You’re probably a member in some of the many Facebook groups dedicated to etwinning, right? Have you ever read a special personal story connected with etwinning? I recently did and I think that it’s worth sharing it with you, with the consent of the persons involved of course.
Vasiliki wrote: “Our first project (“healthy life for teenagers”) is finished. It was an interesting and creative school year. But this project was special. With Ingeborg, my colleague from Croatia, we used to correspond when we were kids! You know, handwritten letters, stamps, Christmas cards, music cassettes for birthday presents, anticipating for the postman to bring the letters from my foreign friends. Then the war in Yugoslavia came….and we lost track…
20 years later we unexpectedly met in an eTwinning Learning Event!!! Unique emotions, memories from our friendship, everything came in mind, like a movie… We gave the promise to meet sometime. Thank you etwinning for creating unique moments, not only for our students but for us as well!
I really felt not only what collaboration means, but what it’s like to live precious moments… It wasn’t just about completing the project tasks…but the sweet anticipation to find my friend too, to talk about anything that makes us happy! It can’t be described! I felt like a kid again!”
I got in contact with Vasiliki. I wanted to learn more about her story. Inge shared her experience with us too.
“When I was a teenager I wanted to learn about different countries, young people living abroad, about their everyday life, school life, interests, food, customs, beliefs, hopes. To today’s teenagers it is all at the click of the mouse but in the late seventies it was quite an adventure to find the address of the International Pen Friend Club (not many magazines were available in ex Yugoslavia). I started when I was thirteen and over the years I corresponded with more than thirty pals all over the world. I still remember the thrill of expecting the postman, of opening the letter, of reading, of writing back. We shared our innocent and idealistic vision of the world, our secrets and dreams. However as we were growing up the contacts were lost.
And now, here I am, a grown-up woman, a secondary-school English teacher of the 21st century who would be ashamed of not keeping (at least a slow) pace with new technologies, of not trying to see what is in there for my students, of being ignorant to all this whole new world of on-line communication. And … one day as I was reading my workmate’s post about etwinning, I spotted a familiar name among her FB friends. The workmate is Arjana Blažić and the name was Vasiliki. It must be my Vanna, my Greek pen friend from the youth! To say I was excited would be an understatement so I had been thinking for days whether to send a message or not. Now, not only are we friends again but we are colleagues too, working on the same e-twinning project together with our students, as well as students from Italy and Romania. Due to our friendship and etwinning a new generation of young people has got to know each other and we hope that through their communication and collaboration they will become more open to other nations, less susceptible to prejudice and ready to live in a global village.”
October 2014. Vasiliki Kosmatou from Greece was following “Augmented reality” Learning Event with Arjana Blazic and Bart Verswijvel. It seems that for Vasiliki and Ingeborg Radimiri from Croatia, a comment in a forum was the moment when the etwinning universe conspired to bring two old friends together again and build new bridges, not only for them but for their students as well.
Endless reasons to celebrate etwinning!