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Diplomats from Latvia: about family life without a stamp in the passport and travelling


Diplomats from Latvia: about family life without a stamp in the passport and travelling

Zigmars Brunavs, hometown — Saldus, attaché on transport and communications in the Embassy of Latvia

Rita Brunava, hometown — Dunava, wife of the diplomat

About us

Zigmars. Officially we are married that long. Europeans do not care about the stamp in the passport. I had no purpose in life to marry. When I was offered a job abroad, we signed, as it was one of the conditions.

Rita. We have been together for a long time, and I do not know how many years. We have been officially married for about two years. I never insisted on getting married. We lived together, we had kids, a house. I was not expecting a proposal, as we were fine.


Zigmars. I don't remember how we met, but I remember the first date.

Rita. The first date took place at the cemetery. Then we decided to participate in Geocaching — a popular game around the world where you need to travel around the city and look for caches. It can be pencil cases, boxes, hidden in interesting and unusual places.

Zigmars. I picked her up on my motorcycle after work that day. And so happened that the closest geocaching I wanted to visit was in the cemetery, so we went there. This was under Riga, there was a small old house.


About Astana

Zigmars. We moved to Astana at the end of 2017, when EXPO ended.

Rita. In February, he said he tired of previous work, and in June we were going to move to Astana.


Zigmars. The scale of the city was unusual for me. One of the first days we had an appointment at Marriott, we went out with a colleague from the EXPO territory and decided to walk. It seemed to us that the hotel is not far away, but we all walked and walked, saw Khan Shatyr, but the road did not end. In Astana, it seems that it is not far but in reality, the distance is longer.

Rita. My first impression of the city is Astana as a small Las Vegas. Everything was done for EXPO, so there were a lot of lights everywhere, everything was blinking and shining brightly. And a lot of people, everyone in a hurry, life is boiled especially on the waterfront.


Zigmars. In Astana, I love winter most of all. Here it is serious, a lot of snow, possibilities for a variety of winter activities. Every weekend I meet with walruses, which consist of club walruses «Bodrost'». If I have no plans for Saturday and Sunday, I try to dive regularly. My brother and my wife's brother is doing it in Latvia, but so happened that I started doing it in Astana.

Rita. I tried diving a couple of times, but I am not as active as my husband. The eldest daughter also tried but says it is not for her. She was scared not because of the cold but the fact she could not see the bottom. The younger daughter takes a cold shower and takes snow with bare hands, she likes the cold.


Rita. Many people ask me how people live here, how their mentality works. I say that if you will be a good person, then you will also be treated. You get what you give.

About family

Rita. I have a good husband, everyone says that I am spoiled. We have no division into male and female work, a lot of things the husband does at home. Every day as a holiday with him.

Zigmars. I am used to being self-sufficient, so it is not difficult for me to repair something or cook. But when I do something, I do not like to be disturbed.

Rita. On weekdays I get up first, prepare the eldest daughter to school, wake my husband and younger daughter, and on weekends I sleep until 11 o'clock.

Zigmars. The younger daughter is four years old, and she knows the Kazakh anthem better than us. She knows Russian, Latvian, English and in the kindergarten begins to communicate in Kazakh.


Rita. If we talk about our family, we are tourists in life.

Zigmars. Sometimes routine life is boring and you want something new.

In March, we decided not to go to Latvia and invite Rita's mother to us. When my mother got used to it, explored the place, learned where the school, kindergarten, shop, we left the children with her and went to India.

Rita. Spontaneously, but interestingly and not boring. We love to travel as savages.

Zigmars. For India, we took a small backpack and just carry on. There we took a motorcycle and travelled on it.

Rita. When you drive a motorcycle, you feel free as you are not tied to the hotel, you do not have a suitcase and sleep where you want.

Zigmars. The landscape changes all the time, and the beach is different every day.

We also went all together by train to Almaty. There live our Latvian friends we stayed at them. We went to the mountains, where I taught my eldest daughter to ski.

Rita. Last year, Zigmars rode a motorcycle from Astana to Mongolia.

Zigmars. I left Astana, passed Mongolia, including the Gobi desert, Ulan Bator, Ulan-Ude, Lake Baikal and then Novosibirsk and Krasnoyarsk. For 3 weeks I drove 10,000 kilometres. It was during my vacation, and I was limited in time and had to travel 500 kilometres every day.


Rita. We have a tradition, but it is more Latvian than family — bake pies with meat. My grandmother and mother always made them. And at Christmas time, starting from the 1st of December four weeks before Christmas, every Sunday we bake ginger cookies.

We try to spend every weekend outdoors. The eldest daughter learned to skate in Astana.

Zigmars. Previously, from Latvia, we went to Lithuania and Estonia by car. Here for the first time, we will go by car to Borovoe on the weekend. We are used to fresh air, forest. In Latvia, our house is located near the forest and the river — 15 minutes, and you are already in nature but here you need to drive 250 kilometres by train to feel the smell of pine.

The current state of mind

Rita. We are not afraid of changes as it is more fun to live so.

Zigmars. In our life, something can always change dramatically. But over the years I came to the simple essence of life: you need to live interestingly.