It’s time for my last trip to Zaragoza, where our partnership’s final P&R Meeting is going to take place. Our group is small- just me, our head teacher Mrs Valova and the coordinator Mrs Hristina Kalaydzhieva. After the flight from Sofia to Madrid we finally manage to get seats on a coach to Zaragoza (it’s the beginning of the holiday season and coaches are busy). Although we worried that we would miss the first part of the official Welcome, Charo meets and takes us in her car just in time for Bulgaria’s presentation that the children from “Antonio Machado” school had prepared. Imagine our excitement when on entering the hall we see two children talking about Bulgaria’s food and traditions, about the Cyrillic, about Sofia and Etropole. Well, that is the plan – the pupils from the Spanish school are showing what they have learned about all the partner countries. We are amazed at how much they know, at their artistic and language skills.
The performance is great fun. After the Welcome ceremony all guests are taken to a nearby restaurant where we have a delicious traditional Spanish dinner.
The next day is waiting for us with even more surprises. All guests are taken around the school by student guides.
We can see that different classes have researched into the history and the present day of all the 9 partner countries for the two years of the Partnership. The pupils who have studied Bulgaria have created beautiful posters on our history, geography, economy and important personalities.
Then what comes is the Parade – the school yard turns into an International Festival. All pupils are here, together with teachers, guests and parents without whose help, as we understand, the show would be impossible. After the Ode to Joy and members of all Partners’ delegations holding the national flags, the children who have worked on one of the partner countries, present its culture and traditions in a most attractive way. It’s a real Fiesta- traditional dances and music, key figures and facts from Turkey, Italy, Poland, Croatia, The Czech Republic, Sweden, Hungary, Britain, Bulgaria and Spain.
What would a Fiesta be without food? Here comes the International Buffet – parents have cooked all all the recipes we have shared. Now we can taste different dishes from the Mediterranean, the Balkans, Scandinavia, the British Isles, Central Europe.
In the afternoon, the teachers work as usual – they have to review what they have done and plan the final report.
The next day, Saturday, starts with a tour around the city of Zaragoza. We are guided by two teachers and three students who show us around the most important sights – we see the remains of the Roman wall (the city was founded by Caesar Augustus), the Jewish district, Goya’s museum, the Cathedral of San Salvador with its examples of the typical of Spain style Modejo, the central square and the cathedral to the Virgin of Pilar. The tour finishes with the magnificent Aljaferia, one of the very few completely preserved medieval Spanish palaces.
After the exciting walk in the hot sun of Zaragoza we join the annual Fiesta at Antonio Machado school. Each year in June, when school finishes, parents and teachers organize a marvelous celebration . The school yard is full of parents, pupils and teachers and it turns into a real amusement park with surprises and entertainment for all ages. Everybody shares paella and drinks, talking about the year that has passed and planning on the future. The atmosphere is just wonderful. All the international guests can’t help joining the festive mood!
Well, there’s a lot to do in the afternoon and the teachers from all the partner countries have to continue and finish their work on completing the partnership successfully.
Sunday is a Goodbye day. Although I am a bit sad, I’m sure we’ll keep in touch with all friends because this was a wonderful partnership.