After a good first night of sleep in the hotel ‘The Green Village’ the 55 participants of the youth exchange ‘Taste of Europe’ arrived to the youth centre in Xylokastro. The room was filled with expectations and excitement for the coming week together.
The young, European participants started the day by playing games in the yard. Names were yelled across the square, when they tried to learn the names of their future friends during games.
The local television was ready with their cameras, when the mayor made a speech at the official opening of the international project. He welcomed the young participants and talked about how we are one population – without borders.
When the team had to write down their expectations for the coming week, many of them wrote, that they expect to learn about other countries, learn from each other and get new friends. When it came to fears, the fear of getting fat was present in many of the participants heads. A week about food, gastronomy and interesting, new cuisines can easily make your apetite grow – but they soon realized, that we had a solution for that problem.
After the lunch break and some chill hours at the local beach, we started a treasure hunt. A game, where the participants had to hunt for envelopes with riddles in every corner of the city. This gave the local, Greek team a chance to showing their city to the eight other participating countries – and everyone a chance of burning calories, to be able to explore even more food. The laughs was spread across the city, when the seven teams had to be creative and work together in tasks like ‘draw a giraffe without looking’, ‘make the best dance’ and ‘take the best innovative group picture’.
After two hours of playing, the first team arrived to the open theatre, where they found the present for the winners; local dried fruits, wine and candy with the local mastixa.
The next meal was already waiting for the 55 participants ; dinner at Touristiko. Everyone filled their hungry stomachs before crawling back in to their beds in The Green Village. Tired and satisfied after a first day filled with joy, hope and new beginnings.