Friday, April 29, 2011

A great experience!

On April 8th we started our travel to Bulgaria. When we arrived i was really exited, and a little bit nervous. The first i saw were Ralitsa and Rosen, and they were so nice with us! Later we went to the hotel by bus, and our girls room was enormous!

The second day was amazing, we had breakfast and toke our baggages. Then, we went to the bus again. Few minutes later we arrived at the Sofia center, where we could go around firstly with our partners and Rally, our tourist guide. She was really nice with us, and explained us what were the countries' bears. We toke some photos too. At 11:00 h o'clock, we met with all other people and "kris", a voluntary tourist guide, was explaining us some curiosities, stories and the history of some places on Sofia.

Later, when we were really tired, we went to Veliko Tarnovo by the bus again. At afternoon we arrived to this amazing town and went inside the rooms. Our room was enormous again! At evening we went to dinner in to a restaurant, the food was really tasty! Later, we went around the town and saw the lights of the castle, was a surprise, we didn't know we'll have this show!

The third day was exiting, because after go around Veliko Tarnovo, up to the castle, and take some photos, we met with the families in the school! But, before that, the Bulgarian people showed us the most amazing paintings and drawings of the students! I thought that were really nice, amazing, and difficult to do. Then, I went with Kristiqn and his father, Kancho, to their house. There, i met with Kris' mother too. This night we went to dinner to a nice typical restaurant. After that, we went with Ilona and Sergi to go around the city and we played "hek", a game that it's like the tricks in football.

On the fourth day we were a little bit nervous, for the oral presentations. But i was really surprising because I've not put too nervous, i was really relaxed and comfortable. Before that, we visit different classrooms. I was in the sculpture class, design class, and other different classrooms. I was with Kris all the time and he toke care of me, I was really comfortable near him. Later, after the presentations of all groups we went to take lunch to Magnoliya restaurant. I liked really much the food there! And, after that, we went shopping with all people. Then we went to "Hollywood bar" our favorite! Now, we have many great memories in this bar! We went to dinner to the same restaurant, and the food was very tasty again. Some boys and girls were dancing their typical folklore and was really interesting! By the way, finally, everybody was dancing during some minutes in front the tables, even some teachers! It was really funny!

Next day was similar of the last, all students met in the meeting class, and finally, we were dancing folklore together! We toke lunch in Mangnoliya restaurant again. Emma, Júlia, Conor and I were eating in the same table. Later we went to shopping again, and we visited the Thracian Tomb. After that we went to the artistic museum and to "Hollywood bar" again! We went to dinner to a "pizzeria" and were very funny again! Later we going to a billiards place. Finally, the next day was really sad, because we had to come back. I embraced everybody, and I felt really sad! The travel was boring, sad, and too long!

I would like to be there now, because the people are really nice, friendly and the most hostile people that I've ever met. I would like to go there again soon! I have some new friends now, and I've known another really interesting culture. Ultimately, I love Bulgaria!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Comenius, Trip to Bulgaria

The trip began the 8th of April, we arrived at Sofia at 10 pm. Ralitsa and Rosen were waiting us. We went to the hotel by bus and we slept there.

The next day we went to the centre of Sofia. First I was such a bit nervous so I didn't talk a lot with the students of other countries. We had a tour guide who showed us the most important things of the city.

After that we went to Belico Tarnovo by bus, a little town that had a medieval castle. We went to have dinner in a restaurant and then we watched the lights show in the castle, it was fantastic. Then we went to sleep in the hotel.

The next morning we did a visit to the castle, it was gorgeous. At lunch time, we went to visit one home-made museum. It was the place that I had considered the boring one. After seeing this museum, we went to Kazanlak, I knew my guest, Ilona and I went with her and her mother to their house. It was wonderful. Ilona left me her room to sleep. They were so hospitalities and friendly. Ilona showed the different places in Kazanlak to me. In the evening we had dinner in her house.

The next day, we went to school and we did a German class. We did the Comenius meeting and all the groups showed their videos and presentations. The video of the Bulgarian was which I liked more after our video. After the presentations we went to have lunch in a restaurant. We had free time till 7pm. At this time we went to the restaurant to have dinner and we saw a traditional show. Then Ilona started dancing and all the people began to dance, it became a party! It was the best night in Bulgaria.

Tuesday, we went to the school at the morning, we did another Comenius' meeting for finishing some works. Then we had lunch in the restaurant, and we had free time so we all went to the Hollywood's pub. We talked a lot and laughed too. We went to play football and then I went shopping with Ilona. After this, we went to the museum with the others, and at dinner time I went to Ilona's house to had dinner, her mother had a lot of surprising meals that I enjoyed a lot. At night we went out with the other people and we played some machine games. Then we went home to sleep.

The next morning Ilona and I thought that the hour meeting was 10 o'clock but we were wrong so we were very late and we hardly could say goodbye. We arrived and all the people applaud us, it was so funny. We said bye with a hug to all the Bulgarian students and we went to the airport. We gave a hug to the four Bulgarian that went to the airport with us and the Ireland people too. We arrived at Barcelona at 6 pm and we had to wait there for a few minutes because there was a traffic jam. But when the parents finally came we went to our houses.


Trip to Bulgaria!

On april the 8th, the students who take part in the Comenius Project about the minority languages went to Bulgaria during five days. We met at Vilassar de Mar's train station at 15:45 to go to the airport. Our flight left Barcelona at 19:00 and we arrived at Sofia's airport at 23:00 (contant que alla van una hora més adelantats que a Espanya). We met the Norwegians and the Irish students and we went to the hotel.

The next day we had a tour around Sofia.

The first day it was embarrasing to talk with Rally, my host. I think that most of the students were shy with their hosts, generally, because we had to talk in English and it was a little bit difficult.

After a visit around the city, we had lunch in the bus, while we were going to Veliko Tarnovo, a pretty town where we slept in another hotel. At night, all the students went to see the lights' show in the castle of the town; it was amazing.

On Sunday, we visited the castle and we had free time to visit the town too. Then, we had lunch in the bus, while we were going to Etara, a town-museum, where we could see typical Bulgarian houses and where we could buy some handcraft objects.

During the visit around Etara, I talked a lot with Rally and I gained confidence with her.

Then, we went to Kazanlak and I went to Rally's house. Her parents and her brother were friendly and welcoming. I felt really comfortable!

The next day, I assisted a German class and then we did Comenius' work all the morning, until the lunch time. Then, we had free time to go to visit Kazanlak and to buy some more souvenirs. We met in the Magnolia's restaurant to have dinner.

The Bulgarian food is different from the Spanish food, because it has more spices than the Spanish food, but by this way, I was able to try food from another culture.

In the restaurant, we saw a live show about folklore Bulgarian dances and it was gorgeous!

On Tuesday, I assisted an English class and before we had lunch, we had been doing Comenius work and we danced all together. Then, we had free time to visit the other part of Kazanlak and finally we went to a pizza restaurant and to a bar, until 22:00.

The last day, we met in front of the high school and we went to Sofia by bus. Our flight left the city at 16:20 and we arrived at Barcelona at 18:00.

It was a great experience I'll never forget!


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Blog before going to Bulgaria

Comenius Blog Post

I first knew about Comenius in early 2010 while I was still in fourth year. Our principal announced that morning that if anyone was interested that they should stay in at lunchtime. That lunchtime we had a very brief meeting where we learned that there was going to be a student exchange to either Bulgaria, Norway or Spain. I knew straight away that this was something I wanted to do.

However nothing else was mentioned about the Comenius project again until the next school year when I was in fifth year .In early September we had our first Comenius meeting and it was decided then who was going to be heading on the first trip to Norway (Jamie, Eoin, Grace, Ríoghnach and Brianne)

Before the trip to Norway there were regular meetings every week where we were given on the project and we discussed what we were going to do. We also filmed a video and I helped with the filming of the sports section of this video. This showed some of the basic skills involved in the traditional Irish games of hurling and football

However at this stage I was still unsure as to whether I wanted to go on the trip to Bulgaria or on the trip to Spain. I knew a reasonable amount about the Spanish culture, I had been to Spain on holidays before and we study the Spanish language in school which would have some sections about Spanish culture. Yet on the other hand, I knew nothing about Bulgaria, I knew a one or two of their soccer players so I could assume that soccer is a reasonably big sport in Bulgaria .I didn’t know anything though about the food they eat or what sports are actually popular in Bulgaria. Is soccer really as big in Bulgaria as it would seem. I could do but that doesn’t give you the whole picture .This Comenius experience is a chance to learn about minority cultures and languages in the best way possible, by experiencing it.

A facebook page was set up for the Comenius project and I wrote a brief description of myself/introduction on it. I gave my name and age, I said I was going to Bulgaria and how excited I was to meet everyone over there and how much I was looking forward to learning about all of the minority cultures and also about all of the minority languages. I then added all of the people who are going to Bulgaria as friends on facebook and I have been talking to some of them on facebook about the trip and just general things.

When everyone finally went to Norway, they returned with fantastic stories about shooting lemmings and eating reindeer, they also told us how they got along with everyone and that they were all really nice. There was also lots and lots pictures taken of everything that they did in Norway. I really liked the fact that there were so many pictures in them. The people, the snow and how much fun everyone was having.

After every one of those great stories I knew that I wanted to learn as much as I possibly could a culture I knew very little about. So it was then that I decided that i wanted to go on the trip to Bulgaria.

After the Christmas break we started work on re-shooting the video that we had made. I was helping Michaela do the filming for the video and I also did some filming myself. First of all Michaela and I filmed the music section of the video. Ian and Brianne played some songs on the tin whistle (a traditional Irish Instrument). Ian and Brianne also went through the basics of a tin whistle step by step. While filming this section of the video I noticed there was a big ray of sunshine in the shot while we were filming so I had to stand up on a table near the window and hold a poster up against the window so the sun wouldn’t be in the shot.

The next part of the video to be shot was the sports section. Michaela and I also filmed the part. While Eoin, Muireann, Ríoghnach and Natalie showed us some skills of the traditional Irish games of gaelic football and hurling. Because there was more space needed to show these skills someone was needed to speak the lines explaining these skills. Eoin and I were reading these lines.

The next filming session was for Irish dancing and singing. This was done over two days because we ran out of time because it was quite hard to get everyone in the shot for the dancing. Michaela and I also filmed this. There was also a big group of people dancing in the video. Grace was in charge of this section and she was doing a voice-over explaining what is going on in the video. Once the dancing was finished Eoin, Ray and I went and filmed a video of the three of us doing some traditional Irish singing, the song we sang is called “Chuaigh an dá Sheán”.

Once everything had been filmed Michaela and I stayed back after school to edit the video that we had filmed. Michaela and I had very little editing skills, but we learned quite a bit about editing just while we edited that short video.

The last thing to be recorded was another part of the music section, there was a traditional Irish music concert in the school after the mid-term break. Michaela was gone to Australia at this stage so I filmed the concert. This was a very stop start recording and because of this the batteries ran out on the camera near the end of the concert, so I didn’t record the entire concert.

Once the video was almost finished I started working on my presentation. When I finally decided what topic I was going to be doing my presentation on I started researching it. All of this research came in handy when I was putting my presentation together.

The next thing that came up was that Michaela’s laptop had broken and all of the footage of the video that we shot was on that laptop. I was worried that the laptop would not be fixed in time to go to Bulgaria or maybe that the laptop might get wiped when they fix it. Which would have meant re-shooting the entire video again. Fortunately for us this that did not happen and all of the footage was safe in the end.

Another incident was that our principal told us that there were rumours that some of us might have been staying with students in Bulgaria who weren’t living with their parents. I was worried about staying in a house with no parents, so were my mam and dad. However we later found out that none of that was true, after talking to the person I was staying with on facebook I felt reassured about where I would be staying.

While making my presentation I experienced a few difficulties while trying to put movie clips in my powerpoint. First of all I downloaded the videos from youtube, then I needed to convert the file into a file that was supported by my editing software. After finding the bit of the clip that I needed I saved it on to my computer. When I played the clip normally it worked perfectly, However when I tried to play the clip as part of the powerpoint the audio worked perfectly, except the visuals weren’t working and the screen was completely blank. I deided that I would have to exit the powerpoint every time I needed to show a clip.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Micheala before going to Bulgaria

Comenius Blog.
Hey guys! So this is my comenius blog to give you a insight into how i found the comenius project :)
So on the first day I started comenius I never knew much butI loved the opportunity to visit another country, and then when i learned what the project was about I wanted to join even more. I put my name down right away! and started attending the meetings. Me and Ian decided to work together on getting work done for Comenius, we started with a Comenius online blog, found at where we write and post about the school and all things Irish!
We spent time during school talking about what we can post on the blog and who will post them and we also spent 1 day a week staying back from school to work even more on our online blog!
Thursday the 11th of november was the first day myself and Ian started the idea for the online blog. We spent that day making a list of what we could post and made a schedule to keep record of eachothers work towards the blog. On Friday the 12th we created the blog, added the information and posted the first post. On tuesday the 16th we spend an hour after school going over the blog and editing its presentation. I enjoyed this because not only was i working with a friend but it was nice to know you were contributing information.
On wednesday 17th we translated the blog from Irish to English as it was written by us in Irish, the next day we worked on the blog yet again uploading 3 posts, I then made a header for the blog and changed the theme. It looks really good :D, On friday 19th of november I posted the post " basic irish sentances" which i thought was a good start for people wanting to learn about the irish language. I also posted " important dates in school" to give a insight into our school year and how much holidays we have.
On tursday the 23rd I posted a post about the history of our school and on wednesday me and Ian posted a post with pictures about lá eolachta, or science day, showing what it is. We then changed the theme to a nicer one and posted about brath glas and other school programs.

Then on the thursday the 25th we had a meeting, I was excited because I recieved my Comenius diary, which i started filling as soon as i could!
Me and Ian then spent an hour after school working on the blog, adding a few tweeks like adding comenius to the header and uploading a post about Lá san nioclas. On the 1st of december, myself and Ian spent a day after school on the blog, and on Thurday we had a meeting. On Monday the 13th december I made a slideshow of the school to put onto the blog.

Friday 24th! Nooo school :D Christmasss!!
Monday10th January, back to school :( but we had a Comenius meeting:)
On Tursday the 11th I got very excited, I brought in my notes all signed for the trip and my passport!. Everything seemed to be getting very close! and i couldn't wait :D

On Thurday 13th January, I recorded the first part of the video with Brianne and Ian, they showed how to play the tin whistle, I enjoyed recording it as i love cameras :D. On Monday the 17th we continued recording and got more alot more done. On Monday 24th we finished the 1st part of the video and I put the footage and edited it at home:D I loved the editing process as I got to learn more about editing and that can be very usefull to me in the future.

On Monday I also recorded part one of the sports part of the DVD with Conor, Natalie, Muirinn, Grace, Eoin and Rioghnach. That was fun because we got to have fun recording outside playing sport we love!
On Thursday 27th I recorded the 5th & 6th years singing and was ment to record Richie dancing for the "Irish Dance" part of the video, however we didn't have the correct music, so it will have to wait:)
On Monday 31st I stayed after school to record the music class so show in a video what irish music is like. Then on Tuesday afternoon I edited it ready for the video, I showed it to the princible but the music the band wasn't Irish enough, which was pretty dissapointing consisidering it look time and effort to record it, but re- recording better music was a good idea.
On Wednesday 9th Febuary I spent more time editing the video, and on Thursday we had a Comenius meeting.

Unfortinitly I was missing for a month when I went on a family holiday however the whole time I emailed my classmates finding out all the news, and continued to work while abroad. On Wednesday 23rd I posted a blog post and edited the blog slightly.
On Thursday 24th I got information and pictures for my art presentation.
I was looking forward to doing this presentation because I love art :)

On Wednesday March 16th I concetrated on my presentation and got a bit more done. Thursday 24th, 29th and 31st I had a comenius meeting, It was exciting because we got our itinary, and I've been talking to the person I am staying with in Bulgaria!. Exciting stuff:D
I edited the video and included footage of a two man band showing irish music and a clip of Richie dancing a traditional dance.
My laptop broke and I couldn't do any of the video for a bit, it got scary because it was getting close to the dates to leave but fortunitly it got fixed pretty quickly and i was all set to continue :)

April 4th I recorded a group showing how to do a Irish ceili, And had a meeting. Getting all the last bits and pieces together, Presantation done, Video has one last bit to be done, and were off :)
I truely cannot wait! :D.

Máire's experience from Norway

Having just returned home from an amazing Comenius trip to Norway it’s time to reflect and think back over the six busy, fun-packed days we spent in the company of students and teachers from Nordreisa Videregaende – Reissa juotkkaskuvla, Storslett and the project partner schools (Bulgaria, Spain). I can honestly admit that I had very little research done prior to the visit and other than expecting it to be cold and dark, I was open to new experiences, ideas and adventure! I had never anticipated such an action-packed, educational and worthwhile exchange.

From the moment we arrived in Tromso airport, Berit and her team ensured that our experience was both enjoyable and beneficial. No stone was left unturned in the preparation they made to welcome their visitors both into their school and their homes. To get an opportunity to stay in a local person’s house rather than a hotel was a great experience. It gave me a sense of the Norwegian lifestyle and daily routine. (Thanks, Elizabeth, for the accommodation and for feeding me!!! )

We were all pretty tired when we arrived at the host school at 1 am, although it didn’t stop us having a quick look at the school through the windows! We were amazed to see so many offices and we were trying to guess if they were for the secretary (secretaries?) or principal. We would never have guessed that all teachers have their own work area, separate to the staff room and staff resource/library area!

Friday was spent in the school. The 8.25am school start brought a few moans and groans (although at least we didn’t have to get up at 6 am like Eoin and Jamie!). The friendly atmosphere of the school was striking. Many teachers took time to welcome us during the morning . As we went from room to room, many differences immerged between the school in Norway and most of our second level schools in Ireland. Most of these differences centred around auditorium, a student cafeteria, a large staff room, work areas/subject areas for staff, a laundry room (for the sports gear, lab coats?), a digital notice board, simple but effective recycling stations, video conferencing facilities (enabling teachers to teach students in other locations), e-portal services enabling teachers to distribute and collect assignments electronically, a music room, sports hall and stage, simple shelving for school bags on the corridors etc. Two people are employed in the school to look after the IT infrastructure and equipment. There were far more male teachers than we have in Ireland.

Students were without uniform and staff dressed casually. All students had laptops (rental scheme). Students had ten free minutes between classes. Students didn’t have a full timetable each day... so time was spend sitting in the corridors, library, study area, cafeteria. Regular use of mobile phones and Facebook seemed to be acceptable in the school. We attended some classes in the morning and then gathered in the auditorium for the school presentations. It was lovely to see all students presenting information about their home country and it was obvious that they had all made a huge effort. Well done to all of you. Friday afternoon saw the co-ordinators having another meeting and finalising the next stages in the project.

We returned home with our host teacher to a delicious traditional meal using lamb and cabbage as the main ingredients. We were introduced to traditional Sami music and song and spent much of the evening discussing traditions and customs in the area. We couldn’t but notice how organised everything seemed to be.....ladders on the roof to get easy and safe access to the chimney, one wheelie bin that takes all materials, great heating systems and well insulated houses. After putting on the many layers of clothes again, we took a lovely walk through the nearby countryside and noticed how dark it was when away from the street lighting. Most houses were well lit and had lights/candles in the windows like we have at Christmas.

Over the weekend we got a good flavour of the Sami language and culture by visiting a local handicraft shop and the new centre for indigenous people where we learned a little Sami and dined on a traditional Sami dish (a type of reindeer stew which is often served at a Sami wedding). We got to see a type of Turf-tent and a Sami tent and learned about the origins of Riddu Riddu, a cultural festival celebrating the Sami culture (not unlike our Oireachtas in Ireland) which began in 1991 and has gone from strength to strength. The video shown gave us a good understanding of the effort being made by the Sami people to strengthen the language and to ensure to pass on the culture and traditions to the next generation. It was great to see the traditional Sami clothes/costumes/shoes worn by teachers and students in the school on Saturday night and I had to admire the community spirit which saw at least twelve teachers in the school that night, all of them helping and contributing to our positive experience of our visit to Norway. After some traditional song (joik) in the Sami-tent (lavvu) we returned to our houses to witness the Northern lights so after a quick addition of more layers of clothes we went for a walk in the woods where we has a better view of the Northern lights....a great finish to a great day!

By Sunday evening one could sense the students’ disappointment that the visit was coming to an end as they had to bring their luggage to the school on Monday morning. However, little did they know that there was another action-packed day ahead of them. We got to attend more classes (Sami-language classes included), the students worked in groups on the ‘Scenarios’ for the next stage of the project (many thanks to Ida for her excellent work on the laptop!), they had another group lunch (not reindeer this time!) and finally started putting their bags on the bus. They were lonely saying goodbye to the Bulgarian students but have been in contact with them since through Facebook. Yet again, Berit’s attention to detail was amazing....rooms were booked for us in a hotel in Tromso and she even had arranged for the bus driver to give us a lift to interactive centre showcasing arctic wildlife. I will admit that the video effects had me grabbing the side of the chair, I thought I was being turned upside down. Time was taken to purchase a few gifts and souvenirs and then the snow fight began! As we made our way to the main street in Tromso the snowballs were coming fast and furious from all angles and the students caught me nicely from the side! The Spanish and Irish students spent the next few hours enjoying the snow and the facilities in the accommodation. After a meal of pizza, more snowballs, some playstation and general hanging out, they reluctantly said goodbye to their new Spanish friends and headed to bed.

Tuesday saw us bidding farewell to Tromso and Norway with promises to self to return in the future. We spent some time in the airport recalling events of the visit and preparing our blogs while fresh in our minds. However, while we might forget some of the smaller incidents, we won’t ever forget the amazing welcome we got in Storslett, the vibrant, colourful Sami language and culture and the similarities between the Sami and Irish situation in terms of promoting the language. We starting taking about the return visit to Ireland and look forward to giving you all a ‘Céad Míle Fáilte’. Well done to Berit and her team for the fantastic experience and a big ‘go raibh maith agat’ to Áine for organising the trip at our end.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Mehmed's experience in Norway

Norway, an amazing experience. The trip was quite long, we changed three planes and a bus, but all worth it. As soon as we arrived in Norway at the airport we were welcomed by groups from Ireland, Spain and Norway. After familiarizing us with the groups, we traveled  four hours by bus to the more enchanting place Storslett. There, everyone were friendly and nice. Teodor and I were hosted by Marte Solli. Her house was very cozy and modern. The next day we had to go to the school with our host, to start working on the project. Everyone introduced their culture and traditions to the others. We attended in some of their classes and learned some of their language too. The school was very modern and had everything a student needs for a good education. And so the days passed, and before we know it, we had to leave. After we said goodbye, we all left towards our real homes. I will never forget Norway, its beautiful nature, and friendly people.

Plamen's experience from the amazing trip to Norway

We left from the Cultural hall “Arsenal” at half past one in the morning on November the 4th. The trip to Sofia is about 4 hours, and so we arrived at Terminal 2, at 5:30 AM. We took off at 7 AM with “Lufthansa Airlines” to Munich. After a two-hour flight we landed in Germany. We had just a few minutes to go to the next plane, and headed to Oslo, with Lufthansa again. After another two hours of flying, we arrived at Oslo Airport. The group took the luggage, and after that we had 4 hours of spare time.
            In the early evening we finally took off towards Tromso with the Scandinavian Airlines. After we arrived there, we met the Norwegian group. They welcomed us very warmly, with a smile, and after that we had one hour to sight-see the city, until the rest of the participants in the project arrive. Tromso is a gorgeous citiy, with an amazing architecture and location. Like a town, taken from a fairytale.
            At 9 o’clock PM we met the other two teams, the spaniards and irish, and we left  Tromso for a 4 hour drive to Storslett. At 1 AM we arrived at the Nordreisa School in Storslett, where we met the hosts and we were taken to the houses, which for the next 5 days were our homes.
On the next day went to the Nordreisa school. Our hosts told us we’re going to have classes with them, and after that we will present our schools and towns. The school is great, very modern and cozy. Nothing like the schools I’ve seen before.
            After the classes, we had lunch, and headed towards the presentation room, where every team presented their country and culture. Everybody did a great job. After school we headed back “home”, had dinner and went to bed early, exhausted  of the great day.
            We woke up and realized it was Saturday. This day we weren’t going to the school. The hosting family suggested we go to the mountain to take some pictures. It was very beautiful, but also very cold. After the little trip, we were going to a local sami-shop. Everything was great, but also very expensive. In the evening there was a party in honor of the participants in the project, with a traditional sami-meal, and there were a lot of pictures taken. There was a journalist from a local newspaper, who was taking interviews from us.
            On the next day we were  going on a trip to a town called Mandalen, which is a center of the sami-culture. We were going to the sami-language center, watching a documentary movie about the annual sami festival Riddu-Riddu.
            On Monday, we went back to the school. We attempted in the first class, which was sami-language. After that, all of the groups got together to work on the pictorial  dictionary. We had the task to think out 10 situations, and write a conversation about each one of them in English, and in our own language. Everybody did a really great work, and when we finished, everyone were satisfied. At 12 o’clock in the noon, we had to say goodbye to the spanish and irish teams, who were going to spend their last night in Tromso. After they left, we had a few spare hours for sightseeing and walking around Storslett.
            On our the last day in Norway, we left at 4:30 AM from the school in Storslett, another 3 flights, another 4 hours at the Oslo Airport, and at 11 o’clock PM we landed in Sofia. It was very windy in Bulgaria, so we had a really hard time landing, but the pilots did an excellent landing. After 4 more hours of travelling with a bus, we finally reached Kazanlak, and so our incredible trip to Norway has come to and end. An unforgettable experience.

Teodor's experience in Norway

            When we arrived in Tromso on November the 4th, we saw for the first time the students from Norway and we introduced to each other. They took us on a sight-seeing tour around the city, while we were waiting for the others. Tromso is a very beautiful city. After we welcomed the Irish and Spanish teams, we left Tromso in a bus and headed towards Storslett.
            On the next day, at 8 AM we went to the school in Storslett. There, the Norwegians talked about the area, what is the school all about, what is their curriculum, etc.
            In the second class, the hosting students arrived, and took us with them, to look around the school, and attempt in some classes with them.  I noticed that the school has very long hallways, and a big library with a reading area in it. The next class was Norwegian language. I met the teacher, and he started talking about the Aurora Borealis, and he even gave me some more information to read. This class was very interesting. After that, we got together, all the participants in the project, and every one of us had to present introduce his country to the others: where does he come from, the traditions in the country, etc. When It all ended, we went for a walk in the town. It started getting dark, and I thought it was around 6 PM, but it was only 2 PM. It was weird to dinner at 4 o’clock PM. My host’s mother was cooking Mexican food. By the end of the day, I talked with the family. The next day was Saturday, so we didn’t go to the school. The family took us around and told us stuff. It was amazing how the sun rose up at 11 AM and set up at 1 PM. They told me that the next weekend there won’t be any sun at all. After dinner, we went to the school to watch a football match.
            On Sunday there was a trip arranged to Mandalen, a small nearby town. It’s a Sami-center there. The trip was very exciting. I saw some very beautiful mountains, that turned out to be fiords. When we arrived, we had lunch- some reindeer meat. We watched a movie about the Sami-festival Riddu-Riddu, and we learned some Sami-phrases. On Monday, the last day n Storslett, we were at the school again. We had a Sami-language class, and after that all participants in the project had to think out 10 situations for the pictorial dictionary, and write them in English, and our own language. Then we said goodbye to the Irish and Spanish teams. In the afternoon we went for a walk around Storslett, and on the next day we left.

Lyubo's experience from the trip to Norway

            And so, on November the 4th the Bulgarian group took off on a trip to an incredible country, called Norway. The trip was very long and exhausting, but nothing could compare to what we saw trough the plane’s windows: the amazing beauty of this land. The people there were so kind, always smiling and ready to be with you in any situation. While we were waiting for the other groups from Spain and Ireland to arrive, we had some spare time to go sightseeing around Tromso. I’d say, this is a magical city, which warms you with it’s coziness and beauty, and even the northern cold wind couldn’t disturb us. And after a while we left Tromso with the other groups, heading towards the town of Storslett. After another 4 hours of travelling we found ourselves in Storslett, an even more magnificent place, where the northern fiords were spreading their beauty. It was about 1 AM, but the hosts were waiting for us with smiles on their faces, and separated us in different families. I, a boy from our group, and a boy from Spain were accommodated in a nearby town, about 20 minutes by car away from Storslett. Tired of all the travelling, we were searching for a place to lay down our heads. They showed us their lovely house, which glowed with its romance and warmness. After we woke up for the morning coffee, trough the window we saw a magnificent view- huge great mountain tops surrounded the whole town, and just across the street, the ocean was hitting a small pier across the street. The family was great. They were people, who show you with their happiness, that you should feel like home, and after a while we started to get to know each other, and we realized that we can create a true friendship. The girl that was our host, was Nadia, a very beautiful and always smiling girl, with who we quickly found common interests in many things.
            The project tasks were to attend in some of Nadia’s classes, and to observe her life. This country, which at a first glance is a very rich country, with a very high standard, is loaning a lot of money for the education. Probably for this reason, their school is so modern. It was so interesting to get to know Nadia and her friends, as well as other groups from Ireland and Spain. On a special press conference, the 4 different groups presented their countries, their customs and traditions, using different presentations and film materials. So we get to know the different lifestyle of the countries. In the middle of the afternoon it was already dark outside. In every house there were candles lit, and it felt like they were asking you to come inside. Amazed by everything, I was shocked – 40 crones for a coffee and a Coke, or about 20 levas in Bulgarian money. But even though everything was so expensive, it all faded away when I looked around me. The hosting family was making everything perfect for us, they were taking care of us, as we were their own children. Probably this is why we felt them so close. We had fun together, we enjoyed the fiords’ beauty, the Sami-culture, and, what is very important, we learned a lot. Even their dog, Bajan, became a very good friend of ours. Every day, every night there was something amazing happening to us, something fun and interesting. And we felt really happy, for living their lives, even for a few days. This is why we had a Bulgarian evening one evening, talking about the different cultures. With the other boy from my group we decided to make them “shopska” salad, and to drink a Bulgarian traditional brandy, called rakia. And just before we sat on the table, we gave away some Bulgarian souvenirs and gifts. All evening we enjoyed and talked about our country and their country. If I start describing all interesting things there, a whole notebook won’t be enough. I write about just a part of our adventures, and very shortly, too. The other part of our visit there just cannot be described in words. I was mostly interested when we were introduced to their Sami-culture and language. Things I will remember my whole life. Even if we were separated each one of us in a different house, we still got to know each other with the Spanish and Irish teams. At the end, when we were saying goodbye, we felt the friendship between us, the friendship we created just in a few days, with a smile, happiness and good mood, from all the adventures we went through. More or less, I started loving these people, the Norwegians, who took care for us, and made us feel loved. When we were leaving towards Bulgaria, I wished myself just one thing- to meet again these people, and enjoy once again this great country, Norway.