Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Jubilate Deo

What do you know, I'm updating like two days after I said it would be another week or so. This has been my first stop into an actual internet cafe, since last time I got online it was in a hotel (and there was a line). So, I might actually take a minute to let you know what I've been up to instead of rambling about nothing.

Right now, we're in Riga for another day. We had a concert this morning and another one a little bit later. We're going to sing two songs in the Riga Dome, which is a big church with a huge organ. It's the fourth largest organ in the world, but it was the largest when it was built. I'm not much for organ music, but it's kind of fun to sing with. We sing this one song and it's the coolest thing in the world. KYRIE ELEISON (Christ have mercy) and there's a blasting organ. Anyway, so I'm a dork, what else is new? By the way, for all of you that had Ms. Ruszel in 9th grade, don't panic, it's not the annoying singsongy Kyrie Eleison that the choirboys sing in the movie version of "The Lord of the Flies." It's a cool song.

Anyway, so we've been traveling from place to place, taking tours of the Baltic capitals then singing concerts. We've had a lot of free time to wander around the cities, but then we have days where we spend hours on a bus (and then get lost, so three extra hours), so it evens out. My mom taught me how to knit! I used to know, but I keep forgeting. So I'm making a Harry Potter Gryffindor scarf (don't worry, it looks awful). At least it's something to do on the road. Knit one, purl one, knit one...

Yesterday we went to a smaller town in Latvia called Tukums. We sang with a Latvian choir, and I talked a little bit with the girl next to me. Her name was Zanda, and she was 19. I don't know how much of the history of the Baltics you know, but they were occupied by Russia for several decades until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. So, I asked her if she remembered what it was like before then, since she was 5 when they left. She didn't really get a chance to answer, since someone was playing the piano and everyone started singing along and we couldn't hear each other. But I gave her my email address, so she said she'd write to me.

Today we went amber shopping. Apparently, tons of amber comes from the Baltics. (Baltic amber, Nina! It all makes sense now!). Anyway, we went to a few stores to look at what they had, and I got some earrings and a ring that were green amber (they have green! Yay for the best color). There was a necklace I really liked with beads of black amber (which are gorgeous, some of them are pretty clear and sparkly), but Becky thought it was hideous and old ladyish. Oh well. We all know I'm a 70-year-old in an 18-year-old body.

Anyway, enough talking. I'm going to go check the choir tour website, to see if there are any horrible pictures of me. And then we have to go back to the hotel and change back into the hideous black choir dresses of doom. So, hasta la vista! I wish I knew how to say that in Latvian. Umm...yeah.


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