петък, 24 юли 2015 г.

Hello Friends,
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.

петък, 15 май 2015 г.

Hello from Istanbul! 

     I am here on my last but one mobility trip to Zübeyde Hanim Īlköğretīm Okulu, our Turkish partner school. I’ve just arrived after a 10-hour coach journey, together with eleven teachers from “Hristo Yassenov” Secondary School. Serhat is here to meet and take us to the hotel, which is in a nice and rather busy area, near Taxim square.
       Not wasting any time, we have a delicious lunch on the Golden Horn, had a look around the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and immediately after that we’re off to Zübeyde Hanim school. 

     Although it’s an exam day, our partners are ready to welcome us with a wonderful show of traditional dances and music from the different regions of Turkey. The Dervish dancers are amazing. Parents have also come to see the performance. Everybody is so excited. My Turkish friend Lemon takes me around the school and introduces me to pupils and teachers there. Nice classrooms for about 40 students, each one with modern equipment. I wish all our rooms had an interactive board.
    I can see that they have been working hard on our project – our project map, the welcome poster, the presentations on the partner countries. It’s time for the traditional exchange of presents. The school staff have prepared delicious snacks for us. Yammy!
    The next day of my visit is 1st May - a national holiday in Turkey, as in our country. Although all the roads are closed, our hosts, Serhat and the head teacher have managed to come and pick us up from the hotel, after a five-kilometre-walk. They show us around the magnificent Istanbul. So many sights, so much history so many Bulgarian tourists.
     We see Top Kapi Saray, Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, the Grand Bazaar, the Galata Tower.
     In the end, I ‘m feeling so tired that I’m immediately going to bed, while my teachers are feeling like exploring the city further on. They are going on a night Bosphurus boat tour. Oh, I should have joined them. They say it’s been a marvelous experience.
     After some shopping on the next day, we are on our way back to Bulgaria. The coach to Sofia is waiting for us at Bayrampasa.

Goodbye Istanbul! We will never forget you!

четвъртък, 20 ноември 2014 г.

The travel to Poland

              Hello! I’m Lavcho – the mascot of Hristo Yassenov Secondary school for the Comenius project. This time we’ll travel to Poland. I’m to be accompanied by Mrs. Tsvetelina Ovcharova and Mr. Ventsislav Valov.
      First we flew to Vienna. From there we changed the plane – a little old – to Krakow. We departed by bus to the town of Strumień, near Katowice, Southern Poland. Together with us were another 11 colleagues: Brian and Neil from Cheltenham, England; Laura and Cheluis (remember him – he was the "true" cardinal, with whom I had a photo in Zaragoza) in Spain;
and Gabby, Edit, Neli, Orsi, Orsi № 2, Rita and Rózhi from Budapest, Hungary. We stayed in "Willa Rufina" hotel – small but tidy.
       In Powstańców Ślaskich  Primary School welcomed us very warmly.
      The school principal and the deputy mayor brought greetings.

      The school choir "Canzonetta" winner of national and international awards, greeted us with songs in Polish and English. In the school hall students from 5th and 6th grades gave a cultural program dedicated to the 96th anniversary of the restoration of the independence of the Polish state - on 11.11.1918.

       Especially exciting was the performance of children with special educational needs.

       Young performers gave us a lesson in Polish dances: polonez and mazurek. Students from class 2 and 6 showed us their customs for Easter and Christmas. We were particularly impressed by cleanliness maintained in the school by all 240 children from 1 to 6 grade.
     The next day we had a trip to the nearby towns and Pszczyna and Bielsko Biala. We were greatly impressed by the baroque castle museum, one of the characteristic sights of  Pszczyna.

        Last night we attended a ceremonial dinner at the medieval restaurant in the Stronghold of Pszczyna Knights. The staff had prepared a trip back in time - a medieval setting, fashioned dances and games, even chivalrous duel with swords.
       At the end we said goodbye to our hosts. We all were sad, but promised to meet again in February 2015, when directors and project coordinators from the other 9 countries will come to visit Etropole.

сряда, 22 октомври 2014 г.

Trip to Croatia

Hello again!
It’s been more than a year now since our Partnership started. Well, after the good summer rest it’s time for new meetings and activities. But first we need to share what we have done so far and plan our future joint adventures.
So here I am again on a trip to Croatia, where the third P&R meeting is going to be. This time we are travelling by coach, which is lucky for me as I usually get airsick on the plane.

My company now is quite large: Mrs Svetla Valova- the headteacher, Mrs Hristina Kalaydzhieva- the coordinator, Mrs Maria Barkovska- a primary English teacher, Mrs Tsvetanka Hristova- primary teacher and Mrs Rumyana Nikolova- primary teacher. The journey was rather long- it took us 12 hours to get to the Croatian capital Zagreb late at night and after a couple of hours of waiting and refreshment, we are able to catch the first bus from Zagreb to Sisak.

Croatians are very friendly and I can understand their language quite well, which makes me feel like home in this beautiful country. Hotel Panonija accommodates us and soon I meet the other mascots with their teachers in the lobby. Here is Kristina from Katarina Zrinska school is here to welcome us and  take us to Mečenčani. Our partner school in Croatia is about 35 kilometers away from Sisak, near the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina.

By way of tradition, the hosts have prepared a wonderful welcome with a delicious dinner.

To my surprise the food here is almost the same as ours- tasty sarmi in cabbage leaves, mashed potatoes and pastry desserts, some of which are similar to Bulgarian banitsa. Then Kristina tests our knowledge about Croatia with a nice presentation. The warm evening goes on with Croatian dances, presented by the staff. Clearly, our hosts enjoy having fun, just like us, Bulgarians.

Day two starts with a marvelous welcome ceremony. Our hosts make us feel like real VIPs as they have invited representatives of the local state administration and reporters from the local TV.

But there is nothing like the beautiful singing, playing traditional instruments and drama that the pupils from Katarina Zinska School have prepared for us. Congratulations to all participants and teachers.

After this splendid performance we are divided into groups and taken around the school which is small but very cozy and inviting the children to learn and broaden their horizons. We have the chance to visit classes of Croatian language, Maths, History, Geography, English and Quilling.

 In the afternoon our teachers set down to work. They need to present what they have done during the second semester of the Partnership.
Our hosts have prepared another surprise in the break. Croatian people, just like us, pay honour to their land, to its gifts and blessings. We were able to see a short presentation on their traditional Bread Day. I can still feel the wonderful  taste of the home-made bread, cookies and buns.

Work is going on in the morning on the next day. Now teachers are planning on what to do next semester.

In the afternoon we are taken to Hrvatska Kostajnica, where we become part of the spectacular Chestnut festival. I am amazed at how Croatian people keep their traditions and revive Medieval past.

The next day is a day of departure. We must say goodbye to our friends and set off on the long journey back home. After a few hours walking around the centre of Zagreb, which turns out to be one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen, we get on the coach to Bulgaria.

Now I am really excited as I am looking forward to welcoming all my friends in Etropole next February.