ITP 2016 Week 2 – Our Participants’ Thoughts and Feelings

Njeri Gachihi, ITP Past Participant Facilitator

We are well into the third week and it’s been amazing to hear what the group has to say about the programme so far. As we all expect, the participants are feeling a bit homesick and some have chosen to write how they feel being away from their families. This is therefore a mixture of excitement, fun, learning, exploration, bonding and gloom.

‘Dear All,

Today, I had a very busy and interesting day as we visited many places with my colleagues Shi, Meng, Noor and Saeed. We started our day at Tate Modern where I really enjoyed the “GEORGIA O’KEEFFE” temporary exhibition. After a long and nice walk next to the Thames River, we spent some time in the St. Paul’s Cathedral. Museum of London was our final destination. Apart from the collections, I had the chance to watch a short video about the fire of 1866 but also a group of happy children to participate in some activities. The day ended in the best way. My Chinese friend Shi and I, we had dinner in a lovely Greek restaurant “The Real Greek” at Berwick Street, Soho.’ Yolanda Theodolopoulou, Greece – 24/ 07/2016

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‘Today, I was so happy to receive an invitation to attend a reception on the occasion of the Arab Republic of Egypt’s National Day at the Egyptian Embassy in London. I met the Egyptian Ambassador and took a picture with him. Also I met the Cultural Counselor and Director and we discussed some issues.’ Sayed Ahmed, Egypt – 25/07/2016

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‘Today is the 2nd day of the 2nd week of ITP 2016. I woke up this morning with an excitement for learning something new on the ITP, but I felt I had a big hole in my heart. Something is not right; something is missing from my chest. I realised, I am starting to miss my family, especially my children, and most of all I really miss my 10 month old baby boy. He sleeps with me and he loves to be curdled up while he is sleeping. I can’t talk to him because he cannot talk yet. What a miserable feeling! I called home. It is late afternoon at home. My daughters asked me when I was to be home. ‘Why did mama not come back and pick us up?’ My 2nd daughter did not go to school today because she wanted me to take her to kindergarten. She asked me ‘Why does mama spend so much time in the office?’ and she asked me, ‘Has mama bought me a present?’ I held back my tears and asked her ‘what present do you want baby?’ ‘I want emmm…emmm…cat on bag’, she said. ‘Is that kitty?’ I asked. ‘Yes, I want a kitty bag’, she replied confidently. That is her request which I will fulfil. My eldest daughter who is 6 years old had requested a purple jacket. Thinking of them makes me so homesick. We sometimes have to sacrifice certain important things in our life and ITP in the British Museum is an opportunity not to be missed. ITP is the greatest platform for developing new networks and broadening knowledge on museums. What I am hoping now is that, I will not miss my boy’s first step. I was the first person to witness my daughters’ steps when they had learnt to walk by themselves. I hoping my baby boy also will let me be the first person to record his steps. I am coming home soon!’ Dora Jok, Malaysia – 26/07/2016

‘From archaeology to the sky…

From Ancient Greek and Roman Art to London’s highest contemporary building ‘The Shard’

From serious work to most “serious” fun

Every day. Again!’ Ana Sverko, Croatia – 27/07/2016

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‘First to the ITP representatives, many many thanks for arranging such a great and amazing programme. This week, I learnt that my mother is very ill and in hospital and this made me miss her so much. In fact, it made me realise that you can find everything in the world but not a mother. It is for this reason that I want to work hard and learn many things on this wonderful programme so that when she sees me in future she will be proud of me. As I pray and hope that she gets well, I have decided to take lots of pictures of me doing certain activities every day and send them to my niece who can then show them to her. When she sees them, she will be very proud and happy for me and I believe she will then feel better.’ Noor Khan, Pakistan – 28/07/2016

‘This morning, I attended the “Arabian Studies” seminar managed by the Middle East department. The most interesting session to me was about the traditional clothing, ‘the aabaya’. Also, together with Yara we visited the temporary exhibition ‘Sunken Cities: Egypt’s lost worlds’, where I learnt a lot about displaying and museology. The time spent at the exhibition was very useful. I liked the colour, the music and the object display design was very impressive too.’ Marie-Antoinette, Lebanon – 29/07/2016

‘Going to Stonehenge and passing by Bath for a while with the group was amazing and absolutely fun. The Stonehenge had a serene and relaxing atmosphere, and knowing all about it as a prehistoric monument was useful. Also, although we did not get to go to the Roman Baths, it was great to pass through and see all these fascinating structures and old churches in Bath. The nice weather really helped too.’ Yara Abbas, Palestine – 30/07/2016

‘Hello everyone!

This is a great opportunity for me at ITP 2016 as I am the first participant from Hadhramaut Province, Yemen. I was late to meet with the others on the first days, because of the delay in Visa processing. Together with my ITP colleagues we are involved in sessions, workshops, going behind the scenes, practical activities and learning what is beyond the museums field. This week we have visited the photography department, after a session delivered by the chief of photographers Mr. Ivor Kerslake and discussed with the vital role of photographer in supporting the museum exhibition programmes. For the first time, I went to the studios on the basement of the World Conservation and Exhibition Centre. The place is fantastic, and staffs were very welcoming and were working efficiently as a team. For me, it the first chance to see such a professional studio. We were taken through the process of imaging and photographing, lighting, background and how to photograph objects from different angles as well as taking in all the details. We learnt that it is quite easy to assemble a studio consisting of plain background, two lights, a tripod and a camera. This is all what we need to photograph a Museum collection.’ Saeed Bayashoot, Yemen – 31/07/2016

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