Experience in Sicily – a report and “Thank you” letters by the Lithuanian team


by Audra Kakliene, project coordinator and Daiva Urbstiene

Erasmus+ DARE students‘ mobility- Liceo delle Scienze Umane e Linguistico ,,Danilo Dolci”  Palermo, Italy November 5-9, 2018

On Sunday November 4th all the teams received a very friendly welcome at the airport and were very well taken care of.

On Monday November 5th the delegations were greeted at the school, the meeting was opened with a welcome speech of the Headmaster and the teams were presented. The Italian team prepared a video on Sicily, which was an excellent introduction to the Sicilian cuisine, culture and architecture. Everybody enjoyed it immensely as it gave a good prompt what is ahead alongside the project activities. The highlight of the day was the workshop ‘Different types of violence and ways to prevent it’. All the teams presented their homework on the topic, which ranged from presentations to diverse videos. Our team received a lot of appreciation from the partner schools for the great ideas and implementation, creativity and accurate treatment of the task. ‘ Sexual Harrasment’ – a video made by the Italian students received applause and caused discussion. After writing down the keywords on the topic of ‘Violence’ the participants were divided in groups and created posters and stories, which were eventually presented to the audience. The participants were busy sightseeing Palermo in the afternoon: The Arab-Norman Itinerary- World Heritage: Visit of Churches Martorana, San Giuseppe ai Teatini, San Giovanni degli Eremiti. The Italian students were tourist guides, which was a brilliant idea. The Sicilian history, architecture and culture were well presented to the participants.

On Tuesday November 6th the teams of students and teachers departed for the educational trip to the Valley of Temples in Agrigento, World Heritage, where alongside a lesson on the growth of democracy an Ancient Greek ‘wedding’ was held with students and teachers being actors. It was followed by a visit to the Garden of Kolymbethra and the Archeological Museum. It was all very educational and informative.

On Wednesday November 7th  an educational trip to Monreale took place and again the Italian students guided us. Visiting to the Dome and its Cloister, the Primary-Middle School “Antonio Veneziano”  and learning about the Italian School System was valuable knowledge and experience. Workshop ‘The Importance of Education’ took place alongside reading of students’ awarded essays.

On Thursday November 7th  the teams departed for  the educational trip to Erice: Visit to Ettore Majorana Centre where a lecture was given about the courses available in the centre and its achievements,  the Medieval Village, Venus Castle. The afternoon left everyone amazed as the educational trip to Trapani to the Salt Museum and the Salt Pans was something incredible. A very knowledgeable guide was very educational, informative and captured everyone’s attention with exciting stories.

On Friday November 8th  a  meeting was held at Danilo Dolci which included presentations about Democracy in ancient Rome. The teams presented ‘Democracy in pictures and sentences’. Some quotes caused a heated debate about the basic principles of democracy. The Lithuanian team handed out leaflets to the partners and received a lot of compliments for the thorough work they had done. Certificates were awarded to the participants and the results and outcomes of the meeting were discussed.

On Saturday there were tears, hugs and kisses at the airport and hope to meet again.

Overall, it was a very fruitful project meeting with a lot of knowledge and experience gained. Perfect organization and the Italian hospitality made it a real success.

Experience in Sicily

Urte Arlauskaite

Before this exchange, I didin‘t think about anything that much. I knew it would be a nice experience and I could improve on my English and just learn how Italians live. But what I have experienced, left an inprint in my heart  forever.

It all began when we came to Palermo and at the airport I was met by my amazing, beautiful and most caring host Giulia. At first I was nervous and worried a lot about everything, but she was the one  who made this experience comfortable and the best. Giulia and her family accepted me as their child, took care of me, asked me every single day if everything was alright and for that I am very thankful. I learned the way they live, what food they eat, and yes, Italian food is the best in the world. This excange program is amazing, because we visited places that the Italians truly wanted us to see and they let us in their lives, just to see how they live, how they start every single new day. The places that we visited were amazing. One that left a huge impression on me was Agrigento. That place had many historical Greek buildings. Every single one of them was spectacular and I couldn‘t believe that they still stand tall after so many years. Impressive.

As I have mentioned food, I should probably say a little bit more about it. I think that one of the reasons why people should visit Italy is definitely of their delicious traditional food. There wasn‘t a day that I didin‘t like something. They don‘t eat in the mornings and the lunch is not that big, but in the evening, all family members gather together for a huge dinner. I mostly liked arancinas. As I said, it‘s like Lithuanian ,,Cepelinai‘‘, just a different version. It was absolutely delicious.  And as all family members sit together, they talk about their day and about many other things. I was so happy every single day, because I was surrounded by so many warm and amazing people. And I cannot forget Italians that participated in Erasmus and we got to know them. The energy they have is amazing. We Lithuanians got on very well  with them. There were so many deep talks, laughter and true smiles that all of those seven days flew by. We couldn‘t believe how quickly everything ended when we were at the airport saying goodbye. We didn‘t want to leave Italy, their traditions and amazing people that we met. I never thought that in seven days you could get so close to people and  that tears wouldn‘t leave yours eyes, because it‘s too hard to say goodbye. I am very thankful for this experience, because I learned a lot and  will always remember these moments with the smile and warmth. Thank you. 

A week in Sicily

Aiste Kubiliute

This week was full of everything: happiness, joy, amasement and laughter. I was so happy that I got this this opportunity to visit Italy, meet new friends, experience new things. But I had no idea that it would be so much more than that! I can clearly state that this week was the best week in my entire life! First of all, my host, Allesia, she is sooo amazing, her parents  welcomed me so warmly, they  were really nice and sweet to me all the time. I can’t believe that I was so lucky to have her as my host. She is so intelligent, funny, joyful and positive! She was shining all the time, she was spreading her positivity to all of us and I feel like I became a better person because of her. We had a lot of deep conversations,  she became like a sister to me, I will never forget  her laugh and honesty. I miss her so much!

In Sicily I met a lot of new friends, people there are super friendly and nice to each other, there was some kind of connection between Lithuanians and Italians, we became like best friends only in one week! We laughed together, we cried together, we had sooo much fun together!! There, I experienced a lot of new things: I tried Italian food, and I can say that it’s really delicious! Alessia’s mum made us Italian pasta and it was mouth-watering!

Also, we were so lucky that the weather was really sunny the entire week, we got a chance to see breathtaking places in Sicily like Trapani, Monreale and a lot more. I was amazed by the beautiful nature, mountains, ancient buildings and statues. Also, I really improved my English speaking skills while communicating with the people I met. At the end of the trip it was really hard to say goodbye, because we became super close to each other. This little amount of time made us inseperable. 

But we are sure that we will meet some day and we will remember this experience with the biggest smiles on our faces.

Guste Ramonaite

7 days. One week that changed my perspective on many things. To begin with , by visiting new countries and going far away from home you gain new experiences. During this Erasmus exchange program I improved so much as a person. Before the trip I couldn’t imagine what kind of emotions I would go through. I felt joy, excitement, positivity, appreciation  in Sicily . I am very very thankful for everything the Italians gave us. The welcoming was warmer than I could have imagined in my dreams. Every single minute they made sure that we were not hungry, and whether everything was okay. I’d like to thank Miriam, who became a great friend of mine and her family who welcomed me with open arms in their loving home. It was such a pleasure to meet you, dear Italians! I was lucky and gifted to celebrate my birthday in Sicily. You made this day so special to me: plenty of wishes, plenty of surprises. The moment when all of you were singing happy birthday to me touched my heart. This program helps not only to learn new things about the different cultures but it also helps to take all the good things from different people. During this exchange I felt so much positive energy, and for that I should be thankful to Italians, who were my source of joy . Huge thanks to the teachers, our Italian friends, to the everyone who put their heart and effort into realizing this project. I’m saying ‘see you soon’, not ‘goodbye’ , because this is not the last time we have seen each other , believe me!

Patricija Šleiniūtė

This week in Palermo was the best week in my life. From the first evening till the last hour everything was amazing: the people I met, food, traditions, activities.

On Monday we were at school, watched presentations about violence, about Sicily and short movies that students had made. After that we had a group activity during which we had to create a story about the ways which could help to prevent violence. I was really surprised, because all the people were so friendly and so welcoming. Every idea was accepted and considered, everyone was active and tried to think of good ideas. At the end we put almost all our ideas together and made an incredible story.

In the afternoon we went to the city centre and saw all the beauty of Palermo. The most spectacular place, in my opinion, was the Cathedral, which was majestic and beautiful.

On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday we were travelling around Sicily. We drove to Agrigento, Trapani, Erice and Monreale. For me the best trip was to Agrigento because there we saw ancient temples that were magnificent.

On Friday, in the afternoon we went to explore Palermo again, but the most interesting and exciting part was in the evening, when we went to the fair and attractions. We had so much fun there eating cotton-candies, caramelized apples, going around the fair and buying souvenirs.

The last day was the saddest one. From the morning it was hard to keep tears inside, for me the last few hours were awesome: watching Disney movie with my incredible host, eating delicious lasagna was all I needed. And then the airport. We were all crying and sobbing in each other’s arms. That was my saddest personal experience. Even now writing this I remember all the lovely people there, in Sicily, and just can feel the same sadness I felt when I had to leave my friends in Palermo . I will miss you all guys, you all became my second family.

Kamilė Baranauskaitė

Erasmus+ project, gave me a chance to visit Palermo, learn about Italian culture and meet new amazing people. This experience was priceless and unforgettable and the people I met there, will always stay in my heart. When our plane landed, I was full of doubts, and I felt scared. But when I met my host family all my doubts disappeared, because I was really warmly greeted, and the host family were really welcoming. Every day, we had loads of different activities from work at school to  trips. Every day I learnt something new. Also, I had an opportunity to try Italian cuisine, and everything I tried was very delicious. Before this project I had never even imagined that people could be so friendly, welcoming and positive. I was really surprised by the really strong bond between people. Erasmus+ project was one of the best experiences I have had in my life because I have learnt how to respect other cultures, improved my English skills, and I am really thankful for the opportunity to participate in this project.