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Lāčplēša iela 75 - 1 B, Rīga
Seven months have passed. Seven months since the eight of us started our European Voluntary Service in the mountain and sea surrounded area of Sorrento peninsula. Together, we have come to aid the sea protected park of Punta Campanella. The park has sought our assistance for such activities as: monitoring of Ieranto bay, assistance at the campo boe with boat parking, organization and implementation of sea related activities for children. Taking into account that the winter is showing its nose in our part of Europe as well, our summer activities have seen their end. Therefore, this article will focus on our “winter” activities.
The list of our current activities is fairly short when compared with the activities of our summer. However, it is no less important. Mainly, we gather samples of the different types of algae in our Ieranto bay and prepare sea related activities for children that we later on enjoy together with the little rascals. Gathering of the different types of algae for us means: going under water, with water costumes appropriate to this kind of weather, and picking up samples that we have not yet encountered and gathered. Afterwards we dry and identify them in order to separate different types and species. When all the necessary information has been gathered, we put them away, wrapped and packed, for a day when they are needed again. Our main goals in respect to algae is to understand which types reside in the bay, their density, which types are dominant and why. The activity in which I am most involved is environmental education. With this activity as a tool, we are able to forward the information that we have gained on the sea protection topic further to the bright and creative minds of previously mentioned little rascals. All in all, it is a useful and no less fun activity for both us and the children.
In parallel with our main activities, we keep a blog and a facebook page going. With help of previously mentioned tools we are able to share information related to our topic: Biodiversity and its protection as well as sustainability. Sharing our doings has been a large part of our time here. Besides having our own blog and facebook page, we design, print and distribute our own posters (they can be seen on our blog page). We have received quite a lot of media attention with our unique project. We have been part of at least two TV broadcasts (LineaBlu, MTV Italy), some newspaper articles (which I have lost) and we have been a topic in some sea-friendly conferences (one of which took place about a month ago in Daugavpils, Latvia). All of this has been important for us and other project related people in order to spread awareness on issues surrounding our lovely Sorrento peninsula.
In the middle of all this we still get to help our extravagant house owner with olive gathering, to plant some tree on a top of a mountain, to see and be part of a ship launching in the sea, encounter a dolphin or ten, to meet and get to visit other volunteers around the whole of Italy. To say it plainly: we are happy with what’s happening around us. The last half of the year has been full with new knowledge, lovely surprises and amazing experiences. Although I crave the frosty winter Latvia and the residents of it, I know beforehand that I will miss this place as a second home.
See you when I see you,