Michael Potestio, Contributor Ω
It can be a lonely experience when you’re one-of-a-kind and that has been true at times for Vita Andersone, 26, who is the only Latvian international student at TRU.
“It is tough because I can’t really associate with anyone,” Andersone said. “I’m not Canadian, I’m not anything else. I’m just on my own.”
Andersone pointed out she still has many people in her life such as her wonderful Canadian landlords and a fairly active social life so she isn’t always too lonely.
“Sometimes I wish to be alone,” she said. “So my alone time is when I go to the bus and I listen to music, that’s my alone time. And when I see someone who wants to talk to me I feel bad because I really don’t want to,” she said, laughing.
The second-year bachelor of arts student from Jelgava, Latvia, displayed her country’s culture through song on Friday at the International Showcase. The song she sang is dear to her heart and in English means “flag of mother.” It was composed by Zigmars Liepins with lyrics by poet Mara Zalite. The song itself is charged with symbolism.
“For example a flag is being compared to the baby’s blanket in which [a] mother wraps her child in,” Andersone said. “It’s [an] extremely important symbol for any nation so any person can understand what that means.”
Andersone described herself as a very musical person and has been singing in choirs since she was a little girl in Latvia. She also plays the cello and even attended music school while in high school. Singing choir music is also something she’s managed to continue to do while in Kamloops.
“Music has been quite a huge part in my life, although my family isn’t that musical, I’m the only one,” Andersone said.
As a singer she’s a first soprano, which is the style she sang in for International Days.
The urge to travel brought Andersone to Canada in 2009, but she first came to Kamloops, not from Latvia but Vancouver. While living there she came across an opportunity to work as a security guard for the 2010 Winter Games, which was an exciting and new experience for her.
“I’ve never been a part of such an important event especially a sports event. I’m not much of a sports woman, myself,” Andersone said.
Knowing she wanted to continue her post-secondary education, which she started back in Latvia, Andersone said she was attracted to TRU because of its low tuition fees and the dry weather of Kamloops, but pointed out she doesn’t like the mountains.
“I figured out after living here almost two years that I don’t particularly care for mountains,” Andersone said, adding she doesn’t partake in mountain sports or wish to continue residing in Kamloops.
She hopes to extend her stay in Canada to the point where she might become a permanent resident or possibly a citizen. The latter would be a tough decision as it would mean she’d be required to give-up her Latvian citizenship, she said, noting her country doesn’t recognize dual-citizenship.
Andersone said she doesn’t plan to continue her university education at TRU. She plans to transfer to a new university for the fall 2013 semester. With that, TRU’s Latvian student population will go from one to none for the time being.
Updated Feb. 9, 2013 at 6:59 p.m. by copy/web editor.