Our final meet happened in Athens, between 11 and 17 of june. It was a week filled with wonderful moments, focused on the goals of the project, as well as a dive in the rich heritage of our host country.
We began by an outsanding welcome ceremony at Papago’s school, where students performed an amazing spectacle, beginning with greek dances and ending with a theater play on the importance of taking care of our environment. Then, the delegations were welcomed in the classrooms, where in excellent english, the students interacted with us, proposing activities, asking questions or playing pedagogical games.
On a rainy tuesday, the delegations visited an exhibition dedicated to the nefarious effects of trading european and american surplus clothes, and a sacntuary for turtles. In this animal hospital, specimens from this endangered species are healed from wounds, and retrained to return to nature.
The main pedagogical events happened in a day dedicated to workshops, where participants were challenged to discover sustainable activities. We learned how to create adobe structures using traditional materials (clay, water and straw), repurpose old t-shirts as groceries bags, or learinng how to prepare pasta. The portuguese team gave two workshops, one on coding and arts, and the other on storytelling, to the greek students.
Being in Athens, the weight of classical antiquity’s cultural heritage is enormous. We are, after all, being hosted in a land that gave us some of central tenets of western civilization and european values. Our graceful greek hosts challenged us to some activities to discover Athens rich heritage: walks to understand the melting pot of a city whose history spans more than 3000 years, visits to the Acropolis and its museum, the marvellous cross between nature and heritage in Cape Sounion, and discovering a different greek heritage in Egina island.
We were also invited to Papago’s school end of year celebration, an outstanding open air evening spectacle where the students presented dances and coreographies, some honouring the partner countries in this project.
There were also lots of formal and informal exchange moments, at dinners, coffe breaks and the final diner of this mobiility. This is one of the cores of these projects, foster a deeper sense of being european by exchanging views, experiences, undersrstanding the differences and similarities between our different countries.
This was, alas, our last mobility. This adventure is at an end. It was a wild and interesting ride. We take with us the people we’ve met, all the exchanges and conversations; the dive into our different cultural heritage; and the oportunity to share know-how with the students and teachers. We finish this project enriched as teachers, and as persons. The probability of us seeing each other again is low to nil. It’s natural, that’s life. We wish all of our fellow colleagues the best, either on their personal lives, and on professional projects.
As for our greek hosts, Απολύτως υπέροχο, αξιολάτρευτο, ακούραστο, απίστευτο και είναι προνόμιο που σας γνωρίζω!
It is the journey, not the destination, as was told and written thousands of years ago in this very land we have visited. And this was a most memorable journey.
Here, you can see some photos of this mobility: