Dear friend, i send you my first impression of project M.A.R.E. (Elza – Radek – Nuria)

Dear Baiba,

Excitement mixed with adrenaline is what I am feeling for the first time in my life going to a different country. I wait for the stress to appear but all I feel is excitement and certainty that I am sure about my decision – leaving my home, my favorite places, home and family, everything I know to fly off to a completely different country. I get in the train happy and proud of myself that I haven’t yet got lost or missed a train. So I arrive at Naples, 20 minutes later than expected and I get out of the train and like a slap in the face – cultural shock. The traffic is a mess, everything is loud, everyone is screaming, I can’t find the person who is supposed to be waiting for me – Domenico, so for a moment I get a little bit stressed. Then few minutes later I see a guy with a wide smile coming my way and I recognize – it’s him. So I meet with Domenico and his wife and kid. They all radiate kindness and I lose all of the previous stress.

It’s too late to go to the house where I will be living so I stay at their house. We have some pizza and an Italian beer – much better than my friends told me it would be. Later I get in the bed and fall asleep in five minutes.

Next day we go to some markets and buy some stuff for the house (they say it’s by the beach so of course I can’t wait to see it) and after buying everything we go to the house and it is beautiful.

I go inside and everything is white and blue and so exotic – I immediately feel attached to it. Me, Domenico and Alba spend some time cleaning the house and they both are so relaxed and beautiful, lovely people that it makes me feel at ease even though I know them just for few hours. So I am the first that has arrived and after few hours they leave and for two days it’s just me and the house. So I unpack, walk around, look at the beach, watch the sunset, watch the stars and think about the fact that I am now living in Italy and I am not a tourist but now a part of the

city. I spend my two days observing everything. The sea, olive and lemon tree gardens, all the locals who live on the mountains and every day walk the overgrown roads. You can really feel the time here… What you can also really feel here is your leg muscles hurting from the steep roads. After walking just 5 minutes up the road I realize that maybe I shouldn’t have said that I am good climber giving the fact that I live in a mild environment in Riga but hey, maybe this is the summer workout that I needed for a long time!

So in the evening I meet with Radek, I have no expectations because I only know that he is from Czech Republic. Then suddenly through the door comes this bearded, tall guy who has ‘adventurous’ written all over his face and we connect easily and talk until 2 am. Next day is our first day of Italian language course which I spend not understanding anything but the teachers, an incredibly beautiful woman and then extremely active and funny guy, are the best I have ever had the opportunity to meet. So after the lesson me and Radek walk around in Sorrento and we get to know each other and have a laugh and later we come home and see that the door is open and music is playing. Radek shouts Nuriaaaaaa and a minute later the Spanish volunteer – girl with tanned skin, nice smile and wet hair comes out of the bathroom and greets us with, hello, I’m Nuria.

So the last few days have been interesting experience. I have had to overcome myself in small steps and I think they will just get bigger and bigger. It has been interesting and terrifying and fun and sad and exciting to be here just for a week but it has just begun.

I started this letter after I tried my first Italian sentence “Ciao, vorrei una birra per favore” in the Angelo bar, about 15 steps from our house and I’m ending it at the kitchen while Radek is

brushing his teeth and planning to go to bed. So tomorrow we are going to hike and I don’t know what to expect but I sure am excited to find out. Of course I expect that not everything will be easy and this is something that me and Nuria talked about while having a drink but we both agreed that we want to take the most of this project and enjoy the time that we have in this beautiful place that for 9 months we can call home!



Dear Anna,

12 hours I spent by travelling and i am finally here, 1600 km far from my home. I arrived at 9 pm on Sunday 10th April 2016, my boss Domenico and his wife picked me up in Sorrento and we moved to Marine della Lobra, which is part of Massa Lubrense. Elza, Latvian girl, welcomed me. Nuria, Spanish girl, arrives tomorrow.

The first night was unexpectedely cold. We live in a small house on the seaside. The plan for next 4 weeks is simple. Every day go up hill where Massa Lubrense center is situated and go to language school (by bus, but usually we hitchhike) in Sorrento and learn italian language. After lunch break we have time to explore peninsula. What is our job? The following nine months we will deal with marine biology, ecology and protection of biodiversity, care about 40 km long coast. We enjoy our time here also because local people are kind and helpful. I look forward to first trip on Thursday and first snorkeling on Saturday. Here and now, all of us have faced up to realization of we spend almost one year of our lives here.

Radek Rath Malý


Dear Olga,

I arrived to Sorrento one day after I had planned. My plane to Rome was delayed for a long time so I lost the train which connect Rome with Napoles. For this reason I spent a night in Roma. Finally, and after taking two different trains I arrived Sorrento where Domenico was waiting for me. It was really nice to meet him in person. I contacted him a long time ago and finally I could be in Italy with him.

He carried me to my new house in Massa Lubrense. The way to get there seems very beautiful. Sorrento has too much buildings 20160413_191852and in this way you can see more green areas and a lot of lemon and olive trees. Once in Massa Lubrense, the place seems very quiet, nice and completely integrated with the sea, something that I really enjoy.

Domenico showed my new house and I can´t believe it. I really love it, the house is almost in IMG-20160411-WA0000IMG-20160411-WA0004the sea, you can see the sea since every window, and the terrace is awesome, I image myself eating, working, studying whatever in the table of this terrace, with so amazing views, and I can´t be happier.


Domenico and I went out to talk about the project and know a little more about this new experience and in that moment I saw some fins since my new home! it´s amazing. They are a big group of dolphins!!! I think it´s the best welcome I could imagine. I would like to share this place with my family and friends.


My new housemates are not at home, they are in the Italian course, I lost the first day for being late. I undo my luggage and put some of my things in the bedroom I am going to share with Elza. While I Have a shower my new housemates come back home. How I had imaged all of us have really different backgrounds, cultures, languages… but it will be interesting know more about them and share this experience.

The next day start the Italian course, I like it, the teachers are fun and I like their way of teaching. I have a lot of things to learn but I think I can do it, for me its easier than foe my patners for being Spanish. That afternoon I walk around the town, I feel I can be really good in this place, for sure I would like to meet new people, to know more about Italian habits, to learn about MARE project… but the first impression is pretty good.

I´m looking forward for the rest!

See you soon,