Friday, August 28, 2009

Graduation at „Ezerkrasti”

PHOTODONATION:Ēriks Meinarts


For some reason, graduations always make me sad, and I have a strong desire to reach for a hankie. This time the emotions caused by the graduation were so powerful that a week after the event my heart was still full emotions and sensations without which I think I wouldn’t be able to do the job that I do. It all becomes even sadder that there is a possibility that this graduation at “Ezerkrasti” was the last one because somebody has had an urge to shut the facility down without considering the main factor – the children who have bonded with the teachers, who have friends here without whom I'm afraid they won't be able to live.

This year the adorned chairs were occupied by 6 young people all dressed up and smiling because they understood the celebration is in their honour.

Official speeches by the school and centre officials, flowers, books, poems, songs and performances – everything was just as sincere and heartfelt as are these kids.

Graduation had event hosts and soloists – Jancis and the center manager Ginta, Jancis and teacher Ilze, as well as guests from Riga 5th Special Boarding-School. During the song “Two angels” performed by Ginta and Jānis the hall was filled with indescribable emotions. Everyone was crying, kids were happily swaying to the music while Ginta’s hands were trembling due to the overwhelming emotions.

We too congratulated the graduates and tried to find the most suitable book for each one of them and what greater joy can there be than to see that a person lights up in joy upon receiving your gift as if the gift were the keys to a Mercedez-Benz.

When the official part was over, we went over to the hall with a fireplace to feast on school’s cakes, “Ezerkrasti” treats and sweets presented by “Kraukļa fonds”. In the meantime, preparations of a surprise were in full swing on stage in the school hall. The story about the surprise goes way back to when I understood that the song “Dzeltenās madaras” performed by Gunārs and Zane is anthem-like in this centre. That’s when I had an idea to invite the artists to some event at “Ezerkrasti”. Gunārs and Zane agreed immediately, without hesitation. (Gunārs and Zane don’t have a website of their own, but you can listen to their songs at draugiem.lv by searching for “Gunārs un Zane” in the music section).

When we were finished eating sweets and drinking juices, we headed back to the hall and the concert could start. Even now while I'm writing this, memories of what went on in the hall bring tears to my eyes. From the very first notes, all the kids (who are capable of doing that) were singing along, swaying to the music and living the song till the end. However, its impossible to describe what happened when the announcement of their favourite song "Dzeltenās madaras" was made! A wave of elation rushed through the hall. Kids jumped from their seats, applauded and rejoiced!!! Of course the happiest one was Sasha since it’s his very favourite of all the songs he sings. I felt my heart was flying due to the joy and the fact that I was so moved. It was indescribable. In the meantime, Zane was holding back tears of delight. I thought she was unable to sing this song even more so because Sasha ran on stage and sang it together with Gunārs.

There were very few people who sat in the chair during the concert. Most were dancing and singing along all songs.

Of course, nothing can last forever and the concert ended with a song “Mēmā dziesma” by R.Pauls.

Id like to end my story on this positive note. However, before I do that Id like to say a big thank you to Gunārs and Zane for travelling all accross Latvia from Veclaicene parish in Alūksne district just to make these kids happy. But, as Gunārs said, there are things that cannot be measured in money, and I wish there were more people like them.

Also we would like to say a big thank you to the insurance agency “Baltikums”, sponsors of Gunārs and Zane, for providing them with this opportunity to come to Berģi all the way from Veclaicene.

Also we would like to thank “Kraukļa fonds” and “Danone” for treats!

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