January 13, 2007

Episode XIII: International chemistry


In the second week on January 2007 I had an extraordinary opportunity to meet, work and have fun with group of almost 20 Taiwanese people. My international friends from Italy, Japan, Russia, Germany and I, organized three-days-long series of meetings, discussions, brainstorming and sport activities for civil servants of Kaohsiung city.
Goals of our camp were: to learn about upcoming World Games and its disciplines, to meet and work with foreigners, to practice English and to have fun.

Goals fulfilled or not, I’m sure that we have produced some kind of chemistry between each other, which made us friends.

Taiwanese people are considered as those who will use the scooter to get to nearest 7-eleven, basically stay at home and watch television all the spare time and dislike physical effort.

If you have seen our bunch while we compete in three different sports, you would never say those things about Taiwanese people again. First of all it was aerobics which requires lots of energy and artistic invention. With great surprise and admiration we find out that one of the teams managed to perform acrobatic figure also known in aerobic terms as pyramid.

Later on we decided to try flying disc, so-called Frisbee. With the help of local champion we picked up some basic rules and moves. For all who have never tried this sport before I have to say: this is fun! It’s quite unbelievable how man can make this piece of flat plastic spin, fly and roll.

Third discipline we have challenged was climbing. To practice, we went to the climbing wall in the city centre where two friendly instructors showed us the secrets of this exciting sport. They also made it safe for all of us.

To reach the top is not that easy but I have to say that determination and will of our Taiwanese colleagues was outstanding. Other thing is they were not the youngest people which should meet some respect in terms of how much endurance climbing demands. It was a real lesson of maintaining the stamina.

Coming back to the sitting parts of the camp, we have found ways to express our ideas and thoughts with painting, drama, debate and speech. We tried to learn something new about other cultures and to take a look at some complex problems from different perspective.

I’m happy to say that those three days brought lots of positive experience, gave necessary feedback and showed the space for improvement for the future. It was not perfect but you have to start with something. Hopefully we will be able to continue with such activities in next six months.
At the end I would like to thank my companions Britta, Chiara, Nasima, Satoko and Rita for priceless help and support.

Big “ni-hao” goes to: Connie, David, Elaine, Fan Sin, Fanny, Frank, Jane, Jessica, Judy, King, Leon, Linda, Mary, Ron, Tom, Willy and Yuli. Take care my comrades!

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