The swedish experience at Burtnieki, Latvia

The french (LPA, Nantes) experience in Latvia

DAY 1 : The travel

We visited the Horse museum, the castle and the stable of Chantilly. We saw a dressing show also with 2 spanish horses. It was rainy, windy and cold so we couldn't go to the gardens around.It was a long day because nobody slept well before taking our flight at 6.20 am from Nantes.We came back to the airport to get our plane to Riga at 7.20 pm. And the journey wasn't finsihed. Once at Riga airport, one bus drove us to the place we sleep in Burtnieki and it took 2 hours ! We could go to bed finally at 3 o'clock !

DAY 2 : Visits

First of all, we had a breakfast with bread and salami, cheese and tomatoes omelette. No fruit juice, no hot chocolate : what a breakfast for our students ! One of them didn't eat at all !To change habits and specially eating habits is very difficult for them and it's a real learning. One of the objective would be to make them taste food and stop saying « it's digusting ».Then, during the morning, we had some presentations of Latvia, and the differents partners countries, . We played differents games to iknow each other.For lunch, the same as for the breakfast, we had a kind of soup with meat, carrots, someting made of flour and bouillon. It was the starter. For main course, we had potatoes and pork. And that was all. So our girls asked « no dessert ? ». It's the way of latvian living, they don't eat dessert at lunch time !In the afternoon, we visited the stables. They do breeding and selling. There are 80 horses.Then we went to a kinf of museum where there are some old things about horses like harness, saddles, carriages...Then we went to a hemp- growing farm (ferme de production de Chanvre). An old man showed us how they used to remove seeds from the hemp with old wood tools. After that interesting demonstration, we tasted their products made of hemp : some kind of butter and an oil, and we had also honey from their bees houses around.We were surprised when at the end of the tasting, Inese, asked us to sing a song. It's a tradition to sing when you're invited somewhere at the end of the meal ! 

DAY 3 :

In the morning we went to the school which is a primary and elementary school. There are 90 students. We were welcoming by latvian students who sang and played the guitare and the flute.Then we visited the school : classroom, sport room, corridor with planning. There are also diploma of Olympics games « Lepojamies » which students from the district take.

There are 11 students per class. Lunch is at 12 and children's meals are paid by the government.We attended an English lesson taught by Inese. It was very interesting and our students were very attentives. They listened to the lesson and they tried to do some exercice as they had to imagine a scenario of a movie after listening to a videocalled « Teeth ».We had lunch at 11.50 and we went on a visit of BMX museum and pist, near Valmeria. In that city we did shopping and we came back for the equitation lesson.There were 5 horses for 12 students so they rode one after the other in the manege.We ate dinner at 6 and went back to the youth center.

DAY 4 : 1st April

As usual, we had breakfast at 8.30. Girls seem to be on time ! We went to the stables and we saw free jumping horses and then with rider in the manege. After this work for horses, we saw mares and foals going out in the manege to make them walk because their box are very narrow.We ate lunch at 12.30 and then we went back to the stables to watch the latvian girls ridding horses and jumping. And then our students could go on a walk with the carriage !After that, we came back to the youth center so we could relax.At 6, we had dinner and at 7, we thought we would attend a show of latvian dances. But SURPRISE...we had to dance ! It was really funny, we had a good time during one hour and half. 

DAY 5 : Stables and Latvian Easter traditions

We spent the morning at the stables ; students could ride. Then we had lunch at 12.30.In the afternoon, we went to the school and we played several games with the other pupils because it's Easter holidays. We decorated an egg : we put some herbs, flowers, and lichen in a tissu. Then they put it into a boiling water with onions'peel. After 10 minutes, the cooked egg has some decoration on the shell. To close thios week, we had a meeting at 5 so students received a certificate of skills and some gifts from Latvia : hemp seeds and sweets.

Teachers' summary :

Inese creates games to introduce each country and person.

I think it's a good way to begin( Bingo).

We discovered during the Sweden presentation a plastic horse for students to train themselves at putting bandages, protections... So they can do again and again without disturbing a real horse.

About stables :

Le fer à cheval sert de porte selle : A horseshoe is used to put the saddle on, near by the box

Pas de grosses litières, petits box : Small box, with little beddingpeu de luminosité dans les box : boxes are not so lightedune écurie qui « ne paie pas de mines » mais avec de très beaux chevaux à l'intérieur ! :

The stable doesn't look very nice but horses inside are beautiful !