Places / Accommodation
The second hotel in Koktebel was much better than the one during the first week in Feodosia because we had our own bathroom and the toilets were more hygienic. Also, we had a little more space and Aalia could finally look in the mirror as it did no longer hang so high. As a native of Hamburg I have to say that Feodosia and Koktebel are two very quiet – almost sleepy towns; there is not much going on there. If we wanted to go anywhere with our group we had to drive by bus a bit longer.
The pizza from the pizza man was tasty! … Apart from that I had my problems with Ukrainian food. I stayed strong and tried everything … to then determine that still didn’t like it more the next day! No wonder there are not so many Ukrainian restaurants in Hamburg. But tastes are simply different! For intercultural evening all groups prepared some specialty from home and we all had a taste of everything. With Aalia I prepared an Afghan specialty … and on that occasion we got to know the hotel kitchen… it takes a little getting used to.
We went to some beaches and enjoyed a lot the fresh air. Exciting excursions led us for example to the catacombs of Kerch, to an old castle in Sudak and to the mountains. There were many opportunities to get into conversations with other young people and to get to know them … especially when the tour guide fed us with too many details until our heads were pounding.
At the beginning all the names were … a great mystery! With (too) many games we had again and again the opportunity to learn all of them. We made city plans and built these from recycled materials as well, we also founded parties and simulated election campaigns. And we tried some trust games.
The understanding worked out quite well … especially in English. We tried to combine all our different languages so that everyone could somehow understand something. There where several opportunities to learn a little Russian, Ukrainian and Romanian in small crash courses. Sign language was used in our great Play action in the school for the deaf.
Friendships / Contacts
When I was back home, I installed Russian Facebook in order to remain in contact with everyone. It is also a good way and quite interesting to thus take a little part in the other people’s life after such an exchange. One thing is certain: the Russian participants are super active and work for example with children, go canoeing, go camping.
It was very interesting to leave the EU borders because I have never had to show my passport before. The controls were pretty intense … and the propeller planes pretty shaky. It was also exciting how we oriented ourselves in the hub airports without understanding the language. If you really have to do something and you are on your own, somehow it works out and you even understand something.