Now we are all here in Mérida, Extremadura, Spain. All teams have arrived with their students and we are enjoying the spanish hospitality. The day has been intense, like a paso doble. No bulls are roaming the arenas anymore but the river Guadiana is still wetting the pastureland around the city and the heart of the spanish people is warm and red and welcoming.
All countries started out by introducing themselves to eachother. After a short break we then got to the more serious tasks of sharing knowledge about different environmental issues with eachother. The spanish students led the way. They introduced different sources of environmental problems to us. The Czech Republic followed up by furthering our knowledge of the causes of deforestation. In the Czech Republic draughts and the birch-beetle have severely harmed the forests. Italy and in particular Sardinia is experiencing loss of biodiversity and we got to know a little bit more about the albino donkey and other red-listed animals. Lithuania told us about garbage accumulation and Poland about pollution. The swedish girls then finished the theoretical part of the day by sharing their knowledge about the clothing industry. There we all can participate by using, reusing and mending our clothes.
After a typical lunch – chickpea stew – we went to the Roman theater in Mérida, one of twelve treasures of Spain. The site inspired Ridley Scott when he worked on the film Gladiator and today it also inspired us. Agrippa made an entry into the historybooks of us all when he financed the buildings of the arena and the theater in the decade before 0.
So, here we are, people from six european countries. Our main aim is to do something about the climate but a co-benefit of it all is that we get to learn about eachother! Tomorrow the experience will continue…. for today, we say thank you!