O Nosso Intercâmbio com a Bélgica
Secundária Daniel Sampaio / Sint Theresia College
O intercâmbio com a escola belga de Kapelle-op-den-Bos começou no ano lectivo de 2007/2008 e está a bisar este ano lectivo de 2008/2009. Tem sido uma boa parceria e tem proporcionado aos nossos jovens uma experiência enriquecedora quer a nível cultural e de relações interpessoais quer a nível de utilização da língua inglesa. Quem é um leitor habitual do jornal da nossa escola já teve a oportunidade de ler as crónicas da primeira estadia dos nossos amigos belgas por terras portuguesas e da nossa estadia por terras flamengas mas de qualquer modo parece-me boa ideia transcrevê-las ….pensando nos leitores menos ‘habituais’ ou mais ‘distraídos’, não acham?
Porém, as crónicas são em língua inglesa – a língua oficial dos intercâmbios – o que espero não seja um impedimento para o nosso entendimento. Deixo-vos as crónicas e umas fotografias para poderem partilhar e desfrutar connosco os belos momentos que passámos em conjunto. Em breve terão a oportunidade de ler (no jornal e neste blog) a vinda dos “nossos” belgas a terras portuguesas já neste ano lectivo ….nós só iremos revê-los para finais de Abril….
The Belgians…..Our New European Friends
No artigo “Cidadãos do Mundo – Intercâmbios Culturais com Escolas Europeias” prometi uma crónica detalhada da estadia dos nossos amigos belgas em terras portuguesas. E, prometido é devido….porém não posso fazê-lo na língua materna, sorry…. I have to do it in the English language….oh, go on put a smile on your face, you can understand it, after all English is the global language, right? And, besides that, English is ‘the official’ language in these Student Exchange Programmes so, it would be unfair to use the mother tongue. No more excuses, let’s do it…
Our dear friends arrived on a Friday late afternoon and, as usual, there we were on the airport waiting for them. And, we waited and waited because the plane was late as usual. When or if anything went wrong, we (the Portuguese and the Belgian teachers) had an agreement beforehand, we would blame the Belgians … it is a matter of common sense… the Belgians, as a people, are used to it and, we the Portuguese don’t take it as well, so it was a good start, right? It was a Belgian Company, Brussels Airlines, and they were late …see???? I’m joking, of course, you know me by now, and we didn’t need to put the blame on anyone because everything during that week went on smoothly! We got along really nice! Oh, for heaven’s sake, here I’m daydreaming….back to the airport, go!
They arrived and there were our students’ families waiting to take them home for a nice Portuguese meal and chat over dinner – Belgium and Portugal at the table! Cool, it’s the Portuguese way of living, we immediately showed our friends a bit of our culture, kind of strange for our Belgian friends, they kept saying all week long that we eat too much and take too much time doing it ….cultural differences – to learn how to respect them shows maturity and makes you a more tolerant human being and, that is one of the goals of these projects.
After dinner the students had agreed on going out to listen to a Portuguese band, have a drink and get to know better one another. And, that’s what happened, we all went (the teachers included) to ‘Knock Out’ and the evening programmes started….it was a hard week, believe me…
According to the programme, the weekend was each family’s responsibility, but the students got together anyway; some of them at the beach (it was a fantastic weather! Our Belgian friends were very lucky); others at Belém and eating the world famous ‘pasteis de Belém’; at Sintra, Cascais, Sesimbra …well, it was up to their imagination, but what I know is that they all had a great time. No, I’m not boasting, it’s on their reports… didn’t you see the exhibition? It’s still on but not for long! So, if you want to know a bit more, climb the stairs and next to our School Library there it is!
On Monday morning we left school together on a bus and we headed to Setúbal to watch the dolphins in river Sado. It was amazing! I’m never tired of watching these wonderful creatures ….ten minutes after getting in the boat there they were, swimming along and the captain followed them and we took pictures and more pictures. We were all with a smile on our faces when we arrived land. In the afternoon we went donkey riding …. What good laughs!!! Those are stubborn animals but we all (some of the students chickened out…shame on them!) enjoyed ourselves. We got back tired but happy.
On Tuesday morning we went to Cristo-Rei, up to the top….it was a nice view! Lots of pictures and a lot of talking….we were getting to be a group! In the afternoon it was ‘surfing’ time …a lesson, first, and off we went into the ocean … some of us looked like ‘professional surfers’ on our boards, others, the ‘amateurs’, fell all the time and came to the conclusion that to surf is damn difficult but damn fun!!!! It was an unforgettable afternoon and we (including Micas, a Portuguese student, that had a small accident in the water …nothing serious but we were a bit worried, weren’t we? But she is a brave girl!!!) all had a great time!!! Surfing the waves is an experience we’ll never forget.
Wednesday was ‘school day’. We showed our Belgian hosts a bit of Portugal with the help of some power-point works (to be honest, it wasn’t that good ….a bit chaotic….shame on us!!! We could have done much better!); we showed them our school premises with a ‘foot-paper’ and that was fun and after lunch we had some games. It was a nice day … but the night was to come and that was super! It was Karen’s birthday, one of our Belgian hosts, and we decided to surprise her with a birthday party at teacher’s Ligia garage …it was a success….lots of food (typical, right?), music, a big birthday cake, and a gift from us all ….Karen was really happy and so were all of us.
On Thursday off we went to Lisbon – in the morning ‘old Lisbon’ and in the afternoon ‘modern Lisbon’. We travelled by tram, we visited the castle, we shopped downtown and after lunch we relaxed in Expo … it is nice to sit and look at river Tagus … we were all tired, because we had walked all day long, but, as usual, happy! In the evening it was ‘fare thee well’ dinner-party…. All that it is good ends pretty fast, right? We ate superbly (there we go with food….our friends, the Belgians, are right about us, party is a synonym of eating….what can we do??? We were brought up like this….nice excuse, isn’t it?), we chatted the whole meal (that’s also typical of the Portuguese!!!), we sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to Inês, it was her birthday, we all gave her a present ….we were a group alright!!!, and then we went to Gui’s (his parents were sweet, his father was roasting chestnuts … he wanted us to eat something….how could we say ‘no, thanks, I’ve had enough’…we ate just a few!!!!) not to say goodbye so soon…. We are emotional people, the Portuguese, I mean…. we do not like to say ‘goodbye’!
But they had to go, see, so next morning at 7.00 am there we were at school to watch our new friends get in the bus that took them to the airport. So many tears and hugs and kisses ….and more kisses….girls!!!!!
And, that’s it …the chronicle is written….well, it’s according to the author’s point of view, of course … but I sincerely hope, you’ve enjoyed it.
On the 25th of April we’ll be on a plane heading Brussels, it will be our turn to pay our Belgian friends a visit. Yes, yes, I’ll write about it, promise, until then ‘ta-ta’ – the British way of saying ‘I’ll see you soon’ – see, I didn’t say goodbye!!!!!!!!
Teacher – Lígia Luís