When students travel they acquire knowledge through interaction, collaboration and experience. This is the main purpose of any Erasmus program where student mobilities are included. From September 25th to October 1st , 2022, high school students of Ekpedeftiria Bouga went on an educational trip to the capital of Bulgaria as part of participating in the European KA2 Erasmus + program entitled ” FRESSH – Growing up with healthy knowledge: Food, Recipes, Sports, Sustainability, and Health” in which schools from Spain, Portugal, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Greece take part.
The school year began, with a trip for 5 more students of the High School of Ekpedeftiria Bouga and 2 accompanying teachers, Tina Giannakea and Christina Dimiza. Their destination Sofia and the Sredno school Uchilishte “ Pencho P. Slaveikov” ,a historical school with a history of more than 150 years. With the students from the other participating countries, they took part in an educational week that focused on the similarities and differences of each country’s food and dance traditions, the benefits of sports ,being in nature and the cultivation of European citizenship.
For a whole week, children from Ekpedeftiria Bouga were hosted in the school and in the homes of Bulgarian students, experiencing their own daily life, their culture, their diet, and even their way of having fun.
In a program with many excursions and tours in and outside of Sofia, the students had the opportunity to participate in workshops and activities divided into mixed groups. Everyone was welcomed in a traditional way at the entrance of the school. Bread, salt and honey were tasted by the visiting students and teachers, an old Bulgarian custom that wants relationships to include all kinds of… flavors. A game with herbs and spices , language and city quizzes rally in central parts of the city completed the day.
A poster workshop followed , where each country introduced itself to the partners and the first day ended in the most satisfying way, the parents of the Bulgarian students had cooked delicious traditional dishes in a colorful welcome dinner with lots of fun and dancing.
During the following days, the students were in Plovdiv , the cultural capital of Europe for 2019,where they visited the ancient theater and wandered through the streets of the historical center.
The Eco trail was also an unforgettable experience at the geopark Iskar – Panega . We went on a walk on the river, a hike,had a picnic on the banks, but also walked into the cave, known as the Eyes of God .We saw landscapes of natural beauty that evoked our admiration and awe of the richness and power of nature.
On the last day, we had dance activities and competitions . Everyone danced traditional dances from each country, the students became one, a group that saw how similar we are in happiness, how similar our needs are and how similar our laughter is .
A trip full of experiences and new friendships, is over and it’s time for each group to return to their country. Hugs, smiles and a promise of seeing each other again in February when we open our school, our homes and our hearts in Kalamata and become the host country for the groups coming from Bulgaria, Portugal, Spain and the Czech Republic. Teachers and students will work with joy to make Greek hospitality a reality.