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First of all, I would like to sincerely thank you for the great time I have spent at the Camp Reggio Emilia.
It has been the adventure of my life, which I will never forget.

On the 11.7. the adventure of my life began.
After my first flight alone, I arrived at the Rossena Castle in Reggio Emilia, where I was to live for the next 10 days.
There I met the other camp participants. These came from all over the world and fortunately we all got on well right away.
After getting acquainted with the camp rules, we moved into our rooms. I shared mine with 8 other girls. That is a big number but nevertheless it wasn’t as disturbing as I imagined it to be.

On the second day, we all gathered and introduced our countries in so-called "country presentations".
These were really interesting and fun, but I would have appreciated it if the beamer worked. But I know it isn`t your fault I am just sad that nobody could see my 20 pages power point presentation about Austria. After that we played introductory games that finally broke the ice.

Most days of the week, we left the castle to visit several cities around Reggio Emilia. For example, we visited Parma the city of Parmesan and Parma ham.
The beautiful city has fascinated me from the first moment. We were not brought closer to the old buildings and sights in a normal way, but by a treasure hunt, on which we had to find certain sights.

We also saw Ferrara. On our own, we explored the old Italian city.
Unfortunately, I have not discovered a Ferrari in Ferrara

A breathtakingly charming city was also Milano, of which we also saw a lot. I found Milan Cathedral particularly impressive. Of course, I also turned myself three times on the bulls in the world-famous shopping mall for good luck. Since Milan is the commercial capital of Italy, of course, a small shopping trip was not missing. I enjoyed that we had free time to explore the cities on our owns. So, everybody could do whatever they want. The only thing I would have wished for is more time.
A visit to the Milan Guide Dog Training Center has brought me to think sustainable.
Seeing how dogs are trained to help blind people and to be a support was very moving and impressive. The dogs are probably smarter than me. The camp was especially for visually impaired and therefore we have gotten many tasks that deal with the topic of blindness which should help us to put us in the situation of blind people and to understand them better. For example, the camp organized a "Dinner in the dark". Here we were blindfolded before a restaurant visit and we had to find our way blind.
Of course, we got help from the camp leader, but the experience was scary. Eating something that is normal, everyday and simple for us can be a great challenge for others. It was particularly difficult to estimate distances and pour something without spilling. For me, this experience was significant in that I was not able to do the challenge properly. Because of my illness, I had to remove the bandage before each meal to weigh and inject insulin for the food. The fact that I could not do the dinner so well has once again made me realize how hard it is to be blind but how impossible it is to be blind and a diabetic without help.
That scared me a lot and made me very sad. Another challenge was that we had to complete different courses on one day blindfolded. This was really difficult. In addition, we were also filmed by Italian television. All these impressions of being blind have shown me how grateful I must be, each of us must be, to have eyesight. It also showed me that we should help the blind more and have more understanding. Above all, my respect for every visually impaired person has increased immeasurably.
So, I want say thank you to the camp for making these experiences possible.

Also very cool was that we really met many, many mayors.
We also attended the official Lions Opening Ceremony 2019-2020 in Mirandola. Here, each of the 21 representative nations, including China, Mexico, India, Israel, Canada, USA, and numerous European states, was allowed to wear their own flags while the respective anthem was played. That took long but still turned into an unforgettable memory. Many of the delicious dinners have also been sponsored by various Lions clubs in the area.
For that I am really grateful, because the food was generally always delicious. I probably had gained a lot of weight during my stay. At the meal I especially got surprised by the times and the amount. Instead of one meal around e.g. 7:30 pm for dinner like it is typical in Austria there were at least 3 courses at the earliest 20:30. There was also a very strict dress code most of the time. For any activities outside the castle and sponsored dinners we always had to wear yellow T-Shirts.
These were gently provided to us there. I have to say I would have liked to know that before because if I had known that I would have packed less T-Shirts.
In addition to the city tours, the dinners, the tasks relating to visual impairments, we have also taken many other wonderful activities. We got free time to design by ourselves, spent some afternoons poolside and one evening we even had a little disco for us. That was fun. There was also a talent show. Here some people have shown really impressive things. Some other girls and i have taught those present in the art of napkin folds. That was not such a big success, but my blind friend moved with her self-written song that she has sung all of us to tears. I had to cry too because it was so touching. The talent show all in all was amazing, but I would have liked it more if those who don`t have a demonstrable talent weren`t forced to preform something.
I liked best our trip to a Parmesan production. Here cheese is stored to ripen. All stored cheeses are worth more money overall than the bank of Bologna owns.
The camp was not only great because of the many fun experiences, but mainly because of the people I was allowed to get to know. Because I've made friends for life there. Without my newly found friends, the camp would have been only half as nice. Not only the other campers were super nice and sweet also the camp leaders spent time with us, and they grew to my heart. Through my friends from all over the world (Hong Kong, Germany, Mexico, ...) I also learned a lot about foreign cultures and customs. We exchanged experiences and customs and I found out that Austria (my country) seem to be known worldwide for our good beer and food. The Mozartkugeln, which I distributed to the people for tasting aroused enthusiasm. I was amazed by the different flavors of sweets from all around the world too.
The farewell to everyone was really hard and everyone cried heartbreakingly. I could hardly say goodbye.
For the others, their stay in Italy was over now but I came for another week in a host family, the family Ughini in which I spent a great time. At this point I would like to thank again that I have the family stay ever made possible even though he had to be hung behind. I really appreciate it because it was an experience that I would not want to miss for nothing. My hostels were really nice and with my host sister I got along perfectly.
During the week we visited the center of Reggio Emilia, cooked real pasta, ate a lot of ice cream and spent a lot of time at the pool. My host mother, sister and I also visited the beautiful city of Bologna, where some of the camp leaders visited me. That was great and really kind of them, and it made me love them a little bit more. Of all the cities Bologna has charmed me most with its charm. The old buildings and the many arcades, which are not only nice to look at, but also super practical for shade donations at 43 degrees give the city its own flair. I have also shown my host family how to draw real Viennese strudel dough yourself and bake a good apple strudel.
During the week, I also became addicted to stracciatella, a cheese made with mozzarella and whipped cream. In just one week, this family grew so dear to me that I now have not only one family in Austria but also a replacement family in Italy.
As a result, many tears flowed on this farewell on 28.7.2019.
On this day I arrived back in Austria and my adventure in Italy was over. But I have gained unforgettable experiences and found great new friends from everywhere. I will never forget the camp and I am very happy and proud to have participated.
I am really happy I took part at the camp and I would recommend it without a second of doubt.

Klara

 

 

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All incoming youths must be aware that the precondition to their ultimate acceptance in our camps is them being able to provide the proof that they have either been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 or recovered from Covid-19 according to the rules on coordination of safe and free movement in the EU: https://ec.europa.eu/info/live-work-travel-eu/coronavirus-response/safe-covid-19-vaccines-europeans/eu- digital-covid-certificate_en

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