When eleven-year-old Sintija went to the local post office and was able to take some old documents back home with her, she had no idea what to do with them. But when her mother gave her stamps for children as a present, she instantly knew what they were for.
Old documents and stamps - at a first glance these are not the most obvious tools to spark the imagination with, but in this case, they worked. "Then I decided to change my job," Sintija says with a smile on her face. So what is this about?
It is simple. Sintija quit her play profession as a teacher and now plays that she is a secretary. The girl, who lives in SOS Children's Village Islice in Latvia, explains.
"I used to imagine that I was a teacher. I played with my imaginary pupils or with toys that I have an entire school here in my room. I even had a diary for students and I gave them marks in different subjects. But now I have stopped playing this game," she tells us. "Now I play that I am a secretary who has a lot of work to do, like answer phone calls, sign papers, compile pay-rolls and so on."
Sintija "has" her own company where she has to do everything when she comes back home from school. She starts out by being a secretary who answers phone calls, and then she is an accountant who takes care of financial issues, not to mention that she is also the owner of the company.
The game is so fascinating that she can play for hours and this is why she does not mind being on her own. At the same time, her mother does not describe her as a person who lives in her own world and does not know about the real world.
Quiet, but confident
"She is a quiet girl, but she is the kind of person who does not let anybody harass her. She definitely knows how to stand up for herself. I have taught her that when she feels she is right, she should express her feelings without fear, and we have had situations at school where she has demonstrated that she has the courage to stand up for herself," her mother tells us.
Why does Sintija spend her free time playing that she is a secretary? "I want to become a secretary and I have spent some hours watching what our village secretary does. Besides, if you sometimes feel that your life is boring, you should come up with something new. I suggest this to everybody," the girl says.