IVG 6 meeting Parma february 2012.

Story by Ymkje and Elke

Our trip to Parma, Italy.

Hello everyone!
We are Ymkje Haverkamp en Elke Berghuis. This year we started with the debating project called ‘S.C.E.N.A.’.
We started debating in class first, after that we started debating via Skype with students from Spain and Italy.
We were all really looking forward to our trip to Italy, but a few days before our departure we received an alarming e-mail from our teacher (Mr. Bakker).  The mail said that due to the bad weather conditions there was a possibility that the flight would be cancelled. Fortunately this didn’t happen.
So on February 12th four o’clock we left by car. We drove to the airport in Weeze/Düsseldorf, checked in, ate Panini and flew straight to Bologna!
At nine o’clock we arrived in Bologna, we couldn’t believe our eyes there was just so much snow. Our train was delayed, but we were lucky to get in another one. 
At eleven o’clock we arrived at the Astoria Hotel in Parma. We were all very tired, and knew we had to get up very early the next day. So we went immediately to our rooms.
The next day, after we had a delicious breakfast at the hotel, Sylvia arrived to take us to the school (Istituto Giordani). After a short coffee break we had to give a presentation about our school, our educational system in Holland and our hometown. We brought stroopwafels with us, they were very popular. Also the Italian students gave a presentation about the same subjects. The Italian students showed us around the school, and  by doing that we got to know the students a little better. We were not the only one who brought food, we were offered a great lunch including Parmesan cheese, salami, pizza piccolini and loads of other things!
After our great lunch Sylvia and a few of her students ,Nesrine, Priscilla and Rosella, gave us a tour in Parma. We visited the centre of Parma, the cathedral and the Baptistery, and an Auditorium built in an old sugar factory.
That evening we had dinner in a restaurant in Parma. It was a typical Parmesan dinner, it tasted delicious and we had a lot of fun.
February 14th we went to Milan by train. Travelling by train took a while because of all the problems (delay, cancelled trains, etc) caused by the snow. At ten o’clock we arrived in the impressive train station of Milan. First we went to the castle of Milan, Santa Maria delle Grazie and had a look inside the Duomo di Milano. In the afternoon we had ‘Mc Donalds’ lunch! The sun was so bright , it didn’t feel cold at all. So we ate our lunch outside on the stairs of the Duomo di Milano. Because of all the people on the square there was enough to see. (Because it was Valentine’s Day lots of people were selling roses, heart shaped balloons, and of course there were those men who were trying to sell bracelets in a very rude way) And last but not least we visited Leonardo Da Vinci’s ‘Last Supper’. The fresco was very beautiful and actually bigger than we imagined. We were pleased we had the possibility to see this wonderful, famous, historic mural painting. After we had a little time for ourselves we went back to the train station and travelled back to Parma. In Parma we had dinner at a pizzeria, it was delicious.
On our last day in Parma we had a debate in front of the Italian students to show them what we did during our Skype conferences. When everyone knew what to do we split apart in small groups and started practising a few thesis’. Every Dutch student was the debate leader for her own group. When we were finished our two groups gave a debate demonstration in front of the class. This debating was also a small preparation of the final meeting in Spain. After that we had to say goodbye to all the students. We made a lot of friends there and we really hope to see some of them in Spain. It was strange to say goodbye because there is a huge possibility that we will never see them again. But the day was not over yet because we had to visit the Farnese Theatre in Parma first. This is a theatre completely made out of wood, which was unfortunately damaged by bombs in the Second World War. Especially Ymkje and Denise had a lot of fun singing and dancing in front of an imaginary audience. We had lunch in a very fancy restaurant in the centre of Parma near the Garibaldi statue. We learned a few things about how to eat according to the Italian etiquette. (You have to start with the pasta first, and then you’re allowed to eat the meat and the potatoes.) Then we had the best desert of all the days in Parma! There were different kind of puddings, something that tasted a bit like tiramisu (but it wasn’t), cake with whipped cream, strawberries and cookies. After it we were so full we almost couldn’t walk anymore. And just then we were allowed to shop!
At four o’clock we had to gather around the statue of Garibaldi. We arrived there all very early and we enjoyed the bright sunshine. But suddenly there were a lot of firemen on the square. We were very curious indeed, so we asked what they were doing out there. Unfortunately their English wasn’t too good. All they could say was ‘Because of the ice’. We had no idea what they meant. But that soon became chrystal clear when suddenly the ice started falling of the roofs. During our walk to the train station we enjoyed the last bit of Italian air. By train we went to Bologna, after we’d checked in we ate something at the airport. At nine o’clock we flew back to the Netherlands.
It was a fantastic, unforgettable experience, we learned a lot about culture and history and of course debating. We hope that projects like these will keep existing in the future. Thanks for the great trip Italy! Lots of love from Ymkje and Elke, byebye!


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