REPORT of the SCIACCA – LEEUWARDEN BILATERAL MEETING
(10-15 December 2018)
Monday 10 December 2018
We had to be at the Leeuwarden Central Station at 8.45 pm with our parents. We were all very excited for the Italian students to come. After ten minutes they finally arrived. They were excited too, and some of them even came running towards us to hug us. After meeting the Italian students, we all took our guests home.
Tuesday 11 December 2018
We had to be at Montessori High School at 9.40 am. In the gym we welcomed the Italian students with welcome games. We played lots of games and we had a lot of fun. One of the games we did was real live twister and the leader had to tell us what to do. For example we had to get our left leg on green, our nose on red and our right elbow on purple. It was very hard but it created funny situations. After the games we, the Dutch students, gave presentations about the
Netherlands. We told them about Dutch and Frisian sports, art, surroundings, activities and the school system. Then we gave them a tour through our school. The Italians were very impressed by our music room and over how big our school was. Afterwards we had lunch and a work session. In the work session, the Dutch and Italian students first worked in groups of four and pulled questions from a box and had to answer them. The questions were about life in general and cultural things, like, how we celebrate Christmas, what we do on Sundays, when we get together with our families etc. Then worked in pairs (Dutch and Italian) and we talked about
the outcomes of the survey we had filled in a couple weeks before. After the work session, we went to downtown Leeuwarden where we climbed the Oldehove, a leaning church tower, in the centre of Leeuwarden, and we also got a tour of Leeuwarden. We went through beautiful streets and we learned a lot about the history of Leeuwarden. At last, we had some free time in the city and some of the Dutch students took their Italians with them to get some food. Some went shopping and some decided to go home.
Wednesday 12 December 2018
We were at Leeuwarden Central Station at 8.45 am and our train left at 9.15 am. At 11.23 am we were at Amsterdam Central Station. We went to the centre of the city where we got a tour from Johannes van der Meer. He showed us two of the hidden churches of Amsterdam. At first he brought us to the museum ‘Our Lord in the Attic’ (Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder). The museum was about the church that was hidden at the attic of the house. In the museum we listened to an audio tour and after that we went to another hidden church, the Singelkerk, a Protestant Doopsgezinde church. Then we walked to the Van Gogh Museum. The group was split in two and each group got a guide who gave us a tour through the museum. We saw some of the most famous paintings by Van Gogh and we learned a lot about his paintings and his life. We also did some exercises. For example we had to look at one of Van Gogh’s paintings for three minutes and then we had to try to draw the painting without looking at it. Both we and the Italian students were very impressed of the museum and we all really enjoyed visiting it. Afterwards we had some free time in the city and we all went to the Hard Rock cafe and some souvenir shops. We also decided to eat at McDonalds and shop a little. At last we went to Amsterdam Central Station again to go home with the train. We were back in Leeuwarden at 9.15 pm.
Thursday 13 December 2018
At 10.00 am we had an LGBT+ workshop at school presented by the COC. We all sat in a circle and we talked about diversity. We learned that most parents of the Italian students wouldn’t be okay with them if they were gay and that the parents of most Dutch students really don’t care if they were gay. We also talked about LGBT+ stereotypes and we could ask a lot of questions. Then we had lunch and we went ice skating at FEC. All the students really enjoyed ice skating. At first most of us were very bad at it but in the end almost all of us were ice skating without any trouble. After the ice skating we had some free time until 17.45 pm. At that time went to the Blokhuispoort, an old prison, where we would eat dinner together. We could choose between a fish, meat or vegetarian meal and all the meals were very delicious. After the main course, we had some dessert and at 9.00 pm we all went home.
Friday 14 December 2018
At 9.15 we had another work session at school. We discussed the survey again and we wrote down all the similarities and the differences between the Italian and the Dutch norms and values. After that we went to the Frisian Museum to see the Rembrandt Exhibition. We got another guide who told us a lot about Rembrandt and his wife Saskia. Then we went to a modern art exhibition in the Frisian Museum. The exhibition was called Phantom
Limb and it was very impressive. Afterward we went back to school for lunch and to paint our own tiles. On the tile we had to draw something that had something to do with norms and diversity. At last we made a group picture and we went back home.
Saturday 15 December 2018
We all had to meet at the station looking a bit sad because we had to say goodbye to the Italian students. Their train was leaving at 6:45 am in the morning for Schiphol airport. We made our last photo and they got into the train and left for Italy. As we were waving goodbye, flashes of the best moments we had together flooded our brains, making us even miss them more before they left The Netherlands.