We were 3 teachers from 3 different countries, Julien Pierrot from Belgium, Jim Klinkhamer from Holland and me from France. We were giving 2 workshops a day, one in the morning from 9h30 to 12h00 and one from 18h00 to 20h00 in the evening. Inbetween was the lunch, a little siesta (because it was 40 degrees) and then some free floor training. We were having a meeting every day together with the other teachers to prepare and improve for the next day to make different themes of partner acrobatics: partner acrobatics in pairs and in a big group, banquine (in trio), learning some handstand balances. The workshops lasted from Monday to Sunday morning with a little presentation on Saturday night in a park of Banja Luka. The level from this convention was quite basic and so I felt that I had a lot of experience to teach them, and that was really nice. They were all really motivated to learn new things and always ready to try everything we proposed.
I was really amazed to feel that the war is still on the mind of the people; young people are still talking about it and felt concerned. There are still tensions between different countries. I just noticed the tensions between Croatia and Bosnia because I was in Bosnia, some people can’t forgive the part of the family that have been killed by someone from the other side. I met a girl from Croatia and she was trying to convince people that “we are all the same people”. We saw also a Bosnian movie and in one of the scene a girl walked on a mine and it exploded on her, she lost her legs. It reminds me what kind of life they still have, and also what kind of life you live when you have seen a war.
The travel went really smoothly and was really close from what we expected; the plane we could take because of the grant was perfect. We took a bus from Zagreb to Banja Luka and if was on time and everything. Everything was perfect except to go through the border that took us a really long time, to go out of the bus and check the entire passport twice, both in Croatia and in Bosnia.
Someone saw us performing together with Julien and proposed us to come to play our show in the festival in Zagreb in Croatia. We also would like to come to teach again next year in the convention.
The collaboration with our host was really rich and welcoming, they were trying to show us what the Bosnian culture that I found really great is. They showed us some Bosnian movies, we went to see the nature to see how it is to live there, and we had a book to explain how the war stated to understand the background of our students. I learned a lot teaching in this country and how we can exchange our experiences.
For me the major obstacle to be mobile in Europe is with the funding, because if the project who invites us doesn’t have any funding, most of the time we can not go. The second thing for me is to get some contacts to get some work abroad.
The mobility grant helped me to be able to go there, because without I wouldn’t be able to go because the host organization wouldn’t have enough money to pay my travel. The experience was great to me, it gave me a lot of self-confidence to teach abroad for different kinds of projects.