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Tukums report April 2017







Day 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 intention.
   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. (Propeller aircraft)

   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 Bouba's creme.
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 from Croatia.

Sunday, 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 included.

   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 correctly.
   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 was 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 them.
   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 and lollipops.

   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 was served.

   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 Baltic Sea.


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 sleep anywhere!

   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 pictures.

   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 beautiful here.

   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 view.

   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 game.

   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 with everyone.

   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 unforgettable week!

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...