Antwerpen – Altenburg
30.03.2014 - 05.04.2014
Sunday, March 30, 2014
We agreed to meet up at the school around 06.45, so that we would be
able to leave around 07.00. A pretty risky business, considering all
our clocks were to be put forward an hour due to daylights savings.
Fortunately everyone made it on time, aside from Fatima and
Leonardo. Leonardo had overslept and Fatima had to come by train
with a suitcase larger than herself. She arrived huffing and puffing
around 08.30... We were set to go! Miss Katleen must have thought:
"If I'm awake, everyone has to be". She sounded the school alarm to
mark our departure and in doing so woke up half the city of
The journey to Alterburg went real smooth: little to no traffic,
beautiful weather, about four short stops to grab a bite and visit
the restrooms. We arrived at the youth hostel in Windischleuba at
15.15. Where we were kept waiting until 16.15 due to nobody from the
hostel being present.
When we were finally granted entry and received our room keys, we
installed ourselves. Mr. Smit room was a beautiful baroque
"spielzimmer". The rest of us had more simple rooms, but we were the
only guests of the youth hostel.
We were served a delicious meal and then finally it was time
First off, we played a bit of music in the central square of the
castle, then we chatted a bit and when things got chilly we moved to
the salon to continue the relaxation. Some students headed to the
tv-room. Some moments later it became so quiet, that I decided to
take a look. Apparently they were watching a "nature" documentary.
I would be lying if I said everyone got into bed easy, but the
peace did return and our first night sleep at the hostel was
March 31, 2014
06.00 sharp: trumpet sounded!! Everyone awake whether
they like it or not, we have to be on time. The entire group arrived
fresh and fruity at the breakfast table to enjoy the royal
breakfast. Before we headed to the "Erich Kastner schule", we agreed
upon some rules for the coming week. We received a warm welcome by
the comenius team, the other teachers and a bunch of students. A few
official duties followed by exchanging gifts and a "bretzelmand". It
was here that the intern spots were divided: the METALBOYS and the
WOODBOYS were in the same training facility in Meuselwitz. Hichni
and Soaib went to the old student flats nearby the school. Kriti and
Abdel worked in a large modern printing office where they mostly
printed art books. Charlotte and Fatima had to, each separately, do
an internship at a hairdressing parlor.
After the reception at the school, we each went a separate way to
our internships for a meet and greet and our first activities.
Besides the wood- and metalboys, everyone ate at school.
The Meuselwitzers assembled at the school after lunch to play some
soccer, a better way of putting it ... they went to show off and the
girls tried their best to get the attention of the boys.
We, the teachers, had some time to socialize with our German
colleagues. Afterwards we headed towards Altenburg city, the
students were given the freedom to shop, eat a kebab or to
fraternize with the German youth.
Around 18.00 we assembled to eat some pizza, GIGANTIC pizza, really
delicious, but more importantly ... we had a great time. Back at the
castle there some more time to fraternize while we were given a
knitting class. During which some new loops were invented like the
Tuesday April 1, 2014
"Drum, drum, drum", rise and shine ... drums wake us up! Breakfast
and then everyone off to the internships. The Woodboys have
work on a wooden lamp and the Metalboys on a "duftlampe". I couldn't
help but feeling they underestimated our students, they worked quite
a bit faster than the others. The other workers are a
impressive bunch coloured hair, tons of tattoos, piercings,... None
the less our students have started to socialize a bit with them.
We had another delicious lunch... bretzels, afterwards we headed
back to the youth hostel. Hichni and Soaib have done some
crea-activities for the eastern market in the old students home, the
printers are giving their all at the printing office. They are
pretty impressed by the machines but manage to hold their own. The
hairdressers are a bit hit with their technique, skill and
In the afternoon we headed for the paper factory museum
in Fokkendorf with our German colleagues.
It was fun, interesting
and imposing. We even got the opportunity to create some paper
For diner we went to a restaurant
next to the Stausee which was owned by a fiery Dormund fan, a lucky
break for our boys. The food was great, but not to everyone's
liking. EATING CULTURE?!?! Ye right!! Our tough boys were getting a
bit impatient so decided to head back to the youth hostel by foot
... almost 3 KM. We feared they might get lost, but they made it
Mostly thanks to Soaib, who appears to have a build-in GPS.
Later that evening we ate some Bifi, listened to some music, sang a
bit and told a scary stories.. afterwards... time for bed.
Wednesday. April 2, 2014
06.00 no horn, no drums, this time ....referee whistles! You
can bet on it that they were awake.
During breakfast we made sure to set some things straight
concerning all the noise they made at night, then off to the
internships. There we managed to show off our best side.
After lunch we headed towards Leipzig, the girls had booked a blue bus.
Boy o boy, may day, aspirin ..."I've loaded up my car with...
screaming teenage girls". In Liepzig the students were given some
free time until after diner. That way everyone could choose what to
Back at the youth hostel we a quiet night: the guys watched some
soccer and the girls ... It was another long, busy and fun day.
Thursday April 3, 2014
Friday April 4, 2014
06.00 uur: Rise and shine , we pack up, clean and eat
our last breakfast here in the castle.
After we take our group picture, we say goodbye to the kitchen lady
and head out for our last day of internship. We finish up
our work, take a picture here and there, exchange date and
eat lunch. Another picture, shake hands and on to the school
to install ourselves for the last night.
Afterwards we headed for Altenburg city to shop, visit a museum,
take a stroll, visit a music store, ... Mister Buylaert
bought a beautiful guitar, but the colour is a bit iffy. We
were expected at school for dinner and were given a warm
welcome by our german colleagues. Also present were the
intern mentors. It was fun and interesting. It was a good
end to the intern week and a lot of impressions were shared.
It is said that hairdressers are gossip girls... it holds
true. It is a fact that many hairdressing parlors in
Altenburg are interested in our students for internships,
the language barriers fade because of their excellent
skills. It can be said that this is the case for all of our
students. We received nothing but praise about them and we
can't help but take a small amount of credit for it. When
the weather outside became to cold, we headed for the
classroom to continue the pleasantries. The students viewed
a movie, conciliated and danced in the hallways of the
school. Made some more music, talked, laughed, drank
schnapps and beer, but we decided to hit the hay early so we
would be able to commence our journey home well rested.
Saterday April 5, 2014
We awoke a bit later today, the baker only delivered at
0730. We ate breakfast at school and had to pack lunch. Baggage in
the bus, group picture, goodbyes and off we were for Antwerp. it was
an extremely smooth ride with 3 stops (well 4 if you count "the
closed restroom stop") and back at school around 1630, without an
alarm this time. We have driven around 1700 km in total during our
trip. It were 7 intense, fun, busy, exhausting, interesting,
delicious, international, musical, long, wifi-less, stair creaking,
haunted, friendly ... days.
For everyone involved: thank you and awesome work!
Did you know?
Mr Buylaert tends to have troubles with his "boutelle".
The students need Bifi to feel well.
Mr Bulaerts, despite his way of driving, was given the go
ahead by Soaib to become a taxi driver.
Mr T is a "boemser" and Johan is a "blazer"
Stairs can creak very loud in Germany
Mr Buylaert is very open about his string problem.
Leo likes to be in a wheelchair.
Charlotte has a very flexible tong.
Rovano was very happy to see another black person in
Abdel understands German really well but is extremely shy.
Leo, sometimes, has towel problems.
Soaib has troubles with the POL thing in the bus.