ERASMUS+, Key action 1: youth exchange
Venue: Balatonszárszó, Hungary
Dates: 5—14 November 2023
Czech team: 1 participant
Please read the info-pack.
Hosting organisation: MeOut Group
The COOL YOUTH FOR WARM PLANET project from the Hungarian company Meout took place in a magical place literally on the shores of Lake Balaton (the town of Balatonszárszó), where our centre was located, where everything took place for the next 9 days.
Day 1 served only as an arrival day for all project participants. We gathered with participants from Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Hungary, Lithuania and of course the Czech Republic, but I was the only participant 🙂 After arrival, we had our first dinner and settled in our accommodation. Most of the participants arrived in the evening but some of them arrived late at night or the next morning.
Day 2 – The day was marked by getting acquainted. During the morning and afternoon program we played getting-to-know-you games and participated in common activities within our group. And all this under the guidance of our amazing project leader Tako, who guided us through the whole packed program for the rest of the project.
Day 3 – I started early in the morning running along the Balaton coast, trying to go for a morning run almost every morning and I have to say that the views were really worth it! Then followed breakfast and the morning program, which we also started actively with an outdoor “energizer”. For the rest of the day we were divided into groups according to nationalities (I was in the “mix” group) and we prepared our own “open space” projects on any issue related to sustainability, environment, global nature problems, climate changes,…I and my group prepared a project on fast fashion issues. We actually had to prepare a program for 1-1,5 hours for the other participants of the project, we did the preparation during the following days. In the evening, after the full day program, some of the countries represented had already taken over the famous “intercultural night” and prepared a rich program full of traditional customs, information about the country and tasting of specialties!
The 4th sunny day started for me no differently than the morning run, whenever I am in a different country I always enjoy exploring my surroundings in this way 😊In the afternoon we still had some time for each group to finish our projects. Anyway, the agenda for today was mainly reserved for presenting our “open space” projects. The first program was prepared for us by a group of participants from Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was full of activities and assignments that required full commitment and mutual cooperation. During the breaks we liked to have coffee and chat together or rent bikes, which were freely available to us throughout the project, and ride to a neighboring town for a little shopping. After the second part of the morning programme we always had a break for lunch and personal time. The afternoon was directed by our leader Tako and the last program of the day was again used for project presentations and this time it was the turn of the Croatian group. In the evening there was a free program, I decided to attend the intercultural night of the participants from Georgia and for me it was the best evening ever – an entertaining program of traditional dances and songs, writing our names in the Georgian (Georgian) alphabet, tasting traditional delicacies, …
Day 5 – Friday meant a free day for us, which we decided to spend all in Budapest. Therefore, our day started early in the morning on the way to the train station, the journey to Budapest from Balaton took less than 2 hours. Upon arrival, we went to find a nice cafe where we planned what all we wanted to visit. We went to the river and across the bridge to the other side of Budapest to Buda castle. During the day we walked around the city, looked at the parliament, didn’t miss the shopping district already full of Christmas atmosphere. We couldn’t miss the historic metro ride either. In the evening, we visited the famous Szimpla kert bar and then went straight to the train station early, as we had to catch the last train back to Balaton that day. Even though we were on the platform well in advance, the train missed us literally in front of our noses, because of the platform change, which was announced only in Hungarian… So the next few hours during a rainy downpour were really unforgettable, we had to find a hostel at the last minute and after 4am we went to the station again and tried to catch our train for the second time :)). Luckily it worked and we finally made it back to our resort on the Balaton.
Day 6 was such a tired day overall, due to a stressful night of traveling back to Balaton. That’s why the morning program was more relaxing, we measured the size of our “ecological footprint” and then discussed our results and ways to reduce it as much as possible. During the day we produced participatory videos where we educated or challenged others to make a change. The videos highlighted the biggest sustainability issues we currently face. The last program of the day usually entailed a reflection/summary of the day in groups.
7-8th day we focused on the topic of our project, participated in the activities prepared by Tako. And most importantly enjoyed the last few days spent together as one big family 😊The very last activity was a challenge for us to try to implement a plan for an event/protest/workshop for the climate from A to Z and the final presentation.
The last day was just an arrival only departure day for us like the first arrival day.
Finally, I would like to say a big thank you to all my fellow participants in the project, especially the leader Tako, who made this experience really unforgettable…I can’t forget the whole eycb implementation team without whom I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to participate in the project at all.