Comenius meeting in Hungary 16-03-2015 -20-03-2015
Friendly, Cultural and hospitality are the words that come in mind when thinking back of the exchange meeting in Hungary. In other words: Polite people, Folkdance, Budapest and great parents as host for the children.
“this country looks kind of flat” is the first thing We noticed when driving to our final destination. A lot of old buildings along the road which looked like they were abandoned for quite some time. It is totally not what we had imagined of Hungary at all.
Scary faces and a lot of shyness is what was read on the visiting children’s faces when they found out their hosts were waiting for them the at the school right away on arrival to take them to their families where they would stay and sleep the next couple of days. This feeling was mutual, but I this will not last till the end of the week.
At the hotel the teachers got introduced to each other, spending the rest of the evening dining and talking.
Orderly over 30 children gathered in 2 rows when arriving at the school the next day. What a volume they produced when they started singing out loud. Looking around the room inside the school you could see a guy dressed in black with a black head. The singing children disappeared from the scene and there was a demonstration of a Hungarian student showing a high level of rhythmic gymnastics, amazing!
They guy in the black hat suddenly came on stage. Aha!… he is a Folk dancer, his costume suddenly didn’t look weird anymore. It was really great to see how these students all performed for the visitors. A nice and warm welcome!!
After visiting the town, the market and the local church the students gathered to do some sports. As the theme of the week was “health and a healthy environment” the cabbages, nuts, apples and carrots were used to do several sport activities. During this event the teachers were busy with a discussion about the pedagogical approaches and differences between our cultures and our school.
Violin sounds, claps and booms were heard from a distance when visiting the local Folk Dance house. Folk dance is very important for the Hungarian people. Some foreign students could not believe over 400 children from in and around Jászberény visit this school on a regular basis. If students face expressions could talk they would say “NO WAY we are going to participate in this”, It was amazing to see how fast everyone was stamping their feet all together, and clapping their hands on local music. It’s a lot more fun and exhausting than anyone might think by the way!!
Wow! Heroes Square was one of the first things the visitors saw the next day in Budapest. A really beautiful city. There was even a personal tour Guide. Every building is a piece of art by itself, so many details and so much to see. It’s a very impressive city. Visiting the Kossuth square, Buda Castle, Fishermen’s Bastion and Mathias Church. The pictures will tell the rest of the story here.
Everything they had least expected happened at the Center of Scientific Wonders. So many things to do there. After that, crocodiles and sharks in a shopping mall? The Tropicarium was huge and filled with a diversity of animal sea life. Did you know “Nemo” the little clownfish is known as Nemo by all our students from any country?
After souvenir shopping it took a while before all the impressions from this day of Budapest landed, most of us (teachers and students) will definitely visit the city in the future again.
On Thursday the students started presenting their Comics about a healthy life and a healthy environment. Most presentations were really funny or had a message about how we treat our world from different perspectives. Everyone had a lot of fun there. After that,.. “ARRGH!” try building a tower of 5 apples. This was one of many fun ways to score points for your international party at the food and health quiz. Volleyball and a visit at the local zoo was what came next.
That night some usually shy and introverted students gathered at the local bowling alley. They suddenly realized this was the last evening in Hungary. “It was just starting to get fun and they were making new friends”. Was that not what it was all about? Amazing to see how students of all nationalities interacted with each other.
After a warm farewell everyone left Hungary with so many impression The old houses and flat country side changed to a beautiful scenery.
I Never could of imagined this country would be such a great place. We are going to miss you Hungary, thank you so very much for this experience. It’s an experience we will have for the rest of our lives.