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Comenius: Altenburg, 8-13 December 2014


Day 1:

9.30 h Sint-Jozef kicks off.

Are in the bus: Kardo, Bekir, Jaji, Maritsa, Jamie, Mrs Mir and Mrs Kathleen.
Behind the wheel are Hüseyin and Poll (not together but switching every 2 hours)
We had a good drive to Altenburg, great wheather and fine Group. Suddenly we had to make an "urgent" stop. Half way, our feet and ears froze off, when we sat outside, along the highway eating our lunch.
But no complaints, we sat in the sun!
Jamie calculated how many kilometers we had to drive, and the others confirmed her results
Extatic we arrived at the beautiful hotel and we arranged our rooms with enthousiasm. We enjoyed the free wifi!
Mandy welcomes us with arms wide open and 2 big kisses. We immediately felt at home
Together with the Croatians, without "cravatten" (ties) we ate immensely big pizzas.
The company was nice, the beer was wet (!) and the pizzas were delicious.
Afterwards, the Croatian and Belgian students walked home on their own, crossing the Christmas market, and really, they did not touch the vodka.
By midnight we all hit our pillows
Poll has a pedometer on his wrist, and although we shove more then 686 kilometers today, he will not have registered many steps.

Day 2

The buzzer rings…much to early for the boys but relaxing late for the early-birdy-girls!
A perfect breakfast was enjoyed!

The Erich Kästner Schule treated us with a friendly welcome, flags outside the building, music and dance acts brought by the little ones.
The cultural activities were followed by a guided tour through the whole school : beautiful building, big, warm and roomy classrooms, 3 sweet sportsrooms and they even have digital touchboards of which St.-Jozef is jealous. We played a big country game, got presents and made some jewelry with loombands
At lunch we got very bizar but yummie pizzasoup.
The afternoon took us through the town of Altenburg with personal guides, followed by a stroll on the Christmas Market. Keywords of the day: exhausting, great, fun, adventourous, happy, expensive for Maritsa, super, cold, warm for Kardo. We were allowed to walk over the market on our own and that we liked!

Maritsa, Jaji and Mrs Mir took a dive into the hot chocolate milk and Maritsa decided to keep the mug.

Back to school for a splendid buffet. OMG those potatoes were delicious!
Afterwards we our legs on the dance floor of the school disco! Top DJ resulted in a lot of dancing moves.

We took our minibus home and struggled a lot with the seatbelts.

The day went by so quickly, I presume it was extremely fun! At 21:00 hrs we parked in front of the hotel, temperature -2… and in this ice cold night Bekir en Mr Hüseyin went jogging. The warm shower revived them.

Tomorrow we’re expected at 7:45 hrs at breakfast.

Day 3

This morning, we got on a bus and drove to Dresden. It was a good bus, nobody got sick.
We visited the Hygiene Museum.
Keywords of the day: scary illnesses, pregnancy, foetusses cut into two on formaldehyde, a curler out of 1950. Birth of a baby, smelly animalfarths of what we make perfume (!), ow and we discovered that dust mite is an animal! surprise!

It was really very interesting. Lunchbags in our hand, we marched to the Christmas Market in Dresden where we instantly lost Jamie en Bekir in the crowd…. This is what we saw: a lot of stalls with a lot of junk (says Maritsa, but she bought her share part!) The junk being jewelry, cards, candles, saucages, Stollen, puppets, caps and scarfs, toys and a lot of typical woodcarving. More stalls with loads of food and drinks and many many people everywhere. The Ferris wheel was tiny and it turned real speedy. Maritsa bought a nice necklace for her sister in la wand Jaji could not resist a leather wristband/bracelet. Maritsa, Mrs Mir, Mr Hüseyin and Jaji checked out the shopping center. We also found the Primemark following all those people with big paperbags of Primemark. Ow Ow Ow, this was a big JOY! Mr Smit, also known as Poll, joggled around in an art museum. Mrs Kathleen found more shoes and was to late at the bus terminal.

19.30 hrs, Maritsa en Jamie left the bus at the hotel and went straight to bed, completely worn out, but very happy. The boys went into town and ate a Dürüm. Kardo, with his head in the clouds forgot his mobile phone on the bus. Those thing happen…

Day 4

Jaji hates the bed in this hotel, he fell out… ;-)
After a surperb and healthy breakfast, we felt in top condition again and went off to school. Today was "open houses" with a lot of Christmas ideas and workshops. A lot of visitors, parents, grand parents, friends, family and… us!! Keyword here is : noisy.
We tried out a lot of different workshops : woodcarving: Bekir and Maritsa made an angel-candle light. Kardo created 3 beautiful X-mas tree decorations, Jaji made a garland out of felt and wood, that landed around Mrs Mir. Jamie cutted out a windowdecoration in pitchblack paper. This workshop was named Scherenschnitten. Maritsa arranged green and little twigs in glass, top shelf ikebana! Although she did not like the twigs…
Outside, some students gathered around a fire basket and baked a kind of bread that was wrapped around a branch. That was so adventurous and tasted terrific!
A little kid from the German school had burnt himself on the warm punch. The students of St.-Jozef immediately came to the rescue. They put Dr EUOz into practice and helt the arm of the little crying boy under cold water. Meanwhile Jamie looked for a nurse for more specialised care. The teachers were so proud of this efficiency .

The boys went to the fitness. Blown off their socks….woooow!!! This kind of professional fitnessclub they have never seen. They got a personal trainer, experienced a powertraining that they felt for the rest of the week, could test different sports apparatus, … it was amazing! What can we say : we did not recognise them when they got back. We saw only six packs, tight and tense bodies.

Meanwhile Maritsa and Jamie had an official reception by the mayor at the city hall. They had to undergo so many official fotoshoots that their jaws cramped in a friendly smile for several hours. So many pictures were taken, that Maritsa lost her taste to take selfies. We visited the city hall, building of 120 years, but that was booooring…. 
After the politics and the fitness we found each other again at the Deutsches Rotes Kreuz.
CPR machinery was showed, Maritsa nearly fainted, in the ambulance she was carefully monitored. Blood pressure : normal. Heart rythm …went up and down…ooops!!! Mrs Kathleen had to calm Mr Dirk at school in Antwerp, since he got a really alarming message about Maritsa being in the ambulance. Mr Smit Poll will have to do some explaining.

In between all commotion Bekir tells me that he "really really enjoyed the fitness"

This evening we’ll have diner at a restaurant and all students will go bowling. That will surely be Fun-Tastic!

Day 5

The bowling yesterday was sooooooo fun! Jaji won with absolute top marks! He started slowly, but after two or three throws he sent everybody home with spares and strikes.
This fifth day was not inferior to yesterday. In the swimming pool we trained our rescue skills.
The water was cold.
All different rescue techniques and exercices were fun!
The water was wet.
Luckily Mr Hüseyin and Mrs Mir assisted us on all explications.
The swimming pool was big. The red stone bench was lovely and so warm….
We all enjoyed the delightful atmosphere with all participants.
At the end of this course, we got a certificate, hurray, we all passed!
And then, the inevitable, the painful parting… We will miss this, we will so miss this!
Everybody gone and the Belgians pursued the afternoon in Leipzig.
Touring for half an hour in a garage to find that "one" spot to park our car…. At the absolute top floor, we found it! And then, we hurried into the city.
Jaji enjoyed a savoury meal at the Indian Fingerfood and feasted the Chicken Biriyani.
Kardo invaded the Burger King…it appears he hadn’t eaten for a month or so…we have audiovisual proof!
Twice he lost/forgot his mobile this week, but everytime he found it, so : on demand, the pics and movie can be shown.
Bekir had the time of his life in Leipzig, so much laughing, eating döner, cheese sandwiches and many more food.
A nice lipgloss was found by Jamie. Maritsa had special day: she did not spent to much this time. She only bought 8 things (not specified what).

A week full of walking and stepping… the soles worn…Mrs Kathleen found new shoes. And also Mrs Mir got happy when she found a pair of boots.
Mr Hüseyin enjoyed the Christmas Market, he tried out some beautiful Mongolian longbows but unfortunately the price did not allow a purchase. What we could afford and bought were green pencils with the Ampelmännchen, one pencil for everyone.
Culture loving St.-Jozef visited some churches and towers, Jaji and Kardo appreciated this! Mr Smit (Poll) walked through the city to find some nice squares and antique stores, but he could find what he was looking for. He must come back!

Before we hit the sack, we had our daily meeting in the lobby of the hotel, working on this diary, accompanied by candy and lollypops. But rest assured, it was absolute healthy lifestyle candy, brimful of vitamines!

The feeling and atmosphere in our group was TOP!! We ended this fantastic week in an Imbiss: Hiwa Döner Pita. Franzi joined us and that was heartwarming!
We all would like to come back. It was so nice!
We are really so not looking forward to tomorrow, but, we’ll have to leave Altenburg.
We feel so happy and blessed to have had this unique chance to participate at this week,

Jamie, Maritsa, Jaji, Bekir, Kardo, Kathleen, Poll, Hüseyin and Mir