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BOTTLE RACE - preparation - Maamoura / Tunisia
Tunisia is associated primarily with the sun and beaches.
But my associations are a bit different.It all started exactly one year ago at another project in Barcelona / Spain. 30 participants from 30 different countries and each brought an idea for the project. I talked about our different designs from plastic bottles and above all the Big Bottle Race. This idea was very much liked by several participants. One of them was Amal from Tunisia. We have come to the conclusion that the idea is worth pursuing. We went back home and thought the topic "died". But it turned out not this time. Discussions began, exchanges of ideas, planning and finally the sacramental "yes, we are doing this project" and finally ... I landed in Tunisia.
It was a great challenge for all of us - the participants, the organizers and me. 9 years of experience with the organization of the Bydgoszcz Race helped me a lot, but I also learned many new things and gained a lot of new experience. The biggest difference was that in Poland I organized the race on the river and here it was supposed to take place on the open sea. Another surprise was that there will be three races in three different towns - Maarmoura, Hammamet and Korba, so the preparation time was less. Materials for construction were like in Poland, ie. plastic bottles, adhesive tape and stretch films. Even the paddles were the same - shovel shanks and plastic chopping boards. Even though we were working in the room, the temperature was giving us signs sometimes exceeding 40 degrees. But everyone was excited about the prospect of the race and the work started. A little theory, useful tips and finally came the time to work independently in groups. And it turned out to be not as easy as many had expected - role sharing, task coordination, planning, and teamwork skills. The restrictions that imposed the type of materials used also did not make it easier to work. And of course, no one has a magic wand to make a bottle boat in a few minutes. This was a very important moment for me - the motivation of the participants and the consultation of various solutions. And so, step by step, the shapes of individual boats began to slowly develop. Lastly, the last grinds, detail and time to test. And it turned out to be better than we expected.
On the way, on the beach, in Maarmoura we had fun with children, during which we "produced" about 50 pufs of bottles. This part proved to be very important, as the children collected and removed these bottles from the beach area and simply cleaned the environment with about 400 bottles.
When the boats were mostly built, we could devote time to building other "objects". And so there were more puffs, a table, sun loungers, a small boat, a big bottle and even a palm tree.And when everything was ready it turned out that the weather was precipitated, or more precisely the wind, which made it impossible to conduct the competition. It was necesarry to transmite everything for another week. And that unfortunately meant that I did not watch any "live" race. And that was my biggest disappointment. But it was a consolation that I acted in national Tunisian TV. And the huge interest of many media and huge numbers of Tunisians themselves has resulted in the fact that even before the races were held the organizers had already received several requests to organize such actions in other parts of Tunisia. It gives me hope that maybe I will have the chance to visit Tunisia once again and see some "live" race.
It is important to emphasize the great commitment of all participants, but it is impossible to ignore the work of two people without which the project could not be realized - Mohamed El Benney and Rachid Jannen - they were responsible for logistics, advertising and everything needed to make this project successful but also hope for its continuation.
I would also like to thank all those involved in this project, which can not be mentioned here, but in particular Amal Jazziri from which all began and Maher Chouchene, Ayoub Jazziri and above all Zaynoub Bouagin, who they devoted so much time to me get to know many interesting places and other faces of Tunisia.
It was a great adventure and I'm leaving with a sense of great satisfaction from a well done job, richer with more experience and great memories.
Thank you and I hope to see you soon J