At the last day of our stay in India we examined our schedule a little closer. In between the announcements of the Farewell Dinner and the Farewell Assembly we found the word “rope skipping”.Hmm. That shouldn’t be too difficult. And we were looking forward to showing what our exchange participants can do with a rope. But what we got to see was much more than we expected.
When we entered the assembly hall 6 athletes of the Indian Rope Skipping Federation were already waiting there. They placed their skipping ropes in a certain pattern at the floor. All of the ropes were in different colours, at different lengths and were weighted with small plastic pieces. Only because of these pieces we were able to see the fast motions later.
Mandatory speeches were hold and after some time the breath taking show finally started:
The after party
During lunch the athletes told us about their sport life: Daily training sessions, weekends filled with tournaments and always new ideas to try and new moves to learn. There is also some rumor that the German teachers tried some of the tricks. But unfortunately there are no pictures or videos available to proof such a session 😉
Three days before our departure our creativity was challenged once more. LVIS is applying for the International School award and therefore the German students of Johannes-Turmair-Gymnasium had to create and to perform a skit during the farewell assembly. We are still not sure how a German play about Indian sports is connected to a British award but of course we were glad to help.
In the famous 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz” the main character Dorothy undertakes unforgettable adventures in a foreign country. There she avoids mysterious dangers, meets strange looking animals and makes friends for live. But at the end of the movie she feels a little homesick and by tapping her heels three times while thinking “There’s no place like home” she is magically transported in her home country.
Where is that country full of magic and miracles?
A movie? A fairy tale? Only fiction? For 17 students of Johannes-Turmair-Gymnasium the trip to India felt exactly like that. They have heary of that magical country in the east. They have seen pictures of elephants and monkeys and they read about the dangers that can occur there. But they were brave enough to start that adventure and like Dorothy they all met wounderful people and became friends. They were allowed to experience the real India, the India full of colours, smells, noises and tastes and were guided through the dangers like traffic, smog or egotistic youngsters hungry for pictures. That previously foreign country became a second home.
Time to to go home
But like Dorothy our students missed their family members in Germany. Their pets, their parents and even their siblings. It was time to say goodby. Thats why an Friday the 10th we tapped our heels together and were magically transported by plane to Germany. But not before we celebrated an outstanding farewell party, cried and laughed a lot and promised to see each other soon.
On Saturday 11th a group of parents waited in front of Johannes-Turmair-Gymnasium and went crazy when the bus with their children turned around the corner, opend the doors and released all the exchange participants.
We are gone – our love stays with you
The adventures, the friendship, the whole exchange will surely never be forgotten. And who knows when the next children will be transported to that foreign country full of miracles and wonders?
Thanks to everyone for your help, your patience, your love.
There have been lot of times that my friends’ children have stayed with us but it is for the first time that we had a child from another country with different language, culture and of course taste, stay as a family member for a fortnight. The entire experience of hosting an adolescent child from a completely alien setup was an interesting and enlightening one. Our german guest child Val is disciplined, amiable frank , courteous , adjusting and inquisitive. He was interested in knowing our way of life and adventurous enough to taste variety of Indian dishes and of course logic behind doing certain things the way we do !!!
15 days passed very smoothly and it was indeed great to have him stay with us. We had our apprehensions around our ability to be a good host in accordance with the traditions of Indian culture of treating ‘guest equivalent to God’; but I am happy to say that Val is a nice person and cooperated all the way of being a wonderful guest and has indeed become part of our family for life!
Here, I sincerely compliment the stellar work done by the teachers in managing the exchange program intricacies meticulously. Partner selections were near to perfect as their interests matched and there is not a single dull moment – the theme of sports added lot of energy and action to the entire program. Continuous guidance from organising teachers in managing multi-faceted activities, programs and excursions was a big comfort for us and gave a sense of assurance around children getting holistic benefit from program and developing into a responsible and learned global citizen.