Students of St. Gertrudis' in Carmel Convent, Oct - Nov 2009
As a part of the Indo- German student exchange programme a group of 10 students of St. Gertrudis School, Ellwangen, Germany accompanied by their principal Sr. Birgit Reutemann and teacher Ms Maria Herdeg arrived in Carmel Convent School on 26th October, 2009. They will be in India for three weeks.
The exchange students attended classes in the senior school and took part in various academic and co-curricular activities organized by the Carmelites.
An extensive display of Indian culture was presented by the Carmelites. The students of the Junior school presented a show on Ramleela which was followed by Diwali Celebrations. The students of class X put up an exciting show which displayed the various weaves and clothes of India while the students of class IX presented traditional Indian dances.
Carmel organized a friendly Indo German volleyball match. Trips to the various historical monuments of Delhi and tourist spots like Dilli Haat were organized along with weekend trips to Agra and Jaipur for the exchange students. Their visit to Carmel’s adopted village, Nuh turned out to be a fruitful experience.
The students and teachers are being hosted by their Indian counterparts who had visited them in June 2009.
Carmelites in Germany, June 2009
A trip to Germany on an Exchange Programme was held from 02 June to 20 June 2009, wherein ten students and two teachers of Carmel Convent school,Delhi were hosted by St. Gertrudis school, Ellwangen,Germany.It was an experience of a life time for the people involved in the inter-action. It opened windows for a peek into a different culture and way of life.
The visit to different places in Germany was breathtaking with picturesque landscape, magnificent castles of historical significance,and impressive Churches of Gothic and Baroque architecture. The places visited included Aalen, Dinkelsbühl, Ulm, Munich,and Bodensee to name a few. The trips to the Mercedes Museum at Stuttgart, King Ludwig’s Castle at Newschwanstein and the flower island in Lake Konstanz, were extremely memorable. The fond memories one carried away was the experience of the spirit of the Franziscan sisters at their Mother House at Sieβen, with the General Mother Sr. M Anna Franziska.
Each visiting student was hosted by a St. Gertrudis student family, and the interaction between host and guest student had started well before the commencement of the visit. A crash course in German lessons and preparations for the cultural shows preceded the weeks before the departure. The aim of the visit was to showcase India’s culture, history and it’s unity in diversity. The group presented Indian dances, songs and art as part of the cultural programme. Power point presentations, and various interactive sessions were held between the Indian and German students.
The return visit to India by the German students from St. Gertrudis Ellwangen is scheduled in October – November2009, and will be an event to look forward to.
Ms Ruma Nandy
‘A home away from home’ is the expression that best describes our trip to Germany.
Ever since we were informed of the Indo-German exchange program, 2nd June became the most awaited day of the summer vacations for us ten exchangees. Our Principal, Sr. Nirmalini and Teacher Ruma Nandy were to accompany us on the program.
After a gruelling 15 hour journey via Istanbul, we finally landed in Stuttgart, Germany and were overwhelmed by the warm reception that we received by the Principal of St. Gertrudis Girls High School, Ellwangen, Germany (Our partner school), Sr. Birgit, the host students and their families.
As part of the exchange programme, we got a glimpse of the system of education at St. Gertrudis Girls High School, which in fact was quite different from ours. We interacted with various classes starting from the fifth grade right up to the eleventh grade.
On our part we showcased various aspects of India such as its history, dances, music, sports, economy, yoga and religions through PowerPoint presentations. The presentation on Flora and Fauna, Festivals and Food of India were especially liked by the students. Prior to our visit, the students did not know much about India or its culture. But after seeing our presentations, their curiosity was aroused and they were eager to know more.
The number of students per class was around thirty because of which we were able to interact with them on a more personal level. Two of the most fascinating classes were their technic classes and their home science classes.
We feel privileged that we were able to experience the local life style and culture as well. We even had a chocolate party and a barbeque at one of our hosts’ houses’ as well as a grill near the Buch-lake. Our German hosts had a Birthday Party organized for two of us lucky ones.
Our partners took us sightseeing individually as well, to places like Ulm, Munich, Dinkelsbühl, Nordlingen, Würzburg, to name a few.
While in Germany, we saw the breathtakingly beautiful castle, Neuschwanstein, built by the infamous mad King Ludwig II.
We were taken to Sieβen, the mother house of the Franciscan Sisters. There we were privileged to meet their Mother Superior, Sr. Anna Francesca, who touched us Carmelites with a heartfelt and inspiring message.
We also visited Marienpflege, a home for the under priviledged children.
The icing on the cake was when we were invited to a reception by the Mayor of the city. This event was covered by the local media and we found ourselves in the next day’s newspapers!
One of the most memorable days of our stay in Germany was the visit to the Mercedes Museum in Stuttgart. We saw it all, right from the first engine ever created to the very car that the famous F1 driver Lewis Hamilton drove the previous year.
We also went to Lake Konstanz, the lake that borders Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The flower garden, Mainau, was a sight to behold and it’s most striking feature was The Butterfly House, having hundreds of butterflies and plants from around the world.
Our last group outing was to the famous iron ore mine Tiefer Stollen in Wasseralfingen.
But what made this trip stand out was the unexpected yet deep bond that each of us forged with not only our host students, but with their families as well, who went out of their way to make us feel at home.
After nineteen days, when we left Germany there were few who could hold back their tears.
After a long goodbye and a lovely farewell evening, we got on the plane that brought us back to India… Back to reality…