Programme & action: ERASMUS+, Key Action 1: Youth Exchange
Venue: Maceira – Fornos de Algodres, Portugal
Dates: 19 – 27 September 2016
Participants: Tomáš Voda, Miroslav Kovář, Veronika Jirků, Karolína Pilátová, Monika Ngo-Le
Group leader: Libor Karvay
Please read the info-pack
Participating countries: Czech Republic, Portugal, Macedonia, Turkey, Latvia,
Hosting organisation: Associação de Promoção Social, Recreativa, Desportiva e Humanitária de Maceira
When we arrived to Maceira, a small village in the northwest part of Portugal, on Monday 19, we were welcomed with a big warm hug from one of the host organizers and in that moment we knew, that this youth exchange will be just awesome.
Even though it was not on the schedule, we already started with teambuilding that evening in the local café and got to know each other pretty fast. There were people from all corners of Europe – Portugal, Macedonia, Latvia, the Czech Republic and Turkey, but our origins and differences did not matter that time – we were all young open-minded people from Europe who wanted to learn something, explore other cultures and improve ourselves in all possible ways.
The project was focused on sports and European citizenship. During the week we went deep into history and important moments of our national sports, then we tried all kinds of traditional sports and games on our own and found out that we all have in our countries slighly different but still the same version of dodgeball. There was more we had in common – beside the same type of humor and the way how to deal with all kinds of daily events, we surprisingly found out, that the Macedonian and the Czech languages are very similar and sometimes we just spoke in our mother tongue with each other without any bigger problem. We were all on the same wave and during the whole week there was not even a moment when I got bored.
Every day ended with something special – karaoke night, Mafia night or intercultural nights, where we had an opportunity to explore a bit of the traditional cuisines, dances and traditions and we learned some useful frazes in every participating country’s language – in case we would visit those countries one day. One of the last nights we spent in Fornos de Algodres where we attended a Fado night (Fado is a typical Portugese song) in a local church and later an authentic Portugese outdoor village dance party. Both were amazing experiences and we found out, how awesome the real Portugal is!
One of the main aims of the project was to create an unique European game. This mission was accomplished and even more – we created three games, tried all of them and they were just perfect – we deserved to be proud of ourselves.
However in the end of the project were more goals we accomplished. We made new friendships, we improved our English, self-esteems and we took home so many beautiful memories of that amazing experience that we just could not bare the comeback to the reality.