During the Easter holiday, Hannes, Lydia, and Sue (two Spets students together with our Spets coordinator) traveled to Budapest to meet and share poetry with students from Hungary and Slovenia. It was a Haiku competition where students from the three countries competed to find the “best” Haiku.
The students were challenged to learn and share in a setting outside the classroom. In addition to the awards ceremony, VRG students stayed with our Hungarian hosts. The Hungarian students were very good hosts and Budapest was at its finest with warm sunny weather.
Back at VRG, Hannes and Lydia showed pictures from the visit during mentor time, as well as shared booklets with the haiku poetry from the three countries involved (including several from other students in our Spets 1 class as well). After responding to questions from other students, Hannes summed things up really well when he observed that “despite the fact that we have been in an environment where the language and food were completely different the students there were really not so different from us regarding their interests and were in fact just normal teenagers”.
The real learning for Hannes and Lydia went on when they were being shown around Budapest by Hungarian students and when they were socializing and visiting homes. Even the teachers met and exchanged ideas. Sue reported that “it was really good to meet teachers from both of these countries to talk about their approach to pedagogics, to be inspired by their enthusiasm and to confirm that what we do at VRG is absolutely on the right track!”
The winning Haikus from VRG:
A tree, now so tall
outgrew the flower beneath
leaving it alone.
Eastbound train approach,
low ground unpleasant scramble,
engine to thousand
Unbearable in daylight.
Relations of love.