We arrived in Portugal on Sunday afternoon; in Porto airport we met the Portugal team and students from other countries. We were taken to the schoolhouse where we had our activities during the next week. In front of the schoolhouse our host-families had come to meet us. The girls stayed at the family home of Beatriz, who also has an elder brother and a dog. The boys also liked their warm and welcoming family. Families prepared us some Portuguese traditional food to taste.
On Monday morning after we had arrived, all countries gave their presentations: Portugal, Turkey, Italy, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Estonia. After the presentations our host-students introduced their schoolhouse Agrupamento de Escolas D. Sancho I and we had an excursion in smaller groups. The schoolhouse is really huge with 2,000 students. We had our lunch in school canteen and in the afternoon we had a workshop to calculate our ecological footprint.
Tuesday started with programming, where you could make a footstep counter, and Portuguese students had prepared presentations on the topic of plastic and carbage sorting. In the afternoon we could look around in Famalicao and then we had a fascinating workshop on soap and candle making in the school chemistry lab. In the evening we were taught some dance routines in the school gym, which all was very interesting.
Wednesday was meant to learn about the historical Braga city and in the afternoon we were introduced cultural heritage sites nearby in the mountains.
On Thursday it rained a lot and we went to Devesa park to visit The centre of nano technology. After the lunch at school we had a movie break and then we started making traditional dishes of our countries. The dishes we on the table where everyone visiting the great gathering with families could try them. The girls of Estonian team made yoghurt cream with kama, which is an Estonian cereal mix, and the boys made small sandwiches with the Baltic anjovis. This way the host families could also try our food.
On Friday we said good-buy to our families and we were taken to Porto to get to know about local industries, mainly wine industry. Before going to the airport we could enjoy the waves of the Atlantic ocean.
For us it was weird that Portuguese do not have heating systems in their houses, so the houses were a bit cool and damp, however, the people we very warm, positive and a good company. The nature was amazing. For us, the girls, the programming and nanotechnology center were a bit difficult to understand, but we learned a lot. We, boys, managed to make a foot step counter.
We really liked the school, which has even its shop to buy stationeries in case one has forgotten something at home. The school has a very interesting system of entering and leaving with a card, which also is used to getting food at the school canteen.
We had a great time in Portugal and we have a lot of new friends now. It was a marvelous and educative week, which we remember for a long time.
Sandra Toll, Kristin Kuningas, Aron Piik, Josh Meisterson.