Project week in Brive la Gaillarde, France, 04.12.2021-11.12.2021
The 7 of us met up at the airport, and started our journey to France. We flew to Paris, arrived in the evening, left our stuff at the hotel and headed out to the city to look around the city. We had some lovely gyros and pizza at a small place near our hostel. The subway is something that I really enjoyed, it’s way different from the Hungarian system. We first had a look at the Louvre, it was beautiful even from the outside, and the lights of the city were also very enjoyable. Our long walk took as down the banks of the Seine, right from where we looked at the buildings and streets and then we suddenly saw the Eiffel tower. Every hour at night it lights up and sparkles for a few minutes, we saw this once from the distance and then once from close up. It was breathtaking, and much taller than I expected. We took pictures, walked to the subway and headed home for some sleep.
After our long night we were very tired, we woke up at 7am and ate authentic French breakfast; a latte with pain au chocolat and croissant. Our lovely teachers took us to Arc de Triomphe for some last minute looking around. We also walked down the Champs Elysée for a few blocks, looked into the shops which were closed because it was early morning. After that, it was time to go to Austerlitz train station. The train ride was 4,5 hours long to Brive la Gaillarde and I spent it with listening to music, and reading. Carol, the French teacher and host waited for us on the station and took us up to the hotel. It was a beautiful place, a Franciscan monastery, a few minute walk from the school. The whole place was surrounded by nature and statues. There were 2 of us in a room and we met up with cyprian girls and teachers who were already there. For dinner, we went to a place in Brive where we had kebab and burgers and talked and laughed for an hour or two. As much needed, we looked around the town, it was uniquely lit up with Christmas lights, there was a huge tree in the main square. Back at the hotel the Germans had already arrived, we talked for a bit and then went to bed.
In the morning, after we rested from the fatigue of the journey, we had breakfast at the hotel. At 10:00, we went to the school and took part on a welcome ceremony, where we got to know the french participants, and the school’s teachers intruduced themeselves. After that, we looked around the school by little groups. At every stop, they told us some informations about the place. We could see, how they spend their everydays there. Later, students from all countries presented their presentations. It was very interesting to see, which country how relates to migration. At 13:00, we had lunch by the school’s chef. The food was very delicious. After lunch, at 14:00, we went to the town center by walk, with a very nice leader. In the center, we slipt into two teams and took part in a guided tour by two students from the higher school in tourism, which was very interesting. The town was beautiful. When we finished the sightseeing, we had three hours of free time before dinner. We sat in a cafe and looked around in the city with the Italians. Then, at 19:00 we walked back to school to have dinner. We had no any other programs after dinner, so we went back to the hotel, and before going to bed, we talked and had fun with the foreign students.
That day we woke up earlier, because we had to reach our bus in front of the school. We went to a museum. It was about the holocaust and how Jews escaped. The main story was that the village where was this museum (Oradour-sur-Glane), was burnt down completely in forties. We had that opportunity to look around this ghost village. It was incredible because every single house was burnt down. We could see through them. We saw many old objects. We saw melted toys and clocks which look like a Salvador Dali painting. It really touched our hearts, I think. Then we got on the bus again and we went to little town, Limoges. We had a lunch all by ourselves. Then we went to ice-skating. It wasn’t in the program but after lunch we saw that it’s free so thought that we must try that. Then all together we met in the town’s church, and we had a tour of the city. We saw beautiful old houses. Then we went home with the bus, had dinner, and that was the day.
That day we didn’t have to woke up at early because we were at the school all day, so we didn’t have to go anywhere. At first we had our breakfast, like any other day. Then we went to the school for a workshop. Four migrants came to us and told us their life journey and how they came to France. They spoke about serious things and very hard life decision. Then we had our lunch at the school. Then of the migrants who was a woman from Venezuela taught us a dance from Venezuela. Then we went to the library, and we had to read articles about escapers most important things that they brought with them to their long adventure. Then we saw a little movie about a camp where the migrants stays when they are waiting for let them in a country. It was very moving I think. And then we had our dinner, and the day was over.
On Thursday we had a little adventure outside of Brive. In the morning we had breakfast at the monastery all together, then went to Treignac by bus. The first programme was a presentation about the Fondation Claude Pompidu and how they can support and help people who immigrants to France. They explained how they help their education, give them a job, and try to make their life better here. Then we had a delicious lunch at a nice local restaurant. After lunch we went back to where the presentation was, and the next program started. We had the chance to listen to very different stories from five refugees’ lives. Some of them worked as a cook at the restaurant. They all had such interesting but also shocking stories about what they had to go through, and it was hard to even just imagine. This was the last program, so then we got on the bus and went back to Brive. We had some free time and then ate dinner together at the school.
Friday, we had a little workshop about the migration in our countries. We made groups of five, and in each group there was one person from each country. We, then shared stories and statistics about migration in our countries, with the others in our group. After lunch, we went outside and every nation planted a tree, to leave a symbolic mark, that we had been there. Later, we had a little free time. Some people went to see the city one last time before leaving tomorrow, others started to pack their bags for the long journey home. We had a delicious dinner, and after that we listened to music and danced together for a couple of hours as a way of saying goodbye to eachother.
(Rozi Csikós, Zsófi Csoboth, Luca Jaksa, Juli Ránky-Rudi, Anna Léna Sik)