Habitat for Humanity – Day 5 in Romania

Today got off to a late start as we got lost in traffic leading to us being well over an hour late at the building site. We then played a game called Shaolin Master in which everyone would have to strike one of four poses and then if anyone had the same pose as the leader they would be eliminated. This ended in a tense final between Derin and Pritha in which Pritha won.

We then started working on site with everyone’s first task. For the boys, it was cleaning the worksite of small bits of wood and wires. The girls then split into two groups, one removed nails from planks and the other group cleaned.

The main challenge of the day was once more the extreme heat, which made every job much more difficult. For the boys, who were carrying wooden beams from the second floor to the ground as well as metal support beams, the heat made being on the ground floor extremely tiring. We had to take a few extra breaks to rehydrate due to the heat. By the end it was satisfying to see the work that we had done.

 Another challenge for some was a small dog named Bella who would love to play with us. We had to make sure she was not in the way whilst we were working. This is why I consider her a challenge that had to be worked around.

The girls mostly spent their day removing nails from pieces of wood from the concrete casing, which the workers were breaking throughout the day. One of the girls labeled the work as ‘therapeutic’. The work was mostly done with crowbars and hammers. At one point the boys joined in on the fun! The other group of girls mainly helped clear the site at the bottom. Overall everyone had fun and worked to the best of their abilities on this very hot day.

 By Derin and Pietro

 

Habitat for Humanity Romania Day 4

Hello beloved parents and others interested, It is us- Mercy and Gaia – reporting to you live from Bucharest, Romania.

Today was an eventful day. The epic Grade 11 Habitat for Humanity students started off their morning with an even more epic breakfast, ranging from fruits and vegetables to sausages, which are supposed to be a local delicacy of sorts. Waking up was hard for many as much of their energy had been used the two previous days of INTENSE work. But alas, it did not bring their spirits and motivation down! By 9:17 the students found themselves once more at the building site!

Work started after a quick ice breaker (called ping pong), which their dear classmate Anika won. Thus, they proceeded afterwards to continue the tasks that they had been assigned. Two people worked on sanding down floor boards and adding varnish. Another group pulled out nails from wooden planks, a third painted more wooden planks with protective liquid (which went to be used as a base for the roof of the building) and another group worked on lifting planks to the roof.

Then, it was lunch time. The tension in the air was clear, as all opened their styrofoam boxes in what seemed to be slow motion, anticipating the food and hoping, no, WISHING, that it will be edible. A collective sigh of relief was then let out when the proteins of the course were discovered to be chew-able chicken, and the vegetarian option was actually seasoned. This, however, was only the beginning of the surprises that followed suit.

For the past days, there were rumors spreading like a wildfire through the group of a surprise coming. Right after lunch the group was called to assemble and were told that all the rumors were TRUE! The surprise they were waiting for was a journey into the unknown lands of Buftea, full of stray cats and dogs and a green haven in the middle of the city.

The group started by making their way through the town of Buftea and headed towards Ştirbey Domain, which is a palace that used to be owned by the local royalty.

There they saw an adorable alpaca and some amazing peacocks (and a cat. Very important.)

They also came across a stunning church, which stood tall against their small bodies, eyes gazing upwards in admiration.

By the time they were all back, they went to a colorful, cheerful Turkish restaurant and ordered a plethora of food, as expected after a long day out.

Note: Bella’s fandom was greatly disappointed in her absence on site today

Habitat for Humanity – Day 3: Productivity and Water Melon

The day started off pretty early like usual; with a full healthy ROMANIAN breakfast. Everyone wakes up and gets ready and meets downstairs in the hotel lobby. We then took our party bus with the blue and red lights, which hyped us up to a small town near Buftea called Buciumeni. Like usual we got our helmets on and our gloves, we talked strategy and we jump right in. But before we jumped in, we did an energizer to really get the blood flowing.

What came next is how we were split up. We were spilt into 4 groups. The boys were working on moving wood, some of the girls were painting, some were sweeping on the top floor, and some were hammering nails all the way until lunch.

The biggest highlight for everyone was seeing our beloved Bella (the dog from yesterday) come back to us. We initially thought something might have happened to her. We were so excited to see her looking fresh and healthy; and most importantly alive.

A highlight we have encountered every day is how kind the construction workers are. Even if they don’t speak our language (for some of us), they still tried to help us and explain as well as possible. Luckily, not only did they speak Romanian, but they also spoke Italian. Seeing as we have an Italian boy student, and a girl that speaks Romanian, it was easier to communicate with them.

Lunch today was not a highlight. We didn’t realise that bubblegum came with meat flavour but the effort was appreciated. The dogs, however, were very enchanted by the delicacy.

After lunch, we switched tasks. Some of us managed to complete the task faster than others; or more accurately a lot faster than the others.

We had another well-deserved break in the afternoon where we all enjoyed some cold fresh juicy watermelon. Some of us more than others, seeing as even now there are traces of watermelon juice after the watermelon eating competitions; Giulio was the clear winner for those interested!

 And Ms. Mechkova sure did love her watermelon!

Habitat for Humanity Romania Day 2

Today was the first day of construction work. The 12 students and two teachers were split into groups of five.

Each group was assigned different tasks. The first group was tasked with removing nails from wooden planks. Once they finished, the group helped remove water from the flooded lower level of the building.

The second group constructed cement armaments throughout the day.

The third group covered wooden beams with water and rot resistant paint. Towards the end, individuals from all groups joined together to secure small and large wooden beams which are to be used for the roof of the building.

Throughout the work day, we stopped for several breaks. During these breaks, we enjoyed cold water, lunch, and other snacks. We also met several dogs that followed us around the worksite. They were so cute!

Once the workday ended, we enjoyed dinner and some chose to bowl. Others looked around the mall and some went back to the hotel. Overall, everyone had a fun day!

 By Anika and Janne

Unser Ausflug zum PH Garten

Am 6. Juni  2019 besuchte Klasse 1 den Garten der PH Heidelberg. Die Kinder gingen über die Brücke und nahmen den Bus. Dort warteten Studenten auf Klasse 1. Klasse 1 durfte Tiere aus dem Teich käschen. Die Kinder durften die Wassertiere durch das Mikroskop anschauen. Danach sammelten die Kinder Kräuter und machtenKräuterquark. Es gab leckeres Brot mit Kräuterquark und Pfefferminztee. Am Ende liefen Klasse 1 den gesamten Weg zur Schule zurück.

Es war ein toller Ausflug.

Written by Grade 1

Photos by Steffi Staeves

Exhibition Action: The Power of Dogs

By May (Grade 5)

Hello there! My Exhibition is about therapy dogs. I like dogs and I was very surprised to learn that dogs can really help people. There are a lot of benefits of Therapy dogs.

 

This is the cooperation therapy dog team I met while I was on my field trip.

The dogs below are also part of the therapy dog team

 

 I would like to show you the “Power of dogs.”

During my field trip to see how Therapy Dogs train, I had a chance to ask some questions about Therapy Dogs.

Here are some of the things I learned:

Characteristics of a Therapy Dog: Friendly, not too active, calm, quiet, follow

commands

A day in the life of a Therapy Dog: For the most part, the day of a therapy dog is like the day of any other dog: eating, sleeping, playing, walking and cuddling. Therapy dogs do not work the whole day, only 2 to 4 hours.

How to train a Therapy Dog: The dog needs obedience training (like every other dog). And he needs to make himself familiar with several special scenarios and things, such as: wheelchairs, various mobility aids, people who do not act like „normal” people because they have no or less control over their body, mental problems that lead to strange behaviour and people who show no reaction at all like coma patients, and so on.

Hygiene of a Therapy Dog:  brushed daily, all necessary vaccinations, wipe with wet tissue for dog’s body (so they don’t bring insects)

What a Therapy Dog does and its effects on people: make people feel happy, relaxed, and it is good break for the client (a pause). Therapy dogs can heal people but not all.

Patients get to feel and stroke the dogs, feed them, and sometimes go outside and play games (such as soccer).  They will sometimes jump up into bed with patients and sleep with them.

I will be doing a presentation for Exhibition. Please come to see me in our classroom to learn more!

On the Exhibition Evening, we plan to have a real therapy dog there to demonstrate what they do.

 

 

Human Rights Project – Student Reflection

Human Rights Still On the Agenda

At the beginning of April, we received thanks from the Intercultural Centre for our work on the Human Rights’ Exhibition last month. As we approached the Spring Break, it seemed a good time to reflect on all the work that went into this event. Zara, Grade 7, was at the presentation evening and wrote the following reflection. In it she mentions that one is never too young to begin raising awareness and learn. As PYP took to the garden as part of environment week, it was great to see this in all aspects of our school life. Here is what Zara had to say:

“I went to the Interkulturelles Zentrum in Heidelberg with some other students and a few teachers for a ceremony about the Human Rights Project. The ceremony was very interesting as I met a few important people including Ismail Tipi and the Bürgermeister for the environment. We went up to the front and Frau Kress and Ishikaa spoke about what we did for the Human Rights exhibition. We received a check of 1000 Euro and a certificate for taking part in the Human Rights exhibition. We were one of the eight schools who took part in this exhibition, and there was even a primary school who took part. I enjoyed listening to all the different way the schools portrayed this vast topic. I mostly enjoyed the presentation done by the primary school as it was interesting, and it showed no matter how young you are it is never too early to begin raising awareness and learn.

Am Donnerstag, den 14. März, war ich mit einigen anderen Schülern, zwei Lehrerinnen und Mrs. Macdonald im Interkulturellen Zentrum in Heidelberg. Wir besuchten eine Veranstaltung anlässlich der Urkundenverleihung der Aktion: Schule für Menschenrechte. Die Zeremonie war sehr interessant, da ich ein paar wichtige Leute gesehen habe, darunter den hessischen Politiker Ismail Tipi und den Bürgermeister Herrn Wolfgang Erichson. Wir gingen nach vorne und Frau Kress und Ishikaa sprachen darüber, was wir für die Menschenrechtsausstellung gemacht hatten. Für die Teilnahme an der Menschenrechtsausstellung erhielten wir einen Check von 1.000 Euro und ein Zertifikat für die Teilnahme an der Ausstellung. Wir waren eine der acht Heidelberger Schulen, die an dieser Ausstellung teilgenommen haben und darunter gab es sogar eine Grundschule, die Kurpfalsschule Heidelberg. Ich habe es sehr genossen zu hören, wie die Schulen dieses große Thema dargestellt haben. Am meisten hat mir die Präsentation der Grundschule gefallen, weil sie interessant war. Sie zeigte auch, dass es egal ist, wie jung oder wie alt man ist: Man kann immer die Aufmerksamkeit auf wichtige Themen richten um mehr zu lernen.

text: HP & Zara 

Former H.I.S. Student Headed Back to Mayana

We had some news from Christian, a former H.I.S. student. His family left the school at the end of last year to move back to the US.

During their time at H.I.S., the family travelled to Mayana, as part of an MCP (Make Change Possible) Friends Trip. Christian will be going back to Mayana this summer. He wrote to share the following with us:

“Hello from Christian – I was a student at H.I.S and moved back to the USA last summer. Notice the frozen Lake Michigan behind me! This upcoming summer I am going on the Make Change Possible  trip to Mayana, Namibia. While I am there I will be helping the local MCP team with using computers, I am also going to help the local school with their computers.”

Christian