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Let the game begin! – InterCOOLTour

Let the game begin!

InterCOOLtour, Internationale Jugendbegegnung
August 2016, Deutschland


Arrival Mexican Group
On Thursday Ronja, Thano and Wassi picked up the mexican group until late in the night. First, Hernán, Valeria and Daniel arrived from Paris in Stuttgart and about an hour later we could pick up Isabella too. After welcoming our super tired guests, Ronja and the Mexicans left to her house to get some rest.

Day 0: Friday – Preparation Day
The next day the mexican group enjoyed a beautiful day with Ronja, getting to know German culture and visiting castles. On this day, our first German participant also arrived. Dimitri, from Switzerland enjoyed one free day in Stuttgart, while Wassi prepared some things for the project in Jugendwerk.

Day 1: Saturday – let the game begin!
Saturday was the day we all were waiting for. Ronja, Valeria, Isa, Hernán, Daniel and Wassi came to Jugendwerk to meet Tanja, Thano, Juitka, Efka and Fahim and to prepare the ultimate things for the project until 2 o´clock until the rest of the participants was supposed to arrive. While the Mexican group went to discover Stuttgart’s flea markets, the teamers did some shopping and cooked something for the slowly arriving group. Unfortunately, the bus the South African group was supposed to take was cancelled and they had to wait in Munich for another bus to bring them to Stuttgart. Since the new bus for the South Africans would arrive at 7 o´clock in the afternoon, we decided to go to the Christopher Street Day. Later we started a part of our program, like the getting to know each other games, our own rules for the project and the presentation of the program. Ronja and Thano went to the bus station to pick up the rest of our international group and after their Arrival we prepared typical German dinner: Maultaschen with eggs. Since our group was complete now, we could discuss the expectations, fears and wishes of everybody.

Afterwards we went to our hostel were we had a few minutes to rest before we left for a party in Zollamt, where Thano arranged some cheaper tickets for us. We enjoyed the time to talk, have fun and dance our tiredness away. Some of us went early back to the hostel, but there were also some of us who enjoyed this beautiful party till the end.


Day 2: Sunday
On Sunday we had to plan our activities with the kids, so that everybody knew the games we wanted to play with them in the camps. Since the weather was windy and rainy we couldn’t go to the park as we planned it. Happily, Thano knows the area around the youth hostel very well, we could improvise quite well and we went to a quiet and stylish place to do our activities. There we split in four international groups and planned our games, to later explain them to our peers. When everything was finished, we had also a lot of time to take some cool photos.

Afterwards we split up in two groups for the afternoon program. One group went to the Mercedes Benz Museum, while the other part of the group visited some spots of Stuttgart. Later we all met again in Jugendwerk to eat. Unfortunately, our dinner got heated a little bit too much (It actually burned and had a really smoky aroma). At least we had also some Guacamole made from our Mexican friends. After the teamers apologized for the failed dinner we went back in the hostel where we had time to relax and sit together on the terrace.

Day 3: Monday
On Monday morning after breakfast we had to leave our hostel. From there we went back to Jugendwerk to leave our stuff there and to enjoy some free time on the Königstraße in Stuttgart. In the meantime Jitka and Ronja loaded our car with our luggage because after lunch we had to leave for our first camp. But before leaving, we all met in Schlossplatz to eat lunch. We ordered some pizza and had also some typical German Brezel and Laugen-Bread. In the afternoon our group left to Ebnisee, a beautiful camp near a little, idyllic lake. First we left our entire luggage in our big tent and started to explore the surroundings of the camp. Most of the kids, didn’t know that we would arrive, so it was funny to see their confused faces and to explain them who we are and for what we are visiting them. Some of them immediately started to play Ping-Pong with us and showed us their English skills. Since we didn’t had to do some program with the kids during this day, we enjoyed the evening with a barbeque and some relaxed talks at the bonfire.


Day 4: Tuesday
After a very cold and hungry night we all were very tired. However, since the weather was bad we had to change our plan and start the activities after breakfast. We gathered all the 42 kids of the camp together on one empty meadow and started to introduce ourselves. After some Warming up games (introduced by Billy) we started our two hours program. We played some different games from every culture, sang some South African songs and enjoyed the beautiful smiles of the children. Sadly, not all the kids were motivated enough to join us. Partly this happened also because of the camp leaders who unfortunately saw our activities as their free time. Therefore, it was difficult for us to maintain the kids concentrated. In spite of everything, this first day of activities was a day from which we could learn a lot as group and change our way to work to improve for the next camps.

While we were playing with the kids, Patricia, the responsible of the camp went shopping for our international evening with the kids. For this part of the program our three national groups were cooking the whole afternoon. The South African group prepared some steamed bread and meat, the Mexicans made some little pancakes, named gorditas and the German group prepared some sausages coated with puff paste and cheese. With this culinary art we introduced the different cultures to the kids and we offered them the opportunity to ask us some questions. After answering all the questions and before going to bed the kids and the teamers of the camp, they could taste the typical dishes. After this, we had enough time to enjoy the rest of the evening with each other and some of the leaders of the Ebnisee Camp.

Day 5: Wednesday
On Wednesday we ate breakfast with the kids in the Ebnisee camp. After taking a shower, pack our luggage and tidying up our tent some of us left to the lake to enjoy the sunny day in the water. The rest of our group stayed in the camp to play some ping pong with the kids. After lunch, we said goodbye to the kids and their teamers and left to the bus stop to leave to our next Camp: Raichberg. After taking busses, trains and subways we finally arrived in Stuttgart. Luckily, Chris from the leader team of Raichberg was so kind to pick us up on the metro station. When we arrived there, the teamers of the camp already waited for us. We got to know each other and began to prepare the barbeque for all of us. We enjoyed our dinner with some guitar music and singing, before we started to clean everything up and go to sleep early, since we all were tired and couldn´t wait to sleep inside a house. Sadly, this was Thano´s last night in our project, but we had a really nice goodbye party in his honor.


Day 6: Thursday
The next morning we woke up in our sleeping bags and really enjoyed the night in a warm place. After packing our stuff together we started our day with a little breakfast with the kids. After breakfast also one of our German participants left to home. The rest of the group did a quick meeting to discuss the activities and then we split in four groups to play some games with the different groups. During our activities we also got interviewed by a local newspaper which wanted to report about our project. After almost 3 hours of individual group activities and games that we played together with all the kids of the camp, we had to say goodbye and leave for the next camp. But first, we had to get to the subway station. This task was not that easy as it seems, since the camp is situated in the middle of the forest and none of us knew exactly which direction we had to go. So we took a little nice walk through the woods and finally found the right way. As we arrived a little bit early in the centre of Stuttgart, we had a bit of free time to go shopping, do some sightseeing or just relax in the park. Around four o’clock we met to get some kebab and satisfy the meat eaters of our group.  Afterwards, we started our journey to Heidenheim, were we stayed a few days. When we arrived at this beautiful Waldheim, the teamers were already waiting for us with the dinner. Sonja, the leader of the camp proposed some name games so we could get to know the teamers. Finally, we had a meeting with the teamers to discuss the activities for the next day. Every Friday the leaders of Heidenheim plan a different game for their kids, and this time we should get involved. That’s why we had to prepare a lot of things till late in the night.


Day 7: Friday
After a really short night we had to pack our stuff and leave our tents, so the kids could use them for their program. The kids didn´t knew that we are there, so we had to hide for some hours inside the house. Later the teamers explained them that the mascot of the Waldheim was a former circus bear who lost his skills. So it was the kid´s turn to go through some stations and learn some circus tricks. Our Intercooltour Crew was responsible for the game stations. So we played about 3 hours with the different groups of the camp. After lunch we started the second part of the game where the kids had to liberate the circus director who got kidnapped by us. For this, they get some colours and had to chase and paint us. The children were really into this game and they chased us like there was no tomorrow. When they finally beat us we returned to the Waldheim to eat some cake, drink cacao and eat some ice cream. At the end of the Waldheim game the circus director, the AWO bear, all the children and us we were very happy about this beautiful and funny game. When the children went home, we had some time with the teamers to eat, talk and chill.


Day 8: Saturday
Saturday was our free day. No kids mean that we could sleep as long as we wanted and this was what we did. When everybody woke up, we started to prepare our breakfast and then dressed up to go to Ulm. There we spent some hours doing sightseeing and discovering the old town. When we came back, we had to go shopping for the next few days and for the Mexican and South African night. Actually, shopping required a really long time, so the Mexicans had to hurry up when preparing the food, because we were all really hungry and walked around the kitchen the whole time. When food was ready our Mexican friends first showed us a traditional ancient ceremony to salute the spring. We all participated in this emotional ceremony and were very grateful that they showed us this part of Mexican culture.  For dinner we had some burritos with rice and our beloved gorditas. After Dinner we had a little Mexican party with music.

Day 9: Sunday
On Sunday we enjoyed another free day. We prepared some improvised breakfast with the leftovers of the night before and then just enjoyed the sunny weather. Some of us went to the public pool, others went to the woods and a part of our group just stayed with the rest of the teamers in the camp. After lunch the South African group began to cook for their national night. There was steamed bread, chakalaka, chicken and some pastries named fat cakes. Since they had to cook for almost 40 people it also took some time but it was worth it. At the end everybody was licking his fingers because of the tasty food. To get to know Sofiatown and Johannesburg, our South African group showed us some little videos of their country. This day we really had to go to bed early, since we had to work with nearly 100 children on the next day.

Day 10: Monday
Start of the second week. After a really relaxing weekend we had lots of energy to start the work with the kids. After breakfast we did some games in one big group and then split up in four groups by age. We played games like perrera, zombie ball, bunny family amongst others. Both children and leaders enjoyed the time and it was incredible to listen to so many laughter and joy. After lunch, it was planned to play a big game where the kids had to find objects and bring them to us, but since it was really hot and German summer was not the best this year, we decided to change our plans and do some water games with the kids. So they all put on their swimsuits and started a huge water fight. It was really funny.

When the kids left we had a goodbye dinner with the leaders of the camp and enjoyed our last night in this beautiful and hospitable Waldheim.


Day 11: Tuesday
After breakfast Denise and Sonja (the responsible of the Waldheim Heidenheim) were so kind and brought us to the train station. From there we had to leave to our last camp in Reutlingen, where Markus picked us up and brought us to our next camp. In this camp, which takes place in a school, there were about 60 children. We divided our program in two parts, to give them a variety of games. In the first part we played some Mexican and South African games and in the second part we played the game which was planned for the Waldheim in Heidenheim. After the activities we said goodbye to the kids, did a short evaluation and started to prepare our barbeque for the evening. While we were waiting for the fire we played some ping pong or became children again on the play yard. The leaders of the camp also started some activities with us, so we were able to exchange game ideas and spend a good time together. After the barbeque our group had to leave to our sleeping place which was in Listhof. Luckily, we didn’t have to sleep outside in our tents because it was rainy and really cold. So we slept inside and enjoyed being alone in a huge and cozy house.

Day 12: Wednesday
On Wednesday we slept again a little longer and then started to pack our stuff to check out and start our trip to Tübingen, where we stayed a few days. When we arrived at our hostel Nele had to leave because her summer vacation was over. Saying goodbye was really not easy, since we all realized that our project is almost over. Nevertheless, we tried to enjoy the rest of the time we could spend togheter. Therefore we decided to go to a burger restaurant and have a good and satisfying lunch together. Afterwards, everybody had time to discover Tübingen during this beautiful day. We met again for dinner at the hostel and then had again some free time.

Day 13: Thursday
The next morning we met after breakfast to do the check out and put our luggage in the car. Then we had some time to buy some souvenirs, before we met for lunch and took the train back to Stuttgart. In Stuttgart we had to go to Chloroplast where Zeze was already waiting for us. First, he showed us the area of Chloroplast and where we could build up our tents. Later, we went shopping for our huge Barbeque night. But before starting our evening program we had to talk about the exhibition planning and search ideas what we wanted to do. Luckily, the group was really motivated to do something awesome and really nice it didn’t take long time to have a first plan for the exhibition. Afterwards, we all met at the huge bathtub, which is used as a fireplace.

Day 14: Friday
On Friday we woke up, prepared breakfast and then went to Jugendwerk, where we had an interesting workshop. Each national group presented their organization, telling how they work and what they are doing. Then Stephan explained how Jugendwerk is organized and gave tips how to build a NGO. After lunch we went back to Chloroplast to start preparing our exhibition. Every one of us chose a team, where he or she wanted to work. We started cleaning the room, hanging hats, preparing decoration, photos or painting clips. The South African group had time for a rehearsal of their performances.

In the evening the German group prepared dinner and the German night could start.


Day 15: Saturday
After breakfast we all started to prepare the rooms for our exhibition. We had to install the sound system, the beamer for the presentations, the multinational decoration and clean the house for our guests. We also had to buy the ingredients for the different national dishes and some other stuff we needed for our program. Zeze and his team helped us and we are very grateful that we could use his place and that he gave us the freedom to put everything the way we wanted it to be. In the meantime, the curator team prepared the program of our exhibition and started to practice the different performances. After midday we started to prepare the culinary art for our exhibition. This took a lot of time, but we managed to be ready until our guests came. First we met them outside and let them discover the Chloroplast area. Then we invited them to come inside and take a look at our lovely photographs and decoration, before we started with our actual program. Kabelo opened the exhibition together with the Mexican group with the ancient spring ceremony and explained some things about our project and the benefits of InterCooltour. Then Billy, Sipho and Kabelo started their spoken performances with some poets. Later we had a really nice performance of Nonjabulo who was singing some African songs to us. After this Program part, our guests had the opportunity to ask questions and taste the really nice international food.

Since this was our last night all together we had a After-Show party till late in the night with international music and a lot of fun.


Day 16: Sunday
This was our last day, before we left home or to the guest families. This was also the reason why we were all a bit sad and lethargic, but there was no remedy: we first had to clean everything up, to dismantle the tents and bring everything back to Jugendwerk. After this, we started our final evaluation with Dixit cards. This was a really emotional moment, since most of us had to fight back one ´s tears. We talked about how we felt during the program and what we liked and what we would change. After all, we had to say “See you soon”, since we all plan to see each other in some other place and project again.