December 6th was a very special day for me, my students, my school and the entire Moravice. It was the day when Moravice got a set of 25 postcards for the first time in the history of the village.
How did it all start?
My students and I take part in a penpal project with students from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine, Portugal, Spain, Mexico and Brazil. We are mostly exchanging emails. Xmas cards, as well. But we started thinking it would be great not only to write about Moravice but also to show the natural beauty of the cluster of villages that make up Moravice. So we went to the local post office. Unfortunately for us, there was only one motive of Moravice and only two copies of it. Quite a shame! And we needed 25 different motives because there are 25 students taking part in the penpal projects...and we are doing it with 8 different countries...So, if you are good at Maths, you'll see we needed much more than 2 postcards that were available at the local post office!
So we decided to make our own postcards. First, we needed good-quality photographs of Moravice and I contacted my former student, now 17-year-old Natalija Dokmanović who loves walking around the villages of Moravice and taking breath-taking photographs. She kindly agreed to give us 25 photographs. But, a busy bee as Natalija couldn't just bring those 25...she brought approximately 300 photographs to choose from! And, believe me, it was a demanding task which I did with the help of my 8 class students. Somehow and don't ask us how...we managed to choose 25 photographs that we wanted to see on the postcards.
When the postcards were printed, they were like a dream come true! 25 pearls! 25 breath-taking and heart-shaking postcards!
So we decided to present them to the public. And we did so on Saint Nicholas' Day and it was our present to all the people of Moravice, those who still live there as well as those who left many years ago but their hearts beat and weep for their birthplace.
The very promotion was quite poetical thanks to the teacher Željka Vrcelj who gave an amazing speech about Natalija and her love for photography. How deep is that love? Imagine a teenage girl getting up at dawn so she can go around Moravice and catch the perfect sunbeam...the perfect sunrise...or to endure low temperatures to take a photograph of a frozen lake...a glittering snow cover which reminds her of the sea, the sea of Gorski kotar...
I want to thank my dear colleague Željka Vrcelj for inserting poetry into photography and vice versa. I want to thank my former student and my personal ICT expert Nebojša Petrović for putting up with me and all my crazy ideas. And there are plenty of those. I want to thank Natalija for simply being herself and pursuing her dream which is becoming a professional photographer. The first one in Moravice.
And last but not least – I want to thank all the people of Moravice and those who cherish Moravice in their hearts for making this project a truly great one!
So, come to this pearl of Gorski kotar! See the beauty that is shown on the postcards! But mind this! If you ever come to Moravice, you will fall in love with that beautiful place. And these postcards show that love. My love for the place that has been my professional home for the past 11 years!