Out of a hundred or so people who come together for Christmas in Europe, there are bound to be one or two who are celebrating their birthdays at that time, and there was no exception to this rule in Poznan. These birthdays did not escape the notice of the organisers who contrived to offer the birthday boy and girl a chocolate cake, while those present loudly applauded them. The birthday girl was Marlène Damioa from Ponta Dalgada (Portugal) and the birthday boy was Bernard Vergier from Marseilles (France).
It’s Christmas time
A beautiful crib took pride of place in the entrance hall, while outside a Christmas decoration adorned the main doorway – a pretty way to mark the coming of Christmas and to reinforce the message to the participants.
The ‘Malta’ hotel and camping complex (four stars!), 25 minutes walk from the school, provided the participants with accommodation in very comfortable bungalows where the primary notion of camping was no longer applicable. Really up-market.
The Poznan media had also been invited to Christmas in Europe. This included a television station which came to interview Danuta Przybylak, Christiane Keller as well as a student.
At the gala evening the school’s pastry cooks had installed a particularly well-stocked and beautifully decorated cake buffet right in the middle of the dining hall. So when the dessert course was announced, the diners rushed to the buffet and in no time finished up everything on the table!
Glass-blower and globes
A glass-blower had set up his workshop in the entrance hall to give a most unique demonstration of his art; a little further on, a stand exhibiting his artefacts had attracted a lot of attention. Beautiful craftsmanship.
When the participants arrived a team of students from the school were standing at the ready to hand to each delegate the essential badge as well as a brief-case containing tourism and other documents. And it all came with a big smile too!
Back in 2001 the man in charge had served as aperitif a liqueur made according to his own secret recipe, and promptly christened ‘Tauber Elixir’. In 2009 this same Elixir still existed, and to prove it, on the first evening Roman Tauber himself moved around the room serving his brew.
‘Individual dressing rooms’
To give each delegation somewhere to keep their belongings, particularly their costumes, the organisers had set aside a room for each delegation for the duration of Christmas in Europe – the dressing room, like at the theatre. This gesture was much appreciated by everyone.
And ‘pilot fish’
Throughout their stay in Poznan each delegation was allocated a team of two students with the specific task of helping them and of smoothing out any difficulties that may have arisen. And this was also much appreciated by everyone.
Piggy banks on the stands
Just as in Dubrovnik, there was a small piggy bank on all the exhibition stands – a piggy bank on the theme of ‘Gastronomy without frontiers’ intended to help an Italian school which was destroyed by an earthquake in the spring.
A great initiative
In conversations with the students, Mother Christmas found out that some of them had created a blog on Facebook in 2009 and that since then, twenty or so young Europeans havebeen in touch with each other by this means. Karol Weglicki and Piotr Mielczarek were the initiators of this great scheme. Well done!