"I spent three months there crying every night. I realised family is more important than money," recalls the 43-year-old of her decision to return to her hometown here and an uncertain future.
Her mothering skills helped her secure a job at a daycare run by the town of 15,000 located some 100 kilometres from the capital Riga.
"It was hard, but we're stronger as a family," she says. "And my children know that when the next crisis happens they are tough enough to cope. It is our national character to survive rather than complain."
Reflecting on how Greeks are dealing with their fifth year of recession and debt debacle, Radzina is unmoved.
"If you're used to a high standard of living, it must seem shocking when it gets slightly worse," she says.
"But if you have never had it easy, hard times don't seem so surprising," says Radzina, who remembers life in Latvia when it was still a Soviet republic.
Bite the bullet
Latvia plunged into the world's deepest recession in 2008-9 when output shrank by a nearly quarter.
The emergency nationalisation in 2008 of Parex, the largest locally-owned lender, forced Riga into a 7.5-billion-euro ($9.5 billion) international bailout and a massive austerity drive.
Public sector workers took 30-per cent pay cuts and unemployment topped 20 per cent, amid brutal cuts to social spending.
Advocates of the bite the bullet approach such as IMF Director Christine Lagarde point to its efficacy in getting the economy back on track.
In the first quarter of 2012, Latvia was the EU's fastest-growing economy clocking growth of 6.9 per cent year-on-year.
Cesis Mayor Girts Skenders cut spending by nearly 30 per cent.
"We identified our priorities, we didn't touch our EU co-financing projects and municipal employees took wage cuts instead of losing their jobs. Yes, it was tough," he says, but is reluctant to offer Greeks advice.
"It's not about being optimistic or pessimistic, it's about being realistic," says Skenders. "The crisis gave us a reality check, maybe it will do the same for them," he adds.
Agris Lapins, head of the town's EU co-funded business incubator, says that for some Latvians that harsh reality check meant there was no choice but to start their own company.
Enquiries rose sharply in 2009 at the peak of the crisis and remain strong.
The incubator, which provides advice and partial start-up funding is helping around 80 new businesses get established, while another 25 are already doing well.
Cesis's Karumlade cafe is one of its greatest successes.
Owners Vineta Zamoidika and Alla Oldermane began baking at home and got such good feedback on their carrot cake and marzipan sweets they decided to set up shop.
"We began right at the start of crisis," says Oldermane. "Naturally we were scared, but after taking expert advice about our prospects we felt a bit more confident. Within two years it was clear we needed a bigger place."
Zamoidika insists "Latvians have been through similar and much worse battles so many times in the past that they can cope with a crisis."
Marta Matisone, owner of another successful start-up making handbags, agrees.
"I know some Greeks and I know their country has troubles, but maybe they could see opportunities as well as problems," the 22-year-old entrepreneur told AFP.
An unabashed Francophile, Matisone divides her time between Cesis and Paris.
"Hard times are our history. Latvia is a good place for business, but in France I feel like I am at home, and that's where I would like to bring up my kids," Matisone says.
While emigration offers a chance for many to weather the crisis, the ease with which people can move around Europe since Latvia's EU accession in 2004 has created other problems.
The Baltic state's population shrank from 2.2 million in 2000 to 2.0 million in 2011 as the crisis prompted people to seek work abroad.
Quiet emigration may be to Latvians what noisy protests are to Greeks, says Edvins Puke, one of a just a dozen protestors in Riga recently objecting to hike in the retirement age from 62 to 65.
"In Latvia, people don't go to protests. Their mode of protest is just to leave the country," Puke observed.