The Ship of Friendship
A day before the practical part of
the exam, participants of the 39th International Chemistry Olympics
relaxed at the Bay of Joy - an on-river site.
Students were provided with various entertainment during the trip: they sang songs and made up dances. A group of professional Russian dancers, "Belorus," showed off their small performances and even taught the participants a few easy steps, which they greatly enjoyed.
In one of the competitions, the chemists were divided into seven groups and were told to make up a chemistry-related name for their team and learn a traditional Russian dance and song. Then they performed their newly learned skills and the audience, made up of other contestants and guides, raged!
While working together on one project, they students got to know each other in different way: not as competitors, but as friends. They laughed, exchanged e-mails and helped each other with languages and moves presented to them.
As students left the boat, the previously empty field suddenly looked live and fun-filled. The students played volleyball, soccer, and badminton games, many participants and even some guides ran off to the river for water fun and some just preferred relaxing on fresh grass under the shining sun.
In addition to learning traditional Russian dances and songs, students were given a chance to try on some traditional attire. The boys pulled on shiny black boots, baggy brown pants and loose shirts, which they tied with a piece of beautifully woven string. Hats with green leaves as decorations and brightly colored coats were also provided. As for the girls, pink, red and green dresses hung on the racks in the tent and countless decorating hats filled the closet.
On the way back to Moscow, students sat around the tables and quieted down, they made music with plastic cups, and played card games. The table with Japanese guys was particularly popular, for they offered free origami lessons. And for the first time during the trip, they begun exercising their minds in preparation for tomorrow“s practical exam.