Croatia 2016: Day 6 – Learning the Design Process in Korcula
In 2016 we are leading 4 high school summer trips. You can read all about our Global Innovators trips or get in touch to ask us any questions about the programs. Our 2016 Croatia trip focuses on sustainable development and small business in the country. During the trip, students take turns writing a daily blog post to describe their project process and exploration, follow along here. After breakfast in our apartment, we went into town to interview locals. Similarly to our interview activity in Split, we walked around the town and talked people in the area about their opinions on Badija, the island we kayaked to yesterday. I was paired with Nick and we had two very insightful conversations with shopkeepers. I thought the shopkeepers were nicer than the ones in Split because they were willing to share more information and tell stories rather than just giving short answers to our questions. They told us that Badija used to be a lively and popular place to visit and had a hotel and sports center on it. However, now the church dictates the land and the hotel and other activities no longer exist. Something we learned is that since the church manages the land, nothing can be built on the island. This was extremely important to know since it may lead us to change the direction of our project. In the design process, one continually is changing and refining their plans due to unexpected obstacles.
After interviewing, we went for a dip in the ocean. Today was supposedly the hottest day so far in Croatia, however I did not feel like it was hotter than previous days. It still amazes me that the water is so clear and refreshing, especially after walking for long periods. After that, we headed off for lunch at the same restaurant we ate at two days ago. Their chicken salad is the best I have had and I was happy to have it again. We chatted about our interviews and the idea of preservation rather than development came up. For now, we are not narrowing down our plan yet.
We went back to the apartment to freshen up before heading out again. I decided to go with Chela back into town but others went with different leaders. We went to the top of the clock tower, which was even taller than the one in Split. Though climbing all the stairs was a bit nerve racking, the breathtaking view was completely worth it. It is unbelievable to see all of Korcula from that one spot. When we got back, Niamh, Kelsey and I went for a swim in the pool at the apartment to cool off. As you can tell, keeping cool and hydrated is key to getting through long days in Croatia’s hot weather.
Feeling refreshed, we headed off to dinner at a local vineyard. At the vineyard, there was a restaurant and a village of homes. We were able to have a go at making Croatian macaroni, which I will admit was much harder than it looks. The dough was cut into small cubes that we rolled around small wood skewers to form long, thin tubes of dough. To remove the dough from the skewer, the skewer had to be gently twisted out to leave only the macaroni. Contrary to the macaroni I am used to, this kind was long and straight instead of curly. We also got a tour of the village surrounding the restaurant by Frank, an older man who grew up in the village. The houses all had a similar rock siding-red roof look to them.
Frank said that many of the homes could not be sold since they were co-owned by people living around the world and were therefore left to rot. He pointed out a house he built himself and his grandfather’s home. I loved to communal feel of the neighborhood and was jealous of their unbeatable view. We also had a taste of some dried figs and cherry tomatoes from the property. I could tell how important the village was to him and his family, who opened the restaurant in 2003. After the tour, we had dinner which included hand rolled macaroni and delicious bread. After stuffing our bellies full, we headed home. Some headed off into the town again, but I decided to stay back with a few others to write this post Overall, it was one of my favorite days in Croatia so far, though everyday seems to be a favorite. The days go by so fast even though we are constantly up and moving. I am excited to continue working on our plan for Badija, which has taken an surprising but exciting new turn.