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Theo's trip to Poiares

Theo, 16/11/2021

Last weekend, we had a trip to Poiares, which is a little village, that is about 20 kilometres away from Coimbra. We had a project there which was from Saturday to Sunday, and the program included different activities.

So Pasquale and me started at Saturday morning at 5:30 to catch a train in Lisbon at 7:00 o´clock. That train brought us to Coimbra, where we arrived about 9:00 o´clock and were picked up by a small bus and the organizer. At Coimbra train station we also met the other participants for the first time. It was a group of 7 volunteers, who were all participating on the same project somewhere near to Porto. Most of them were Turkish, but also from Poland or North Macedonia. When we arrived in Poiares we were welcomed buy the organisers again but also the volunteers that were volunteering in the Poiares project, who were with us almost all weekend.

After the welcoming and some games to get to know each other, we had a workshop about forest and sustainability in forests, where we discussed about our different views about certain questions like “should the human interfere in a eco system like a forest”, and many more. After that first part of the workshop we had lunch all together in the restaurant across the street where everyone had the possibility to get to know each other.

After Lunch we had the second part of the workshop in which we talked about sustainability by taking a simple project from the supermarket and think about the many different stations and countries the product went through, before coming in our supermarket, which are easily 10 countries for a simple product like an espresso capsule, and that it is very weird how normal all these products are for us. After the workshop the official part for the day was over, so the organizers left and only the volunteers were left. So we got some food from the supermarket and spent time all together in the organisation. At 10 pm the bus picked us up again and drove us to the house where we stayed over night.

The next morning we were picked up by the bus again, after we had breakfast all together and brought us to the spot where we meat the organizers again. We met in the middle of the wood and had a 3 hour hike through the Portuguese woods and over the Portuguese hills. What was quite surprising to me was that the Portuguese forest looked not to different to the forests I am used to from Germany. After that hike I was very hungry but we had Lunch all together in the same restaurant again, which was very nice.

After Lunch we had our last activity which was an outside Laser Tag game in the public park of Poiares, which was very weird in the first moment but even more fun in the second moment as everyone was running around and hiding behind trees and benches. Unfortunately that was our last activity and we had to say goodbye to everyone from Poiares. The rest of the group was driven back into the city of Coimbra, where we had about 2,5 hours before our train was arriving. So we used the opportunity to look around Coimbra, which is a very beautiful city. After we went back to the train station and arrived around 9 pm back in Lisbon.

All in all it was a great weekend, I saw another city/village of Portugal, the people I spent the weekend with where nice and I had some interesting talks and also the program was a good mix of theoretic talking inside a building and doing something outside.

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