Comenius Lifelong Learning Program
Comenius Visit To Silute, Lithuania
17th - 21st May 2013
Friday 17 May 2013
The big day: We were going to Silute in Lithuania. It was the COMENIUS’ club’s third meeting and we had been very much looking forward to it. The journey took quite a while, because it’s a bit complicated to get to Silute. All in all it took the whole day to get there, taking first the train, then a plane and finally a taxi. But finally we were there and the host families were already eagerly waiting for us. Soon after 7 pm the students were off with their host families till the morning. For the teachers it was the time for a first informal meeting, which we spent at a Lithuanian colleague´s place.
Saturday 18 May 2013
This is officially the first day of the meeting. Everybody gathers at Pamarys School for a very warm welcome from our Lithuanian hosts and young students. They really make us feel welcome: first, we’re greeted by the head of the school Mr. Jonas Bendzius. Then groups of students from various grades perform a number of lovely Lithuanian folkloristic dances and songs at the end of which all the students hand each of us guests a paper windmill specially handcrafted for us by the youngest students of the school and decorated with participating countries’ national flags.
After the opening of the meeting all partners got together for the symposium, to which teachers and officials from Silute were invited. Then our students were ‘on duty’. Each country had prepared something to present to the rest of the partners how they had worked on the topic of wind energy and to share the results of their work.
Sunday 19 May 2013
On Sunday we went on a boat trip along a small river to the Curonian Lagoon. The weather was fantastic, it was very warm and very sunny. Luckily, there was a light breeze on the water. The boat took us, students and staff, along a narrow river until the lagoon opened out before us. The landscape was very beautiful. The water stretched out into the horizon. We had a lot of fun along the way. Our hosts had provided some traditional snacks and some entertainment: A musician played some traditional songs on a kankles, the traditional Lithuanian musical instrument similar to a zither. Our Lithuanian colleagues not only sang songs to us but made us join in the singing and even taught us some easy dances. In the afternoon we visited a bird watching station on the sea near the Russian border. One of the rangers explained about the job they do at the station and showed us exhibits of the birds that pass this part of the country on their migratory routes. Close by was a lighthouse which offered a splendid view out to the sea.
After we got back from the day trip, the students joined their host families again for activities with them. The teachers were invited by the partner’s school’s headmaster for a barbecue at his house. Our hosts had prepared a special meal for us. Again we had great fun eating, drinking and laughing together and later on also singing and dancing traditional dances together.
Monday 20 May 2013
The next day again was a busy day. We left quite early for a trip to Vilnius. On the way there we were to visit a large hydro power station. The bus took us up a long sloping road to the highest point of the water reservoir. From there we had an impressive view over the landscape and, of course, the hydro power station. Back at the foot of the reservoir we were shown the machine room of the power station. An engineer explained how the machines worked and we were able to see how a turbine is constructed as the power station was building an additional one.
From the power station we went straight to Vilnius where we first visited St Stanislaus Cathedral with the belfry next to it. After a short look inside the cathedral we went up the path to Gedeminas Castle from which one has a great view over Vilnius city. Those of us who were interested in the historic part of the castle could see an exhibition inside the belfry of the castle and even climb to the top of it from where one has an even better view of the city. Back down from the castle we went on a short guided walk through the old part of the city. We saw some nice old streets, the president’s palace and parts of the university, which is situated in the old part of the city and has some beautiful historic buildungs.
The trip ended with a short visit to a famous shopping mall, where most of us had something to eat, went to buy souvenirs or simply had a look around. Then the bus took us back to Silute. After the students had all been picked up by their host families. For most of the partners it was also time to say goodbye to our Lithuanian friends who had made the time in Lithuania so memorable for us – bags had to be packed as most of us were to return to our home country the next morning.
Everybody was extremely sorry to leave since we had such a special time together. Now we’re all eager for the next meeting to take place and working and spending time together again.