Locations: Maso Corto and Merano, Alto Adige and Salzburg, Austria
Piccolo Hotel Gurschler, Maso Corto
I carried out disseminations to a number of small groups of hotel staff whenever they could be spared from their hotel duties. The hotel was busy and we had to take advantage of times when individual members of staff could be spared.
Signora Giuliana Gurschler, the owner of the hotel where I always stay, was very supportive and as interested as ever in what we are creating in the project. Her four grown-up children have all taken part in disseminations on previous visits and were keen to learn about the further materials and developments that we now have. They were
Martina Gurschler: Finance and booking
Carolina Gurschler Customer Service & Admin
Hermann Gurschler Disco & Pub Manager
Michael Gurschler Barman & Cafe
As always, they were full of questions and wanted to know what new materials we were working on and what our plans were after the present project ends. Like most people in that part of Italy they speak both Italian and German as the region used to be part of the Austro-Hungarian empire. So they were able to enjoy our materials in both languages. They were particularly keen to try the tasks based on the maps and thought they make language-learning especially motivating. They felt the latest modules would prove very useful.
The first two days a massive Alpine storm raged and access to the internet was seriously disturbed, so that accessing the digital maps had to be delayed till the storm had passed.
On this visit there were a number of new members of staff in the Gurschler hotel. The new restaurant manager is Ivor, a Hungarian. He has only been there a short time in the past year so he was new to our second project although I did meet him there on an earlier visit and gave him a detailed session then.
Another new member of staff was Julia who helps in the bar and serves in the restaurant and café. She asked if I could send her some sample materials by email – which I will do. In fact I am in the course of sending emails to all members of the staff because they all asked for further information.
He an enthusiastic young man who helps in the bar in the evening and deputizes for Michael.
He is helped by Helga but she only works occasional evenings. Sadly I had no opportunity to spend more than a few minutes with her. But she is keen for me to send her more details by email.
Edi, an enthusiastic red-head, is one of the main waitresses in the restaurant and knows the project well. She had not previously seen the photos that I have added to the maps and thought they added real interest – making them more real than just a way of helping to improve language skills.
At the hotel in Maso Corto I got friendly with two men sitting at the next table and told them what I was doing in the project. I have promised to send them material so they can try some of our tasks. I understand one of them is married to a teacher, so that probably increased their interest. Although our detailed chats were not a dissemination as such, I feel that the interest that they showed was a valuable opportunity. We hope to meet on future visits.
Stefan Weithaler, who had been the restaurant manager at the Gurschler hotel for several years and who had shown great interest in our project, had resigned and was waiting to take up a post at another hotel in the area. I met him for a session at the Ski centre where he was deputizing for Walli Ossi – another colleague who is always keen to know what we are developing in the project. I am sorry I did not have a chance to see Walli and bring him up-to-date on our activities as he is keen to improve his French and English, and uses both the apps and the maps. I wanted to show him our latest modules.
Golden Rose Hotel in the nearby village of Certosa
On the Thursday evening I invited Thomas Rainer to join me for dinner. He had been assistant manager at the Kurzras Hotel in Maso Corto, and subsequently at the Golden Cross Hotel in another village further down the valley where I gave some disseminations last year. We have kept in touch regularly as he is very keen to keep up-to-date with the project’s progress. We had two hours together and I was able to show him many of the things we have been working on recently in the project.
School in Merano
Margit is the teacher that I met on my trip in March. She teaches at a school in Merano for 18-20-year-olds. She was not free to meet during the week, but on the Saturday that I left the hotel she had planned to visit a friend in a mountain village about two hours away by train – a town that my train was due to pass through. So we met at the railway station in Naturno at the foot of the mountains and travelled together - enjoying a two-hour dissemination in the train – which proved extremely valuable.
Although her school does not officially teach hospitality or hotellery, most of the students end up working in local hotels, so she is very keen to make use of our project materials to get the students interested and to use them for teaching both the jobs that they can train for, and improve their language skills for use in hospitality. I was able to show her a lot of the materials that we have been producing. She is very keen to use the 4 modules – and to see the 4.4 module about hotel staff and their jobs, particularly in Italian and German – but also in English.
The Star Inn Hotel near Salzburg Airport
As Ryanair’s afternoon flight back to London Stansted leaves too early for me
to catch it, I stayed the final night at this Salzburg hotel, as I did last March. The three staff that I had previously met were still really interested in the project as I had sent them a lot of material. I had the opportunity to meet three new members of staff and, because the hotel was very quiet, was able to run a good dissemination session with them and was able to give them some presentation material on the project and explain what our aims are.
The staff who I already knew from last March were the Manager, Sophie farmer, Veronica Quintero & Alwin Dietrich. The three new members of staff were Olga, Sabrina and Blagica. I am in the process of sending fresh project materials to all of them.
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