Tukums report April 2017
1 Saturday 22 April
At 7am we were waiting for Mr. Smit at the Central Station in
Antwerp. Then we took the train to the airport in Zaventem.
There, Alidzhan was checked for the first time.
Everyone scans his diabolopas, Samad scans and goes through the
wrong gate. Consequence: Alidzhan can no longer go through
without the help of 2 handsome ladies ... we think it was his
After all the airport checks, Boubacar is stopped. He still had
shampoo, deo and skin cream in his hand luggage...
Eventually we take the bus to the plane. Boubacar can’t get his
table down because of his long legs. He then gets 2 seats and
falls asleep. Samad puts his head against the seat in front of
him and goes to sleep. The engine was very loud and irritating.
We land in Riga and get the car. We have to wait a long time and
it's 6 °C wind rain and wet snow. Samad says, "Is that still for
today or tomorrow?"
Eventually, we step and Mr Smit notes that the car can not switch,
it's an "automatic". He also can not reach the pedal with his
feet. Unfortunately, Bouba can not help him. Mr Smit is getting
very hot. It was difficult to get the car in the correct
position. The one thing Mr Smit found very quickly, were the
brakes. Everyone flew forward. That was very funny!
Without further problems we arrived in our hotel. We put our
luggage in the rooms and we are going to eat pizza. After that
we make a walk through Tukums and go to the supermarket for
Mr Pacquée treats us on bowling and Alidzjan treats drinks.
Eduardo is the star of the bowling alley. He sometimes did not
know in what direction the ball had to be.
After 2 games some of us go to the room to chill. The others have
another drink and then go too. Mr Smit, Mr Pacquée and Alidzjan
drive back to Riga at 23.00 to get the teachers and students
April 23, 2017 Riga
Waking up at seven o'clock,
eight o'clock breakfast, at nine o'clock on foot to the station
in Tukums to take the train to Riga. The Croats are also
Boubacar falls asleep in the train. Arriving in Riga we go to our
guide who is waiting for us at Latvia's Statue of Liberty.
We saw the changing of the guard by soldiers. This is a tradition
of respect for Latvia's freedom. Our guide shows us the old city
of Riga. After the two-hour tour, we were all very hungry. The
students got some money and were allowed to choose a restaurant.
We will be most silent about KFC. Our teachers chose another
restaurant with the teachers from Croatia. At 4.30pm we had
agreed back to the Statue of Liberty.
We walk back to the train station and take the train back to
Tukums. Bouba falls asleep after a minute. He is clearly an
attractive sleeper because there are immediately girls sitting
next to him.
Back in Tukums, we make a big walk into nature to a big
sculpture. The day before we even saw a deer walking. This
sculpture was made of metal. Samad, behind the sculture,
explains the material and the welding technique.
We pointed the way to our Croatian friends (wink Eduardo) to the
supermarket. We thought the restaurant in the hotel would be
open. Wrong thinking ... So back to the supermarket.
Fortunately, we already know the way!
After dinner in the room, Boubacar falls asleep again. We are
watching a movie on channel 19. The teachers are in their room
with the Croatian teachers. At 24 o'clock everyone is going to
sleep except Samad.
Monday, April 24th
Today it was a little more difficult to get up. Boubacar and
Eduardo only had 10 minutes to eat something. Samad and Alidzhan
only had time for a coffee.
At 9h15 a bus picks us up to go to Latvian school. Mr. Smit is also
driving and braking is already a lot easier. We arrive at the
school and we are welcomed with singing and dancing and a
beautiful scene. Bouba loved the beautiful ladies. Then everyone
had to introduce themselves in front of the whole room full of
people from Latvia, Romania and Croatia. Respect for Bouba and
Eduardo! They did a fine job. Samad and Eduardo were still a
little bit shy.
The students get a tour of the school without teachers. Eduardo
translates English to the students who do not understand this
Mrs Kathleen and Mr Smit disappear for a meeting. We do two
workshops to get to know each other better. During the first
workshop we had to make a drawing about ourselves. During the
second workshop we made greeting cards. Boubacar received many
compliments about the wish he wrote down. The cards were
collected in a box. Tomorrow cards will be distributed randomly.
We all eat together. After lunch another bus picks us up to go to a
castle. The name of the castle is Jaunpils. The castle was
beautiful and interesting. The doors and stairs were too low for
Boubacar. In the past, the people were smaller. There
also a very scary painting and a very beautiful wedding hall.
The toilet was also very special. It was on a balcony and there
was a fur coat for wintertime. In the basement of the castle
there lived a ghost. Then we went to a cannon. It was shot as a
kind of farewell. Most of us choked very hard.
In the castle we had a guide. It was the first time she did a tour
in English. Fortunately, Mr Smit was in the Castle. He
understood everything and explained us very well in Dutch. Even
the Croatians and the Romanians understood Mr Smit’s Dutch
better than the guide her English.
We take the bus back to Tukums. For the first time, Bouba does not
fall asleep. Reason: The ladies from Tukums. We are going to the
supermarket with everyone, not Aldi but Rimi. Bouba and Alidzhan
don’t come along, they are going to eat pizza. The pizza was
very big and delicious. Bouba made friends there and calls Samad
when he passes the pizzeria to give the key to the room.
At 18:00 we go to a
restaurant for dinner with the Croats, the Latvian and the
Romanians. The food was very good. Mr Smit gave a speech and
Boubacar sat at the head of the table.
After dinner we played games
with everyone. Billiards and air hockey. We also played against
the local youth. It was a very nice evening. We are going back
to the hotel. In the room we were talking about the evening, we
made a lot of fun.
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
After breakfast we leave for the Latvian school. We play
different games to get to know each other better. Everyone found
our memory game super fun. We laughed a lot. Also the bingo was
fun. Actually everything was fun.
A bus drives us to another department of the school. A big lunch
was waiting for us. There was chicken, fish, pork, vegetables,
in short something for everyone. On the wall was a metal
construction that served as a plant rack. Samad looked and said
we could do this at school. Pipes must be ordered.
After a brief explanation of the classes in the school, we look
at a dance show. It was traditional dance performed by children
of about 6 years. Then the children invited us to dance with
When we sat back on the stand, we thought we had to dance again.
That was an error. They came to Bouba because they wanted to
take selfies with him.
Later, we drive to the chocolate museum. After the tour, we make
our own chocolate pralines and chocolate lollipops. Bouba was
very excited. The guide wanted him to stay there so that she
could go on holiday. Eduardo was also very good. He even
received applause. He is left-handed and it worked out well to
fill the pralines along the other side. Alidzhan was very handy
with the spray bag. He had already done this with his aunt.
After half an hour in the
refrigerator we can taste our pralines
We drive back to school in Tukums for games. There was a gift
round, a dance round, a singing round (wacko wacko) and a
blindfolded round. Boubacar caught Andrea. The dance round was
won by the teachers. Mr Smit was the best dancer. Samad sat
there and looked at it. These rounds were organized by the
students. As a big 'thank you', all the organizing students
received a bag with the logo of the project. Meanwhile, diner
After diner Ms Aiva asks everyone to draw a number. Every number
belongs to another gift, all chocolate! We played chair dance
and went back to the hotel. We chill further on the room,
channel 19 and so and Romanian girls in the hallway with Bouba
and top player Eduardo.
Wednesday, April 26th
At breakfast Mr Pacquée is too ill and goes
back to bed. At school we get a presentation about the food in
Latvia. Then a group game follows with everyone called 'tropical
rain'. We were in a big circle. We started to sizzle one by one.
You should start when you hear the person next to you. It was
not as easy for everyone. Then we did about the same but
clipping our fingers and clapping on the legs. Thus, the
'tropical rain' became louder and louder.
We eat soup, chicken and rice in our hotel. Mr Pacquée is there
and still looks bad. After dinner we will have a tour of Tukums.
After that, a photo search will follow.
In the evening we go to the supermarket with Ms Kathleen. We buy
our lunch package for tomorrow. We are going on a trip to the
Thursday, April 27th
At nine o'clock we depart by bus
to Kolka. We drive through a large nature reserve and make
several stops. Bouba still falls asleep quickly. He can really
Our first stop was on the Gulf of Riga. We walked a bit through a
forest and there was the sea! There were large stones in the
water. It was very beautiful and a perfect place to take
The next stop was at a very old white dune in a forest. There was a
walking path laid in wood. We walked all the way around the
dune. We saw a tree that was cut by beavers. Nature is very
Then there was a stop where we could buy something to drink and
where we wanted to eat. But suddenly it started to rain very
hard. We waited for a short while in the bus, eating something.
When the worst was over, we walked to the sea in Kolka. A week ago,
it stormed so hard here that there were dead fish on the rocks.
There was also a monument in stone.
The last stop was at a large stone bridge. We walked next to the
river and saw a waterfall more than 240 meters wide. The widest
in Europe. We saw fish jumping out of the water against the
flow. They tried to jump over the waterfall.
In the evening we eat pizza with the students of Romania. We went
back to the hotel together. After that, Bouba, Alidzhan and
Eduardo went to explore the area with the students of the
Latvian school. They saw the sea and a sunset through the woods.
As Eduardo said, "A perfect day."
Friday April 28th
After breakfast we leave for
school. We learn about traditions and festivals in Latvia. All
the students are divided in three groups. We are doing
activities to get to know each other even better. We also learn
about each other's country.
In the computer class we get a quiz about Latvia and everything
we've done this week. Everyone had high scores. A girl from
Latvia, of course, won. The second and third place went to the
girls from Croatia. They were very smart.
After lunch at school we go to Kemeri National Park. The girls of
Romania make a lot of noise and scare off all the animals in the
forest. Our guide takes us to a hiking trail through a kind of
swamp. Everywhere there were little puddles that are very deep.
There is no fish because the water is very acidic. Here only two
types of trees can grow. On the lookout tower we had a perfect
In the evening there was a farewell dinner in our hotel. Before
dinner we went to the souvenir shop. Gifts and cards were
bought. First write and deliver that card on the first floor,
door of... Then we played a game of pool with the students of
the Latvian school. That took longer than anticipated, the
teachers were already at table while Eduardo had to finish his
After diner there were several
speeches. A teacher from each country gets papers and a photo as
a souvenir. After the speeches and the applause we go bowling
We have 3 lanes. First we play with the students of the other
schools that we know well in the meanwhile. Then we play
together against the teachers. It was not only a nice
evening but also the perfect closing for an
Saterday April 29th
4u30 we depart to Riga airport!
Mr Smit drives the road he is well aware of. Braking also goes
softly. We drop off our bus and get a lift to the airport
entrance. Check-in, luggage, checks, everything goes very
smoothly. On the flight everyone of us was very quiet. Everybody
has done naps, not just Boubacar this time...