Archive for the ‘Communication’ Category

2010 in review

January 2, 2011

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The average container ship can carry about 4,500 containers. This blog was viewed about 18,000 times in 2010. If each view were a shipping container, your blog would have filled about 4 fully loaded ships.


In 2010, there were 4 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 214 posts. There were 3 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 2mb.

The busiest day of the year was December 14th with 375 views. The most popular post that day was Christmas food in Ireland.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for torrone, wren, wren bird, webcam, and christmas in austria.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Christmas food in Ireland December 2007


Torrone, an Italian Christmas dessert December 2007


Money for the Starving Wren December 2007


Christmas in Austria December 2007


Wren Boys Procession December 2007


Christmas and New Year in Romania Seen through a Foreigner’s Eyes

January 3, 2010

Along the last two years we have described our Christmas and New Year traditions as we, as Romanians, see and understand them. This year, besides this, I thought of asking a foreigner to do it. Ms Natalie Montanaro, an American Peace Corps volunteer in Brusturoasa, Romania, helped me with this and I would like to thank her for her effort and to wish her and everybody here a HAPPY NEW YEAR (and Easy Recession!).

Here’s Natalie post:

It is my pleasure to be here in this place and to share these times as a Peace Corps volunteer with the Romanian people in Brusturoasa and its surrounding communities. It has been the single most wonderful holiday experience I have ever had. And it couldn’t have come at a better time. Being away from home is harder than I imagined, but life and God (and Santa, too) always seem to bring the gifts that you need the most when you least expect them. By the way, our bear “costumes” here in the village as you can see were actual bear skins-paws, teeth and all. Any taxidermist would be proud. The entire event was a unique combination of an “Ancient and Horribles” parade, majestic rodeo-style equine processions, old-fashioned European spirited holiday cabaret chorals in traditional hand-made Romanian dress, hilarious comical renderings with cowbells, flutes, drums and horns along with history-relating theatrical ditties reminiscent of Shakespearean lore both by children and adults. All of it ending off three hours later with American-Indian-like rain dances in the dark accompanied by a Fourth of July fireworks finale above enough to shed light on the snow-covered mountains turning red, blue, and yellow as faces in the crowd watched in amazement. We all walked to our homes together following the procession as it trailed away from a huge mass gathering to variously sized groups of friends, neighbors, and happy children saying goodnight and praising the talents and efforts of all who performed. You really haven’t lived until you’ve paraded with the bears—Fabulously Frenetic!! The following is a portion of an article regarding Romanian Christmas traditions, including the steaua, colinde, and the jocul ursului (bear and comics parade), that occur during the holidays here, some of which are unique to the region of Moldova. The original post can be found at The Village Way: Romanian Christmas traditions are based around the idea of time, explains Ion Blajan, head of collections at the Peasant Museum (Muzeul Taranului Roman): the traditional tales and celebrations are based on a 12-day period in which life goes through a chaotic period then starts afresh in the New Year. The practices that surround these traditions are now mostly seen in Northern Romania, around Bucovina and Suceava, and especially in Campulung Moldovenesc. Blajan explains the stories behind them: Romanians believe there is a period of chaos, where the world is broken and anything is possible; dead souls can come back to the earth, and we can communicate between our two worlds, the underworld and the sky. All this is reflected in dancing and songs and parades, and there is no regard for anything serious while it’s going on. Sounds just like a New Year’s Eve in London to me! On the last day, when all the celebrations finish, people beat the bushes where they believe dead souls are hiding. They believe the souls must go back to their world or else they’ll threaten people on earth. It may sound like something your mother warned you away from, but the result is a wonderfully creative expression of tradition, with children in amazing costumes, so cleverly constructed and imaginative they could well be on a theatre stage, accompanied by sweet-sounding songs as well as miming and parades. Blajan continues: After the chaos, Christ is born, and from the chaos is born a new world. Children go around with a star and sing songs about the birth of Jesus Christ. Specific activities happen on each of the 12 days, says Blajan: On Christmas Eve the day is very short, and it was thought the sun would die, so a fire is lit on a wheel, which looks like the sun, to help the sun rise again, because without the sun the world would die. On New Year’s Eve there are parades in the villages with bands and everyone wears costumes and masks. There are bride and groom masks, which symbolise a new life, and masks of old men and women which represent the old year. Some children dress up as bears – in the past real bears on leashes were led by gyp sies in parades, but now sheep or bear skin costumes are used. Often the parade features goats, horses, deer and other animals pulled along on wheels as part of the parade with the band and the rest of the characters in the masks. Then on the last day, January 7th, children go to each house and sing songs about the baptism of St John. *WISHING ALL OF YOU BOTH NEAR AND FAR THE MOST BLESSED OF HOLIDAY SEASONS!

A strange Christmas tree

December 21, 2009

I’m Emma from class 2A

I want to show you my Christmas tree. It isn’t like the other green pines. It is a dry tree and it comes from Spargi Island in Sardinia. MY mother and I have seen it on the beach after a few days of bad sea. I don’t really know ehere it comes from, maybe from far away.

On 8th December we decorate it with lights and balls. Every year in a different colour. Last year it was blue and silver. This year it issilver and white. I like it very much because there is not another one like it.I love its shape because it reminds me the wind blowing.

The days before Christmas I go with my mum on the hill near Alessandria. We look for some leaves and twigs then, we oranges and candles, we decorate our Christmas table.

Best Wishes to all the Kids

Emma Class 2A SCuola Vivaldi  Alessandria

My Christmas Tree

December 21, 2009

Dear Friends

Every year on 8th December my family and I make the Christmas tree.

We put on it some mum’s old decorations and every Christmas my sister and I add two new objects that mum gives us as a present. These ones are not just little balls but also some special fantasy characters such as an acrobatic lion, a fairy grandmother and her elf, four fat and happy mermaids, a frog that plays the flute, a skating cock and so on.

On our Christmas tree there are also a lot of red and white little candles and on Christmas Eve we light them to see their flames trembling in the dark

It’s wonderful!

I want to shw one of its decorations 

Happy Christmas

Laura , Scuola Media “VIvaldi” Alessandria, Italy

Our Village – Winter Photos

December 18, 2009

Photographer: Ana Maria Iacoban (8th form)

St. Nicholas Day Tradition in Poland

December 13, 2009

In Poland on the 6th December we celebrate St. Nicholas Day. St. Nicholas was a bishop mainly known for anonymous gifts giving to the poor. On that day we give presents especially to children.
In our town – Sochaczew in the centre of Poland we also celebrated St. Nicholas Day. In the morning that day the main square in the town was crowded with a group of motorcyclists with their motorbikes. These people are real fans of this means of transport. Some of them have very old bikes even from the 2nd World War. On that day they showed their generosity and love to all the children. Dressed up as Santa Claus they were giving sweet gifts to all passing children in the streets in our town. Thanks to generous sponsors they could visit poor families, a children’s home and sick children in hospital in Sochaczew.

Karol Dukalewski

Agata’s Christmas tradition

December 11, 2009

Hello Friends

I’m Agata from class 2 A at Vivaldi School in Alessandria

I have  a family  Christmas tradition.

Every year my mum prepares the “Bread Child”.

It is a cake in the shape of a child and it represent the Christ Child . In our dialect it is called “Crumbot”

It is very easy to prepare. You just need flour, sugar, eggs, water, butter, raisins and yeast. It is so tasty!

We give it to our relatives as a present because it is a lucky symbol.

My greatgrandmother began this tradition and we are pleased to  go on preparing this simple , nice cake

Merry Christmas to you and all your teachers


Christmas 2009

December 1, 2009

Hello friends,

Christmas is coming and the students of classes 2A and 2B of Scuola Secondaria di Primo Grado “Vivaldi” di Alessandria in Italy are ready to work at the project

We are 12 years old and very pleased to communicate with our European friends and write about Christmas.

We know you already know many things about Italian Christmas traditions but we are doing our best to add something new

Last weekend  we began preparing  Christmas decorations in our homes and we are going to show you some pictures.

What about having a survey about the present we’d like to receive ? We ‘are sending ours as soon as possible…

Bye for now.

a big hug from thekids of classes 2A and 2B of Scuola “Viavaldi” and Piera, their teacher

Christmas 2009!

November 7, 2009

Hello, dear friends!

I hope we will all be able to post materials this year as well. I have already started preparing some songs with my pupils!

Best regards from Romania!


Carolling in Kilkenny

December 17, 2008

We have been busy rehearsing our Nativity play for the past two weks. We will perform the play on Friday night in school for our parents and grandparents. Our favourite carol in the play is Mary Had a Baby. It is not a traditional Irish carol but it is a West Indian carol. We hope you like it too.
3rd, 4th, 5th & 6th class
St. Brendan’s N.S.

Mary Had a Baby
1.Mary had a baby,O Lord,
Mary had a baby,O my Lord,
Mary had a baby,O Lord,
The people keep a comin’ and the train done gone.

2.Laid him in a manger,O Lord,
Laid him in a manger,O my Lord,
Laid him in a manger, O Lord,
The people keep a comin’and the train done gone.

3.Shepherd came to see Him, O Lord,
Shepherd came to see Him, O my Lord,
Shepherd came to see Him, O Lord,
The people keep a comin’ and the train done gone.

4.Named Him King Jesus, O Lord,
Named Him King Jesus, O my Lord,
Named Him King Jesus, O Lord,
The people keep a comin’ and the train done gone.
The people keep a comin’ and the train done gone.