Reflections on Torun, Poland 20-27 October 2011, Leg 1 of Comenius Project
We looking back over the period we were in Torun, Poland, with a great sense of affection, achievement, emotion and laughter.
We were a group of three teachers - David Zeffie, Lisa Jordan and Jeff Pedley, and three students aged 15-16 - Kathryn Harwood, Marcus Pilkington and Guy Buckle. The students had been hand picked as our most senior, and best students in the school.
As so it was with trepidation that we left NRA at 4.45am on Thursday 20 October 2011, excited by the prospect of spending a week in a country which half the group had visited before, staying with families that the students had only communicated with by email, and making new friends from our partner schools in Poland, Portugal, Cyprus and Turkey.
After a long journey, we arrived by coach at the school where the host families were waiting to pick up our students - and so we said goodbye to them until the next morning at least! Next morning the students were keenly talking about the warm hospitality of their hosts, and looking forward to spending the next seven days in their houses.
The Polish school, the Polish families and the people we met along the way were incredibly hospitable; the warmth, friendliness and generosity displayed towards us were wonderful and we were all overwhelmed by the displays of affection from the Headteacher, teachers, parents and students. The laughter, and there was plenty of it (!), and the tears at the end will remain with us for a long time yet.
We learnt so much about other cultures, history, architecture, food and education that it was difficult to retain it all!
For us as the UK school, it was a true privilege to be welcomed so warmly, and to make so many new friends.
We are greatly looking forward to working with our partners into the future, and cementing the many friendships which have developed.
Here's to Cyprus in March 2012!