Greetings from Latvia!
My name is Elīna and I am from Latvia! I currently am an Interreg Volunteer Youth (IVY) volunteer in the city of Ventspils, Latvia at Ventspils International Radio Astronomy Centre (VIRAC). This is my third month being an IVY volunteer! Last year I graduated from the Faculty of Translation Studies of Ventspils University of Applied Sciences. After my studies, I was determined to step out of my comfort zone and challenge myself – for this reason, I decided to become an IVY volunteer!
I started my volunteering on the 23rd of October – my birthday! My new colleagues could not have welcomed me better! Over the next few days some unexpected things happened in our building, for example, one of my colleagues found the largest spider I have ever seen that kind of freaked us all out, and just a few days later because of the heavy rain pouring down on Ventspils the roof leaked meaning that the water flooded out department! That being said I was grateful for the life insurance provided by IVY (a little joke made at my workplace)! Of course, since then nothing that exciting has happened!
The activities that I have carried out so far include being a part of several projects implemented by VIRAC like SpaceTEM (introduction to space industry) and currently initiated projects like EstLat 4th call (SteamUP – cross-border cooperation) and ESA PECS 4th call (data logger). Also activities I occasionally carry out during my work day include writing and translation of several articles for my host organization VIRAC official webpage (virac.eu/en/research/) regarding the projects, VIRAC is a part of.
I am very pleased to be a part of the IVY initiative! So far I have gained valuable connections and great friends – my colleagues! Together we spent a lot of time together also outside our job activities, for example, we go to the gym together, organize game nights, and attend various social gatherings. Since becoming a volunteer at VIRAC, I have witnessed great community feeling – a genuine interest in the well-being and prosperity of others. Also, I have learned a lot about European solidarity and its increasing importance within the citizens of Europe thereby significantly increasing my belonging to EU and responsibility and understanding towards other citizens.