TRAVEL STORIES: SEVILLA AND MINSK

Danny Brus, Feria Activity Week

The 2nd of May it was time for another crazy activity week of ESTIEM. This time Thomas and I traveled to the beautiful city of Seville in the southern part of Spain, to celebrate Feria de Abril, a festival which is reoccurring every year two weeks after Easter. Originally it was created as a livestock fair, but eventually it expanded to the size it has today. Besides seeing a lot of horses, drinking tons of Rebujito (a typical Andalusian drink made of wine and sprite), and having a lot of laughs, we also had to dress up in a suit (for guys) and a nice dress (for girls). Looking fancy all day had its downsides though, since it was over 30 degrees in Seville. The first days we had the chance to get used to the heat, however, since Feria did not start yet and therefore we were allowed to wear normal summer clothes. These days we also had time to discover the beautiful city and go to beautiful places like the Royal Alcázar of Seville and the beautiful cathedral in the middle of the city. All in all I can say that this was another amazing event of ESTIEM, which motivates me to do more in the future!

Loek Eggels, Survival Activity Week

On August 15th I departed from Schiphol towards Minsk to begin the Survival Activity Week. The group consisted of 11 nationalities. During the first day we played some introduction games, ate some potatoes with sausage (confirming Belarusian stereotypes) and went to the pub. The following day we enjoyed the city of Minsk via a city tour and a Belarusian cuisine masterclass in which we tried some traditional Belarusian dishes. Afterwards we got prepared to go to the forest.

During the 3rd day it was time to start the survival part of the activity week. We took a train from the central train station in Minsk to a small village 20 minutes away. Then we walked for 30 minutes before setting up camp. In the camp, it was possible to chop wood, cook or play games. After lunch, we played a forest quest in which our team had to prove to be best by playing all games as fast as possible. In the evening it was finally time for the well-known international night.

The morning after international night was filled with sporty activities like yoga and a lot of games of lasertag (laser gaming outside
in and around deserted buildings). In the afternoon we recovered with a meditation session and in the evening we played the traditional flunky ball and sat around the camp fire, sang songs and told stories. The next day, we packed up camp and went back to civilization. In the night we had the most memorable and fun bicycle ride of my life through one of the heaviest rain storms. All of us were soaked in less than 10 seconds. The last evening was spend with a gala dinner before going to the pubs for one last time. We stayed until 5 in the morning after which I had 1 hour of sleep before saying goodbye to Minsk and departing to the airport.

This was one of the best and most unforgettable weeks of my life in which I met so many nice people from so many different countries. I am really thankful to LG Minsk for organizing this fantastic week and I hope to see everyone again somewhere in Europe!