Sunday 4th of July was the starting day of the training course “Go outdoors: Outdoor Education for Social Inclusion”. The Greek team Alexios, Eleni and Katianna, representing Praxis Greece, gathered and started their exploration in the city of Lviv. Everyone arrived at the Olenas’ hotel before midnight, the place where the first group meeting took place. The next day a seven hour trip started to Carpathian’s foothills to our starting & ending point, the lodge “White Elephant”. The group set up their tents and split into new groups for sleeping.
After the team began a new hike, our goal was a lodge near the top of the Carpathian before the real part of the expedition. The hike was long but our positive mood helped us to have fun under those conditions. We sang, we laughed, we talked about ourselves and expressed ourselves during the day. Especially in launch breaks everybody tried to communicate and helped the cooking team. Seven hours later we arrived to our destination. We stayed there for two nights. Our first day in this place started with some exercises and conversation about outdoor education and how those projects improved the united front between countries and games which boost the trust of the team. After those workshops everyone felt more confident and comfortable to be part of the group. The next two days were challenging for everyone, the paths were long and difficult and the group was tired. But everyone tried to help and support their partners to stay healthy, safe and hydrated. After 11 kilometers the group set up the tents next to lake Brebenskul in Carpathian. Everyone was so alert. The cooking team prepared dinner, the eco team cleaned and the rest of the team prepared the campfire. The next hike reached us on a top of the Carpathians. After that we arrived at the second camping spot, everyone helped to prepare the dinner, collected woods and tried to be helpful. The last night at the tents was amazing, everyone talked and everyone laughed. The whole food preparation was based on babushka’s and the shepherds’ supplies whom we visited to see how they prepare their staff and how they live there. So during the days on the mountains we had the opportunity to taste real pure and extra virgin food. The last three days were more relaxing than the others, our two days in “White Elephant” were fantastic, full of workshops and conversation about our experiences that claimed from the project, canoeing and rafting in the river near by the camp. During these activities everybody as team member was precious, the experience was unique and helped us to have a common remembrance. And then the sauna time, our reward after so many kilometers of hiking accompanied by tea, sweets and the sauna Master!!! After that, the intercultural night came, everyone brought their traditional dishes, snacks and drinks. Also some participants represent some small videos and images from our days in Carpathian mountains. Our last day came, the bus arrived in our meeting spot and drove us back at the Olena’s Hotel, we made a small group meditation and a retrospect for our trip. A touching moment for everyone, after a silent night at Olena’s Hotel we said goodbye to our new friends , the Greek team stayed for a few more hours at Lviv and then split …some of them went back home and some others took advantage of the extra days and went around Ukraine. The whole experience improved our communicational skills, learned us to be flexible and think fast, boost our empathy and confidence to ask for help, to express our opinions and feelings and last but not least make us stronger to our new life. We became more familiar to the outdoor education and the social inclusion and all this because of this amazing project founded by the Erasmusplus. It’s always a pleasure for Praxis Greece collaborating with Logos and Lernlabor. It was a great experience and we are expecting many more to come! And always remember that the most important is not reaching the top but the procedure, the journey toward the top.