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Comen i us Meeti ng ”Bel iev i n g i n Humanity” in Tr ieste On Tuesday 15th of November we,the teachers from ”IES Mediterráneo” School in Cartagena, Spain – Antonio Parra, J.Angel Moreno, and I, Paloma PérezCrespo- started our trip to Trieste. It was the first time we were going to meet our European partner colleagues in the Comenius Project our school coordinates about education in values. A beautiful work, we hope it will go far in achieving our aims. At five thirty in the morning, we took the train to Madrid. Our flight was at two thirty in the afternoon, from Barajas Airport, and we changed at Milan to fly to Trieste. Everything went perfect. We had time to look over our notes, and even visit Milan town centre in the time we had to wait for the next flight. When we arrived in Trieste at 9:·30, Barbara, the Italian coordinator teacher, kindly came to meet us. All the other teachers were already at a restaurant having dinner and waiting for us. But first we had to drop off our luggage. We arrived at the restaurant at about half past ten, very late for a European dinner. All of them had almost finished, but they had kindly waited for us. There were some brief introductions and friendly conversation, but everyone was tired and soon we said goodnight and went to the hotel. The next day, Wednesday, 16 th , on arriving at the Italian secondary school ”LiceoScientificoStatale France Preseren” we met everybody. First, the Italian colleagues showed us around the school. It was wonderful and quite old with large classrooms and not many students per class. Then we went to the meeting room and the working session began. All of us were

there: our host Italian colleagues, the German, the Czech, theTurkish, the Swedish and us, the Spanish. Then, we proceeded to officially inaugurate the “Believing in Humanity” project. The Italian principal, Loredana G. made a presentation of the history of Trieste and characteristics of the city. Melita V. told us about the host centre, a bilingual Italian-Slovene school, and then a group of students came to tell us about their centre, learning experiences, etc, followed by some discussion with the guest teachers. At the end of the host school intervention, they explained the coexistence in Trieste between Italian and Slovene, two languages, two worlds. Then, there was an exchange of dossiers and gifts among the partners. Then it was the turn of the Spanish delegation. Antonio Parra, project coordinator, presented the “Believing in Humanity”project and the “Solidarity Forever”project in which it is inspired. After that, It was me, Paloma PérezCrespo, who explained the activities for this school year, and in more detail those ofthe first term; teachers´ and students´ surveys to identify situations of inequality, children´s rights, gender violence… Finally, José Angel Moreno explained things about the web and blog for the project. Before finishing, we voted for the logo that will represent our project- in the end it was the Spanish one- and agreed on holdinga solidarity festival-as we do every year- in every country in May 2012, this school year, and to hold The European Solidarity Festival, in June 2013, when all our partners will bring some students to Spain and participate in it with us, coinciding with the closure of our Comenius Project. Later, we established the work to be done for the following months, the tasks to complete by the next meeting in the Czech Republic, in March, and some assessment aspects. Our colleagues made questions and suggestions and after that we, the Spanish delegation, as coordinator country, did an interview for an Italian TV channel. We finished this working session very late, at about half past three in the afternoon, with awelcome wonderful cold meal at the Italian School. In the afternoon , tired but happy for having had such a productive working session, and for being in such wonderful company, all the project team visited Trieste city guided by our friendly Italian colleagues: Barbara, Melita, Boris, Jana…They explained everything about the history of Trieste and its magnificent


buildings and archaeological remains, such as the Roman Theatre, the wonderful cathedral and churches from the Middle Ages to the Neoclassical times, and the XIX and XX century, palaces, castles, and modern squares in the city centre.. We saw the sunset on the sea and the old and new Trieste with all their charm and liveliness. There, we had dinner in a typical restaurant, chatting to all our new friends. The following day, Thursday . Today we were going to visit Slovenia . The Italian school invited all of us to go there by bus. First of all, we went to the Postojnska caves which were very interesting. We went into the cave by a special train to see part of the enormous corridors, rooms and fantastic spaces made by the water and the land- Karstic rocks- forming stalactites, stalagmites, columns and thousands of different shapes. The cave was more than 20 Km long and there are many otherslike it in Slovenia. Then, we went to Bled, a beautiful town surrounding a large lake. In its centre there is a romantic island with a church. We visited the castle and museum on the top of a hill. From there you can see,through the persistent but light mist, one of the most beautiful views you can imagine: the lake, the island, the mountains, the nice houses in the distance… After lunch, we went to Lublijana, the capital of Slovenia. Going there, the landscape showed the simple and organised modern life based on the countryside and agriculture. When we got to the capital, It was only about half past four, but it was already dark and very cold. In fact, it was freezing. We visited the Statue of Preseren, the Slovene poet, the streets, the bridges and the city centre. After going back to Trieste we had a dinner of

delicious typical Slovenian food.On the way and during the meals we often spoke about how to do the different activities of our project and how to achieve its objectives.These chats were very useful for answering questions and doubts, and for arriving at agreements. On our l ast day in Italy, Friday, we went to Venice by train. It is very near Trieste. We enjoyed the canals, and the magnificent buildings such as the palazzos and churches you can see from the vaporetto –the water-bus. We saw the gondolas and their sailors in striped t-shirts rowing without rest but with charm. We saw the old and new bridges, all beautiful and inspiring. And of course, St. Marcos, a great cathedral so bright and different with oriental byzantine influences. Our Turkish colleagues-Sezen and friends- stayed on in Venice to return to their country from there and the rest of usMarie, RominaHannelore, Amgard, Barbara, Melita, Iana, Boris…and we, Antonio, J. Angel and I, went for a dinner in Trieste to say good bye for now, although we are going to keep in contact all the time on the Internet, by email and through the Project Web and blog.


On the trip back to Cartagena, Saturday, 19th November , we were exhausted. We had hardly slept during the previous four days, and we even thought in English, the language we had used almost all the time to communicate to most of our European friends, but we were satisfied . These days had been great due to the very good organization of

the

meeting

colleagues,

the

by

Barbara

wonderful

and

her

atmosphere

among the members of the group , all the work

we had

done and

the agreements

reached, all the interest about our common aims, the beautiful places and people that we got to know…We hope the “Believing in Humanity” Comenius Project will produce in our schools a better awarenessof solidarity among teachers and especially students, and that our help, in one way or another, will get to people in need.

Paloma Pérez-Crespo Gómez


Trieste Comenius Meeting