Between the 4th and 9th of June, 16 students and teachers from School 1st Primary school of Glyka Nera and ZER Baix Camp Sud visit Ahmet Yesevi Ilkokulu (Antalya, Turkey). There were really nice days with a lot of work done.
1st day: We arrive at Antalya (Turkey)!
We leave on time from Barcelona airport. THE ADVENTURE BEGINS! From the screens in the seats, we can see the plane pilot’s view of the journey. In Istanbul, we only have an hour and twenty minutes to make the transfer. After passing the police control, we quickly go to the gate from where the domestic flight to Antalya departs. The landing is a bit rough, but everything went very well and on time.
When we leave the airport, Mehmet, the head of studies of the school that welcomes us, immediately arrives, we get on the bus and head to the hotel.
The hotel is a bit dark and old, but we are right in the center of the city on a very lively street. We leave our bags, go change money and look for a place to have dinner, we want to try a kebab. The city was buzzing with life, Galatasaray had won the Turkish league, and it was all cars, horns, flags, music and excitement in the streets.
Back at the hotel, pupils goes to bed and the teachers wait for the Greek friends who were supposed to arrive at a quarter to twelve and who finally arrive at a quarter to one because their plane was delayed. We are very excited to meet again.
2nd day: First contact with school and workmates
We get up at 7.00. School starts at 9.00 and at 8.30 we have to look for the minibus that will be our means of transport around Antalya every day. At the hotel, breakfast is a buffet: boiled eggs, fried potatoes, sausages, various salads, jams, yogurt, olives, cereals, bread, puff pastry with cheese, milk, tea…
They are waiting for us at school. To start Mondays, school students sing the national anthem and raise the Turkish flag. They tell us that they do the ceremony every Monday and Friday. Then students from the school accompany us through the different spaces of the center and explain what is done in each one.
In the middle cycle classes, they present the models of simple machines they had made and explain how they work.
We are going to have breakfast in the “fairy tale garden” that they have at school, it is their garden that they have decorated with drawings of traditional Turkish tales. Mothers from the school have eaten typical preparations, both sweet and savoury. It’s very tasty!!
Then, we go to the library and in international groups we start working with microbits. Çigdem teaches us how to program light and sound sensors. Let’s practice to learn how to use them. The boys and girls start to interact with the new friends.
After lunch, we will visit the Duden river waterfalls that pass through the center of the city, a large green space, with waterfalls and pumice stone caves formed by the lime of the river water. Right there, we also see a prehistoric oil mill.
We go back to school and continue working with the microbits, now we learn to make music and write words with the lights on the board. In the afternoon, the school is quiet because the other grades don’t have class.
We return to the hotel and go to the old city of Antalya, the husband of one of the teachers acts as our guide. We enter a current mosque, we have to take off our shoes to enter, we visit another mosque from the 12th century, we walk through the old alleys full of shops until we end up at the old port. It is getting dark and the view of the walls is particularly beautiful.
We leave the old city through Adrian’s gate and go to dinner and sleep.
It has been an intense and very interesting day.
3r day: We know the surroundings of Antalya!
Today, we are going to visit Greek and Roman ruins in Side, a city by the sea where we see the ruins of a theatre, an agora and the temple of Apollo. We also visit Aspendos, a very well-preserved theatre. It’s a hot day.
We were supposed to go to Olimpos for lunch, an area with natural fires that come out of the earth, but it had rained a lot the week before and damaged the road. We change this visit to the beach, the boys and girls appreciate it. We spend a good time looking for beautiful stones and shells by the sea, contemplating the beautiful coast and how the high mountains that limit the city to the west fall directly into the sea. We have dinner right there. The area is a very tourist complex with playgrounds, bars and restaurants. We enjoyed all the visits, the sun, but it was tight in the morning, and luckily we were able to relax by the water in the afternoon.
4th day: Learning a lot about factories and science!
We left the hotel at quarter to nine to visit a large dairy factory: “Yörükoglu”. Every day, they use an average of 8 tons of milk to produce yogurt, various cheeses, ice cream… which they then export all over the world. Hygiene measures are strong.
From the factory we go to the city’s Department of Education where the director of Education is waiting for us, he welcomes us and gives us a small reception.
We go to the “DoKumapark”, another space in the city where there are several museums, a picnic area, a library… We visit the science museum and the toy museum and have lunch at the park’s tables.
From 5.00 we have free time to go back to the old town and buy souvenirs. Boys and girls like to haggle, some of them are real experts.
After dinner, we have the video conference with the families. The boys and girls are excited to see their parents, they all want to talk and tell about their experiences. It’s an exciting time.
It has been another intense day of emotions and learning.
5th day: Creators of videogame!
Today is another work day at school. Before going to school, we are received by the Department of Education of the city of Antalya. At 10.00 we begin the educational proposal. We have been selected to be the security guards of the Willy Wonka factory and guard the golden tickets. We have to devise an alarm system in case someone wants to steal one of the tickets. Each group must make their proposal, program the microbit board and check that it works.
After lunch, we record the “video games” with their proposals.
We are going to visit the “Tekelioglu” library, an interdisciplinary space where, in addition to the classic library, they have a space to record audiobooks for blind people, hold workshops, dance courses… We do a paper painting and marquetry workshop.
In the evening, the school families have prepared a fraternity dinner. To begin, the elementary school boys and girls do a dance. The tables are full of sweet and savoury food. There is a candy floss stall and we dance traditional dances.
At the end of the activity, they give us mobility assistance certificates. With the Turkish classmates we say goodbye at school, with the Greeks we say goodbye at the hotel. Tomorrow we have to get up at 4.00, at 5.00 we have to be at the airport.
Tired and happy after these shared days, on the one hand; and sad for the other because this is over, it’s time to say goodbye. This time there will be no more mobility, it will be difficult to meet again face to face. The bonds created remain in our hearts. But maybe there will be the possibility of another Erasmus or eTwinning to be able to work together.
6th day: Say goodbye!
Return day This time, the planes are not so punctual, and we arrive a couple of hours late at Barcelona airport. Trip completed. The families are excitedly waiting for us at the arrivals terminal.
We are back at home after a few days when we have been able to share experiences and the end of this project and to have learned to respect cultures that are a little different from ours and to see, but that in the end we are all the same, we have the same illusions, desire to share, to meet… Now that we have reached the end, we can say that the two years of the journey have been very enriching for everyone, students, teachers, families and at all levels, personal, social, linguistic, emotional…
We are ready to start again!