PORTUGAL - Youth exchange program

Only one month passed after I had taken part in Youth exchange program in Sweden and I could not resist temptation and deciced to go to Training course in Portugal. Topic was very imnteresting Youth Empowerment for Social and Economic Equality. 

Have to say right away,  this project was the best one! Why? Read more...

I was looking forward to this project really very much by three reasons - the weather (it was October and 10 degrees in CZE, 30 in Lisboa), participating countries (Portugal, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Spain, Estonia, Georgie, Armenia, France, Albania, Israel, Turkey, Poland) and the topic.

Whole project was organised by youth organisation H2O and I simply cant find the right words to decribe all their effort and creativity put into this 10-day-project. 
Firstly, they cared about everything right from the beginning. All participant were picked up at the airport and transported to the place of happening - Rio Maior, small city located in the north from Lisbon. Hostel was very nice and comfortable, a park just in front of it, so we just laid after lunch on the grass while listening to music and relaxing. Every day was precisely planned and filled by rich program (sessions, discussions, presentations, team work, role plays, games) with many breaks to relax. Furthermore, we had three trips! One in Arrouquelas (small cosy and typical Portuguese village in countryside), second in Salinas (salt fields) and the last - whole-day-spent in Lisboa! 
Secondly, as a food-lover, I have to mention soemething about food as an important part of project. We could not wish any better meals. When we were in Rio Maior, lunched were in style of swedish tables - all you can eat, as much as you are able! Plenty types of meat, sea food, vegetables, fruit, side dishes, drinks, sweet things. Dinners were in high-standard restaurant.

As a next point to mention, and it actually made whole project amazing, was the trainer/instructor. Highly-experienced guy from Georgia. The best trainer I have met. He held a logical flow of activities during whole project. We played many get-to-know-each-other and icebreaking games at the beginning, so the friendly atmopshere and trust was created. Then started with topics, discussions, team work, role playes etc. What we all loved, were his energizers and games!! He had so many of them. Also worth mentioning, that I liked his methodology of carrying out the activities and discussions. Really creative and focused on building friendships, sharing ideas and approaches, coming up with possible solutions, gettting deeper into topics. In hindsight I really admire him. We were not aware of it and took it for granted and just followed the activities. But now I can see his abilities, effort and skills. There was always something to do, all the activities had logical flow, meaningful purpose and all sessions, role plays, discussions were connected with each other and were necessary to complete in order to get further in our projects. Not often are all sessions enjoyable and funny (for sure), but Giorgi found the way how to entertain us and make fun of seemingly boring presetations by showing real examples or connect the topic with current issue/news. You know, he could prepare the same methodology and similar activities for every day, just changing the topic or issue. But no! We had original methods, activities and sessions every day and this made every single day special, not boring and made us to look forward to every day.

Next, the location, Rio Maior is very cosy place. It was super hot those days. Even Portuguese guys said it is not common. It was constantly around 30 degrees. One day even 34, sunny, hot..Just amazing. Hostel was cool, with terrase, so we were drinking every single night and having a good time till 2-3 am :D There was a park right in front of our hostel, so we were relaxing and chilling after lunch (2hours break), just laying on the grass, listening to the music.


Beginning of the project

Arrouquelas, Interculture evening

Trip to Salinas


Drinking on the rooftop :D

Every night routine, till 2-3 am :D

Really special gift - project wine

Polish team
Black sausages