Pollution of the Baltic Sea-the first visit in Sundsvall, Sweden
On our way to Sweden, we have not only experienced many challenges, but we also went through obstacles that have significantly knit us as a team. As soon as we arrived in Sundsvall on Sunday, we were warmly welcomed by our partners and later by their families. This evening, which each of us spent exploring the hospitable Swedes, proved to be unforgettable to all of us. After a well-deserved rest, the next day we started our activities on a schedule (at 8.30). The first impressions of the snowy, windy city and our international partners were great. We started with the icebreaker game so we can get to know each other. A second step was group breakdown, study of the task and preparation of questions for the study. After a nutritious and tasty lunch in the school chair, we visited the City University, where we attended a lecture by Dr Jenny Sandström on “Pollution of the Baltic Sea near Sundsvall.” We got a scientific point of view on the problem affecting the city, namely the impact of 23,000 barrels (9 tonnes) of mercury wastes from the production of PVC materials in the region casually dumped at sea. Deep and informative lecture!
The second day of the Global Schools, Local Tools project visit to Sweden started with the presentation of already prepared materials related to the problem by participants from all countries. Each international group then works on the assigned tasks and studies – we have established contacts with various institutions, organizations, politicians and journalists to get answers to our questions. The profound work has enriched our knowledge of the theme pollution of the sea. Last afternoon we visited the Himlabadet Sundsvall Aqua Park and the spa, swimming pools, slides and many adventures. It was a wonderful end of the day!
We started the day working in groups on the completion of our presentations, which will be available on our website http://www.schoolsandtools.eu. We finished a good job and after a delicious lunch in the school canteens, we continued with the presentations at the School Presentation Hall. During our work, we met with experts, interviewed local journalists and politicians, and we found many interesting but unsettling discoveries. We got ready for tomorrow’s demonstration in the afternoon. We all enjoyed the creative task, working in groups and in pairs in making posters. We closed the day with a little “sightseeing” in the dark (the sun set at 15:00 !!) and after an energetic walk in the cold we enjoyed “Bucket” with sweets, sweet reward for our brilliant work! Long, but really productive day!
After the hard work on the project over the past three days, the time has come for the big event, namely our demonstration aimed at attracting more people’s attention to the danger that balances the Baltic Sea-the forgotten tons of barrels of mercury.
We took the posters we made the day before at school and proudly headed to the Sundsvall municipality. By crossing the streets, we were able to attract the attention of many. The demonstration ended in the municipality where we were met by the Mayor, Mr. Peder Bjork, to whom we presented a document presenting the seriousness of the danger. We set out our ideas for resolving the problem.
Our efforts have worked. There was a great resonance. They broadcast a story about us on local TV. They also wrote about us in the local Dutch newspaper in Rourmond. Our success motivated us to strive even further up and forward!
After the wonderful work we had done the previous days, Friday morning we had to finish the deposits for the time spent in Sundsvall. Although we did not have enough time to prepare, the task was interesting and we tried to get it done as best we could. Then we had time to look at Sundsvall and the surrounding area and visit Birsta City, the local shopping district.
After that, it was time to go back to Herdbergska skolan where we watched the entertainment program prepared by our partners. Through presentations, videos and various games, they introduced us to Sweden and the Swedes as they really are.
Dinner was served in the school dining room, where we had the opportunity to sample traditional Swedish dishes and drinks, as well as an extravagant delicacy surströmming-fermented herring with a very unpleasant odor which is served with bread, onion and cream. Each of us was brave enough to try once and some even twice. This dish was definitely memorable, but we will not try it again soon.