The first time I heard about the workcamp in Amarante was at my third day in office. Everything I knew was that it was a “camp” where volunteers from Portugal are coming together to spent a weekend together, so I just applied for it and was accepted!
Me and Pasquale started the trip to Amarante at Friday the 13th of August at 7:30 in the morning. It took as about one hour to get to the bus station of Lisbon. There we took a bus for 4 hours to get to Porto and there we took another bus that took us to Amarante in about 50 minutes. When we exit the bus, we did not really know what to do, as we only where told to go to Amarante but not exactly where in Amarante. But 3 minutes later we figured out that there were other volunteers standing right next to us and someone would pick us up to show us where to go.
At the arrival in Casa da Juventude (CJ) we just put everything in our rooms and met downstairs to get to know everyone. Later that day we went to a little “Beach”
at the river, as it was very hot, and there were some rocks where you could jump from into the water, which was super fun. Back at CJ we took a quick shower and had dinner all together. After dinner we did a big drawing in front of CJ all together, as there was a festival, in which artists painted big drawings all across the city.
While being on the street 100 meters away from us suddenly a big crowed was built and loud music was played in the middle of the crowd. Coming closer I realized that there was a group of 10 musicians with drums and many different Wind instruments playing songs that everyone knows like Bella Ciao and many more. They created such a good vibe and everyone was dancing and singing with them, which was very fun. Afterwards we went to a dark place to watch the stars and afterwards we went to sleep.
The next day I stand up at 8:30, took a shower, had breakfast and the program started at 9.30. First thing we did that day were some games in smaller groups and afterwards we had language lessons where we could learn or teach any language we wanted to.
After lunch we took some yoga mats to go in the park and did some mediation. Afterwards we shot videos about sustainability and had a workshop about composting. All these activities took until 6 pm, and back at CJ we just sat in the backyard and nice talks.
After dinner at 7:30 we went to a private concert of a Portuguese group at 21:15. When the concert was over everyone split in smaller groups, but most ended up in a nice bar in the centre of the city. There everyone had a drink and later on we moved down to the river.
The next morning I had breakfast with everyone else at 9:00 o´clock. After breakfast, the boss of CJ gave a workshop about fair trade, which was super interesting. For example I learned, that many countries are bigger than shown on the European world map, because Europe is put in the centre even thought it is in the north, and much more. After that workshop we spent the time in the backyard and were just relaxing until lunch started. After lunch there we had one hour where different people where leading different activities for example dancing salsa and some more.
After these activities we went to the beach at the river again to do some kayaking and swimming in the river. Coming back we had dinner, which was cooked by volunteers, because the kitchen is closed on Sundays. At 21:15 we all met in the backyard and watched the videos about sustainability from the day before and sat together in a big circle for quite a while. Later that evening we went to the same bar than the night before and went to watch the stars at 0:30. There we stayed until 3 in the morning, so I was very tired the next day.
The next day I woke up at 8:30, so I really had to hurry to shower, pack my stuff, get breakfast and say bye to everyone, as my bus came at 10:00 o´clock. At 2:30 I arrived in Lisbon and around 4:30 I arrived at my home.
All in all I really enjoyed the weekend, I met so many people from countries I never been to and met a person from that country (for example Island) and made many new friends.