consider a bit a kind of anthem of our project. They also presented the power point presentation with pictures form previous meetings. In the afternoon all the participants worked in groups in different parts of the school grounds. Some of us learned to create things from wood, others to weave and the rest how to relax by working with the sand. We all produced interesting pieces of art that later could be admired by others. It was a good opportunity to develop some interesting ideas for later use in our classes. After the activities we went to visit the Pelci castle which is now one of the buildings belonging to the school. One can still feel the history being alive in that place and it must be great to study in there.

Tuesday was the day filled with many workshops too. We started by visiting the major of Kuldiga- Mrs. I.Bērziņa. She welcomed our group and talked about the region. She also showed us around the building which is now Kuldiga’s town hall. Then we took a walk along the old streets and the historic centre. The short tour finished at culture heritage centre Kūrava-where we joined in the demonstration of  national cuisine of Latvia. We also helped to prepare our own lunch there. It was a cookery lesson during which we chopped, sliced and mixed vegetables to make Latvian soup and the main course. Another unexpected event on that day was a visit in Art House of Kuldiga where we created some pieces of art- painting by working in our national teams. It was a great fun and some of us could discover a real artists in our mist. In the evening hours we again walked around the town and discovered a spectacular waterfall on the river Venta that flows through Kuldiga. Ventas rumba is the largest waterfall in Europe. The time spent by the river was very relaxing.

On the next day we again visited the school. The first tasks was to plant flowers and bushes in front of the Pelci castle. They will remain a king of remembrance of our project. Each of our delegations left their flags next to the flowerbeds that they helped to organize. Later we could socialise and talk about our project. We also solved a crossword connected with all the project meeting that we had already had. An hour later we were dancing Latvian national folk dances together with Latvian students and teachers dressed in Latvian traditional costumes. Later that day we watched a welcome show prepared by teachers and and students. We could listen to Latvian music and admire talented children from different classes and levels of education. It was a touching hour wich gave us all plenty of positive energy. In the evening the whole group took part in the orientation walk at Polīši where we also spent some time on sitting in the cottage, eating, singing song in national languages and sharing traditionas of our countries (Turkish group prepared a presentation of the Henna Night).

Next day’s trip to Riga was a great experience for all of us. We could get to know Latvia better. Our guide talked about the history of the country, its inhabitants and showed us the old town of Riga. A black cat got our attention immediately and probably all of us bought some magnets to take a piece of Latvia back home.

On the last day we went on a short trip to Ventspils where we had a ride in an old train, visited, the castle and saw a building of a school from the XVIII century. We could also see a traditional workshop where carpets, scarves, blankets and folk clothes are produced. We spent the afternoon by the Baltic Sea where in spite of the cold and windy weather we were able to take farewell photos from Latvia.

The project meeting ended with an elegant dinner party by the Kuldiga’s Ventas Rumba. We had to say our goodbyes which was a bit sad. Fortunately all of us know each other better now so maybe in the future we will be able to work on another project together again.

The project that is coming to an end gave our students and teachers many experiences, opportunities and special moments to remember by. Let’s never forget that.