My friends from Syria help me to be a better Latvian

Aleppo, gold, Riga, silver, amber - what do these have in common? My husband and I have dear friends who came to Latvia under most difficult circumstances. They are a wonderful family of four and their home used to be in Aleppo, Syria. It used to be a beautiful city before the war. Rich cultural…Read more My friends from Syria help me to be a better Latvian

Inspired by the World’s Most Liberal City

Arriving at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam can be exciting and also overwhelming for it is three-in-one. Airport, shopping mall and train station. Leaving the customs area, you enter a very busy arrival hall. Straight from the airplane to the shopping plaza and straight to the trains located underneath. I speak English and have traveled a…Read more Inspired by the World’s Most Liberal City

Still learning to be free and independent

How many 'Independence Days' do you celebrate? Or do you even have one? Latvia has two! The first is November 18 when we celebrate the original proclamation of Independence of 1918. The second is May 4 when we celebrate the proclamation of Restoration of Independence in 1990. Independent from what?! First time from Russian Empire.…Read more Still learning to be free and independent

Living between ‘Now’ and ‘Not Yet’

Today is Christmas Eve and I am looking forward to celebrating it with the family in Minnesota. At the same time missing my family in Latvia. Many of us have favorite Christmas memories, so let me share mine. Growing up in Latvia while still part of the Soviet Union, we celebrated Christmas behind closed curtains.…Read more Living between ‘Now’ and ‘Not Yet’

Best wishes for Latvia

What can I wish my country on this anniversary? Latvia is celebrating 97 years of independence which was declared on November 18, 1918! My grandmother is almost as old as our republic. At 92 years, she has lived a long and eventful life together with her nation. When it was new and developing fast; when…Read more Best wishes for Latvia

Freedom from fear in Myanmar

"It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it." This conviction by Aung Sun Suu Kyi, a Burmese leader and former political prisoner, highlights an important truth. It also describes a life that…Read more Freedom from fear in Myanmar

My nominee for Nobel Peace Prize 2015 is …

The laureate of Nobel Peace Prize will be revealed this Friday, October 9. As usual, the nominees are kept in secret and it will be a secret for next 50 years. So, we will not know who were the people and organizations to choose from. Having just visited Nobel Peace Center in Oslo, Norway, I…Read more My nominee for Nobel Peace Prize 2015 is …

European and grateful? Let’s see…

We are getting better and better at the blame-game, anxiety, complaints and arguments. Those pointing fingers are growing longer and longer. "It is Germany's fault... it is Brussels's fault... it is those Eastern Europeans who want the benefits of EU, but not sharing its burdens..." As a European, who spends a lot of time outside…Read more European and grateful? Let’s see…

Crisis of conscience in the land of confusion

The speed of changes in our globalized world seems faster than the speed of light. My mind and my whole being cannot travel so fast... as the events and situations and challenges and questions swirl around us. I suspect I am not the only one who feels like the whirlpool is getting stronger and harder…Read more Crisis of conscience in the land of confusion

Asylum seekers should know us by our love, not our fear

To begin with I want to tell my friends who are of different faith or no faith; this blog is mostly directed to those of us who claim to follow Jesus Christ. Some parts may feel like an internal family debate, but in reality these are crucial questions for everyone. Also, as I write this,…Read more Asylum seekers should know us by our love, not our fear