Ciao! I’m Ruta, a Latvian in Italy now for more than a month. And 11 to go ☺
My life in Latvia in few words – family, good job, nice apartment, drivable car, wonderful friends.. why to leave this place, right? “Learn with a heart, not with a brain” – one of the little lessons I’ve learned in here. And I want to say to everyone: “Make decisions with heart”.
I chose to leave my previous life and to feel unknown experience abroad. Now I live in Turin, doing my EVS project and till now I have not regretted my decision, even though every little things to solve abroad is a bit harder. You are not used to the system, you don’t know the language.. At the end you solve everything, of course, just with a bit more effort and others help.
Weather here played some jokes and this month average temperature in Latvia I think has been higher than here 😀 A lot of rain, so I was good – felt like home ☺
I feel lucky with my sending organization Ventspils jauniešu dome and hosting organization Eufemia. They are there for you and will help, when it’s necessary.
Now we are 6 volunteers (from left) – Lois (France), Me-Ruta (Latvia), Ana (Slovenia), Irene (Spain (north)), Ana (Spain (south)) and Jenny (Germany). Lois and Ana (Slovenia) are for short term, we others – for long term.
I cannot even count in how many events we have participated till now and how many dinners/parties we had (ok, I can, but it’s much 😀 ). It’s amazing! And so much new people around ☺
I’m from northern Europe, so of course I had my first culture shocks and conclusions:
1) Be careful while crossing the road. Cars just don’t stop.
2) Here is really delicious ice-cream.
3) Overall the food is better… coffee stronger…
4) Don’t be afraid to touch others and get used that others will touch you – will kiss you, will hug you, will caress you etc.
5) No one is interested how you look. So dress whatever if you are ok with yourself.
6) Never say NO to food. And coffee.
7) If you don’t understand Italian, with you will speak Italian till you will get it.
8) What is chaos for Latvians, can be still organized order for Italians.
9) Nothing starts on time. Don’t count on public transportation schedule.
10) +20 counts as not so warm. Don’t wear shorts 😀
11) Small cars rule!
12) Speaking without gesture is not possible.
14) Yes, you skip Nr.13.
During EVS you are never alone. If in Latvia I searched for more people, here I even search for more time with myself ☺ And it’s completely not bad, just a surprise for me. Who can count as an extravert for Latvians, could be an introvert for Italians 😉
Doing projects here, I feel useful. You want that or not, those kind of projects test yourself and maybe in ways that you couldn’t even think of. And if I’m saying this just after a month, I’m looking forward what Italy will bring me in the next 11.
And actually it doesn’t matter where you are. You can feel perfect in Latvia and you can feel perfect in Italy. It’s the people around you, who matter. But if you feel like going abroad – why not? ☺