Authors' note: I guess that everything that happens was just rumors. Therefore, try not to take seriously this surrealistic story or it could have actually been real. But before starting the story, please, let's gonna have a break. I am coming in five minutes, or I am Svurshvat in five minutes, as the Bulgarians would say.
Ok, let's go, but I warn you that reading this could spoil everything. So, don't tell later “Don't spoil it” because it would be too late. But first, let's have another five minutes break.
INSIDE JOKE – A WEEK IN SAINTES
Here I am, in my bureau, and I just receive a call from my mother and she told me to go to pick her up with the car. I answer that I would be there in five minutes, but I cannot because I have to write the report of the project. Anyhow, I will figure it out later. Let's go eat at the restaurant before this becomes excessively productive.
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I have just received a call from the major and he is a bit pissed of... I think that a surprise visit tomorrow with a new 30 international youngsters will cheer him up. Yes, I am a good president. Wait, there is a new email:
Dear President Ignace,
We are writing this letter to you because we would like to thank you all the things you have made for us.
In the name of all the participants of the Project “Embrace Diversity”:
Thank you, my president.
You have made us Witnesses of Diversity. If it weren't for you, we wouldn't have had the funniest week of the year, even, for some of us, the best nights of our lives.
You have taught us the value and power of inside jokes, and that even when everything can be just rumors, the unexpected situations can be as real as if they were perfectly arranged. But don't spoil things and let's start from the beginning.
We still remember how the very first day everything started to be suspicious. No one waiting for us in the hostel, the first “I am coming in 15 minutes” that became 45, hiring the bikes of the hostel because we proposed it... We should have noticed before that one of your great skills, my president, was your invaluable power of improvisation. Nevertheless, as one day can represent one week, the most hurt person was Isabelle who fell from the bike while we were laughing. We did our best to keep her calm and nice until the ambulance came. And I guess that this was the first of the surprises.
As it was our objective, we went to the hostel to socialize and meet each other, because what would have happened if the group wouldn't be as good as it was. I prefer not to think but remember the questions we were doing the first evening in the room: Have you ever been in a police car? Have you ever had sex with many boys/girls in the same night? There were just shortcuts to our friendship. I hope you can understand us when we tried to cover the alarm with a plastic bag the first night, but we didn't realize till the last one, that the alarm only rang in the hostel manager's office. That night also, we learned the fundamental role that the wine would have in our week.
Anyhow, the project had to start somewhere and the next morning we did our meeting activities, as it was explained in the schedule. Expectations, fears, and offerings. I guess that the three of them were accomplished, especially that one of the “no sexuality on this project”. Nowadays, we can understand that it was a fear, more than an expectation.
I still remember the attempt of the Portuguese team to contribute and cooperate within the project and how the song had to move to the environment of the hostel in order to be more successful, as it was the whole project. Luckily, not all the organizers of Saintes have the surprising and unexpected skills of your team, and that night there was an amazing festival where we had our first taste of reggae music. There was even time to meditate at the end of the night for some of us, just to connect with our own pains.
The next day, as it was said in the schedule we started our dances workshop where the first task was “make a dance for diversity”, as we have made drawings the day before. Realizing that it wasn't that successful we moved directly to the salsa teaching. After eating we received our first dose of irony when we were complained about being late. We are sorry, my president. We just went to the shower. Anyhow, we did the activity of the train with that blind accordionist that made us a huge positive impression on us.
Since we had the international party that night, we started to prepare it for the subsequent teaching of what fifteen African minutes mean. Therefore, some of us learned how to listen the present or how to wait for a nonexistent kitchen to construct the deconstructed Spanish meal. As it couldn't be different, we end up the party drinking wine in the grass, absorbing pains, unpacking egos and deleting CV material. We could forgive and enjoy the randomness of international conflicts, like the number of beaches in different countries. Nevertheless, we weren't still able to understand the gravity of the situation that was forging.
Next morning, we had a glance of the project we were involved in. Our president, Ignace the greatest, had some trouble with the transport and we started our African dance session one and a half hour later that expected, after having a quick break. Anyhow, we were dancing at the rhythm of un, deux, trois, quatre. After eating and trying our best to be punctual we were carried to an unexpected visit wherge the frgench accen was cliergli a memorgy. We felt the necessary compassion that our guide deserved after being allocated in a role and situation that was a surprise for him as much as for us. We finish our visit to the corridors and restrooms of the Maison of solidargité, home of homeless and drug dealers, and we move forward to our main activity.
It worths noting that the vehicles were driven by some of us, as we had already witnessed that morning. Undoubtedly, a car of nine seats caring ten people of which only one is from the organization and he is neither the driver nor can speak English is a promising situation. As it was, due to you gave us a wonderful present that fulfills an unforgettable round trip to the fagrmerg's fargm.
We feel sincerely grateful, maybe for the first time, to the fagrmer of the fargm, which did more efforts than the organizers of speaking English with us. At least, our main translator could rest for a little bit and drink some white wine. Since we come back to Saintes inspired by the essence of the local beverages, we move to the supermarket to get ready for a promising night of what had been a rewarding day. And it was, because after cancel the closest thing to a plan that we have, we decided to move to the riverside, as it was already a tradition, and finish the night at 5 am in the terrace of the boat. That night we could talk about our dreams and our egos, regret previous mistakes and fall into the deepens of the glances. Words, conversations, and wine were exchange till the redundancy of faith and religion originated the confession of a sad but hopeful truth regarding the best nights of our lives. It is less about me, and more about us. We slept because we had to, not because there was something to do next morning.
As it was expected, that day started with our dose of patience and surprise when we got to know that we just have one hour to FINISH! a dance that we had to put on stage in the following hours, as we did. But don't spoil it, yet. After eating that day and, due to we had already learned the dynamics of punctuality of the project, we went to have a siesta in the hostel. Surprisingly enough, the so-called “African Festival” had become in a public waiting room for the participants of the project and some street sellers. We decide, then, to entertain ourselves by printing our plane tickets and playing some games.
But hang on, because the surprises of that day weren't over at all. After dinner, we come back to the city where we receive our stage for performing. Thank you, my president, for your readiness. We thought that accomplishing with your wishes, you wanted us to perform. And we did. We know we are not the best dancers, or the best djs or even the best animators. We know that our french is not correct and that “un”, is not pronounced “Ahng!, and “deux” is not “Deugh!”, but we weren't doing it that bad for the police to come and shut down our party... I hope that you, Mr. President Ignace, can do something about it. Anyhow, we manage the major to see our performance, which is already another objective accomplished.
As the friendly, already friends, police suggested, we left the stage. On our way to our next adventure, we found attractive the invitation of some aged French people that were dancing popular songs. I am sorry to communicate this information to you, my dear president, but I think that we learned more dance in that hour and a half than the rest of the week. After being in that idyllic, film-like party we moved definitely to the hostel where it was supposed that the Bulgarian - Turkish party was having place. Unfortunately, we just found most of the participants drinking Raki in a room. Due to it was too hot in the room, we moved to another one. And then we had the privileged to see your personal councilor, Rob Dreadlocks. We were so shocked for witnessing an official meeting that we had to move to the room to internalize all the things that were happening to us. But we couldn't understand the gravity of the situation until our laughs brought you to our room, where you explained us the plans for the next day while asking the participants to refill your glass with Raki and for a lighter to smoke under the fire alarm. We feel so glad to hear about the surprise that was being prepared for the major that we couldn't restrain our joy.
The next day, as it was expected, we had a meeting to discuss the project and we were informed about the cancellation of our surprise in the major office. Therefore, we decide to eat and have a walk around the city. In our way back to the hostel, we decided to create a dictatorship in order to manage the difficulties about taking decisions that were going on, The Republic of Diversity whose emperor was Randomness The Unexpected.
But finally, my president, our great night arrived. It was the moment to finish with all the reserves of beverage that we still had and we were pleased with the visit of the trader of Saintes that increases the gravity of our questions games. We could say that he fueled enough the night to go to El Barco La Fiesta and start dancing till “Chu Oclock, Is closig, camon dgrink and leave quicly”. After some dances with the song of King Africa to solidify our admiration for the continent of our President, we decided that it was the moment of accomplishing the real El Barco La Fiesta.
After some efforts, we achieve the highest point in the river and sung to the owner of the dog, his devotion for the boat, which we had seen driving the motorbike minutes before. It seems that the shouting of the owner attracted the police just a moment after we accomplish our last performance on the cloudy and cold peak of the celebration. Our already friendly friends request us to please stopping partying and so we did. We knew we had accomplished our main objectives and expectations, so we could rest peacefully.
Next morning, it was arranged to leave one hour earlier than we did, but, as you may suppose, we were already used to that. We reach the beach listening to your state secret with your mother and we could enjoy a relaxing day next the sea, eating fgrench cheese and rged wine. Remembering our incredibly funny week, we said goodbye by thanking our great president Ignace his incredible performance as an organiser and ruler to the battle cry “IGNACE PRESIDENT”.
Thank you, Ignace, for being our president for this week.
We will never forget.
The participants of Embracing Diversity, a Project that wasn't a Project.
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Holy Shit! After reading this my head is confused... I think that tomorrow I am gonna skip life. And now, I am gonna eat some pork, even though it hasn't been passed the final exam for the university... I hope I won't find that waitress again with her endless song of la carte... But first, I am gonna drive the car, that I will soon return (probably demain, I promise), to see Rob and my mother, I think they have to tell me something about the sexuality in the project.
And regarding the report of the project...