The first mobility - Spain

We were very impatient. It took two years to finally meet our Spanish and Belgian partners, in person. From the moment our project was written until our first encounter the world changed a lot. During the covid era we tried to keep our fairy tales alive anyway we could, we kept in touch via modern technology and sent each other drawings and letters just like in the good old days. That way we stayed in touch not only virtually.

When we stepped into the Spanish school „Arcipreste de Hita“ in dreamy El Espinar, we immediately felt the essence of programs such as Erasmus. No, we were not tourists nor random observers. We are a part of a group thing, a big and beautiful thing. We are a part of a project that bound us so tightly that no other interest or similarity could.

This is a special, different kind of a journey. The beauty of this new place and its tourist attractions are only a decor, an addition to our final goal – the mutual project called „Fairy Tales 21st Century“.

In Serbian language we often use an expression that in literal translations goes like this – „It’s like a Spanish village to me“. This expression actually originates from German and signifies something very difficult to understand, something far away and unfamiliar. Well, we have had a chance to spend some time in a small and lovely Spanish village and get to know it better. Serbian and Belgian pupils were hosted by Spanish families in El Espinar. The teachers stayed in the only hotel there is in El Espinar, and we loved it. Every morning our Spanish colleagues would pick us up with their cars in front of the hotel and take us to school. We couldn’t have enough of the amazing nature that surrounds El Espinar. We will forever remember numerous storks flying around, taking food to their chicks. We even counted six nests on the top of the church! You can see horses grazing grass in every yard or on open meadows. We rested our eyes on two beautiful, white horses every day just next to the shool playground.

Every day at the school was different. The one things that didn’t change was our pupils’ joy, high-spirit, mutual games and communication, murmur in different languages, but mostly English with a side of Serbian, Spanish and Belgian accents! There was also a bit of stage fright right before the performances. Everyone was ready to cooperate and socialize. Pupils were loud when expected to be loud, but also quiet and attentive when given instructions and feedback. There wasn’t a single problem regarding team work in any of the workshops or sketches.

Red Riding Hood, The Ugly Duckling and Peter Pan were read.

Traditional version of the Cinderella was performed in a beautiful summer amphitheatre under the clear, blue sky.

Our pupils’ skillful hands created puppets for the shadow play, decorated pencils and made friendship bracelets that would always remind them of this amazing exchange.

We didn’t really spend the whole time in school. We visited Segovia and enjoyed its beauty. We concluded that our Serbian cuisine is another thing we have in common with Spain, as well as cheerful nature.

One whole day we spent with our pupils in the most beautiful park in El Espinar where our hosts promoted a new, virtual game. The mayor of Segovia and the general director of all Segovian schools attended this event and wished us a pleasant stay in El Espinar.

The biggest excitement brought the performance of both traditional and adapted versions of the Cinderella fairy tale, just like the final night in El Espinar when we had a farewell party with our pupils and their host families. Right before the party, we all got certificates of completion from the principal of the Spanish school, Gema. Hugs and laughter followed. The table was covered with traditional Spanish food prepared by the host families and the big surprise were two cakes with our project’s theme!

The children made friends, just like the two of us. Our world is now richer because we have Gema, Martas, Cristina, Evy, Philip, Eline, Cindy, Fernando, Dani...We cannot wait for the next encounter that is planned to take place in Belgrade in autumn.

And finally...Today, when I entered our school yard in Belgrade, I witnessed something wonderful. Two boys who were in Spain with us taught the rest of their class how to play a game they had played in El Espinar with their Spanish and Belgian friends. I think we didn’t miss the point at all. Quite contrary, we hit the bullseye.