Thursday, 1 June 2017

Midterm in Guimarães !

Last month was my midterm evaluation training, in the beautiful town of Guimarães. It is located in the North of Portugal, close to Braga where my on-arrival training took place. I have to say that the weather did not reconciliate me with the North ! It was raining almost everyday, but I guess I was just unlucky…. Anyway it was a very nice reunion, since I saw a lot of people I met last november: it was a great experience to be able to share your feelings on all those months with people who lived the same things as me, but in a different city, in a different association, and with different people. Guimarães is a really nice town, with its historical center and  its medieval architecture. We gathered (there was maybe 25 participants) together and share our impressions, our expectations and overall how we felt about the project. In my opinion it was a really helpful stay in order for me to focus on what i want to do and how. When I got back to Lisbon, I hosted a good friend of mine. Together, in addition to seeing Lisbon, Belém and Sintra (the usual) we visited the national park of Arrábida, which is really amazing. Tomorrow, I am going back to Paris for a little less than two weeks, to visit friends and family. I am very excited to go back, it’s always a very odd feeling to be on vacation in the place you come from 😊 I’ll keep you posted !

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

First steps in Spain :)

Olá! Sou a Mariana Graça e tenho 21 anos! Sou de Beja, onde fiz o ensino regular e depois fui estudar interpretação – teatro na EPTC em Cascais e na ESMAE no Porto.
Já estou em Plasenzuela, Espanha. Desde que cheguei que me identifiquei com o espaço, é tudo muito familiar. A paisagem é muito bela e as pessoas muito queridas.
Ao estar noutro país parece que estou muito longe, mas não, estou “aqui” ao lado!
Aproveitei nos primeiros dias para conhecer o sítio, mas também as cidades aqui à volta. Fui até Trujillo e Cáceres, onde pude apreciar o centro histórico!
Candidatei-me ao SVE, pois queria conhecer novas culturas e aproveitar esta oportunidade de partilhar o que mais gosto de fazer com outra comunidade. Sou atriz e gosto muito de fazer teatro, mas cá tenho a oportunidade de partilhar a minha experiência com outras pessoas, e também fazer outras coisas. Todas as atividades estão ligadas ao que mais gosto de fazer e estou muito curiosa para o que aí vem!
Quando pensei em ir viver para outro país agradou-me muito a parte de estar com uma cultura diferente da minha. Vou aproveitar ao máximo esta oportunidade!
Fui bem recebida aqui e conheci logo algumas pessoas, todas elas muito simpáticas.
Acredito que vai ser uma boa experiência e que me vai enriquecer! 
Estou pronta para dar o melhor e viver a aventura!

Vamos ver como corre esta viagem, estou muito positiva!

Friday, 26 May 2017

From Croatia with love !


EVS – Vodnjan, Croatia

It has been more less two months that I have been in Croatia participating in the EVS project in Vodnjan - Dignamo.  My name is Johanna Santos and i am 26 years old. I am from Coimbra and I studied always in that city or nearby, so, no experience in any sort of Erasmus.
At first I decided to do an EVS project without motif, my idea was just to go abroad and live outside of my environment for a few months. With this idea in mind I started my research and as more I researched about EVS projects more my interest was growing. 
At the end, this EVS project was presented to me by Check-in and I just applied. The first thing that caught my eye in this project it was where it was happening. CROATIA, one of my next travel destination on the list.
What started to be just a desire to go and have an experience abroad, end up being a big experience until now.  I am currently developing skills in an area different from the one I studied and I am enjoying it. The host organization is letting me space to develop my abilities and hobbies like photography.
The fact that we are 6 volunteers living together is improving my acceptance of others and they cultures. I feel that for now I am being challenged almost every day with my work in the association. Sometimes I miss Portugal, my friends and family but this experience is worth it of that.
I encourage you, if you don’t know what you want to do in life, to do an EVS project.



SVE – Vodnjan, Croatia

Faz dois meses e pouco que comecei esta experiência de Serviço Voluntário Europeu em Vodnjan – Dignamo. 26 anos feitos e nunca tive a experiência de Erasmus, sempre estudei na mesma cidade.
A minha primeira ideia era apenas ter uma experiência de viver no estrangeiro por uns tempos. Mudar de ambiente. Neste sentido comecei a pesquisar iniciativas deste genero e surgiu o projecto SVE. Quanto mais pesquisava sobre este projecto mais a vontade de participar nele crescia em mim.
Esta oportunidade foi-me apresentada pela associação Check-in e quando vi decidi candidatar-me primeiramente pelo local onde o projecto se realizaria. Croácia um dos destinos na minha lista.
O que começou por ser apenas uma vontade de viver no estrangeiro transformou-se numa enorme experiência com a qual estou a aprender. Tenho a fotografia como hobby e aqui em Vodnjan a organização dá-me espaço para trabalhar nesta área e a cada dia que passa desenvolvo ou ganho conhecimentos em diferentes áreas.
Partilho a casa com mais 5 voluntários de diferentes nacionalidades. Esta vivência ajuda-me a ganhar ainda mais respeito pelas diferenças entre as pessoas. Sinto que estou constantemente a ser desafiada neste Projecto.

Às vezes sinto saudades de casa, da familia e dos amigos mas pela experiência que estou a ter aqui vale a pena sentir estas saudades.
Se estás com dúvidas sobre o que fazer no futuro eu aconselho um projecto SVE. 

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Luís is discovering - and loving - Sicily!!!

Projeto SVE
Nome: Alveare - TO Bee Safe 
Entidade de acolhimento: Fondazione Mondoaltro
Local: Agrigento, Italy
Voluntário: Luís Pereira

 
Bem, é difícil saber como começar a recontar a minha experiência em Itália e do Serviço Voluntario Europeu.



Cheguei cá a Agrigento dia 4 de Outubro 2016, o principio como sempre é um bocado difícil habituar-se a uma nova cidade, cultura e habituar-se ao dia a dia da associação mas foi um processo fácil e passado 1 ou 2 semanas já estava habituado a tudo a minha volta. Conheci na minha primeira semana cá, muitos sítios interessantes como a Scala dei Turqui (A escada dos turcos), este deve ser o meu sitio preferido que conheci até hoje.


A minha experiência cá está a ser fantástica desde tudo que aprendi, pessoas que conheci e claro, conhecer a Sicília. Já tive as 2 formações do meu SVE a primeira em Nola, Napoli foi fantástico conhecer pessoas de outras nacionalidades a fazer o mesmo que eu em Itália. Eramos 60 pessoas e passamos 1 semana ao pé de Napoli a conhecer mais sobre o Serviço Voluntariado Europeu a conhecer novas culturas e a fazer novas amizades para o futuro!


Depois dessa semana de voluntariado passei um fim de semana em Catania uma das maiores cidades da Sicília para a festa de Sant’Agata com pessoas que tinha conhecido na formação em Napoli! Basicamente, nesta festa toda a cidade pára durante 3 dias para uma tradição de 1700 anos! Nunca vi tantas pessoas juntas na minha vida como vi nesta festa era simplesmente caótico.


Mais recentemente estive em Nicolosi na minha segunda formação, ao pé de Catania e do vulcão Etna! Tivemos “sorte” nessa altura porque houve uma pequena erupção do vulcão no nosso primeiro dia em Nicolosi, foi uma experiência única ver um vulcão em erupção bastante perto de nós e como era a tranquilidade das pessoas que viviam em Nicolosi e dos nossos Trainers que reagiam como se fosse uma coisa normal!

É impossível contar tudo o que vivi e experimentei estes (quase) 7 meses que estou cá, mas posso dizer que sinto-me Siciliano e sinto-me em casa cá. Faltam-me cerca de 3 meses e veremos como serão!


Luís Pereira
25/04/2017
 

Friday, 17 February 2017

19 weeks, 131 days, 3144 hours, 188640 seconds.



19 weeks now. Today, I feel I got in Lisbon yesterday. Yesterday, I felt it was the day before. Maybe this is the feeling you have when you like where you are; you don't even think about the time. In thirteen weeks, as I usually do, I tried to adapt, to discover and to learn. Now, the Spring is here. It is February 17th, and it is sunny and warm already. Everywhere I wanted to travel, I can go now. I used these 13 weeks to walk around Lisbon and get to know this city and its surroundings. I still have a lot to discover, and I’m excited about that. But everytime I wanted to travel elsewhere, I thought it would be better to wait for a while, as it would be more pleasant with a bright and warm friend. So, in the meantime, I am enjoying the music of this city, which is close to constant, and everwhere. Fado, Samba, Forro, Cumbia, Jazz, you name it. Everywhere you go, a saxophone or a cajón awaits. 


Two of my best friends are coming to visit next week. We will go together in Açores for a few days, to enjoy a little bit of nature. Because even though Lisbon is an easy-going city, calm, quiet, it is still a great feeling to leave it for a few days and go to the beach, hike or just enjoy the sun with friends. So i really am looking forward to it, but probably not as much as my friends who are both incredibly excited J We will still have a few days in Lisbon so I can show them the city, Sintra, maybe go to the beach too. I have the feeling my friends won’t want to go back !
Everything is also good work-wise. We applied to a whole lot of different projects, all more interesting as the other, and I hope most of them will be approved. We’ll have the answers in the beginning of April, so until then, fingers remain crossed. But not only that, we decided with the whole team to become more involved in local activities and we want to start developing them. Therefore, I am trying right now to find a place to start a monthly screening of a documentary, followed by a debate and Q&A. I think it would be a good way to sensibilize people to a lot of different subjects.  And since we are advocating for alternative education, this is the topic I want to dig. Just the simple and plain fact that there is not only one way of learning, but several. One is not inferior, or less regarded, but different. We will try to screen features approaching this issue in a historical and sociological  way. I already have a few ideas, so let’s get to it J  

Friday, 3 February 2017

time flies!

Time flies!


February has begun and it means that already 4 months passed from the beginning of this adventure.
I’m very happy to stay here and with every passing day, I’m always more and more convinced I’ve made the right choice and, who knows, maybe Lisbon could even become my home city when my Evs will end!!!
From the last time I wrote in this blog, a lot of things happened J
My parents came here for the Christmas holiday and it was amazing have them here, I guided them to discover every hidden corner of Lisbon and at the same time we visited a lot of places out of the traditional tourist’s routes outside the city.
Lisbon and its surrounding always continue to surprise me with beautiful miradouros, natural landscapes and amazing sunsets.  


 




At work, 2017 started with a lot inspiring ideas, good purposes and, last but not least, also new members of the team have come!
Last week we also have an amazing staying in Estoril, a really nice place about 20 km far from Lisbon, in the Atlantic coast. It was our Check- OUT: all the Check-In team met up for two days and we plan the activities coming up the next months, present how and in which sectors Check-in works to the “newcomers”, share our ideas and proposals to improve the impact of the association in our area; it was a really good experience, so inspiring  and at the same time it was a moment to build new relationships with new volunteers and reinforce our team spirit!



Friday, 6 January 2017

Happy new year :)


It now has been 3 months since I started this journey here in Lisbon. Time flies, I feel I just got there. This city keeps getting more and more interesting. Although I haven’t got the chance to travel all around Portugal yet, since I am waiting the perfect opportunity, (friends and great weather both hopefully coming soon!), I got to know more and more beautiful Lisbon. There is something quite fascinating about it, but I don’t really how to explain it. The hills, the music, the people all create this particular kind of atmosphere, and a little poetry you can feel in the air. But not only the city, I am surrounded by colleagues who, I am lucky to say, became my friends. We have been sharing great moments and conversations for a while now, and I think the bonding time has just begun ! Apart from that, the work itself is fulfilling since I can write and speak with people from all around Europe, and this sort of international interaction is actually what I was looking for when I decided to do an EVS.
I went back to France for the holidays, enjoyed quality time with my family and spent the new year's eve with my friends, in the mountains in the middle of nowhere. Even though I enjoy life very much in Lisbon, walking up and down the streets of this magnificent city, everybody needs break from the sound and the fury of such an entertaining environment. I came back a few days ago, without nostalgia and eager to see all the friends I made here. A few friends frm France are going to come visit me soon, and we will travel a bit in Portugal here and there. A great year awaits! Thank you to everybody who made this journey possible :)