Second part of my stay in sLOVEnia

Hi all,

I’m back in Belgium but would like to tell you how the second part of my visit in lovely Slovenia went.

At the end of November I traveled around in the city of Ljutomer, where I visited Kindergarten Ljutomer and where I met a family that uses bicycles to travel to the school. I ended my visit in Martjanci, where the Slovenian organisers of the Traffic Snake Game have their office.

Look, this is Jakob and Polona:

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They travel to school by bicycle or in a trailer attached to the bicycle. This is what they told me: “Riding in a trailer is fun and quick, the path goes up the hill first and then downhill really fast. Wow! we drove so quickly that my hair is a mess :)!”

Children from the Kindergarten Ljutomer were very happy to see me. In two years, when they will go the elementary school, they will play the Traffic Snake Game as well

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At the kindergarten, I crawled in the morning circle and all the chilldren wanted to pat me and talk to me. They saw my passport and found out where I came from and wanted to know more about my home.

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Then I went for a walk with the kids. Each one of them wanted to hold me which I didn’t mind! We were an attraction when they walked with me through the city. The adults and passers-by were also entertained.

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Then I was served lunch in the kindergarten so I was not hungry anymore.

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I also visited the older children, who at that time had an English lesson. I was very happy because I understood everything. Take a look at what we learned – Video 1 and Video 2.

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The three days in the kindergarten passed very fast. The children hope I will come back some day and that I will recognise them and remember their names. Which of course I will!

I ended my stay visiting the Slovanian NFP office. All the colleagues of Katja (person left on the picture) were verry pleased and happy to meet me. They follow the results of the campaign and also encourage new schools to join the campaign.

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Then Damir showed me an E-Bike, which they give to businesses, engaged in delivery of goods. Whaaauw, we went fast, withouth much effort.

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And now I am already back in my homeland – Belgium.

Next stop: Austria!

Hello from sunny Slovenia

Finally I arrived in Slovenia! First I visited the elementary school Osnovna šola I Murska Sobota (Northeast part of Slovenia). You can not imagine how happy the children were! They said they like the Traffic Snake Game and that they would like to play it next year as well.

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And they said that Travis is soft, long and friendly, because he does not bite!

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The school supports the Traffic Snake Game. Especially now the game has come to an end and the schools achieved excellent results. One of the teachers Marianne Kuzmič is also fascinated by Travis and the Traffic Snake Game.

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Marianne told us that the school already played the Deluxe version of the game: the school invited road safety professionals, like policemen, who instructed younger children how to safely cross the road, and they also introduced the use of public transport to older children and prepared them for a cycling test.

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Marianne is particularly proud of her class because it has achieved the best results in the school. She walks to the school or shares car with others who are driving in the direction of the school. As a reward after the game she took her pupils to the children playground in a nearby park, where they could play, and they also participated in the traffic as pedestrians on their way to the park.

The school experienced a positive response from parents who were for two weeks completely serious about the Traffic Snake Game. Some of them immediately bought safety helmets for their children and they even follow the Traffic Snake Game rules today.

Soon some more news from my trip to Slovania!

 

Cycling around in La bella Roma

Ciao tutti,

I have been in Rome!! It was amazing! In Italy the Traffic Snake Game has the lovely name “Annibale, il serpente sostenibile”.

Lorenzo and Emanuela from Euromoility showed me around. Together we presented the Traffic Snake Game to the headmasters of all primary schools in the third district of Rome.

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After that I cycled with Lorenzo to the National Conference on Mobility Management and Sustainable Mobility.

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During an after-lunch-meeting named “A coffee with Annibale” we explained how the game is played. It was nice meeting mobility professionals while drinking (or sipping!) Italian expresso.

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After my stay in Italy, I went directly to Slovenia, which is not at all far from here.

Saluti,

Travis

Some more news from Czech Republic

Hello all

The end of September I visited the town of Třinec and met two schools playing the Traffic Snake Game (in Czech called “Oblékáme hada Edu”).

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Třinec is an important industrial and cultural centre in the Moravian-Silesian Region in the north-east of the Czech Republic, close to the Polish border and also near to the border with Poland. The town is notable for its ironworks, Třinecké železárny – Moravia Steel. It is the largest steel making company in the Czech Republic and still has a major impact on the town and on its character.

Together with the school kids I learned a lot about traffic signs and rules, and we rode bicycles, scooters and pedal cars in the playground.

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The schools organised an art contest for the pupils. The children from the school Kaštanová drew very nice pictures on the theme ‘A day without cars’.

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Everyone was excited to meet me and were having their pictures taken with me.

What a pity I had to leave this nice country after this second visit. Hope to visit the Czech republic soon another time.

Greetingssss

Travis

The biggest Czech critical mass ride ‘Nakoleon’ in Brno

Hallo readers

Some more news about my stay in the Czech republic.

I had the honour of visiting the biggest Czech critical mass ride called ‘Nakoleon’, which took place in the city of Brno.

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Brno is the second largest city in the Czech Republic and an administrative centre of the South Moravian Region. The city lies at the confluence of the Svitava and Svratka rivers and has about 400,000 inhabitants (its greater metropolitan area is home to more than 800,000 people). Brno is also an important centre of higher education, with 33 faculties belonging to 13 institutes of higher learning and about 89,000 students.

‘Nakoleon’ is organised every year by a civil initiative ‘Brno na kole’ and this year more than 1,400 attendees arrived by bike. I have met aome candidates for Mayor of the city of Brno in the upcoming elections and some other initiatives of sustainable urban transport, such as the first Czech car-sharing organisation ‘Autonapůl’ or the bike-sharing initiative Rekola. I also discovered a great charity project called ‘Kola pro Afriku’ (Bicycles for Africa), which aims to give children access to education.

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Soon some more stories from my  long stay in the Czech Republic.

Kind regards,

Travis

My first TV interview

After my two day trip in the Czech Republic, I went to Brasov in Romania. Some schools were playing the Traffic Snake Game during my time there and I paid them a visit immediately after my arrival. They were all so kind and excited to meet me. I was glad to meet my brother, Oscar the Romanian Traffic Snake there too.

Brasov is a beautiful city, situated in the centre of Romania, surrounded by the Carpathian Mountains. Having a charming old centre with medieval history and German influences, Brasov is exciting because it provides an interesting mix between the attractive site of Tampa Mountain and the dynamic modern part of the city. I visited Brasov ZOO, one of the most beautiful zoos in Romania, sheltering a great variety of species of animals, most of them domestic. This was such a fun experience. And I even got my moment of fame back there. While visiting the TSG schools in Brasov, I was interviewed by the local TV channel. I told them that I am visiting every country where schools are playing TSG and how excited I am to meet all those children and my younger brothers in those countries.

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For Romania, I had something special in mind as well. We offered all the children postcards with the salute of each country involved in the campaign, asking them to send it to a close friend in order to tell the story of the game and their nice experiences. Some of them even promised to send their postcard to Oscar, to let him know what great results they have obtained while playing the Traffic Snake Game.

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Visiting my friend Oblékáme hada Edu in Czech Republic

It’s been a busy period lately, with all those countries to visit. Therefore, it took me a while to find some time to update the blog. Nonetheless am I very excited to tell you about my latest travels!

About two weeks ago I went to the lovely Czech Republic. It was during the European Mobility Week, on the 16th and 17th of September. Although it was a short visit, I enjoyed it very much. I stayed in the city of Zlín, in the South-East of the country. The region is a crossroad for the ethnographic boundaries of the Wallachian, Hana and Moravian Slovak regions. On my first day, I visited an event for school children in the traffic playground in Zlín-Malenovice. On the second day, we went to the Dřevnice river in the center of the city where an entertainment morning for children was organized.

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Busy times in Lithuania

This week I travelled to the city Kaunas in Lithuania, one of the Baltic states. Kaunas is situated on the confluence of the two biggest rivers of Lithuania: Nemunas and Neris! The city has many universities, high schools and a 1,6 km pedestrian alley with a bike path. Nowadays the Kaunas cyclist can use only 60 km of bike paths, but it will grow up to 150 km in the future.

Kaunas is a nice town, however  I was quite busy: I was invited to the Kaunas City municipality to introduce myself. The atmosphere of the meeting was very nice, despite the amount of serious people that were present!  I made such an impression that I was immediately invited to give a stand presentation at the event in autumn (on  24-25 September 2014 Kaunas will host event of World Health Organisation Transport, Health Environment Pan-European Program (http://www.euro.who.int/)). Looks like I will be back in Lithuania soon. Wish me good luck !

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Back home for a few days

Last week I travelled again to my home base, lovely Leuven (in French: Louvain).  Leuven is located about 25 kilometres (16 miles) east of Brussels. It is home to the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, the largest and oldest university of the Low Countries and the oldest Catholic university still in existence.

In Leuven I have met the people that will spread the Traffic Snake Game in France, Germany, the Walloon region (Belgium), Lithuania, Malta and Austria. After a long and fruitful meeting we went for a walk in the city centre to admire the statue of Fons Sapientiae, known lovingly as ‘Fonske’. The statue is located near the Town Hall in the direction of the train station. The university gifted the bronze statue, which is also a working fountain, in 1975 to commemorate the 550th anniversary of the university’s founding. Fons Sapientiae aka “the source of wisdom”  is the work of sculptor Jef Claerhout. Fonsie is shown with a book in one hand and a glass in the other, the contents of which – some say it’s wisdom, some say it’s beer – he pours into his head.

At the end of my stay in Leuven, we held a TSG-quiz. I had the honour to hand over the price to the winner Laure Duhorane from National Focal Point France.

Right after Leuven, I travelled to Lithuania. Soon I will blog about my stay there.

Travisss

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