On Friday 7 April, our school said farewell to our Dutch Exchange visitors from Dr Mollercollege in Waalwijk, the Netherlands. 17 pupils and 2 teachers returned to Enniskillen for the second half of the academic exchange between Devenish College and St. Joseph’s after having already made us feel very welcome to their home town of Waalwijk from 14-18 March 2017.
Well established for at least 15 years, this year saw our pupils build upon the bonds of European friendship with their Dutch and Fermanagh peers as they initially contacted each other through the staff supervised Group chat facility of Whatsapp. Quickly realising their shared interests and abilities, pupils felt much more familiar with each other before actually meeting in person, and when the time came for them to finally say goodbye on Friday, it made the process all the more emotional.
Travelling everywhere together and sharing the cultural, historical, sporting and active experiences ensured that we made many new and happy memories of the good times. Highlights for staff included the visit to the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam and the Camp Vught WW2 Labour Camp. Pupils especially remember the freedom afforded by cycling everywhere and he chance to experience flying for the first time!
We hope the Dutch visitors were impressed with Fermanagh as we showcased Coles Monument and Devenish Island, as well as the best of Belfast including City Hall and We Are Vertigo!
A sad but fond farewell to our guests was bid for this academic year, but it is hoped that the exchange will continue well into the future in the interests of maintaining truly European friendships for our future generations. Check out our facebook pagefor the photos that didn’t make the final cut, and the video of our visit to the Netherlands. Year 10- next year it could all be yours!