Mega2 Namur

MEGA² closing conference Hello there! My name is Vanessa and I recently had the opportunity to take part in the MEGA² conference (8 – 11 May 2022), which took place in Namur. Students from 5 different countries gathered to bring the MEGA project to a successful end. The event was later followed by the C-side conference which took place in Oostende.

My experience in Namur was very pleasant. We arrived on Sunday, the 8th May and we were welcomed by our host families. In the evening, we spent time with our hosts and got to know each other. The next day, we listened to the welcoming speech, which took place in Le NID. The MEGA club from Namur presented their past projects, ranging from organizing litter clean-up events to organizing « mobiweeks », a week for promoting soft mobility at school. In the afternoon after having devoured dozens of Belgian fries, we had a chance to visit Le NID and take part in its interactive activities on environment. I liked the concept of a building which you can visit in order to become more environmentally aware.

Next, we went on an Eco-Tour of Namur. We visited the Pavillon, which is built from eco-friendly materials. I was also very impressed by the concept of the Green fleet, which is a group of electric vehicles delivering letters and parcels.

The afternoon was dedicated to the MEGA Video Project. We had to shoot a video in which we explain what projects the MEGA club from the respective countries had fulfilled. Since the sun shone brightly that day, I found it quite challenging to shoot the video without becoming blinded, but after countless retakes and laughter we eventually managed to put a good video together. During that time, we had the opportunity to exchange ideas with the other students and learn about their projects. The video making was later followed by a fun bowling session.

Tuesday was the most exciting day of all. In the morning we visited the House of European History. The objects exposed were interesting and our guide tried to interact with us by asking questions, which made the visit very pleasant. In the afternoon, we visited Brussels by bike. While I absolutely enjoyed the view, riding a bike was less pleasant for me, since the last time I touched one was decades ago. I had also forgotten how beautiful Brussels was! Its high-rise buildings and ancient buildings were astonishing.

On the bus ride we listened to Spanish music and the ambiance was great. I learnt a lot about other cultures, and I was happy to see that despite being diverse, we all felt united by our common engagement and thoughts. Furthermore, I noticed that the students spoke very fondly of their teachers and vice versa, which highlighted the good relationship between students and teachers. We had dinner back in Namur altogether and we had time to relax and to joke around. Because I was so eager to visit a Belgian school, I asked the Belgian students to take me to a private tour of their school. I was surprised by its size, design and by the beehives. I realized, that l’Institut de Champion is a special school.

Tuesday was the last day in Namur. It was difficult to say goodbye to my host-family, since their hospitality really moved me. In the morning we met with the others, and we watched the MEGA video that we had been recently working on. On the bus to Oostende, I thought about this conference and I am sure it will remain in my memory as a unique experience. I also hope that I will be able to see my host again.

Overall, I can say that this trip challenged me to try out new things such as biking and bowling. In addition, I also learnt a lot about myself and how I can sometimes come across as distant and cold even though I do not mean to be. In comparison to others, I also noticed that while I talk a lot, I never tell others about myself. Thus, in future, I will try to be more open and to smile more. Furthermore, I also learnt a big deal about environmental issues, and I truly admire Namur for doing its best to become a sustainable city. This trip really inspired me to make more efforts to fight against climate issues. I also met and connected with new interesting people, whom I really enjoyed spending time with. I can only recommend participating at Erasmus+ projectsJ