One evening we get to know an English teacher. A monk in the temple where we stay had called her to translate. She invites us to visit her school on the next morning and describes the way.
We don´t know exactly what is expected of us and what is waiting for us. When we arrive at the school we see about 400 students in scout uniform sitting on a parade ground listening to a man in military uniform which is holding a speech. The English teacher rushes towards us, “Good morning, there you are, I was waiting already. Can you go to the front and introduce you to the children?” A brass band plays and we walk, followed by hundreds of pairs of eyes and excited whispers, forward to the front and shake the hand of the soldier. I get a microphone squeezed into my hands and hear my voice through the speakers “Good morning, my name is Florian, I came here from Germany with the bike …”
After all this we get informed what is actually going on here. Once a week the school has a so-called action day. The boys wear scout uniforms, the girls a Red Cross uniform, and a few students are members of the Youth Army and look like real soldiers, just that they do not carry weapons. They have decided to switch into the military service after school.
On these action days only limited class takes place. The youth soldiers learn marching, the scouts how to make a fire, and the Red Cross girls how to cook on it.
After our brief introduction on the parade ground it goes to the gym of the school, where Felix and Giom present their project on a big screen. It is not the first time that the two are in a school to visit, but never have they talked in front of so many students. They tell the children about their experiences and also encourage them to dream or even to live their dreams. Then the children and teachers can try the recumbent bikes of the two.
Of course I should also say something. I do not like to stand in the center and I´m a little nervous to speak in front of so many people. But I am convinced it is always good to make something of what you are afraid to do, something that is outside your comfort zone, and so I take the microphone and just start talking. A teacher translates and when I show a photo from the day of my departure in Germany an incredulous murmur runs through the hall. This should be the same guy who is now standing at the front there?
I show one of my videos, the kids are excited, and then it’s time for lunch, of course sponsored by the teachers.
Then we go into individual classes, do a little teaching in English and Felix and Giom collect the dreams of the children. It is part of their project to let children in different countries paint their dreams and then publish them on their Dream Archiv.
In the evening we are allowed to sleep in the hospital room at school, in real beds. This is something which we often dream of because mostly we sleep on the floor.
And what the children in this school dream about I show you here: