The Portuguese in Kapelle – What a fantastic week we had!!!!!
The Portuguese group was in Belgium and it was a superb week! We were 2 teachers and 20 students and we had the time of our lives. We want to congratulate officially our Belgian hosts that made our stay an unforgettable one.
We arrived at Zaventem airport on Sunday, the 26th April, at 11.30 am and there they were waiting for us … Kisses and more kisses and off we went home to our “brand new families” for a week! We unpacked, talked, remembered the good times we had in Portugal, we saw pictures, we ate and in the evening we got all together at the Café ‘De Plekpot’.
On Monday, the 27th , we caught the train to Gent and we spent the whole day in this marvellous city ….we played a kind of ‘foot paper’ and while having fun doing all the tasks we were asked, we also got to know the history of this medieval city ….we ate ‘noses’ a typical sweet … awesome! We got back to school and we ate typical Belgian food ….yes, of course, ‘Belgian fries’ (‘fries’ were invented by the Belgians and not the French!!! Get it ???) and we watched a Belgian film …it was a good but really serious film based on a true and hard story … nice evening.
On Tuesday, the 28th, we got together at school and we went to Brugge by bus. Another marvellous, medieval city full of beauty and colour and chocolate and traditional handicraft … you surrender yourself to its beauty! After lunch we left to Oostende, on the coast and adventure it was with the ‘go-cars’! We were eight in each ‘go-car’ and we pedalled along the prom … we raced, we sang and all of a sudden the sky went very, very grey and we had to pedal back in a hurry because it started to rain …. ‘the nasty Belgian weather’ … in a few minutes it wasn’t raining, it was pouring!!!! But, we all had a big smile on our faces …. Who cares about rain, anyway, right? As our Belgian friends say ‘Rain won’t kill you!!’ We got home tired but ready for a hot nice meal.
On Wednesday, the 29th, we went to school. We attended lessons, we had lunch (smoskes), we played a lot of games, we danced, we rode bikes and late afternoon we started cooking typical Belgian food. Good cooks … so a nice meal! After the meal we went downtown to play Vietcong night game …we had a few laughs, oh, yes we did …and all the passers-by wondered what the hell was happening there … we had fun!
On Thursday, the 30th, we went to Durbuy for a wild adventure. I think that I can state that none of us will ever forget this day. We visited the wonderful little village and then we went kayaking …all of us ….we were 44 people kayaking down river for 14kms …uppps … but we are in good shape, so we all arrived safely. Well, a bit wet and dead tired but we all had the time of our lives going down river, watching the beautiful landscape and trying to keep our boats away from the banks (some of us had a never ending fight but we managed!). In the evening we all joined at a party that a group of students of teacher Johan promoted … it was their mini-enterprise event. By the way, teacher Johan and another group of his students won the mini-enterprise contest for innovation in Belgium, (a European Union program) and they are going to represent their country in Roterdam; we wish them all the luck!
On Friday, the 1st May, we went to Brussels. First we headed to Chocolaterie Duval and we delighted ourselves eating, watching the chocolate fountains and buying hips of chocolates to bring home. Then it was the city. What an amazing cosmopolitan atmosphere this city has! The medieval streets, the cosy Cafés and restaurants, La Grand Place, Manneken Pis (dressed as a miner – it was Labour’s Day!) and I could go on and on … We love Brussels!!!
On Saturday, the 2nd May, we stayed with our families. We rested and enjoyed the Belgian way of being in life … we all did different things but I’m sure we were all thinking – what a super time we’re having!
On Sunday, the 3rd May, we all met at the airport at 12.15pm. It was hard, very hard to say goodbye but we had to leave our Belgian friends. We kissed and hugged and cried again and again … It’s always hard to leave the ones we love!
Well, dear readers this is my last chronicle of this year. I hope you enjoyed taking part in our adventure and I sincerely hope that next year you’ll join us again. I’ll keep writing about this Portugal / Belgium students’ exchange and I’ll share with you all the nice moments we experience.
The teacher responsible for the exchange and reporter on duty: