Thanks to the Erasmus Plus programme and our participation in the project Leading lights in Europe, we have been priviledged to witness, enjoy and experience wonderful tastes, landspcapes, people, music,food and unforgettable moments. We have deeply got to know better their origins, history, culture and strong feeling of being European.
We have selected a few pictures in this summary of our trip. We hope you finish reading it with the same overwhelming sensation of awe and wonder as we felt when being there.
Sat 14/04Arrival and transfer to the accommodation. Afternoon visit to St Leu to see the Tamil New Year celebrations.
Visit to Piton de la Fournaise Volcano and Cité du Volcan interactive volcano.
Welcome dinner in evening.
Welcome speech. Students from vocational section welcomed participants and handed out badges and conference materials created in class. They made introductions to Réunion - the island characteristics & diversity of the Reunionese population.
Students from the general section focused on volunteering in Reunion: shared their experience and impact on their outlook.
Afternoon tour of St Leu - slave history and revolt visiting key buildings in the history of the area. Initially colonised by the Portuguese then the French then British then back to French. Initially slaves were brought over from Madagascar and other African countries for coffee plantations but later they grew sugar cane as it was better adapted to the weather (cyclones). Photography exhibition – diversity if Reunionese people.
Evening boat trip along the coast to see the dolphins.
Chancégal/Cinétoil’ égalité conference with participating students.
Gender equality - students were part of a cinema club that showed films on gender equality in different situations. Given opportunity to take part in national debate competition on gender equality. Some students made a magazine as part of a social sciences project where they chose to focus on gender equality. 2hrs a week over a year. Mocked up photographs rather than take it from the web. Survey of chores split by gender. Some chose to do speeches on women’s rights as part of the French Baccalaureate.
Domestic/gender violence - tools used to introduce the domestic violence issue to students all come from Canada. Give students scripts to enact domestic violence issues followed by a class discussion/dissemination. Can make it a dynamic forum theatre and invite other people up to change the situation/react so that the issue is resolved. Strategies for tackling issues of jealously in relationships - list terms associated with jealousy versus love. Jealousy has negative connotations whereas love is positive. Clearly jealousy not linked with love.
Focus on religious diversity: visit to a Tamil Temple in St Louis and a Mosque and Chinese Temple in St Pierre. Traditions have been somewhat adapted on Reunion due to the distance from traditional centres and dilution over the generations. Women have more access to areas of the mosque and many Chinese are dual religion – engaging with both Christian and Chinese religious celebrations. Afternoon free – some braved the big waves of the Indian Ocean whilst others enjoyed the local craft market.
Welcome breakfast by municipality at library/resource centre. Artistic diversity: Reunionese writers - conference with M. Hoarau. Tour of library facilities and introduction to Reunionese literatura.
Le Center Régional information Jeunesse (CRIJ) Réunion- association born in 1990. Mission is to inform all young people about all subjects. Main programme is a European voluntary service. Open to 17-30 year olds - any European countries and other partner countries. Can find an EVS mission via the database. http://europa.eu/youth/volunteering/evs-organisation.en
Diversity of landscapes - visit to the Sud Savage to see the lava flows and the power of nature attacking the coastal lava cliffs. We stopped for a typically traditional lunch for the region in a rainforest restaurant where we admired the nature including chameleons, flowers and big mosquitos. A stop at a beautiful beach on the way back saw everyone caught out by a big wave and soaked!