Newsletter 31.5-5.6 2016

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Newsletter 31.5-5.6 2016

May 31, 2016

The Czech people arrived in the afternoon at the station of Barendrecht. The Dutch students took the Czech students home, at home the students met their host family. Students should on the base of the inquiry of the last year of the project compare the attitude of the households in the Netherlands and the Czech Republic to the sustainability and find out what is the attitude of their host family. On the first evening, some students went surfing and some went to Rotterdam for dinner, others went on a boat at “het Waaltje”. It was a nice evening.

June 1, 2016

In the morning we went to the school of the Dutch students, Dalton Lyceum Barendrecht. The Czech students went on their borrowed Dutch bikes (they look like Czech bikes for ladies but are very comfortable to ride on the Dutch flat cycling paths). After a short tour through the school, we looked at the results of the inquiry. We made recommendations, and we also wrote down how to achieve our goals. Then in the afternoon, we used bikes to visit the company Florensis. Here, pupils could see, how the company uses sustainable techniques to produce young plants out of seeds and cuttings. This takes place by reusing rain water for watering the plants. The company also contributes to a sustainable production of crops in Africa (Gambia and Kenia); besides, the company makes itself strong for enhancing the living environment by social projects (f.e. starting education courses, enhancing the position of women, etc.). This is a form of social sustainability. In the evening, the pupils ate at their host families’ homes.

June 2, 2016

In the morning, we worked on an atlas of European values. It shows different attitudes between European countries concerning the environmental problems. The Czechs have more concerns about these problems, and they are also less hopeful, when it comes to effective solutions. After that, we went to a sewage treatment plant in Barendrecht. We have seen, how all the dirty sewage of 47 000 people is purified. First the water is cleaned in such a way that the purified water can be passed to the river. The purification of the water is done through various biological processes with use of different bacteria. The bacteria itself are re-used in the purification process in a closed circle, making so called “activated sludge” more and more dense. Surplus sludge is pumped away and burned to supply energy again, which can be used by the households or industry. Unfortunately, a lot of unnecessary waste is dumped into the sewer. There are many objects in the sewer that do not belong here, which makes the sewage treatment more and more important. We hope that people will become more aware in the future of what does and does not belong in the sewer. Also, we visited Hotspot Hutspot, a restaurant in Rotterdam Lombardijen. We got an explanation about how Hotspot Hutspot works and how sustainable they are. They have told us about their solar panels, water boilers, the garden where they cultivate their products and about social durability. They have told us about their vision and mission as well. Their mission is to create social cohesion in the neighborhoods where they have their restaurants. Secondly they want to supply a cheap healthy meal for everyone. After they told us about all this we were divided in three separate groups. The first group went cooking, cleaning and preparing the tables in the restaurant, the second group worked in the garden and the third group made a pavement. After this we had a diner at Hotspot Hutspot. We got a three course menu, which was made up of Thai soup, a salad with beef and a bananaroll with chocolate. We had a good time and we tried our best to do some good for the Hotspot Hutspot community.

June 3, 2016

On Friday morning, we received the alderman of education in Barendrecht, Mr. Van Noort. He showed great interest in our project and caught up on the results of the inquiry. He discussed with the students the different attitudes to the environment of people in both our countries. He was also talking about his visit to Louny, where he had been in May. In the afternoon, we biked to Rotterdam to visit a Czech monument in the old harbour, which is dedicated to remind us of one the founding fathers of the Czech Republic (T.G. Masaryk), who remained in Rotterdam. At the end of the day, we had a collective dinner at school with the members of the Stedenband. Just as in the morning, pupils held short presentations to give an impression of our activities within the framework of the sustainability-project and they talked about the differences in the way of living and sustainability in both countries. The members of Stedenband introduced their work and invited the students to join them in their town-twinning activities of Louny and Barendrecht. Two Dutch students from the last year’s project have already started to take part and moreover are planning to visit Louny during summer privately. This is certainly enhancing of sustainability of the town twinning, which also one of the goals of the project.

June 4, 2016

On the last day, we visited Amsterdam. Next to a saunter in the city, we also gave special attention to shops, that emphasize the importance of sustainable products (local food, clothing and fair trade products).

June 5, 2016

On Sunday, the Czechs were brought to Schiphol by cars and a schoolbus. After our second meeting, we had an emotional farewell.