The celebration started with music, speeches, congratulations and continued with coffee and cakes.
12th October 2006 our school had its 40th anniversary celebration. In fact the 40th anniversary was really last year but we didn't want to celebrate it back then because we didn't have a real school. At the same time we also had a house warming party to our new school.
The reception started at 11.30 and the celebration started at 12.00. It took about one hour. The program contained music performances, a play, poems and pictures and of course speeches. Music performances included three songs which were called "Sunny", "Potpourri" and "Tallulah". Nils-Heikki Paltto also performed a yoik. After the celebration there was coffee, tea or juice and cream cake served to everyone.
Then we got our period reports while the guests were able to take a tour in our school. At 18.00 there was an evening celebration for those who could not participate in the day celebration. On Friday morning the program was shown to the lower secondary school pupils.
11.10.2006 J.K & V.T 2a
Some of the people we met and the once-in-a-lifetime experiences we had in Poland.
As long as Kaamos Jazz-celebrations have been held on the Saariselkä and Tankavaara fells, always some band has visited us before the festivities start, it is a so called warming-up concert.
Tuesday 17 October The journey starts
After buying some goodies for the journey I headed to the airport by
car with my parents. Most of my fellow travellers were at the airport.
As I arrived there, I joined them and said goodbye to my parents. I
put my luggage on the custom convey and started chatting with my
friends. We talked about shopping abroad and the excitement of
travelling. A little later, we went through the security check and had
some lemonade and continued chatting. 19.40 was the time to board the
plane. I stepped out of the door to the snowing airfield. Rammstein's
Reise Reise (Journey Journey) started to play inside my head. Before
taking off, I and my friend Kalle had to move to the front of the
plane to balance the plane for the flight that didn't last long to
Helsinki, only about two hours. In Helsinki we lodged in to the airport
hotel Cumulus. We splitted in to pairs or groups of three in to
rooms. I got Mika as my room mate. There was news about a potential
strike of the flight attendants of Finnair. I and Mika laughed and chatted that it would be quite cool to stay in Strasbourg, but we didn't take the
strike seriously. We fell asleep at about 23.30.
Wednesday 18 October
I woke up at 4.00 am, but I was too tired to stand so I slept to 5.15
am. I and Mika took our luggage to the lobby and went to the
restaurant for some breakfast. We freshed up by eating. Harri said
Kalle had snored at night, and Mika complained that I had spoken
asleep. At 6.30 we left Cumulus and headed to the airport. At the
airport we hung around the shops and cafés. About an hour later, we
stepped on our aeroplane. The two and a half-hour flight to Brussels
was easy to bear. We listened to music, chatted and we were also
served breakfast and some refreshments by the flight crew. We started
to get to know the airport of Brussels after we had organized our
luggage to Strasbourg. We went to cafés and kept our peeled for
potential souveniers. The building of domestic flights was not
interesting enough for us, so we were allowed to enter the building of
international flights by the teachers. We got through the security
check and started to hang around the shops. I found some good Napoleon
sweets in one shop and bought a bag of them for a snack. In another
shop, I and Kirsi were served free chocolate samples by a nice man,
who also told us the legend of the Manneken Pis, who saved Brussels
from the siege by urinating on the explosives that were meant to blow
up the city wall. It would have not been clever to buy any souveniers
then, but we would do that on the way back home. In the afternoon, we flew
to Elsaß-Lothringen. As we were landing to Strasbourg, we saw the
Louiss Weiss building.
After arriving at the aeroport, we took a bus and a tram to our hotel Cape
Europe. After settling down, we went to see Srasbourg on foot. Almost
all the stores were closed, so we just decided to get an overall picture
of the city. Later we had our dinner in a local pub, and we were
served local Elsaß-Lothringenian special pizza that was a thin and only a few fillings, like cheese, onion and ham. After having this traditional meal our teachers walked back to the hotel. As the cats were gone, the mice started hanging around the center of Strasbourg. Because all the shops were closed, our only destinations were cafés. I and Kirsi were a little bit tired so we went back to the hotel. The others "toured" in cafés and they had a ball. The time was about 0.00 as I fell asleep. I would be very tired the next day, because we would get up very very early at about 6.00 am.
The main day of our journey. The others were more tired, because they had hung in cafés. The tram took the tired (except teachers) gang near to the Parliament House. It rained. On the inner yard of the Louis Weiss there were an Austrian group. I was a little bit shy, but a couple of seconds later I was brave enough to go to them and test my German skills. We chatted about the usual things, like favourite music and homes. Some other nationalities were there too, expecting the Euroscola. Ten minutes later we got in to the house and security check. All the students were splitted to groups of five and we got name tags that contained our names and groups. We hadn't eaten our breakfast, because we were promised to have breakfast offered by the parliament. Well, we should have remembered that the main morning meal here is the brunch. We had to survive the morning with the help of coffee, juice and croissants. The next thing we had was entering the main parliament room as one famous hymn was playing in the background. We got known to the headsets, our voting buttoms, and our Spanish, French, English and German translators. First the students from different countries represented their schools and countries for a minute. Finland was introduced by Leena. She said later to us she was very ancious of performing in front of the big crowd. After having some information on the other students, a very high authority told us facts about the EU. We also had a chance to ask things about the EU before we splitted to various workshops.
Sunday, November 5th
Our journey began on Sunday from Ivalo airport as we set out to Helsinki. From our capital we flew to Munich, Germany. We arrived at Katowice Airport around midnight and were taken to our accommodations by car. There wasn't much time for getting to know our host pupils as we went straight to bed.
Monday, November 6th
First we headed out to the city hall, where the vice president (=mayor) of Semianowice Slaskie gave us a speech. Then we made our first visit to the local school of five hundred pupils from grades 3 to 9. We had a meet-and-greet with the whole international Socrates-Comenius team and we all gave brief introductions of ourselves and our hobbies. After this we started to rehearse the Polish national dance, the Polonaise with the kind help of a local teacher and the Polish students. In the afternoon we visited a gigantic mall in Katowice. Some of us went to a local bowling range to try our hands at bowling and to shoot some pool with our new friends from Turkey, Romania, Czech Republic, Spain, Italy and Poland, of course.
Tuesday, November 7th
Our day began with a visit to the local TV-station. A mom of a local student had arranged the visit. We had a chance to see the news studio and the setting of a TV-programme. Back at school we again danced and also worked in groups to prepare presentations on the topic 'free-time'.
Wednesday, November 8th
We took part in lessons – some of us folded paper cubes at art class while others studied junior high maths. After the morning lessons we headed out to the Castle for another dance lesson with the whole group. In the afternoon Birit went to the mountains with her host student, Janne visited a silver mine with Seweryn while Isa and Ville went to the bowling range with the rest of the group. On Wednesday evening we met with our teachers properly for the first time during the trip as we enjoyed a lovely performance of planetary movements at the planetarium – what a sight! After the show a part of our group still hit the shops with the host students.
Thursday, November 9th
On Thursday we visited the historical city of Cracow. First we had time to do some souvenir shopping in the Cloth Hall, after which we went to the Wawel Castle. At the Castle we had guided tours in smaller groups. The tapistries, thrones, leather wall papers and the wooden carvings on the ceilings -to name but a few- were very impressing. We also visited the glorious Wawel Cathedral annexed to the Castle – we roamed the place from top to bottom as we made our way from the hights of the bell tower to the catacombs below ground level. According to the guide this cathedral was the very one in which the late Pope John Paul II worked when he still was the Bishop of Cracow. The fire-breathing dragon statue near the Castle walls also caught our attention! During this day we also had the chance to sample some of the local delicacies, such as a form of salty cheese and Polish pretzels. On Thursday evening we had our farewell/ Polish independence day celebration. The local pupils had prepared wonderful performances including speeches, folk dancing and traditional songs. We, too, did our share as we presented our posters and all the students of the Comenius Group danced Polonaise for the teachers and other audience members. After all this gaiety it was time to say our fond farewells.
Friday, November 10th
It was time to start our journey back to Finland. We flew with an interesting (to say the least) propeller plane to Warsaw and then continued our travel first to Helsinki and the to Ivalo the following day bearing fun memories and reminiscing our time in Poland.
Birit, Isa, Janne and Ville 14.12.2006