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Pirmā nedēļa Kursā! | First week at Kursa!

Sveiki Kursa Community!

A full week at Kursa has already come by, and with it so many amazing memories and events. From lessons in grammar, geography, history, and ethnography, to singing and tautas dejas (folk dancing), to the interest group elective classes, the students have been having a blast learning about a variety of things this week. One stand out was Latviešu virtuve, or Latvian Cooking, in which students worked with Anete Karlsone to make a number of delicious foods! Udenskliņģeri (a bagel like Latvian pastry, in the shape of a pretzel), biešu zupu (cold yogurt-beet soup), and potato pancakes were just a few of the tasty items the students made for us to enjoy during our meals, and during our evening snack!

Every evening we’ve had an evening activity, after studying and preparing our research projects. We’ve played a number of games, and of course the traditional Thursday Poem Evening, but the stand out this week was the Kursīno! Students of course needed a valid ID to prove that they were old enough to enter, but after doing so they were greeted by a host of different games and activities. Black Jack, Texas Hold’em, and Roulette were of course present, but students also had the opportunity play high stakes Connect 4, have their fortune read, or even get married (congrats to Mārtiņš un Niko!). Kursīno concluded with an auction, in which students used the Lati that they’d won to bid on various items. The distinction of most valued item was a signed and framed picture of audzinātājs Valdis Birznieks, which went for a whopping 3000 Lati (for context, they were given 500 to start with)!

Over the weekend, students participated in the first ‘Kursa 12 Hour Film Challenge’. Students were broken into 4 groups, and had to storyboard, plan out shots, film, and edit their own short films, the catch being that they only had a total of 12 hours to work on them! Students thoroughly enjoyed the project, casting themselves, their friends, and even the staff to participate in the films. Filming and planning took place on Saturday, and editing largely on Sunday, and then a first showing Sunday evening. The films were: ‘Murders in Kursa’, ‘Kursas Lāču Meklētāji’ (The Bear Seekers of Kursa), ‘Sheldons in Shelton’, and ‘Lācis’ (The Bear). Films were then given an award, based on a number of criteria determined by the judges. ‘Murders in Kursa’ received the Alfred Hitchcock Award, ‘Kursas Lāču Meklētāji’ received most random compilation, ‘Sheldons in Shelton’ received the award for best cast, and ‘Lācis’ received the award for most important message. A fifth film was made by the teachers and staff, but was disqualified from the challenge due to their late submission. They received a participants certificate instead. All 5 of the films will be available to watch for free on Youtube at a later date.

Finally to end with, a few important shout outs! First off thanks to Ieva Dexter and Vēsma Pūharte for helping organize the library! We received a lot of additional books to keep our library up to date, and they have been working hard to make sure everything is available! Secondly thanks to Imants Holmquist! Not only has he lent Kursa everything needed to create a jam band in the baznīca, but he also volunteered his time to help MC the Kursīno event! And finally thank you to the Latviešu Fonds! With their support, we were able to secure an additional 6 computers to support students during their research projects!

Coming up this week, we have an excursion planned, a Novus tournament, a new class being Politics, taught by Kims Ligers, and so much more to look forward to! Thanks to everyone who supports Kursa!

Written by: Vilnis Humeyumptewa


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