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I was, however, involved in securing a small part of the project's funding from the American Embassy. Using my previous experience as Almende's junior project acquisition person, I managed to worm a couple thousand euros out of their small grants budget. It was a pretty cool experience to visit their bunker of an embassy to present our project to their cultural attaché.
Also, I'm still in charge of the English website and ...
... warned Anna and me that these trainings are usually one big complain-fest. Volunteers are feeling home-sick, unhappy with their project, or aren't making any friends - and finally have the chance to spill their guts. Since I love a good melodrama, I had packed a box of tissues and I was completely ready to go!
(Un)fortunately, our group had nothing much to complain about. Granted, several people we know have left their ...
... rather than wait around. I was in luck, as there was a bus scheduled for 9:15, so I only had a 15 minute wait. Half an hour later, the bus arrived. Forty minutes later, I was in Cesis.
Cesis is a smallish town in the eastern part of Gauja National Park. It has been inhabited since the stone age, and archaeological excavations on the old hillfort in the town have revealed a 5m deep occupation layer. When the German crusaders arrived in the 12th century, ...
... delay (including the parking lot traffic jam we ended up in)).
-- Where Summer Sound was held on a beautiful location at the beach, Laba Daba is held on the terrain of some sort of holiday/conference/farm/resort. No white beaches, but a muddy pool to freshen up in (again, no running water, let alone showers). I was pretty impressed by the fact that the flower beds were still intact after a three days of drunk hippies blundering about.
... walked around the fire in two big circles, while chanting/singing traditional Līgo songs. Good thing about these songs is that the refrain is always "līgo! līgo!", and that the verses in between are usually sung once by the die-hards who know the lyrics and then repeated by the chorus. When in doubt, just sing about ozoliņš (little oak tree), menestiņš (little moon), saulīte (little sun), jāņi ...