The joyous journey of Euromosaica
Yes, sails were set and the vessel started from up there in the north, the Baltic cold sea in Ventspils, Latvia. It took along beautiful and white people. It sailed into the Atlantic and reached the Mediterranean, passed through the islands of Calypso and Circe, but then arrived in Sicily, in Tavromeño, and took enthusiastic children and teachers with bright eyes. No, it did not go to Ithaca. It went to Ischia for the warmth but had to leave and loaded kind wayfarers. Those were a great many. But the sea was vast and the «Euromosaica» ship went to magic places, full of perfumes. Towards the Mediterranean East. There, beautiful and smiley girls from Adana came out to the beach, with gentle and respectable women accompanying them. The boat took them all and headed for the Black Sea. There, on the east coast, girls with songs from Rakovski and multilingual teachers awaited. Up in the sea of Dacia (Romania) came lads and lassies with ladies and gentlemen from Vladesti and from Babin of Slovakia.
And «Euromosaica» flew by passing the Hellespont and arrived at Filotas. Yes, at Filotas Primary School.
Monday, April 1, 2019. A warm welcome to the school with flags and caps from the children of Filotas Primary. So many smiles and excitement! Greetings, speeches and presentations. Representatives of local authorities, guests, cadres of Education, parents. The Director of Primary Education of Florina, Kimon Savvakis, briefed the partners on the Greek educational system. The Councillor of the Prefecture of Florina, Ioannis Kiosses, briefed them on issues related to the area of Filotas. The Special Advisor of the Mayor of Amyntaio, Areti Kosmopoulou, on the Municipality of Amyntaion and its geography. Anna Spyrtou, professor of Science at the University of Western Macedonia, presented the relationship between Filotas Primary School and the University and Nanotechnology. Of course, our foreign visitors also spoke presenting their regions with audiovisual material. Our school’s Physical Education teacher, Dimitra Liaskoni, along with our students revived the ancient Olympics in the courtyard and performed Greek dances. The Romanian students performed gypsy dances and fascinated their spectators. At noon, all participants tasted traditional dishes -and more than that- prepared by the pupils’ parents. Those dishes covered almost the entire range of the traditional homeland gastronomy of the inhabitants of the three villages. They quenched their thirst with «Xino Nero» (Sour Water) and refreshments, sponsored by the Municipal Enterprise.
Tuesday, April 2, 2019. Our partners paid a visit at the Alfa Estate Winery and were shown round its facilities. The company’s set-up and dissemination of the good reputation of our local viticulture and winemaking in most countries on the planet was what impressed the adult partners and brought about their admiration.
Then, along with our students, we attended a musical event of exceptional quality and authenticity by the Music School of Amyntaio. This particular event was dedicated to Euromosaica and covered the local tradition as well as Greece in general. Carefully organized by the Director of the School, Vassilis Traianos, and the school Music teacher, Maria Arousanova.
After that, our foreign friends visited Christos Boskos’ winery, named “VEGORITIS”. Further updating on the wine produced followed. The business associates also prepared a cork souvenir for students.
In the afternoon of the same day a visit was paid to the printing house of the Pedagogical School of Florina. The students also participated in the Technology Creation Festival at the School. A small walk in the city of Florina gave our visitors the opportunity to get to know the capital of the prefecture.
Wednesday, April 3, 2019. Our excursion to Meteora. Firstly, a guided tour-briefing took place at the Folklore Museum of Kozani and then followed a visit to the Monasteries of Meteora. The beautiful city of Trikala gave the opportunity for recreation and food. Here, it is worth mentioning that unforeseen human difficulties highlight aspects of the dedication of people serving the Health sector.
A student from Taormina, Italy, after suffering abdominal pain, came to the General Hospital of Trikala. In short, at midnight the student underwent surgery at the General Hospital of Larissa. The surgeon and all the nursing staff of the two hospitals provided excellent medical and nursing services. But what distinguished them was their interest in furthering into the mental care of the little Italian who did not have his parents near him. What a stroke of luck and karma to have two exceptional People in the city of Larissa! Namely, the friendly couple Andreas and Aphrodite Kandili. A graduate of the Italian Language and Literature from an Italian University, Aphrodite Kandili replaced the biological mother of the child until she managed to arrive from Italy.
Thursday, April 4, 2019. We headed for the mountain. A visit- briefing took place at Arcturos sanctuaries. Wolves and Bears. Thanks to everything that has been purchased by almost everyone, Arcturos’ brand name will travel and become known in their places. In the afternoon, we visited Lake Zazari. Canoeing, horse riding. Everyone enjoyed it. In the evening, Greek music and food followed at the tavern of Filotas. Greek dances and music.
Friday, April 5, 2019. Last day of our activities. Visit to Filotas Junior High School. Getting acquainted with another one of Filotas schools. Briefing by the English teacher about the school and songs by the students with the supervision of the Music teacher followed. Return to our Primary School and more actions. Foreign students entered the classrooms and, together with Greek pupils, took part in an action that was perfectly and effectively organized by the innovative ICT teachers of Florina ITTA. It is worth mentioning that, although students were up to 15 years of age, they had not come into contact with such advanced programming.
There followed another action, absolutely Greek in its nature. It was the instruction of the poem by Constantine Cavafy «Ithaki» to foreign and Greek students. The goal was to create a comic strip with captions in all participants’ languages. In the end, the students read their creation alternately in their language.
Of course Ithaca and its messages are now part of the knowledge of all 45 students and teachers from the seven partner-schools.
At noon everyone tasted a buffet dinner prepared by our pupils’ parents. What was also superb was the service that these same parents provided. Visitors were given a bag of souvenirs, as well as products from local production companies, such as dried mountain fruits from the Agricultural Cooperative «Bokeria» in Maniaki village and peanuts and other fruits from Vegora, Amyntaio.
In the afternoon, a visit to the Filotas Euxinus Pontus Club took place. There, the in-depth briefing by the President Vassilios Alexandridis was accompanied by Christina Andreadou’s outstanding English. The gift offered by the Euxinus Pontus Club, i.e. the peanut butter under the name «Macedonian pistachio», is produced by a company based in Filotas and is distinctive of the area.
Sequel at Filotas Thracian Club. Songs, dances, music, dinner and gifts for everyone. The Bulgarian pupils astonished everyone with their polyphonic Thracian singing in Bulgarian. President Sophia Moulaki, with all members of the Thracian Association, did everything possible to wind up the week for our foreign friends with the best impressions. A gift was given to everyone with a scent of our land.
In one of our school’s classrooms there was an exhibition of old-time photographs of Filotas.
Special gratitude ought to be expressed towards students, educators, parents, authorities, the Municipality of Amyntaio and all those involved in doing all the above.
A week at full blast, therefore! A week meant to remain indelible in remembrance and to remind us that Europe can have a peaceful and creative future.
Translation in english: Ntokou Aikaterini (Katerina), english teacher of Primary School of Filotas
The Director of Filotas Primary School