Austria 10 October: Wien – Jormannsdorf
This morning we started at the Danube International School. Three to four classes of enthusiastic children between 6 and 11 were waiting for us on this chilly autumn morning in the schoolyard. It must have been like coming home for our international coordinator Salil, because he could do the presentation in his mother tongue, all the kids spoke English fluently. We were impressed by the mission and the aims of the school, which seeks to prepare students to become citizens of the world through its commitment to development of the whole child, both as an individual and as a member of the community. The school emphasises the need for acceptance of personal responsibility, concern for others, service to the community and an understanding of people of different races, religions and social backgrounds.
A little later we had a meeting in Vienna-Donaucity with the deputy mayor of Vienna. She herself a runner gave an inspiring and supportive talk. Also two young representatives of the UN were present.
Afterwards the priest of the catholic church "Christ, Hope of the World" invited us into the church, an unusual looking building. The outer appearance of the building is dark and heavy but as soon you are inside your whole feeling changes completely. The architect has used light wood, and has transformed the square building through round and fluent shapes, cut off edges, and light from above. The wound of Christ cut into the ceiling over the shrine, giving way to the sunlight in an extraordinary manner.
We were told that the architect Heinz Tesar wanted to set contrasts; unusual a church in the middle of modern office buildings. The architect wanted to symbolise: outwardly the church may not seem very attractive, but when you go inside you may be surprised.
This day we had to split the team in two. Dipavajan and Pratul went to a meeting with the most famous football club in Austria. The other part of the international team went on to the first reception around two o'clock in Mattersburg where the friendly mayor received us and ran a few meters with us out of the city.
In Kirchschlag we arrived a little later and because of our delay we had to leave quick for Bernstein. A short but nice meeting, in Bernstein we met the mayor who was waiting for us with some refreshments.
On our way to Mariasdorf we ran through beautiful green fields and the sun started to paint the country with her beautiful orange-gold evening light.
In Mariasdorf we ran with children down into the valley and up to a haunting medieval church, where we met with the city officials and lots of cheery people. Some of our boys played a little football with the children, while others snacked on the nice refreshments.
The last reception of this day was in Jormannsdorf, where the mayor received us at one of the most beautiful market places in Austria. We were introduced to three very friendly ladies of the local Nordic walking club and we got to know that the little village is very proud of its 420 km Nordic walking track.
At the end of this intense and very different day of meeting people it was already dark, so the light of our torch was shining even more intensely.
A big thank you to the mayor of Jormannsdorf. We were so happy about his invitation to the most beautiful spa in Bad Tatzmannsdorf!
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