I participated in Erasmus + program for the first time and for me the destination was Portugal. When I heard about the possibility to take part in it, I knew from the first second that it was for me. It was an amazing experience and one of the biggest challanges I have encountered in my life. For a ten-year-old it is not so common to travel to a foreign country and stay in a ”new” family for a week.
The first challenge - communication
In Portugal English is a foreign language like in our country. Luckily we have smart phones and Internet to help us- this time it helped as well! Before our trip I downloaded one translation app. As my new family understood Portugese better, I set my app on my own mother tongue and Portugese. This gadget was a miracle maker and made my communication with my new family easier than I could ever hope for.
The family who hosted me was very nice and warm-hearted. In the family there were a mother, a father and two children – the boy called Guilherme was 12 and the girl called Catarina was 6.
Guilerme and I became friends really quickly. Every night we played a ball, competed in computer games or tested out balance on hoverboard. Every night they took me out for dinner and every night it was a new place like a restaurant or a bakery which belonged to my new father. Every time I felt their warmth and kindness because they wanted to offer me the best!
The second challange – local food
Like most of the world doesn’t understand our love towards some type of food, we don’t understand theirs. For me the biggest challenge was to eat chestnuts. In my family they cooked chestnuts as a salty or a sweet dish. Unfortunately I couldn’t eat chestnuts in either way. Too strange for me! Also they have different types of spices which they add to dishes and I must say my digestive system didn’t understand what I was eating and sometimes didn’t want to cooperate with me.
Our weekly timetable was full of different activities. There were some days we stayed at school and built planes, kites and did some Scratch. We visited different institutions, churches, a castle and many other sightseeing places. My favourite place was the museum of ships where they talked about the history of Portugese ships and their famous travellers. Also we had an opportunity to have a boat trip back to the past – amazing, yes!
I would like to thank our Portugese families who hosted us and made our stay there so easy and comfortable. Special thanks to the teachers in Portugal- your activities were amazing and taught as a lot. And finally thanks to our own teachers for making this experience even possible!
I really would like to participate in another Erasmus+ project- it was an awesome week!
Uku Saar, Estonia