We visit Bulgaria on 3-9 July 2022. We had a very interesting trip. We started by bus from Kalamata on Saturday July 2 and stayed in Serres in the evening. On Sunday, July 3rd, we traveled to Bulgaria, with a stop in the beautiful Philippopolis.
In the afternoon we arrived in Burgas and settled in the beautiful student residence of the Bulgarian school. They welcomed us warmly.
On Monday the 4th of July we gathered and saw the T-shirts and bags that each school had as well as presentations about IoT. Then we worked in groups.
In the afternoon we went for a walk in the wonderful city of Burgas.
On Tuesday 5th July we visited the “Biutiful” farm and learned alternative ways of growing plants. We tasted local cheese pie and pizza that we created. It was a very nice group experience!
On Wednesday, July 6, each group created a piece for the project’s e-book.
In the afternoon we had a barbeque in the school’s beautiful garden.
On Thursday July 7th we visited Sozopol and Mesimvria (Nesebar), two beautiful cities in the Black Sea.
On Friday July 8th we presented the work we had done, exchanged t-shirts and bags and got our certificates. It was another wonderful meeting with our wonderful friends.
Everyone wanted the program to continue! It was an unforgettable experience for everyone.
We said goodbye with great emotion.
Our city, Kalamata
Major environmental problems that Kalamata faces
• One of the most important environmental problems that Kalamata faces every summer is the massive forest fires that burn large areas full of trees and have a very serious impact on the ecosystem. The great fires in August 2007 that burnt villages and areas of extreme natural beauty in Western Peloponnese is only one tragic example. Many other fires preceded and followed, such as fires on Taygetos Mountain, the last green area close to Kalamata and other mainland regions.
• Waste management is also a major problem to be dealt with in the
Municipality of Kalamata. Dumping all the waste of the area in Maratholakka (a hidden area on Taygetos mountain) is something like a common secret for everyone. Tons of rubbish is deposited there causing a huge environmental degradation of the natural environment, but Kalamata “looks“ a clean city.
• During the past decades there has been a decrease of the annual and seasonal levels of precipitation. This is expected to affect the fauna and flora, the biodiversity, the water resources, the forest fires and various other sensitive ecosystems.
• Another issue that our city is forced to face is air pollution. Air pollution is often caused by several fumes such as carbon dioxide emitted by the few factories operating in the area such as a tobacco factory and some plants which process the outcomes of the olive oil plants which are harmful for people’s health. For instance, long-term health effects from air pollution include heart disease, lung cancer, and respiratory diseases such as emphysema. Air pollution can also cause long-term damage to people’s nerves, brain, kidneys, liver, and other organs. Some scientists suspect air pollutants cause birth defects.
The best environmental features in our city:
•electric bicycles and cars
They cause the least possible pollution in the long run, provided they use
electricity from renewable energy sources. Under this condition, they can
mitigate global warming caused by the greenhouse effect and reduce
dependence on oil.
They are quieter than internal combustion cars, reducing noise pollution in cities and putting less strain on natural ecosystems.
• biological wastewater treatment
Biological treatment using filters is a natural method of urban wastewater treatment. This method, in addition to cleaning the sewage and eliminating its polluting effect, saves water which can be reused in various uses, such as for irrigation. It is also able to convert solid waste components into sewage agricultural crops. The method is based on the application of environmental technology.
Ways we suggest to solve the problems that exist in our city
• urban green
Urban green, nowadays and in the conditions of the big city, must
provide an opportunity to escape from the anthropogenic dense
environment to a place with other colors, shapes and sounds, in a
cleaner atmosphere, softer noises, in a cool, shady or very sunny
place , with a clearer sky or abundant views. Although Kalamata
already has a park located between the town square and the beach,
the park of OSE
• the expansion of the bike lanes, the regular cleaning of the waters of the Nedontas river are the solutions we present and expect to be solved immediately as one of the most basic problems of our city.
Last April we were part of a trip to Bilgoraj in Poland for a week. There we met people from other countries and made unforgettable memories with them. The walk in the town while snowing was a different experience for us because we are not used to snow in our hometown. We played games that we all used to play when we were younger but we got to know each country’s different version because of the language barrier. We had the chance to learn how people of our age have fun in other countries and we got a taste of their culture. Our trip was something amazing for all of us as we don’t have the chance to experience something like that every day. One of our favorite moments while we were there was when we all gathered in groups one of each country and were asked to work on a project together. The experience was something else. Because of the differences of each culture we all faced a problem with communication and how everyone viewed the theme of the project but that turned out to be the fun part. We got to know how everyone else was thinking and their skills and that was something really interesting for all of us. Being in a group and having the experience to learn how to work with them was an opportunity to get closer and share our point of view.
On 3-9 April we visit Poland and specifically Bilgoraj. It was a very nice experience for us. The Greek team was consisted of 2 teachers and 6 students. We flew from Athens to Krakow on Sunday, April 3, where we met Bozena, who made the long journey to pick us up. The temperature difference was big for us and it was the only problem of the otherwise wonderful trip. We and the Bulgarian team traveled together to Bilgoraj. The hotel in Bilgoraj was very nice and with great breakfast and food, very close to the school. Nature in Poland, struggled to overcome winter and bring spring, which people so desperately needed.
On Monday, we visited the school. It was so beautiful and neat. The teachers and the students welcomed us warmly.
The presentations of the previous work were made and followed by a walk in the interesting places of the city with a tour by the students of the school.
On Tuesday we visited the wonderful Zamość.
On Wednesday students work, in international teams, on smart and sustainable solutions using Pecha Kucha presentation. After that we went bowling in international teams. It was a lot of fun. On Thursday we visited another beautiful city, the city of Sandomierz.
On Friday 8 April we present Pecha Kucha presentations of each international teams. In a very beautiful and moving ceremony, we received our certificates of participation. Our Polish friends warmly welcomed us, opening their hearts. We thank them warmly, for every nice moment we spent together! And of course we thank our friends from Romania, Slovakia and of course the coordinators of this wonderful project from Bulgaria!
We made new friends, got closer to each other and realized that there are many things that unite us!
The first meeting with physical presence, take part in Slovakia! A wonderful country, with wonderful people! Our trip from Greece was quite long, but it was worth it. We started on Sunday, October 17, in the morning and took a bus to Athens. From there we took the plane to Vienna. From Vienna, we took the bus to Bratislava, one of the queens of the Danube. Arriving in Bratislava, we found our hotel, Nivy, arranged by the Slovak Erasmus team. It was a comfortable hotel, with lots of dining and a large supermarket nearby. On Monday, October 18, a delegation from the Slovak team came to the hotel to accompany us to the school, where the first meeting took place. First the presentations of the schools were made and then we were at the exhibition of local products, which we had all brought from our particular homelands. It was a wonderful exchange of delicious experiences! In the afternoon we visited the parliament and took a nice walk in the old Bratislava. In the evening we went for bowling and it was a lot of fun.
On Tuesday, October 19, we took a tour of the school premises and learned about the projects that take place at the school. It was an interesting educational experience. In the afternoon we went a walk to UFO tower and to a nice park nearby this.
On Wednesday 20 October we gathered and went on a wonderful trek to one of the amazing mountains surrounding Bratislava, we ended up at the castle of Devin which is a cultural heritage site.
On Thursday, October 21, we went to an area of environmental interest and were guided by a guide. At the same time, we undertook, the Greek team, the project that had the theme of soil. We made the presentation on Friday, October 22, which was the last day of the meeting. With great sadness, we left the amazing teams of Bulgaria, Slovakia and Poland.
We thank the team of Slovakia for their wonderful hospitality and the teams of Bulgaria and Poland for their friendship!