And here’s the last part of the project “Eat Healthy. Act responsibly. The last international partners’ meeting is over. We flew to Begur, a tiny resort town on the Mediterranean Sea. Six project partners attended their last international activity. Our task was to interview all the students who took part in the project activities according to the evaluation questions and to write in English what each of the Begur meeting participants learned during the project. We worked in a a relaxed way, with a strict control by teachers so that the evaluation of the project activities was comprehensive, reflecting the main events, the participants’ point of view, the experience, the knowledge and the emotions they received.
All of them said that they would very much like to participate in such a project again.
We arrived in Barcelona some at dusk on Sunday, some on Monday according to flights. It was late evening when all reached Begur… and we had a hearty dinner in the hotel restaurant. The next morning Begur greeted us with a grey sky, and the next days were just as gloomy, but we were not sad in our hearts as we had lots of activities. Our guide gave us an overview of the history of the town and the places of interest: it turns out that many of the people of Begur went to Cuba in the 17th and 19th centuries, from where they came back richer and started to build houses with balconies, known as Indian houses. These houses are very ornate, reflecting the wealth of the owners. We understood the meaning of Siesta (afternoon rest when nobody is working). The town seemed sleepy anyway, with only one other person on the streets and most of the shops closed. Doctor Aruga Primary School teaches children from 3 to 12 years old. We had the opportunity to visit the classrooms and observe the activities.
Everybody was excited before their performances… and here we have to admit that the students got used to present their work in the front of their friends. None of the partners saw the project as a boring activity. All of them stressed that the communication was the most interesting part, even though so often they lacked the necessary words. This is where current technology came in – Google Translate came to the rescue. It is a painfully familiar truth that language is a weapon in the battle of life.
Neus, the Erasmus+ project leader at Doctor Aruga School, invited a woman to show how to make Alijoli sauce, so everyone had the chance to try mashing garlic with oil to make a stretchy paste. It wasn’t easy until we made it.
Our stay in Catalonia was fascinating because we saw and learnt a lot about the Catalan way of life, diet and history. Just visiting Girona broadened our horizons about the Roman Empire, the medieval period in Spain, the expulsion of the Jews from the country, but there was no mention of Franco’s regime in the mid-20th century. The Catalan language is very different from Spanish, and we felt that calling Catalans Spanish was not a very nice thing to do.
Although the weather was overcast and rainy, we spent a day hiking to the Bay of Tunas. It wasn’t easy going down into the valley, but the beauty of the bay made up for it. One of Begur’s celebrities, flamenco dancer Carmen Amaya, who lived her last years in the town and donated her house, which now houses the town’s environmental protection department, to the municipality. There are several statues of the gypsy dancer in Begur in memory of Carmen. Flamenco dance originated in the south of Spain, in Granada, but spread throughout Spain. It is impossible to tell – you have to see a flamenco dancer perform.
Like everything in life, it begins … and ends, so did our Erasmus activities, which did not go unnoticed, but rewarded teachers, pupils and their parents with the joy of communication and the knowledge that we are European citizens who understand the price of democracy and freedom.
We look forward to taking part in other Erasmus projects.
Project coordinator Meilutė Balbieriūtė