Saturday, 14 June 2014
Day by day
Our trip to Latina started at midnight in Haapajärvi. In the light night we drove 450 kilometers to Helsinki, where we took the flight to Rome. We all, two teachers and two pupils, were very excited about the trip. The flight and the trip abroad would be the first ever to the pupils. Although the parents were happy about the possibility the children to see the world they also worried about everything going well. We arrived at Latina little past midday in the same bus with the hungarian delegation. Because we had no organized program for the day we decided to have a walk to the centre of Latina. On the way there we looked for Da Vinci Location. In the centre we made some shoppings and tasted traditional italian pizza. In the evening our group was so tired of the traveling that we didn´t have to waite for the sleep.
We had a group of eager students welcoming us when we arrived at Da Vinci Location. The meeting started officially with few speeches and giving the labels to all delegations. During the morning we also got the opportunity to enjoy the performances of Primary and Secondary school pupils. In E-clue Conference the delegations presented in pairs the results of several videoconferences. The issues had been for example breakfasts, families, hobbies, houses and freetime. The hosting pupils introduced us the school. The pupils spoke very good english and were very polite. They also had nice medieval dresses. While the visiting pupils were at the hosting families, teachers tasted local salty and sweet specialities in lunch-buffet. After lunch in families the visiting pupils and the hosting pupils played an “Orienteering game” together in the school garden. When the pupils went again to the hosting families, teachers visited in the impressive garden of Ninfa. The garden contains among other things medieval ruins, a lot of exotic plants from various parts of the world and numerous watercourses. The pupils came to the hotel from the families tired, but happy. During the day they had visited on the seashore few kilometers from Latina. They had also made bracelets, eaten pizza, looked photos and played games.
After having a fine breakfast at the hotel we directed towards Gianni Rodari Location. That is a school of younger children. Every country had a lot of gifts to give to the organizers of the meeting. After that the coordinators had their meeting to plan the next period. The rest of each delegation visited the classes. Although we had no common language, we got a warm welcoming in the classes. We had little gifts to give to the pupils. We also showed some pictures of our country and learned numbers together. Some classes sang their favourite song to us. The youngest children were especially sweet. Some classes showed us things they had done associating the project. All the time we had some kind students to show the classes and the school to us. In the afternoon the hosting families picked the pupils with them for the rest of the day. They ate together, went on shopping and just spent time together. In the meantime the teachers were taken to the trip along the cost. We saw the beautiful, long and sandy cost. We stopped for a while to wet our toes into the sea. The sightseeing stopped next to the historical centre of San Felice Circeo. It is also the place the romans often spend their weekends. The trip continued to the city of Terracina. The lovely medieval environment made us a big influence. To the pupils the night was the last one in the families and we thanked the parents warmly for taken good care of the pupils.
The final common day in Latina began earlier than other days. The trip to Rome had we all waited a lot. The first impressive buildings on the way to the centre of Rome were built in the time of Mussolini. In Rome Salvatore and Sabina led the group through all the famous sights. The task wasn´t easy. Among other pedestrians the risk to get lost from the group was big. The walk in Rome took about five hours, but I didn´t hear any complaints from anyone. So interesting it was. And Salvatore and Sabina gave us nice short breaks, when everyone had little time of their own. In Rome we saw Colosseum, the biggest amphitheatre of ancient Rome and Forum Romanum, the ruins of the ancient city. The beauty of Fontana di Trevi and Piazza Navona was touching. Spanish Steps were a splendid place to eat box lunch and look at the life around. Pantheon and Castel Sant´Angelo represented ancient Rome again. Our walk ended in front of San Pietro. Although we just looked at it and the queue to it, we were impressed. In the evening all gathered to the farewell dinner. The atmosphere was a little bit sad. We had had so fine days together. After presents and changing addresses the delegations said goodbye. One of the best parts for the teachers working in this project is to see, how hard to the pupils is to leave their new friends. Next day each delegation traveled home many experience richer.