For a one week between 21-th and 28-th of June I had a chance to participate in the multilateral Youth Exchange “Stay active” which took place in a small mountainous town of Gangi, Sicily. There I met 36 young people from Italy, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, Poland and Romania, who arrived to participate in the project, while
learning on the ways and means of handing healthy youth daily lifefrom each other too.So now,it is time to share some of the impressions with you:
Ouractive week started with the meeting inthe train station of Palermo where the bus was waiting to bring everyone to the town of Gangi, in there the international exchange and first friendships with a lot of laughter and many languages already started. Finally, in the very late evening students arrived in their accommodation place, after fast unpacking and showers they had first very late dinner together.
Next morning, we had our first Italian breakfast in place of the accommodation. Italian first meal is sweet in style, simply: coffee, rolls, butter, jam, and breakfast cereals, just enough to give energy for entire day full with the activities. To be honest, for some of us it was too sugary!
After all the food, we were ready for the opening day and introduction tothe weekly program of the activities, after followed the icebreaking games, in order that participants learn some things about each other and can memorize all the 36 first names! Believe me, it is very challenging task. Besides, wesaw many videos and pictures of different countries and in the second half of the day,we made thousands of them in the cloudy, tiny and ancient streets of the Gangi.
In the next five days, the each country group was preparing and leading the outdoor activities. The first country on the ground was Italy, firstly we had a presentation about Italy and Sicily, and then our brain was waken with the quiz. What is more, the Italian team literally managed to put us on the ground by running the aerobics class for almost one hour, finally only few girls stayed alive! Other days we played many well- known games like football, basketball and volleyball, and traditional ones too, like the dangerous Bulgarian game called “potatoes”, Greece game called “apples”. Similarly, Check team introduced the “killing- kissing” game, the professional Turkey team teach us the belly- dance, Romanian participants made us move in music rhythms and Poland showed the moving game with the ball.
In physically less active time, via the discussions and workshops,we shared experiences about healthy and not so healthy lifestyles in our own lives and cultural customs.
During all the days we had a lot of Sicilian food, so it was very necessary to think about the day that harmonize work, eating and moving in our everyday lives. In addition, to actually burn all calories eaten during the lunches, the participants were very active in their free time, when they used the activity place to be even sportier.
No doubt, that we were all waiting for the special night- cultural night! Because everyone was interested to taste some traditional foods and drinks from the other countries.In addition, for the good balance of activities, we were not just eating but in fact, we danced different national dances!Despite the lack of the sleep, the next day we went to amazing trip to the city of Cefalù, where the scenery and weather were fabulous. I am sure we all enjoyed, especially, the beach!