No doubt traveling can teach you more than a book – getting to know another country, a different culture, tasting new dishes and meals, meeting people from all over and making new friends.
These are definitely things which happened to me while travelling through Brazil and doing the “Kids are the Future” project in Itacaré. I meet amazing people who were super friendly, helpful, open minded and very ambitious. I got to know a different country, its stunning landscape and its culture as well as its school system and of course I had the honour to work with such great kids. The time in Brazil had a huge impact on me. It is not only what I learned and experienced there. It also helped me to see my country with different eyes now- to appreciate our standard of living, having hot showers, drinking water from the pipe and our high developed social and education system. Moreover I recognized again how much fun it is for me to work with kids and how much I can actually learn from THEM.
I think also the kids in Itacaré had lots of fun and learned many new things about Austria and its culture. They are very excited to get the first letters and drawings from the Austrian kids. It is something totally new to get letters from another part of the world and moreover a very good opportunity to practice their English, especially for the older kids.
The outcome of the project was that I learned a lot about Brazil and the Atlantic Rainforest. It is always different when you be there yourself and see and feel and experience it by yourself. Therefore I can hopefully pass these experiences over to the kids in Austria. I want to show them the importance of protecting our planet and the Atlantic Rainforest through pictures and their personal connection to a pen-friend. Moreover I introduced the kids in Itacaré a little bit to the Austrian way of living and how life is in the mountains J
I will stay in touch with Katia, the teacher in Itacaré, and will keep her updated how the project goes in Austria. Furthermore I will send all the drawings form the Austrian kids to her and she will then hand them over to each child in her school. She has already sent me some pictures of the kids in Itacaré doing some handcrafts and paintings with the crayons and pens I brought them. They look very happy and she wrote me that they are quite excited to receive letters and drawings from Austria and keep on asking her about it.
The next steps will be that I sort out the pictures of Brazil, which I will show the Austrian kids, prepare some games and then visit the Austrian schools. I’m already in contact with the “Erlebnisschule” in Marie Enzersdorf and we are just about to set the date when I’m going to visit them. The teachers there are very ambitious and they are looking forward to the cooperation with the Brazilian school and get to know more facts about the Atlantic Rainforest.
I will keep you updated with how the project goes in Austria and I hope the kids here enjoy learning some things about a different country as much as the kids did in Brazil.