Report of the Learning-Teaching-Training Activity
in Smolyan, Bulgaria, 7/10 -13/10/2018
All groups arrived in Sofia at different times and were driven to Smolyan where we met the host
Bulgarian students and teachers welcomed us in a very
warm and impressive way, demonstrating traditional dances. All the
groups presented themselves at the ceremony and the headmistress
gave us a personal greeting. We were shown the premises of the
Secondary School “St. St. Cyril and Methodius”, founded in 1855.
Then all the groups presented the works they had done
concerning the effect of advertisement especially in young people.
The students from France, Greece, and Portugal presented the
advertisements they had created. France, among others, promoted
the local food, Greece presented the environmental benefit of the
second hand clothes and Portugal encouraged the use of the
multiuse water bottles. The students from Spain presented some of
the typical products of their area promoting the consumption of
local food and finally the students from Norway sang a song about
the protection of the environment, which song they had created
themselves. Bulgaria’s advertisement was about the city of Smolyan
, the traditions, the typical food and the main sights of the area.
In the afternoon we watched a session in Smolyan
Planetarium about our solar system and the importance and
uniqueness of the Earth.
A walk through the main sights of Smolyan and a visit to
the historic museum gave
us the opportunity to
become familiar with the
city and the Bulgarian way
of life through the centuries.
The day finished with the students going to the host houses and the teachers having a meeting about the
implementation of the project and the meeting in Entroncamiento, Portugal which is going to take place in
December. We planned the activities which should have been completed by then. We will work on the
subject "Man and nature". Art is going to be used. Paintings, literature and poetry will inspire students to
understand and strengthen their relationship with nature. We will also improve critical thinking towards the
principles of democracy and social inclusion.
Students, split in two groups, participated in a philosophical
dialogue giving their personal answers to the question “what is
happiness?” and in a workshop in which they tried to make
objects out of trash. They made small pots out of plastic bottles
and sous-vers out of textile pieces.
A visit to Smilyan, a picturesque
village near Smolyan introduced us
to the developing sector of
ecotourism and green
entrepreneurship. We had a very
inspiring presentation from Iliya
Godev which was followed by
outdoor activities in Smilyan
countryside. Students and teachers
enjoyed themselves coming closer to the biodiversity of the area and realized that natural habitat needs our
protection in order to provide us shelter, security and everything we
After hiking in a nearby hill of the Smilyan village, we participated at
an activity which taught us that we must take care of our world.
Students and teachers split in two groups and had to create a circle
each team with a 2meter diameter using either leaves or sticks. Then
each team would have to enter the circle. Everybody fitted. But when
the circle closed to 1m diameter it was really hard for everybody to
fit in the circle. We were explained that, this is what happens when
we destroy the natural habitat. There won’t be space for everybody to
live and we will eventually suffocate.
On Wednesday we had an all day visit to Plovdiv. At
first we had a tour around the ancient ruins of the city,
which is built in seven hills, we also visited the remains
of the Roman stadium and we explored the city walking
around the narrow streets and stopping to admire the
magnificent houses that reflect the glorious history of the
city. Among others we visited Ethnographic Museum.
In the meantime Keith Kelly, a lector of
TrashedWorld, (a global schools exchange program
on waste) presented us the work of the network. We
saw videos about the management of trash around
the world and we realized the universal dimensions
of the problem of waste.
Late in the afternoon we came back to Smolyan.
All students attended a lesson from a
primary class teacher about the
importance of bees. A presentation was
shown and a beekeeper demonstrated us
the protective clothing and the tools he
uses in his work.
After that students, attended an interdisciplinary lesson guided by a teacher of Science (the headmistress of
the school) and a biology teacher. They participated at an experiment related to the water. They observed
three samples of water in order to remark the microorganisms which they contained. Then they tried to clean
these samples using three different methods: Activated carbon, distillation and chlorination and they
observed in microscope the results of this procedure. All the activity targeted the students to understand the
importance of clean water and how valuable it is.
In the Stadium of Smolyan students had a friendly football match. Teachers attended the blue and the red
team to claim the Cup.
After lunch the Erasmus team met two members of the local environmental organization “Regional Forest
Directorate of Smolyan” They guided us into the forest following a trail and stopping for activities related to
the biodiversity. The first activity had to
do with the importance of the 8 elements
of nature and what happens if one of them
stops operating, and the second activity
was to create different faces to the trees
using leaves or small sticks. Then
everybody wrote a wish on a paper leaf and we
stuck it on a tree painted on a poster.
Late in the afternoon the farewell party gave us the chance to meet the host families and the teachers of the
school and discuss the events of this week inspiring each other to be the change.
The last day we explored the nature of the Rhodope Mountains. We
stopped at a lake near Smolyan, where we were told the legend of the
lady of the peak of the rock. We went hiking up to Snejanka. And we
had lunch at the tower Snejanka. It was a magnificent view of the
whole area despite the fact that in the beginning it was a bit foggy.
Then we walked downhill towards the seven lakes. On the way we
were informed about the flora and fauna of the area and how important
it is to protect it.
In the afternoon we had some free time in Smolyan. Groups of students
and teachers were scattered around in the small town relaxing and
coming closer to its everyday life.
Another Erasmus+ LTT activity came to its end with all teams wiser and more aware of the importance of
the protection of nature for a more sustainable way of living.
We must thank our Bulgarian partners for this wonderful week and especially their hospitality.
We had a wonderful week, meeting so many interesting people, sharing remarkable experiences and
exchanging ideas in this beautiful part of Bulgaria.