Newsletter 29 mei-3 june 2017
This Monday, May 29th of 2017, to Saturday, June 3rd of 2017, the Czech exchange students came to the Netherlands. After a while, they finally came to the Netherlands to learn something about sustainability. It has been a busy week filled with very nice activities.
The week didn’t start off very well, because the airplane from the Czech Republic had a delay and the Czech students arrived a bit later than expected. To welcome the Czech students and to make them feel at home immediately, we (the Dutch students) had organized a barbecue and it was a big success.
Today, we started the day with a presentation of Eneco (a large energy supplier) by the mother of one of the students, who works at Eneco. She told our group about the sustainable energy sources and how Eneco tries to use sustainable energy sources in more and more countries in the EU. She also told us, why we were visiting some of the locations and what they had to do with sustainability, the subject of the whole exchange program. After the presentation, we went to Blijdorp, because they think about sustainability a lot. We saw the sun panels on the roof of the Oceanium and we went to see the elephants, because energy can be generated from their faeces. Blijdorp also uses special wood chips, so that less energy is needed to warm up the stays of the reptiles. Of course we also went to see the other animals in the zoo. The last thing we did that day was exploring Rotterdam. Some of the Dutch students gave the Czech students a tour. They showed the Czech students the most beautiful places of Rotterdam and I think that the Czech students were impressed.
Wednesday, we started with a presentation of Greenpeace. A trainee told us about what Greenpeace does for the environment and sustainability. She also told us what we can do for Greenpeace and what the differences between the actions of Greenpeace in the Netherlands and in the Czech Republic are. It was fun, that they made the presentation more like an interactive class, because people paid more attention to the presentation this way. During the class we played a game, in which we had to make our own decisions (playing roles: as the government, a family, an environmental organization and an energy company). Together, we made the rights choices and reduced the CO2 emissions. After the presentation, we went to the Kinderdijk to see the famous mills of the Netherlands. These mills generate sustainable energy. A lot of nice pictures were taken and the whole group enjoyed the nice weather. Even the journey to the Kinderdijk was an experience itself, because most of the Czech students really liked the water bus.
On Thursday, we went to Madurodam. The Tuesday before, we already learned that Madurodam entirely runs on solar energy. It was nice for the Czech students to see the Netherlands this small, because otherwise we couldn’t have showed them all the Dutch highlights. The students were allowed to walk through Madurodam on their own and explore the Netherlands this way. Afterwards, we went to Scheveningen to rest and lay on the beach for a while. Some brave students even swam in the sea that day! In the evening, we had dinner with the mayor of Barendrecht. We told him everything about the exchange and the mayor told us how happy he was with our exchange program and he hoped that the contact between the Czech Republic and the Netherlands would continue to exist. And he is not the only one who hopes so!
Friday was already the last day that we could really do something with the whole group. We made a trip to Amsterdam. After we got a tour from two of the Dutch students, we had some spare time to explore the city ourselves and buy some souvenirs. The day after Friday, the Czech students had to go home already. We had an awesome week and an emotional goodbye. We learned a lot about sustainability, but also about the life of a Czech student. We really enjoyed the exchange and we hope that all the students will stay in touch.