Testimony of Virginie – 2 months EVS in Portugal, Peniche (01.09.2017 to 31.10.2017)
After finishing my studies and without finding a job in my field, I had only one thing in mind, to travel abroad for a couple of months. Wanting a fresh strat, changing my day-to-day habits, to live from my own experiences, far from my relatives.
Wishing to work with childrens, I wanted my volontary service to be a new experience in this field, an asset for my futures jobs seeking sessions.
That’s why I choosed to do it in Portugal, in Peniche alongside childrens. I didn’t thought about going to Portugal by my own means, it was not a country that interested me. But after i read the project and did researches about the town of Peniche I was conviced and I wanted to go there for 2 months.
I have never regretted my choice, far from it, I was pleasently surprised by Portugal, I loved it !
Since my arrival, I was really well welcomed, they came to seek me at the Lisbon airport to go to Peniche, few days after they made me visit the town.
A beach from Peniche
Within those 2 months, I lived in an appartment with 2 french and 2 Luxembourgian girls, talking french all together.
The week, I was at “the youth association of Peniche” with 2 others volunteers, who lived with me. We accompanied, animators in the childrens activities, at noon, we monitored that everything goes well for the lunch at the cafeteria, in the evening we picked up the child from school and do some activities.
Among the two animators, one spoke english and one a little bit french. Some of the kids spoke english too, so even if I didn’t know how to speak portuguese I tried to understand and between volunteers we helped each others a lot. Even if I couldn’t have a proper conversation with the childrens because of the language, that wasn’t a problem and they were happy playing with me.
They were very kind to me, patient when I didn’t understand. Childrens were open minded with us, volunteers, we were well welcomed, some of them wanted to learn few french words.
I also had portuguese lessons, 2 hours a week, the first month I was with an other volunteer and the second month I was alone. I was nice because they gave us a book and we made exercices and listening to audio lessons. I learned a little bit of portuguese wich helped me a lot.
Every week-ends, with the volunteers I was living with, we were going out in bars, visiting others cities (Lisboa, Berlengas Archipel, Baleal, Sintra, Obidos, Coimbra, Nazaré) :
It was also a way to do things I can’t do in France, like surfing.
Doing Surf :
Seeing the World Surf Championship on the Superturbos beach, in Peniche :
Within these 2 months, I lived a lot of good moments at the association, with the others volunteers. I only have good memories from this experience. Portugal is a beautiful country and I will go back there for vacations, discovering new cities and beachs.
Today, my only desire is to go back abroad, but this time for the long term.