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Showing posts from April, 2007

The US-SEE Teacher Exchange

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Teacher Exchange
Ann's stay with us was the second part of the teacher exchange that was organised as part of the School Connectivity project. In September 2004 all the participating teachers were invited to apply for a three-week visit to an American school. The applicants underwent a competitive selection process and in the end, 18 teachers, two from each of the nine South East European countries spent three weeks in the US. I just couldn't believe when I was told I was one of the two from Croatia.

Schools from Montana, Virginia, Maryland, N. Carolina, Utah and California offered to host us. It didn't matter to me which school I'd be assigned to, the most important was that I was going to lead a life of an American teacher for a while. Still, I had a secret dream, and when Myra sent me her first email, welcoming me to Los Angeles, I was totally overwhelmed. On a scale from 0-10, my level of excitement was 11. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I was looking…

New York City

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I’ve been to NYC three times, in April 1998 with my husband, in November 2003 with my cousin who won a glamorous weekend in NYC in a cell phone company contest, and in February 2005 with my family. Every time it was freezing cold with icy winds, but the unfavorable weather conditions couldn’t diminish my love and fascination for this amazing and incomparable city. It has been my city of dreams since I was 13, and although I have doubts today about it still being my number one, there will always be a special place in my heart for NYC. Am I being a bit slushy romantic?

Anyway, my first encounter with the city was also my first step on the American soil. Not knowing anyone in the US, but knowing a lot from movies, I was so frightened of being mugged or killed that I was constantly looking over my shoulder to see if someone was following us. I didn’t even dare to go for a ride on the subway, although I wanted it badly (mostly because of the scenes from the Warriors). Can you imagine that?…

Brijuni, Croatia

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Brijuni

Ann came to Croatia in June and stayed with us for two weeks. This was the second part of the School Connectivity Teacher Exchange. The main purpose of this exchange was to shadow a Croatian teacher, to see what it's like to live and work in Croatia. Ann participated in my school's life completely. She visited classes, talked to the students about schools and life in L.A. and discussed the differences with them.

The first Thursday of her stay was a holiday, so, as it's commonly practiced here, we also had the Friday off and we decided to take Ann on a trip to the most beautiful coast. On the way there we stopped in Karlovac where we were greeted by Marina, one of the heads of 'Domachi', the organization in charge of the project for Croatia. Marina showed us the sights of Karlovac, a city badly damaged in the 1991-1995 war.

We reached Fazana in Istria in the afternoon and got on the boat that was to take us to the biggest island of the Brijuni Archipelago, c…

Beli on Island Cres, Croatia

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Beli, Cres, Croatia
I think the Croatian Adriatic is one of the most beautiful seas in the world. Its crystal clear, warm waters are exactly what I need after the exhausting school year. As soon as my holidays begin I pack my things and move to the seaside. Many would say Dalmatia is far more beautiful than the northern part of the Adriatic, but I don't agree. The northernmost island, Krk is my favourite. It used to be the largest of the 1066 Croatian islands, but recently, due to some new measurements (!) it's been overtaken by Cres, its neighbor.

Beli, a small town on Cres is what I want to write about in this post. We hired a boat, and Captain Ivo took the thirty of us on a day trip. The channel between the two islands is home to dolphins, and the northern part of the island is inhabited by griffon vulture. There is an ecological and educational center that protects animals. It's an NGO called Caput Insulae. Their activites have contributed to saving the vulture from ext…

Amsterdam

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Amsterdam

We visited Amsterdam, the city of bikes, at the beginning of November. We expected it to be cold and wet, but quite to the contrary, the days were warm and sunny. Total change of climate in Europe, but I don't want to write about global warming and all the other ugly things related to it.

Anyway, I'd been told the streets of Amsterdam were dirty and full of dog waste, bikers and tram drivers pay no attention at all to pedestrians, tourists are mugged at every corner, all in all not a very inviting city. How untrue is all of this.

Amsterdam was as clean and safe as any other city, and it is this enormous number of bikes that makes it special. It's amazing to see that everybody in Amsterdam rides a bike, even tourists. All the bikes are old, unappealing and cheap, so if they're stolen, which is not unusual, the owner won't lose a lot of money.

The houses are one of a kind, lining the streets along the water canals that are crossed by more than a thousand brid…

San Diego

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We spent a wonderful week at my friend's who lives with her family in the San Diego area, near Ramona. Tanja's beautiful house was our base to explore Southern California. On the first afternoon we went to La Jolla, an elegant resort, whose beauty made me want to buy a house and move there. Since it was January it was very peaceful. However, I'm told it is overcrowded in the summer, a thing which would make me reconsider my intention to buy a property. But, I have enough time to think about it, until I win the lottery...

San Diego is protected by the Coronado Peninsula. Coronado is famous for its Hotel del Coronado, built in 1888. It has been the setting for many famous movies, Some Like It Hot, being one of them.

We went on a boat trip around the San Diego Bay, an excellent opportunity to see the whole city from the water and to take numerous photos. San Diego Downtown, like many in the US, has been rejuvenated since the 1980s. Horton Plaza, an interestingly designed shopp…

San Diego Photos

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Los Angeles Photos

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