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Pouaaa! It is the sound an alpaca makes when in a state of happiness. And there certainly was a lot of pwaaing resonating in the auditorium of Danila Kumar elementary school on 1st April 2015. Regardless of the date, the cheerful atmosphere and the peculiar number of plush alpacas, the event taking place was no joke. The renowned World Scholar’s Cup had come to Slovenia for the very first time and the privilege of hosting it had fallen on our shoulders, and what a privilege indeed! For a day, our school’s logo, the universal symbol of wisdom from Ancient Greece, was joined by the WSC’s Andean mascot, the alpaca, bringing with it this non-profit organization’s precious message of teamwork, collaborative learning and fun. In the words of its founder, executive director and self-proclaimed Alpaca-in-Chief Daniel Berdichevsky, it is not a competition, but rather a celebration of learning. The organization is bent on igniting a love for acquiring knowledge in students all around the world by giving them a chance to show off their wits at various individual and team competitions in the spoken and written word. It is not only an excellent opportunity for young scholars to practice their speaking and writing skills, expand their horizons on a number of important global issues and to have fun doing it, but also to enjoy all these qualities of academic endeavour together – as a team!

The hustle and bustle that had filled the auditorium during the last event was only to be surpassed by what ensued – the Award Ceremony. It was evident from the sea of smiling faces in the room that the competition had already been a success. For everyone. It seemed the medals were simply a cherry on top. Yet for our young scholars it was nonetheless a very tasty and well-deserved cherry indeed. As the medals and cups were distributed to students from all the participating schools, the coaches applauding at the back could not hide their enthusiasm and immense pride, for they knew that their students had received much more than an award for a job well done. Either conscious of the fact or not, what each and every student obtained at the WSC, beside the vast scope of knowledge, was the experience of learning to learn together, to have fun, and to take part in a competition, the aim of which is not merely to compete in the absorbed knowledge, but to share it.