by Felix Kreis
Friday, 06th April 2018
The day started early. Very early. On Friday, 06th April 2018, at 3:45 am the Konstanz IstKon group met at Döbeleplatz in Konstanz. The bus was ready to leave and almost everyone was on time and full of anticipation. But soon, some excitement arose, because a few fellows were looking for our common cash resources, that we really needed for our different activities in Istanbul. Everyone was sitting in the bus and everyone hoped that the money would be found fastly. And luckily, someone had the bright idea to look in the packed bag after they searched nearly everywhere. Finally, after we had mastered the first difficulty, the bus could leave.
Fortunately, the organisation and schedule was planned on generous lines, so we arrived punctually at the airport after an one-hour-bus ride. Almost everyone was tired because of the early time, even though the amount of sleep varied from a couple of hours to no rest at all. But the beautiful sunrise in combination with the great sight on the alps from Zurich airport definitely compensated the waiting.
Our plane took off at 7:40 am and we had a pleasant flight of approximately three hours. Turkish Airlines, for us a very considerable airline, provided really good food for our only three hour flight. But, everyone wondered what it was. That was typical of our whole food experiences during IstKon.
After we landed safely, the next misfortune happened. One of our valued team members couldn’t find her passport and a time of worries and hope began. Then, the passport reappeared and she could pass the passport control. Sadly, the difficulties didn’t stop there. A bank card was eaten by a very unkind cash dispenser. So it took some more time to start with the bus to the hotel. On our way, we saw the tremendous city of Istanbul. Its enormous skyscrapers and vast buildings expanded impressively over uncountable hills. The arrival at the hotel in the late evening was really liberating because everyone was exhausted due to the long waiting hours, and -of course- the travelling. But everybody was completely amazed by the nice easter surprise in our hotel rooms, so we knew from the first minute on, that the Turkish team really cared. However, the core team (merciless :D) announced the next appointment. At least we had a few minutes to unpack our suitcases and to buy water and other necessities.
Then, we were off again for the real purpose of our trip: #buildingbridges! So there was another short bus ride to the place where we finally met our buddies and the Turkish team. We already heard them a block away and when we arrived there was an impressive shower of confetti. It seemed so unreal and it felt like coming home to your well-known old friends, though most of us only contacted each other per texting a few little messages. The welcome was so warm-hearted that you just had to like the event and start making new friends!
After some talking, the logistics team supplied us with a selection of pizza. After we have eaten, exchanged first ideas and started lively discussions, the program began inside the conference hall. The first important step was to introduce everyone, what was done by some revolutionary games like bringing shoes back to their owners and throwing balloons around. Tiredness was blown away: The getting-to-know each other helped immediately to improve our connections to the other team members and to remember the names (that is really tough in such a big group!). After a while we recognized how tired we were and we were driven back to the Holiday Inn Hotel. Finally, we could sleep – well-earned. But a lot of more or less sleepless nights have followed, as you will hear in the subsequent articles.
Copyright (photos): Nodar Kontselidze