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Friday, October 26, 2012

Sten's trip to Turkey

Our trip started on 3 October at 6 in the morning from the bus station at Kehtna. I went to Turkey with teachers Lea, Evelyn and Piret and my classmates Kaarel and Kenet. On my way to the bus station I was so tired that I was barely standing up. At the bus station we checked whether everybody had their passports. I fell asleep on the car. When we arrived at Tallinn Airport I felt already more alive. We went straight to the check-in desk, then through the security and to our boarding gate. We had some time to stroll around the shops and then it was boarding time. I was very excited because it was my first flight ever. We flew about an hour and were ready to land at Riga Airport, but then it turned out there was thick fog and we had to fly on to Kaunas. We had waited at Kaunas inside the aircraft about 40 minutes and then flew back to Riga. In Riga we had to wait 6-7 hours in the queue and then we were given more information. We received 18 sheets which had our names on it and with those the air company covered our expenses at Riga. We went to the luggage area and then the  trouble with our suitcases began. They had gone missing. When we eventually were out of the airport and reached our hotel, I was completley worn out. We went to the shop and bought some food for our dinner because the hotel didn't give us any. After our meal we stayed up a bit and then went to sleep.
In the morning it was difficult to wake up, especially because it was between 4 and 5. Eventually we managed to get downstairs, we got packed breakfast and went to the aiport. There we had our breakfast, checked in and went again through security control. By the end of our trip I was totally fed up with those security points. From Riga we flew to Munich. We had some problems there, too. At the information desk we were told that if we choose to board our next scheduled flight we would have not got our luggage. So we waited until our suitcases were found. Everybody was happy. We just sat at the aiport and waited for our next flight and when we could board the aircraft at last, I was very happy because for me just waiting is a difficult thing to do. People who know me understand what I mean by that. From Munich we flew to Istanbul and from there we had another domestic flight. When we arrived at Nevsehir I was over the moon to see  some Turkish teachers and students. 
After arrival we basically went straight to have dinner where it took me about 20 minutes to become friends with everybody. We had a chat, made jokes and we were just cool. Kenet and Kaarel sat on the other corner of the table, so I  communicated only with Turkish students there. It was a bit difficult to talk, but we understood each other nevertheless. After the dinner we went to our host families where we stayed for the next 3 nights. My host family showed me around their flat. We talked a bit and then I got ready for bed. Next morning I had to wake up early again and I was rather sleepy, although I had slept over 8 hours. We sent the kid in my host family to kindergarten and then had breakfast and talked again. After that we went to the hotel to meet the teachers and from there we took a bus to the underground city. I liked it there. It had 7 storeys, but we were allowed to visit 3 of them. There were lots of different rooms: prayer rooms, sleeping areas, churches, cooking places etc. In those underground passageways I made friends with Spanish students. I still chat with them on the Internet. It was great to talk to them, they understood English and were funny. After visiting the underground city we went to a valley. We walked around there and had lunch. At first it was great to walk there, but later I got bored. It seemed as if I had seen already those places. I was happy when the walk was over. In that valley I tasted a strange pancake filled with goat cheese. It was quite tasty. 

After seeing this valley I think we went back to town to change money. No, actually before that we visited a mosque. A local man told us about Islam, we listened to his important talk and took photos. Then we went to a money exchange place. Our next stop was in a pottery making shop where a man showed us how a vase was made. It was interesting. He asked if anybody wanted to have a go and then I went. Kenet and Kaarel were whining a lot afterwards that I wasn't any good, but they didn't have any courage even to try. It was a pretty interesting experience. We also had a look at other items in that shop and then went to have dinner. We had it by the Red River. It was aswesome there.

 After dinner we were taken back to our host families. Teachers had a party that night, so to say. I was at home with my host father. We took their child to their friends' and had dinner and communicated with the help of Google translator. It was great and then we went to his office where I played being a security officer. I  viewed the security cameras and felt being important. Then we went back to their home and it was time to go to sleep. 

We had to wake up early again. At 7 am we went to have a ride on a hot air balloon. Actually we had woken up even earlier. We didn't have breakfast to prevent being sick on the flight. I was sick with or without breakfast, but it was still great to be in the hot air balloon, a completely new experience. After that we went to the hotel and said good-bye to the others.  I took this quite badly because within a few days Spanish and Turkish students had become good friends. We hugged each others, shook hands and went by bus to Kayseri airport. We flew again to Istanbul and started our adventure there. It wasn't easy to figure out the bus system  or to find a left-luggage place. At last we found a restaurant owner who agreed to keep our suitcases. First we were suspicious, but we took all important items out and left them there. So went to explore Istanbul. We had to walk a lot. Later in the evening we returned to the same restaurant and had dinner there. I enjoyed our time in Istanbul very much. After dinner we went by underground somewhere and then took a bus. I was very happy to arrive at the hotel at last. We went quite quickly to sleep. 

The next morning we had quite a heavy breakfast and headed to the airport. We had plenty of time to go the place. First we flew to Riga again. In Riga I was without doubt very happy because it felt being very near home already, although it had been a great trip. Two cars took us from Tallinn to Kehtna. We arrived home around 10pm. 
This trip was really great. I  flew by plane for the first time. I could experience the hassle of cancelled flights on my first trip. I had so many different flights, problems with suitcases and lots more, but to sum up I enjoyed this trip because I saw  new things and learned new things as well. It was a cool and educational trip indeed.

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Partner schools

ESTONIA: Kehtna Primary School is situated in the village of 1,200. There are no big towns nearby, although the capital Tallinn is just 60km to the north. We are surrounded by forests, bogs, farmland and therefore paying extra attention to nature studies and the environment is important to us. We are a school of the Green Flag and a Health-Concious school. There are 155 students and 20 teachers in our school. Students are aged 7-17.

ITALY: Liceo Classico "Megara" con sezione scientifica annessa is a secondary school for students aged 14-19. It mainly offers three different courses for classical, scientific and social science studies. The school mainly serves students from Augusta. Our school is located in a very important area for its nature, history, archaeology and tourism. Our suburban town of Augusta is very near to Siracusa, one of the oldest and most important Greek colonies in Sicily. Our students are all members of "Legambiente" which is a national leading environmental organization which offers educational programs in schools. We live by the sea and our area is very rich in waterways, rivers and ponds.

FRANCE: College Claude Bernard is in a suburban city (Grand-Quevilly) with about 30,000 inhabitants. A town with 400,000 people called Rouen is near to us. The area has little industry nowadays following the closure of the chemical factories and the Renault car plant.

TURKEY: Tepeköy Ilkögretim Okulu is a public school serving children aged 7-15, starting from pre-school till the 8th grade. It is a rural school and caters for 226 students and 18 teachers. Our school is in Nevsehir (Cappadocia Region), being situated in agricultural region. Our region does not have sufficient water resources and we need to focus on environmentally-friendly options.

SPAIN: IES Concepcion Arenal is a secondary education centre located in Ferrol, a town with 70,000 inhabitants in the region of Galicia (north-west of Spain). There are 85 teachers and 700 students in compulsory (12-16 years old), post-compulsory (16-18 years) part and in vocational training.