On Saturday we took a bus to the Baltic Sea which was about an hour and a half away. On the way, we stopped at a castle which was built in 1264. I'm pretty sure that's way older than literally everything in America so that's super cool. We didn't have enough time to tour the inside so we looked around outside and at the courtyard inside. Hopefully we will get to see another castle in Lativa because I would definitely be interested in touring the whole thing.
Then it was on to the Baltic Sea! The sea itself was beautiful. There weren't many seashells (just rocks) and the sand was a little rough but the landscape was gorgeous. And yes, I did go in the water. And no, it wasn't as cold as you're imagining it was. Unfortunately I was under the same assumption as you and thought the water was going to be absolute death so I didn't bring my swimsuit. I really should've though! The water felt great in the unusual 85° heat.
Before we went home we stopped at Europe's widest waterfall which is 817 feet across. Several of the team, myself included, walked across the whole thing. It was somewhat of a near death experience but I discovered I am a fast walker even on slippery rocks with a decently strong current. So basically I am going to start working on my power walking skills and the next time you see me I will be a power walking athlete in the 2020 Olympics.
On Sunday we were able to attend a somewhat traditional Latvian Lutheran church service. It was very similar to services we have in the US but was in Latvian (obviously) and communion was slightly different (they fed you the wine and the bread). At one point during the service, the pastor began speaking in English and asked Pastor Mark to say a few words about what we were doing in Latvia. You should've seen the way all of our faces lit up when the pastor began to speak English. Finally! Something we could easily understand! All jokes aside, the service was very nice and a different experience from what I am used to.
Today was the first day of camp and nothing could've prepared me for it. I thought I had made enough worksheets, planned enough activities, gone over my lesson plans enough times, but, in the end, God does what He does. It was very hard to gage who really didn't understand anything and who was just pretending like they couldn't understand. They're all good kids though. They definitely seemed eager to be there even though I may have been a somewhat boring teacher at first. But I know it really isn't me speaking anyways but God speaking through me. I am only His servant here to do His will. I'm confident that whatever plans God has for these students at Striki school he will get done using all of us here as the Latvian EEMN team.
So, although things may seem rough now, God will provide as He always does.