In April 2022, the 2nd meeting of the Eramsus+ project H.O.P.E was held in Bergama, in Bergama Cumhuriyet Anadolu Lisesi, this time with the assistance of all the schools participating in the project.
It was a great satisfaction to enjoy the assistance of the Finnish school, after the great difficulties they had to overcome to be able to attend.
Difficulties shared in a certain way by all the schools, since the problems derived from COVID-19 and the postponement of the meeting due to the start of the war in Ukraine affected us all, making organizing the schedule to hold this meeting almost impossible. Some groups have had to make great efforts, giving up their family parties or combining one trip with another to attend to other Erasmus commitments.
This is another example of the high level of commitment in this excellent school group.
In return, the arrival in Bergama was quite late, so there was no time to interact with the host families before retiring to rest after so many hours of travel.
As we later learned, this was a forecast error since, although the students already had extensive prior contact, their families did not. And it wasn’t easy for everyone to fit in and communicate, due to huge cultural and linguistic differences. What is so enriching also requires great effort, and sometimes that effort is beyond us.
Following the leitmotif “always learning” we must consider these circumstances for future meetings.
The first meetings between different teams already took place in Izmir, due to the wide time margins on arrival flights, which provided a few hours to get to know something of this beautiful city and its historic center.
Otherwise, the week passed too quickly. Hand in hand with the organizing school, the protocol, academic, cultural and leisure activities took place at the planned pace.
In the school, different presentations were made by students and teachers, about probiotics, STEM, healthy nutrition, … and a special one about Ramadan, as we were immersed in this such important time of the year.
Also fun group activities to strengthen the bonds between the participants.
And various workshops, such as the one on healthy snacks, which was a complete success.
Outside the school, various visits related to the subjects of the project, such as to the agricultural cooperative… or workshops such as the one for making yogurt using the traditional home method
We had meetings with the mayor and educational authorities, in which we took the opportunity to thank them for their hospitality and the opportunity to celebrate this Erasmus meeting here, which is enriching for all.
We also enjoy the opportunity to learn more about this area, its customs, landscapes and history, with visits as impressive as the archaeological sites of Pergamon and Ephesus.
And opportunities to be involved in the life of the local community and of sharing with them their traditions.
After such an intense coexistence, when the last day arrived, the farewells were long and sad, although we know that we will continue in contact and that we still have opportunities to see each other again in the next H.O.P.E meetings.
See you soon.