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Our partners in Kiel

Comenius Meeting II

A Taste of Europe in Kiel and how Bart makes an impression

On the way back from Jerez the Comenius delegates already had the next meeting in mind. This was to take place in Kiel! How would they mange? What should they offer to the visiting countries? Would they manage to combine work and fun? Would they manage to make it an impressive event? They tried hard and managed – nearly everything.

We would have to host 38 guests. We would have to entertain and to make them work. The guiding line was quite clear from the beginning: We wanted them to understand that we are closely connected to the sea and we wanted to make an effort to improve our actual work on the European Calendar. After a real lot of discussion and actual hard work in (some) different groups, we managed a good itinerary according to all the people involved, though like so often in June we did not manage to guarantee the kind of weather we had hoped for the itinerary to prove a real success.

On the sunny Sunday the students from Denmark, North Spain, Greece and the Netherlands arrived at Kiel. Most of us decided to go to Kiel’s week with their guests, which was good because it was a highlight for everyone. We had a lot of fun and the opportunity to get to know each other a little bit better although all of us seemed to be shy. Later in the night we all went again to Kiel’s week with our parents and watched the fireworks.


The next day we started off our “official” programme, accompanied by lots of sunny spells. The first event was sightseeing - a trip to the West Coast with a walk through the mudflats. Our guides informed us about the geographical history of the west coast and everybody was surprised to hear that the mudflats are something unique on our earth. Afterwards we went to see the Multimar exhibitions in Toenning, a must for study trips. We spent a lot of time in the cafeteria but after that our partners seemed to enjoy the sea animals very much, not so much the information about them as most of it was in German just like the questionnaires we were all asked to fill out. Gosh, it was not easy at all to translate and to help them to grab the details and to manage their questions. But at least, we all got into talking.

Later in the evening, at the "European Party" we could finally welcome the British and the Andalucian guys at our cafeteria and were complete, finally. The national teams presented the culinary specialities they had brought from their home countries and we had the opportunity (not the capacity!) to try a real lot of different food. There was a huge amount of sea food and tapas from the Spanish teams and together with the typical fish dishes our parents had prepared, potato and other salads, pretzels and and and. The Dutch guys even made pancakes as a dessert which went along nicely with masses of Danish pastry and sweets from Greece. Loads of British cheeses added to the huge selection, but they had to wait until the next day to make a lovely second breakfast. We found mostly everything delicious, though some meals were a bit strange for us.

SchulhofThe next day we showed the guests around in our school. Honestly, none of the Germans had noticed that our guests were impressed by what we could present them. We rather had the feeling that there were signs of disappointment (or even pity?) on their faces. Had they expected a higher standard in Europe’s economically most successful nation? We never went into discussing this, because at the end of our tour we gladly did manage to impress them after all. It was not us, we have to admit, but Bart and his friends in the biology department. We could have spent hours there, as everybody wanted to take a close look, touch, feel, and we did get into talking with so many questions being asked.

Bild 3

Thanks to Bart and Aqua Terra, the big attraction for our visitors!

Later the countries presented their national holidays. Lunch after the first session of work was embarrassing for us and our guests, because what we had introduced as Giros and Tzatziki looked very much like cat food. We had some free time and went in a very big group to a shopping centre. Like usual, it was funny and although the ability to speak English was very different, we had hardly any problems communicating. If you get on with each other you manage, somehow.

Bild 4In the afternoon we received an official welcome at the Town Hall and watched a short film about Kiel, later we had a rainy greyish view from the town hall tower. On account of the untypically bad Schleswig-Holstein weather, we could not decide if we should have the planned city walk or not. We compromised and had a very short walk. All the time invested on the preparation of this guided tour in vain. A shame! But some of our guests obviously could not believe what we had told them about the northern climate in June and were not prepared at all for pouring rain. In the evening some went bowling, others went shopping, hunting for the Kiel souvenirs.

On Wednesday we had a workshop and a test run for our calendar. Every team had to make a poster of a month with all international holidays. Later we presented the posters and had lunch. Well, this time we could identify the meal. But unfortunately the really tiny slices of melons were already gone when the second group turned up in the cafeteria for lunch. In between Bettina Krohn from the “Kieler Nachrichten”, formerly a student of Mrs Thum’s at the MPS, took photos and interviewed some of us.

Bild 5In the afternoon we wanted to go sailing and guess why we couldn’t make it?! On account of the bad weather of course! We had made such an effort to convince all our partners that you do not risk your lives going on a sailing boat, and finally they had all brought the official documents saying that each of our guests was fit enough to swim and to enter a boat. Administration you call these necessities, by the way! But it was all in vain. For a change it was not raining cats and dogs, as the British put it, but the northerly climate had a solid storm – no chance to go sailing not even in Kiel - the sailing city. Instead we changed the plan and went to a really interesting exhibition of Geomar about their work in all the world’s seas. Still, we were sorry for the fun of sitting together and learning on a sailing boat.

The farewell party with a tasty barbeque, provided by our very helpful parents, and a funny singing show was the last evening for some guests. Almost everybody played football on that evening and it was such a nice atmosphere. Gladly enough, we had forgotten that tears had been shed in the afternoon when our Dutch friends had to leave, too early.

The next morning a smaller Comenius team assembled at Kiel station to go to Luebeck. After the guided tour through the old town, which was unexpectedly interesting, but unfortunately rainy again, we had a lot of free time. Some went to McDonald’s and some others did some more sightseeing.


And then it was again time to say goodbye to the rest of our friends. Sad like always. But: CU soon!

PS.: Thanks to the parents who helped so much to organise things under difficult conditions!

Anna Kasparova

Letzte Aktualisierung durch Stephan Mumm am Sa, 10.10.09

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