by Michaela Zahra
Dates : 28th Feb – 3rd March
EBM Valletta 2013, my first official AEGEE event, which turned out to be such a grand event! The whole definition of AEGEE still wasn’t clear in my mind at that time but then I understood that it takes participation and experience to actually understand the full concept and understanding of it all!
I was assigned the role of incoming at one of the accommodations that we had, that of Kastell, a medium sized B&B found in Tarxien. My role was explained clearly by the Sec Gen; Bernice and on Thursday I got down to business with Catia, one of the interns of AEGEE – VALLETTA.
We settled down in the lobby of the Kastell and started working immediately as there were some participants who had already slept overnight. Thankfully Catia and myself were the best combination, as I spoke English, Maltese and Italian and she spoke German, French and Spanish!
Our role was to give them the welcome pack, hand them their room key and finalize some payments. We were quite busy as participants were arriving all the time and we were limited for space, but we managed to finish the job and finally it was our time to get ready for the opening ceremony which was held at the Verdala Palace in Buskett followed by an after party held at Club Miami, Numero Uno.
The next day, Catia and myself were assigned to wake the participants up, they probably hated it! Thankfully Catia tried to make the situation more pleasant by putting on some music to put the participants in a good mood! Can’t help but mention that some Turks offered to help us wake up the participants by waking up the other fellow Turks (which quite a few!). Breakfast was served and off to the Valletta University they went!
The Opening Plenary took place and I quite enjoyed the fact that every antenna has their own way of making themselves sound and showing their presence, obviously the loudest antenna had to be an Italian antenna, that of Aegee Napoli. The German antennas that were going to hold the SPRING AGORA threw out some rubber ducks stating that whoever got hold of one of them had a free drink at the following opening ceremony of the AGORA.
After the plenary, everyone was assigned to separate rooms according to the workshops they had signed up for. After everything was finished we returned to Kastell and prepared for the theme party of the night, 50 shades of Grey held at Qube in Paceville.
The same waking up procedure took place in the morning and this time they were sent off to the University of Malta in Msida were the rest of the programme was going to be held for the weekend. That night the European night was held at the Kastell, were each and every antenna had their own stand with their traditional food and drinks. Being more of a friendlier and cosier environment I managed to speak and socialize with more people apart from the 100 participants I was looking after in Kastell.
Sunday, the final day, the remaining workshops were held and the closing ceremony of the Plenary took place. Unfortunately the Maltese organizers had to take part in a dare set up by the Turks as they stole our Antenna Flag. We could call this as an Aegee Tradition as flags are continuously stolen during events and usually harsh dares take place to receive the flag in return!
The last party was the Hat themed party which was held at Footloose in Paceville. We made sure that we partied hard as it was our final night all together.
That same night some participants had to leave and the goodbyes started. It was quite sad but we made sure that we said ‘It is not a goodbye but a see you later somewhere in Europe’
I enjoyed every second of the event, even though I thought that things were going to be different due to being a newbie I felt so comfortable in a family oriented environment with the new friends I made. Due to the Turks being the majority they made sure that they left an impact on the little community that we had become, they came with the term Kastell Kanka which means “The Kastell Bro” and it is guaranteed that this term is going to be used anytime we meet one of us somewhere in Europe!