Exchange week Uden 2012
Landed in Brussels under minus 7 degrees. Headed straight to the Great Place where we had about an hour to have lunch, take some photos and enjoy a little bit of the Belgian atmosphere.
Had a friendly welcome in Uden with a nice flavour of the Dutch bakery before going to the new home.
Saturday was open day at Udens College and our students had the opportunity to visit the school, get amazed with its conditions and learn a little bit of the Dutch language by participating together with their partners in a lip dub activity with a Dutch song.
Sunday was family day and everybody had a programme out according to the families’ routines and lifestyles.
On Monday we met at school where we were greeted by the headmaster who kindly delivered a remarkable speech in an almost perfect Portuguese accent. While the Dutch partners attended classes the rest of the day, the Portuguese students were engaged with volunteer work at the Solidariteits Werkplaats Marianne’s Boekwinkel, by cleaning and repairing tools and painting old bicycles to send to the third world countries, and restoring an old piano. The commitment and team spirit shown by our students were worth seeing. The afternoon ended with a sports activity back in school.
Amsterdam day was the most expected one as usual. The expectations to sightsee the town and go shopping for souvenirs are always great! The Tropical Museum created in 1864 as the Colonial Museum was our prior stop. There we visited two fascination and exotic exhibitions with a unique historical and esthetical value of distant lands, modern in its presentation with the use of multimedia, light, sound, even smell and often beautiful decors.
After the Tropical Museum students were free to do their own programme until dinner time. While most of them preferred the city walk, some didn’t miss the opportunity to visit the historical Anne Frank’s house.
Reaching the meeting point was not easy for some of the students, but the group finally managed to gather together after some delay and had a socializing dinner at the World Bazar restaurant.
Kröller Möller in Otterlo, a magnificent amalgamation of art, architecture and nature, was our last cultural programme. As the bus could only take us to the entrance of the park, white bikes free of charge were available to be borrowed, so we could enjoy the lovely natural setting and the Dutch way of life by riding along the paths to the museum.
Founded by Helene Kröller-Müller (an avid art collector who donated her whole collection to the state of the Netherlands), this museum offers a considerable collection of paintings by Vincent van Gogh, such as The Potato Eaters, Cafe Terrace at Night and Sorrowing Old Man (‘At Eternity’s Gate’), making it the second-largest collection of Van Gogh paintings in the world (after the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam). Apart from the Van Gogh paintings other highlights include works by Piet Mondrian, Georges-Pierre Seurat, Odilon Redon, George Braque, Paul Gauguin, Lucas Cranach, James Ensor, Juan Gris, Pablo Picasso, etc.
Dinner at school with the families took place at this same long day with a variety of tasty specialties and desserts. Special thanks!
On Thursday morning students had still time to do their last minute shopping in Uden. Wishing to stay longer and already “missing” this enriching and unforgettable experience, time to say goodbye unfortunately arrived …