I begin by stating what the organizers of the project ICU 2009 told us the first day we arrived in Lithuania. The idea of gathering 20 participants  from different corners of the world and make them understand each others culture sounded for me like a real chance to meet new people and broaden my international views. What I discovered also during this project is that immersing myself in another culture and deepening my personal understanding is not only about being involved in teambuilding games and attending presentations, as these do not represent the purpose itself, but the ways you can get to it.

Our stay in Lithuania began with some activities during which we had to interact and discover some basic things about each other, and about our organizations and cultures…it was more fun than it sounds when I say it! After this first step we took, participants started to share their knowledge about traditional songs, dance, food, and feasts during the daily activities or cultural nights. More interactive experiences like blind walking, quiz or games made at the proposal of participants created a relaxed atmosphere during the project and helped us grow ICU team spirit.

The venue insured us the possibility to visit the city and appreciate the very heat of Vilnius, the European Capital of Culture for this year 2009. As I was passing the streets in the sound of guitars, I suddenly remembered the first time I visited Sibiu many years ago. For those of you who are passionate in traveling, undoubtedly Vilnius is a place you should mark on your journey map. St. Anne’s Church, Royal Palace of Lithuania or KGB Museum, are just some examples of what the town has to offer.

Another experience that should be mentioned is the visit of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania (Lithuanian Parliament), very well prepared by the organizers of this project. The transparency that Lithuanians have in this type of matters is quite amazing and an informal presentation of one of the members of Seimas ( Asta Baukuté, a well-known actress in Lithuania) gave us some clues about cultural fundamentals of Lithuanian people.

There are many things to say…as many interesting experiences happened during this whole week of intercultural understanding. All in one, it was a remarkable chance for me to start gathering thoughts and meanings from different sides of this world meanwhile discovering also some new things about myself…

Ioana MUL