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Youth Exchange Project Erasmus+ in Luz Saint Sauveur, France

Dear Friends,

Youth exchanges programs Erasmus+ are very popular among Ukrainian youth. We would like you to take a look at the report of the participant of our organization who took part at Eramus+ project in France in Luz Saint Sauveur.

“I was lucky to participate in youth exchange program Erasmus + in the beautiful skiing town of France – Luz Saint Sauveur, among the Pyrenees mountains during three weeks. It would be unfair of me not to share impressions, emotions and photos with you
So, why are such projects special for each of us and for me personally?

First, the route, transport, road. While preparing for the trip, you won’t even notice how much better you become at geography because of planning your best and most convenient route, cheap airlines, buses, trains, and thus you learn, become smarter! And we did became smarter in Toulouse (our first day in France), almost paying a fine of 40 € per person (there were eight of us from Ukraine). The thing was we pinched our tickets in a wrong side. How strict laws are you will understand when you see five men-controllers wearing a special uniform.

The second reason is language. This is how I generally felt in France (fortunately the project we had was English-speaking) and went on enough to understand at least a little something, to study elementary phrases or guess from the context.That’s true, French people don’t like English, so it would be difficult for you to meet English translations at least somewhere.Moreover, when you answer ‘Do you speak English?’ – you will receive a simple answer ‘Do you speak French?’. It means there is no other way for you but become smarter and learn more!

The third, and probably the most valuable reason is people that we meet during the project! There are so many different people, from different countries with different mentality, habits, cultures,religions and skills!These people became your roommates, friends and soulmates…

There were 24 of us from Ukraine, Spain, France, Latvia and Finland. At the very first day I thought it was simply impossible to remember all of their names. Three weeks later, however,  I realized I know these people even better than some of my old friends.

We all have an opportunity to participate in 3 different groups every day:

Cooking team – to make a lot of Ukrainian varenyky’s or to learn some new French or Spanish recipes.

Shopping team – it’s a true challenge, when you don’t speak French at all! You gotta buy everything from your shopping list, so you train you visual memory and recall what kind of milk was at your refrigerator.

Cleaning team… What could we say here? We’ve found out that Ukrainian girls are truly talented in cleaning!

Besides this, we had three main tasks on the project for accomplishing of which we were supposed to be devided into three groups again – communication team, artistic team and building team!  We’ve interviewed local people, conducted different fairs (again, it was a real challenge if you don’t speak French at all!) , wrote a poetry  and many other activities. Perhaps, the most important thing for us was the ability to learn how to help out, understand and support each other! We’ve also learned how to share the experience and find a common solution!

And last reason is the environment, surrounding and society you are in! From my perspective, any tourist trip would never provided you with such valuable experience as participation in youth-exchanges. You will gain the experience, knowledge and wisdom first hand, unlike some TV programs or Internet tips.

P.S. I also attach a photo and my own poetry to this report. The poetry is devoted to town Luz Saint Sauveur in Enlish… I didn’t succeed to write it in French

«Luz Saint Sauveur»
No better place for curing suffering souls
To fill in with this beauty our holes.
Hold on!
You feel?! …your inner pain
so gently goes with rivers straight away.
Just watch how nattily all your ardent tears
Are falling with these autumn leaves.
No matter how it hurts inside
It helps to leave your misery behind.
And every time you reach these
awesome hills remind yourself
next points are your dreams.
Here everyone is hugged by the warmest shine
Your minds are purified by cloudless sky.
And afterwards…
The easiness within, you feel?!
This nature truly heals
No matter how it hurts!”

Sincerely,

Yours ‘Alternative- V’ and group coordinator – Natalia Zhygalo

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