Summer Camp 1997 in Malta
Malta '97 English Language Summer Camp for hard of hearing persons
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This summer camp was decided in a way to be different from previous ones organised by IFHOHYP. It will be an opportunity for people to LEARN as well as ENJOY themselves! Malta is a very popular destination for people who wish to strengthen their knowledge of English, as thousands of people of all ages come for this purpose! However, don't worry you're not going to spend all day in a class-room! We have laid out a full programme of activities so that this summer camp, held for the first time in Malta, will be a great experience for one and all, for cultural events, sun, fun, and sea, and will be an opportunity to make friends from all round the world!
Malta, islands in the Sun
Malta is the place for sun-worshippers wanting peaceful friendly surroundings. It is a treasure trove of arts, history and stark beauty out of all proportion to its size. The Maltese Islands, consisting of Malta, Gozo and Comino, are situated in the Mediterranean circa 100 km from Sicily and 290 km from North Africa. The 365,000 Islanders, with their strong European identity, trace their origins to before 4000 BC, and Malta boasts the oldest free-standing buildings in the world. The Maltese owe their faith to the Apostle Paul who was shipwrecked at Malta in AD 60. The language is basically Semitic with a sprinkling of Romance, with an English, Italian and French influence being noticeable, and can be attributed to the Arabs who ruled for over 200 years between the ninth and eleventh century AD. The strong cultural identity was influenced by the Knights of St. John who stayed for 268 years leaving a wealth of artistic treasures. Finally, political and legal system, with a deeply ingrained sense of democracy, was inherited from the 164 year long British connection. The islands finally became independent in 1964, and a republic in 1974. The President of Malta is H.E. Dr Ugo Mifsud Bonnici.
White Rocks (Bahar ic-Caghaq)
The White Rocks Holiday Complex used to be a holiday site for British officers. It is a fully equipped complex with a swimming pool, games room, TV Room, Shop and Laundry. It is a beautiful, quiet area, surrounded by sea and country-side. Facing the sea, it is about 10 minutes walk away from a secluded rocky beach. Buses stop just outside the exit of the hotel. Paceville, Malta's prime night life area, is a short bus ride away.
Our association is celebrating 25 years of work for the Maltese deaf community. We hope that this Camp will prove to be a memory of this special year!
We would like to take the opportunity to thank all the people who have done so much for Maltese deaf people in these past 25 years.
And so the end has come. Finally, after 9 months work, Merhba '97 came to a conclusion when Karl and I took the last 4 participants to the airport and bade them farewell.
When Karl and I took a last look around the apartments that had been our home for the better part of 3 weeks, we felt a twinge of nostalgia for the good times that we had and for the friendships that we made, and the experiences that the encountered.
Notwithstanding some slight niggles (there seemed to be a jinx on the camp as practically everyone had to be treated for all kinds of minor injuries by the camp doctor-elect Ivan, including himself!), it seems that everyone had a good time. Friendships developed, and romances flourished, as could be seen from the copious tears shed by so many persons at the farewell party.
Who can forget the sight of Ludvig being plastered with birthday cake icing, Michel imitating the ambulance with sound-effects and all, Natalino giving his ape-impressions, and so many others who contributed to the Talent Night. How about Angelina's wrinkled nose when she saw snails being served in the Malta Night? Or Edgar's delight when he discovered Mqaret? One must not forget the contribution by Jennifer for the games in Malta Night, or the somewhat colourful hairdos and nail varnishes provided by our Italian friends! Maybe we can also add the surprise and puckered lips on several people's faces when they discovered that the pool was salt-water!
This camp was an eye opener for us, living proof that cultural, linguistic and national boundaries are no problem when it comes to developing friendships and garnering experiences. For us, the organisers, it was a matter of pride and joy that all 33 persons from all over Europe had a good time and got into the spirit of things. The nine months work were not in vain.
We would like to thank all the teachers (Fred, Lina Vella, Lina Ellul, Sandra, Chris, Chris' brother and Jennifer) for their contribution to the course, for their efforts in providing a suitable level of teaching, a somewhat difficult experience considering the varying levels of English and hearing involved.
Our thanks go to Fred, for his relentless work in the months preceding the camp, as we would not have managed without him.
We look with gratitude towards all the persons who provided transportation to and fro the airport on the arrival and departure days, to Mr Vella, White Rocks Hotel Manager, who was so accommodating when we made unending requests, and also the other volunteers whose involvement was so valuable.
Finally, we thank everyone who participated in Merhba '97, as everyone had such a valid contribution to make!
We will miss you all, Malta '97 participants, until we meet again, SAHHA!!!
The report is taken from this web page - Updated on 19 August 1997