On Monday, September 5th we began our adventure that we’ll never forget. By beginning the adventure we mean flying to Bourgas, Bulgaria as a group of young people willing to learn. When we got to the Hotel Amaris in Sunny Beach, everything was covered in dark and we stood before a week of unknown experience. Everyone got a room with a person from different nationalities to meet new people.
The next day was dedicated to a welcome session and getting to know each other. I think we immediately clicked. In the project took part the Slovaks, the Portuguese, the Greeks, the Croatian, and clearly the Bulgarian. On this day we went to check out the beach, of course. It was really nice and we spent most of our free time there. Usually, the sea was really crazy, with big waves all the time. That didn’t bother us, we enjoyed jumping and always getting carried away by the next wave. On some days we were able to swim, too.
Wednesday was all about politics. We were watching some educational videos and expressing our opinions on different political views. The discussions were lively and really interesting. The evening was peaceful, we were supposed to answer some deep questions about life in small groups with candles to make the atmosphere even cozier.
On Thursday our assignment was to create a project in groups about engaging young people more in politics and social life. The ideas were outstanding, including the suggestions to create apps, websites, and accounts on different platforms. And because this was an Erasmus + project with people from different backgrounds and nationalities, there were two cultural nights – evenings when each nationality represented their own country, national food, drinks… This evening it was a presentation of the Slovak, Greek, and Portuguese groups.
Friday’s topic was fake news. In the morning we had a creative task to do – to make a short video about fake news or about different types of scams, again in groups. Basically, throughout the whole project, we were working in groups frequently and we find it very important to always improve this skill. During recording the videos we had so much fun! A really different activity was the one in the afternoon. We read a short story and had to order the characters based on the evilness of each one of them. Then we had to compromise on the order with another participant and then with a group of people with different moral compasses. In the evening the second cultural night was held with the presentations of the Croatian and the Bulgarian group.
On Saturday we had a city game. We were sorted into groups and we got a list of some little tasks to do, such as dancing in public, taking a picture with ice cream, or presenting our youth exchange to a local young person. We could complete the tasks either in Sunny Beach or in Nessebar, an old town by the sea full of little houses and shops with souvenirs. Nessebar was such a nice place to spend our time at.
On Sunday we organized debates. We created teams, there was a proposition and an opposition. Each team got a topic to search arguments for, such as the death penalty, abortion, mandatory vaccination, etc. It was a really nice experience to debate with someone with certain rules.
We continued with another five topics for debates on Monday, for instance, the wealth tax, the green deal, animal testing, etc. Then each national group presented their sending NGO.
Tuesday was the last day of the project. On youth exchanges like this, it usually means presenting the whole Erasmus + program. We learned some useful information about volunteering, youth exchanges, training courses… We had nice activities, such as leaving some little notes for other participants.
Most people left on Wednesday. It was not easy to hug each other and tell our last goodbyes, knowing we will not meet each other ever again. We will miss being here. This project taught us a lot. It helped to create new friendships which we value a lot. I believe it will stay in our hearts and we will always remember the crazy week full of adventure in Sunny Beach.