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Project week #3: Sibiu

Project week #3: Sibiu

The third project week of S4T took place in Sibiu, Romania. We all arrived on Sunday, 21st Oct. 2012, and left on Saturday, 27th Oct. 2012 (some on Friday).

This is our photo gallery of this project meeting:
S4T in Romania

And here is a movie slideshow of selected pictures:

Stay in Sibiu: A diary  

Sunday, 2012-10-21 
Everybody arrived in Sibiu - some of us were lucky to land at Sibiu airport, which is very conveniently situated just outside the city, others had to take a long ride on the bus because their flight was to Bucharest. But we were all welcomed by our Romanian hosts and were happy to get to know them. They were all very friendly and kind, and we felt very well cared for.

Monday, 2012-10-22
All the teams met at Colegiul National Gheorghe Lazar, our partner school, and were shown round by the local coordinator, Corina Pavelescu. We admired the Comenius project wall, where each of the five countries had a space of its own with pictures and quotations or poems in the original language.
Then the project was officially opened in the hall. Instead of project T-shirts, the Romanian team had prepared ties! The silver-coloured ties with the emblem of the Sibiu project week were great fun because most of us didn’t know how to make a proper knot, but with a little help from teachers and some experienced pupils everybody looked very smart with their ties on after a while.

After coffee break with lovely cakes and other sweets, we walked to the impressive townhall, where we were welcomed by the Mayor of Sibiu, Klaus Johannis. In excellent English, he made a short speech about the importance of projects such as ours, emphasizing the role of Sibiu as a tolerant city for centuries; the fact that churches of different denominations are situated in the same street proved that the citizens respected each others’ beliefs.

The drama workshop started in the afternoon, and it was conducted by drama teacher Lorelei Gazawi, with support from Corina Pavelescu and Daniela Sacalean. We did warm-up exercises and invented our own special “march”, and we also did a pantomime exercise in which we tried to show that we had a pane of glass in front of us. This caused a lot of hilarity in the beginning, but we got better and better at it.

In the evening, everybody met for dinner at the “Kontiki Restaurant”. We saw great folk dances performed by a Romanian group (with some students also dancing), also live music to go with it. All the other teams did a short performance, too (dance, songs, sketches) - which were all interesting and fun to watch.

Tuesday, 2012-10-23
The whole morning, we continued with our drama workshop, working on our march and perfecting the pantomime routine of touching glass, this time imagining a whole glass cube where we were trapped. We were also acquainted with the figure of the ruler Vlad Tepes (15th century), and the sentence with which people sometimes call for his help even today: “Unde esti tu Tepes, Doamne?”

After lunch, we invited to watch a theatre performance ourselves - and what an unusual one it was! The professional actors played inside a moving tram which took us to a little village outside Sibiu, and there we all got off, and the play continued in front of the tram, and on the way back in the other wagon. The play was called “A Streetcar Named Popescu”, and it was fascinating to watch the actors as they portrayed their characters - and even though they spoke Romanian most of the time (with some English, German and French sentences in-between), most of us understood the basic meaning of it - a sad story about the poet Popescu, his life and his love and how dying is a part of life.

When we came back to Sibiu, two Romanian students showed us the city centre of Sibiu. We liked the buildings and the atmosphere very much - the beautiful old churches, the impressive Large Square (with a statue of the founder of our partner school, Gheorghe Lazar), the Bridge of Lies with its great view.

Then there was free time for us pupils, and some of us went to a karaoke bar, where we enjoyed talking and singing together.

Wednesday, 2012-10-24
This day began very early - we had to be at the bus stop at 7 o’clock. But for a good reason: We had a long bus trip ahead of us. First we stopped at Sighisoara, “a fine example of a small, fortified medieval town which played an important strategic and commercial role on the fringes of central Europe for several centuries”, as it is described at the website of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre. And it was a fascinating look at the medieval heritage in this region.
After lunch, we came to our destination of that day: Bran Castle, the place where Count Dracula had really lived. Of course he was not a vampire - this was only made up by author Bram Stoker -, but he was known as a very strict ruler, and also a strict judge if there was a quarrel between people. That is why Romanian people to this day (jokingly) call for Vlad Tepes (which was his real name) whenever there is some injustice. As we had heard the day before, Tepes was important for our play, because we were to call him for help. So we made a little video recording (filmed by the Polish team/Dr. Maliszewski) that showed us all running up the stairs to Bran Castle, shouting for help.
It was great fun and didn’t take long, and after that we could look at the whole castle. It doesn’t look like a vampire castle at all, instead it is very charming, like the castle one imagines for Sleeping Beauty.
When we got back to Sibiu, most of us went straight home to our hosts because we were really tired.

Thursday, 2012-10-25
Thursday was the big day for our theatre scenes. In the morning, we rehearsed once more, and then we did it as a performance - full of concentration, with the video cameras rolling.
Everybody was really pleased, it worked well. The happy ending of our play and the teachers’ applause made us feel proud of our performance. We all hope it will look good when the film sequence at Bran Castle will be inserted in the video.
After lunch, we drove to Sibiu Village Museum. This was nice and relaxing. At first, we were taught to make our own masks from simple materials, with expert advice from the museum staff. Then we strolled through a variety of historic buildings - mills, wooden churches, and traditional homesteads -, set in a lovely landscape.
At night, there was a final party, again at the Kontiki Restaurant, which we liked very much. The food was great, and the waiters were very attentive. We enjoyed dancing and talking to each other.

Friday, 2012-10-26
This was the most relaxed day of all - we had finished the drama performance the day before, and now we could take our time. But we made good use of our time even there. First we had a look at the dam of Gura Raului and at its church. Then we went to Saliste and visited the school and the church there. In both villages, there were charming performances by Romanian pupils, a band of pipers and a group of dancers, all of them in wonderful costumes. We were also impressed by the Orthodox churches, beautifully decorated, and different to the Catholic or Protestant churches.
After that, we had some time to stroll through the village of Saliste - in warm and sunny October weather. Lunch was delicious and tasty as all the other meals had been as well, and we had some time to chat to our friends and enjoy the last hours together. Then the time for parting had come - first for the Polish team, who took a bus to Bucharest, then for the German team, who flew home in the afternoon.
The Italian and Turkish teams left on Saturday, 27th Oct.

Individual voices 

“For me it was a new experience because I met in Sibiu a lot of new, nice, young and good people who are looking for peace and tolerance in the world. I was upset when I had to leave as the relationship with some people became strong. I now I really miss them.” (Poland)

“Everything was well organized and it was great to take part in such a cool project. I remember everything as if it was yesterday. I miss all the people: students, teachers and the family where I lived. It was hard to say goodbye but I have good memories. We built a strong relationship and we can always chat on the internet. Everybody visited nice places, took crazy photos and had fun so we didn’t waste time. Everyone brought something to the project: dance, jokes, friendship.” (Poland)

“This experience changed me a lot because I had the chance to meet new people, to make new friends and to get to know something new from each country.” (Romania)

“I really liked the fact that all of us, the people involved in the project, had a bond, we felt like a big family and it seemed that we have known each other for years.” (Italy)

“I loved everything about this week: the sights were very impressive, the drama workshop was good, but most of all it was great to meet the people from the four other countries.” (Germany)

“It was a wonderful week that I’ll never forget in my life.” (Turkey)

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