Malta 2022: Seizing the Last Chance to Go

From Corona, Covid, lockdown, distance learning to airplane, sunshine, Mediterranean Sea and beach days – what a difference within only a couple of months!! And who benefitted from this change? The ones who deserve it most and who had to wait for it for more than 2 ½ years: 5LWE, this year’s finalists and graduates.

FIRST TIME could be the key word for the whole trip: there were a lot of “firsts” going on throughout these 8 days. Let me tell you just some of them:

Starting with the time of the journey: May had always been the “month of Malta” at our school in Kematen. Our new location Rotholz (or was it a little virus?) suggested that fall would be the better season to go. So, we went in September, for the FIRST TIME ever. And it was not Rotholz, but definitely the virus which suggested that staying together in a hotel would be way safer than with a lot of different host families – and what a great hotel Number 11 (who thought of that name ?!?) turned out to be!

For some participants, it was the FIRST TIME at an airport, the first flight, the first take off and the first landing. A pretty smooth flight still seemed pretty scary to the primary fliers – and we were off for a good start. Seeing an island from a plane is not a very unusual experience but landing on it a few minutes later had probably not been experienced by too many of the students before.

ESE guides welcomed us at the airport, took photos, and mixed up students and teachers. Suddenly David was a teacher for the FIRST TIME, in charge of the students, and Ms. Macht would have to go to lessons the next morning. Then we got a crazy ride through dense traffic – which is, by the way, totally normal in Malta – to our hotel. Quick check-in, short walk to the rocky beach, and off we went to ice-bowling. Those who were there in t-shirts and shorts know what I’m talking about ❄😬❄.

2nd day, FIRST TIME at school in a foreign country, nice teachers, good results at the initial English level assessment (which made the teacher happy, of course), but still temperatures lower than in Austria – at least in the classrooms and on the busses. Magdalena could have easily gone skiing in Austria with the outfit she was wearing during the lessons.

Due to rain in the afternoon, the excursion program was changed (a FIRST TIME for me), and shopping was the thing to do. Everybody enjoyed the freedom to explore the surroundings on their own, in little groups.

Every now and then, even teenagers have to eat, so we met at the “Cuba” restaurant, which turned out to be a “rat’s taurant”🐀. Curious about this happy bunch of people on the terrace across the street, a huge “Ratatouille” was running back and forth to get our attention – and it worked!

From day 3 onwards, the weather decided to be nice to the happy people from Tyrol, so we could do all our activities as they had been planned. On Friday, there were lessons in the morning, and in the afternoon an arctic bus took us to Blue Grotto, with beautiful rocky landscape and the official group picture in white ESE t-shirts. A short visit to a fishing village with an unpronounceable name (Marsaxlokk), dinner at Cuba, and the second night out in Paceville (what happened there stays there 😎) rounded off our preparation for the weekend.

On Saturday, the traditional Gozo trip day, was filled with amazing impressions of the scenery, two trips on a huge ferry, and swollen ears due to our “pretty talkative” guide Josette. Plus, our group size increased by 2 new members on the bus: inflatable “Calypso” and her doughnutty friend joined and followed us for the rest of the week.

Sunday and Golden Bay was essential, for a bit of relaxation. Sunbathing, swimming in the very warm sea, digging a hole in the sand (trying to get to Australia??), some ice-cream every now and then, all this brought back a lot of energy for the upcoming final days. What the day also brought along, however, was one or the other little sunburn caused by ignoring the teachers’ strong recommendation to use sunscreen – a lot of sunscreen. But brave students don’t complain, they suffer quietly…

Monday meant being back to work – lessons in the morning –, but also some really amazing impressions during a harbour cruise on a pretty big boat. Our vessel, however, was tiny compared to the cruise liner and the cargo ship, that many students (not all of them, due to eye relaxation) were able to see, definitely for the FIRST TIME in their lives.

Tuesday: some more English lessons in “The Fridge” (= school), then off to Valetta – the capital city of Malta – to spend all the money that was left for souvenirs and gifts for the stay-at-homes. Those who were at the meeting point in time could observe another FIRST TIMER in their life: the firing of a cannon by an official Maltese guard in uniform. Despite being prepared and waiting for the big bang, everyone present experienced a short tremor through the whole body when the canon went off. With bags full of presents and memories we went back to our hotel and said good night soon, because of an early flight on the next day.

After a short night – surprisingly nobody slept in –, we took a little morning wake-up walk to the bus, fell asleep again on the bus, woke up, checked in for our plane, fell asleep again, boarded the plane, fell asleep again, got our luggage in Munich, hopped on the bus, fell asleep again, and finally were back at Rotholz, where – I guess – a lot of us fell asleep again in the boarding school or at home.

Dear 5LWE, thanks for this flawless and enjoyable trip! You’re a great class and great individuals – it has never been easier and more comfortable for me to spend 8 days in Malta with a bunch of teenagers. Well done, all of you 👍!

Mag. Georg Hofer

Veröffentlicht am 07.11.2022