Sunday, 1st May 2016
Sundays are supposed to be family time. For us, however, today was more of a goodbye-Sunday. None of us wanted this day to come but at least we can all say that the past ten days have been worth it and will be impossible to forget.
After ten intense, fun-filled days our Indian friends, who had come as strangers, left as sisters (and a brother), best friends or even more than that this morning at 6.55. I can say that we were all standing there seeing them leave with tears in our eyes but smiles on your lips. The sad part is that they had to leave but we can smile and have something to look forward to, as we will see them again in nearly 6 months, which makes me happy as a clam.
I am glad to say that I received a message confirming that they had landed well, at around 8.30 p.m.
Friday, 29 April 2016
So today was the day of our big presentation and debate and we had to work on it the whole morning. After lunch, we finally had the chance to show the students of LMRL what we had been working on for so long. Although we were nervous in the beginning, the program went on quite well. We debated about the responsibilities of developed and developing countries vis-à-vis global warming and talked about how the visits we had taken the last 10 days were related to our research topic ‘The Past, Present and Future Economy of Luxembourg”. There was a lot of new information for our Luxembourgish students, too. The Indian students even presented a classical music and dance performance. At the end of the presentation, we invited the audience to join us on stage to learn some Bollywood dance moves.
After school, we took our Indian guests to the MUDAM, Luxembourg’s Museum of Modern Art, where we didn’t only see the museum itself, but also hung out around the ruins of Luxembourg’s old fortress and enjoyed the weather (temperatures finally climbed over 10°C).
Later in the evening we went for the laser game. We had a lot of fun even though not all of us were very good at it ;). We started realizing that we were nearing the end of our exchange program, so we tried to make the best of our time. Afterwards we went to the city to have one last drink together.
Catherine & Keerthanya
Thursday 28th April, 2016
A sleepy start needn’t be a signal for a sleepy day, so even though Amrutha managed to wake up really late, we happened to have a very nice day. Most of the morning was spent in the preparation of the closing ceremony on Friday. Before lunch the Indian Ambassador and the Consul General of India in Luxembourg and both their wives visited our school to say hello. After that we took a short train trip to Esch-Belval. There we spent one hour in the shopping center where our guests bought gifts for their family and friends and then ate some delicious Ice cream. Afterwards, we visited the University of Luxembourg where we had to waer a professional-looking labcoat and got to learn about biomedicine. After this everybody went home to get ready for the dinner in the evening at Nick’s house. We had an intense game of baby football, at the end of which Nick emerged victorious. We treated ourselves to some delicious vegetarian lasagna and talked, danced and had a very nice time together.
Wednesday, 27th April 2016
Day six of the exchange program found our students on a cold and windy morning on a bus headed for Strasbourg in France. They were also joined by three members of the debating team for their trip. The two-and-a-half-hour ride was filled with enthusiastic singing a bit of dancing and all in all a lot of fun.
The students arrived at around 11 am, and were immediately greeted by the spine chilling cold winds as well as a former geography teacher of LMRL, Madame Bové, who was to be their guide for the day. The students began their tour, and walked around the quaint streets of the city, where they noticed the beauty and rarity of the houses in the area. After coming across a few small shops, they arrived at Strasbourg Cathedral. Taken aback by the sheer architectural design, the beauty and the towering greatness of the cathedral, the students stopped for a quite some time to take a few pictures there. The tour then continued were they were taken around “la petite France”.
First they were shown a short film, then they were ushered into the very large and majestic conference room, which had a seating capacity of over 200 delegates from various countries, after which they were shown around the building and were told about the rare architectural style and the different use of colours of the building. After this intriguing tour they were ushered back to the bus and headed back to Luxembourg carrying with them a host of wonderful memories.
Lisa De Iuliis
Tuesday, 26 April
„Winter really is whimsical“ runs the adage, but for most of us the Luxembourgish spring morning today seemed so! A cold morning but a warm start, the students from India presented to us their culture, heritage and history and later on the Luxembourg students made comparisons on the same lines. At about half past eleven we left to visit the Schengen village. We were at the banks of the Moselle River and we read about the significance of the Schengen Treaty, we also saw a part of the Berlin Wall, which was really very winsome. We next moved on to see the European Museum in Schengen. It was edifying, but in a modern way. Lunch was at a restaurant in Germany, the food was exemplary. We then headed off to the Völklinger Hütte , we took a quick tour around the UNESCO World Heritage site and explored various parts of it . We had the possibility to see nearly all the parts of the Ironworks factory, from the deep dark corridors of the burden shed to the lofty heights of the blast furnace. Once back home, I (Sanjana) accompanied Kathleen to her hiphop dance class and it was wonderful, also I could see the striking differences between the dance in India and in Luxembourg. Kathleen’s mom was kind enough to make us some ethnic Luxembourgish food called Kniddelen: the meal was hearty and so was our day.
Monday, 25 April 2016
Monday mornings are usually the saddest part of every week, which is why we have the very famous expression « Monday morning blues ». But this Monday the students of LMRL and the PSBB group of schools overcame their blues and learnt more about Luxembourg’s past present and future.
The past of Luxembourg and its importance in today’s economy was presented to our Indian guests by Lisa and Clara, the present by Kathleen and Catherine, and the future by Kelly and Nick. After these presentations we were divided into groups: the first group had to prepare for an interview with Mr. Etienne Schneider, the Luxembourg minister of economy, and the second had to prepare for an interview with Mr.Serge Wilmes in the parliament. Nick, Pranav and the both of us were lucky enough to visit both the minister of economy and the parliament and had the opportunity to interact with these two great politicians and clear any doubts we had about how the government is run. This took up the majority of the day and we did not have much time left to do anything else, so after the visits all of us just went for a walk around the mäertchen and ate some hot chocolate churros and then most of us took the bus back home.
At home for dinner Shraddha tasted the famous Luxembourgish dish, kniddelen, and decided to stay back here because of how tasty the food is and while typing this report out Kelly gave me a small concert with her guitar which she named William. All in all it was not a Monday to feel blue about but it was more like the perfect start to an amazing and eventful week.
Kelly and Shraddha
Sunday, 24 April 2016
Since today was Sunday, everybody spent time with their family. We went to the first communion of Mia, Nick’s cousin – the first communion is a major rite of passage in the Catholic Church as it symbolises a child’s membership in the Church. We started with a procession to church at 10 am, where the festive ceremony was held. It was a unique experience for Pranav to see a ceremony in different languages (French, German and Luxembourgish) – in addition Pranav found that there was a lot of singing.
Later on we had had a family lunch, where Pranav got to meet all of my family, including my crazy uncle. We all laughed a lot and had a good feast. Furthermore, Pranav was surprised about how fast the weather can change, within five minutes. The weather completely changed at least six times throughout the day from sunny to hail, to cloudy, to raining, to cold and then to warm. In the evening, we watched prank videos and ate pizza and ended the day on a good note.
Keerthanya again went to the city for sightseeing and had a fabulous time roaming the streets of Luxembourg City while Catherine was studying for her exams. Clara and Amrutha went to a French zoo in the city, and Amrutha was mesmerised by the diversity of animals found in the zoo. Kathleen and Sanjana went to a Bengali restaurant, because Sanjana was craving some Indian food. Kathleen also had the opportunity to try a different cuisine. Kelly and Shraddha visited the beautiful butterfly garden and ran into the headmaster of our school and had a quick chat with him. Lisa and Nivedita took a walk around their village and relaxed after a long week.
All the exchange students enjoyed their Sunday and relaxed, getting ready for the week to come.
Pranav and Nick
Saturday, 23rd April 2016
Having come from temperatures as high as 45°C, it was quite a shock for our Indian exchange students to experience typical Luxembourgish weather with temperatures dropping below 10°C.
We started our day with a tour of our school. We were lucky to visit the LMRL during the open day (Porte ouverte) and had to push our way through a crowd of parents and prospective students. We had a very good time comparing the Luxembourgish school system to the Indian one. We were also delighted to meet a few scary scaly friends in the Biology lab.
All in all, we had an enjoyable and eventful day.
Catherine & Keerthanya
Friday, 22 April 2016
In the morning, almost all of us missed the bus because our Indian guests needed some extra time to get ready and dress up for their first day of school here in Luxembourg.
Once arrived at LMRL, they got to meet all of our friends and to take lots of selfies before the classes started. From 8 to 10 am, some had English lessons, and Amrutha joined my German lesson – even though she didn’t understand a single word it was great fun. Afterwards we had a meeting with our teachers and talked about the activity schedule.
At midday our headmaster invited all of us to have lunch together at the Forum, which is the school restaurant and exhibition space shared by the schools on campus. Our Indian guests enjoyed the variety of food on offer and tucked into their veggie pizzas with obvious delight.
After lunch, we took a walk from our campus to the city centre to do some sightseeing. On the way there we stopped at the playground and had some fun on the swings and took some group photos. In town we visited the palace of the Grand Duke, the main shopping street, the cathedral and the Octave fair. At the statue of the Grand Duchesse we even bumped into the Bishop and had an impromptu audience with this religious dignitary.
After our teachers went home, we sat down in a cafe, danced a little, spoke about ourselves and exchanged some secrets, …which will remain secret! Once we had finished our drinks, we went to the cinema and watched the sweet and slightly frightening movie ‘The Jungle Book’. Afterwards we all caught the bus home. All in all we had a greaaat day 🙂
Amrutha and Clara
On Thursday morning, 21 April,
I woke up and was very nervous because today the Indian exchange students would arrive. Our group wanted to greet them in a special way. We met at the airport at 10:20 and we were all so excited and looking forward to meeting the others. We stood in a line and everyone held up one of the letters that form the word ‘WELCOME’, as you can see in the picture. We didn’t have to wait long, after about 10 minutes after landing they emerged from the mirrored doors of the arrival area and we met for the first time after only having been in digital contact. Some of our group then went to grab a drink at Starbucks but Sanjana and I decided to go home so that she could unpack her luggage. Then we had lunch at a local Italian restaurant. In the afternoon, Sanjana and I just relaxed at home allowing my Indian guest to settle in. Later that day we went to buy some vegetarian food. In the evening we exchanged some news and information before going to bed. It was a tiring but really exciting day