Erasmus+ youth@home in Europe Pico, azores, November 2018

Our flight from Düsseldorf to Lisbon was quite early but had the advantage that we had enough time to explore the city after landing.

We walked through the old town and rode on the famous cable cars before we went to a very nice flea market where they sold many really old things.Here we also had something to eat before we went to the airport to fly to Pico.

And this was the first thing we saw when we left the plane in Pico, one of the nine islands of the Azores. I was really amazed because I’ve never seen a volcano in my life. Then we waited for the baggage. The host families were already waiting for us.

I got a very nice family. In the evening they took me to a very nice restaurant where we had lots of fun. Benjamin, 9d

Sunday, 4th November

Today we woke up early in the morning and got ready for the day. After breakfast we met some of the other guest students and their hosts at the ferry station and set over to the neighbor island Fajal.

On Fajal we had a taxi and explored the island, the taxi driver explained everything - it was very interesting. Then we all went to a fish restaurant and tried the national food. At 5 pm we took the ferry back to Pico Island and went to a girlfriend of my host, who also had a guest student for the week. There we played a game called “Marralhinha” it's similar to the German game “Mensch Ärger dich nicht” but it‘s five times more frustrating. :( After I lost the game we watched a movie till we needed to break up for a football game at 6 pm which we watched. That was my day. Max, 9c

Monday, 5th November

I set my alarm for 6:50 am, the same time I get up in Germany. However, there is a two hour time difference so I was awake earlier. The father of my hosting family drove us to school after we had breakfast.

Here we all gathered in front of the auditorium. Then we heard the presentations from all the countries and held ours as well. This was interesting and we got to know the other students and teachers. We were 12 students from Italy, Slovenia, France, Norway and Greece and Max and I, plus 12 Portugese hosting students. I already knew some from Germany and Greece, where I had been last year.

After all this we had a little break which I spent in the school yard with a few of the other students. From the school yard one has an incredible view of the mountain, but not today, unfortunately there were lots of clouds around the volcano.

We were then put in groups, consisting of students from the different countries and discussed our topic “ everyday life as a teenager in Europe“. We talked about different ideas how to present this subject and distributed tasks before we had lunch.

It was interesting because at this school they don’t need any money to buy food or other things, they have cards to get inside the school and they also pay with them.

The last and greatest event of this day was the hike along the sea with the whole group. It was absolutely beautiful, the waves were pretty big.

We also saw the typical vineyards of Pico, which are a Unesco heritage site.

After our hike we went back to school. Samanta, my host, had to stay at school because she had classes. So I waited for her, which took a while and worked on our presentation. Her classes ended at 6 pm. Benjamin

Tuesday, November 6th

My day started with sports - my host‘s class had Sports in the first lesson. They played basketball. That was fun.

Then the group met and we all went to a very old wine plantation and the church of Madalena, the town where the school is located.

The wine is planted between many walls made from lava. It seems a bit unorganized but they are built logically to keep the wind away from the plants and to use the heat within the walls to enable the wine to grow better.

This was a statue in the church in the town center of Madalena. It was very beautiful.

New friends on the way to school

After a break we went to a lava cave which is called “Cave el Torres (Santa Casa)”.

We went into the cave with flashlights and helmets. It was a nice guided tour but, for my opinion, the tour guide spoke too much.

Sometimes it was really dark and the guide showed us how dark it is in a cave without light. Answer: You can't see anything, your own hands in front of your eyes are invisible.

After the tour ended we drove back to school. Then we went home and had dinner. Max

Wednesday, 7th November

I set the alarm for 6:50 but I fell asleep again and came too late for breakfast.

The first thing of todays program was a visit to the whale museum in Picos first and oldest town. It was interesting but I really don’t like whale hunters but it was a very important business for this island in the past. What I really like is that this island changed this business from whale hunting to whale watching, which now is a big business on Pico island.

After the whale museum we went to a view point in the mountains, from there we could see very far. And it was pretty cold up there!

Then we all went to a nice little typical restaurant. But a bit small for all of us. And after lunch we went to a spot by the sea which was near the airport where we had landed.

And this was incredible, I never have seen waves like this in my whole life. And the rocks were incredible too. I’ve never seen the sea like this before.

I wanted to stay longer at this place but after a while we had to leave.

Back at school I had to wait for my host Samanta which took a while so I sat with some other guys from the Erasmus project in school. We talked about our lives, the project and had lots of fun.

After getting home and staying there for a while we went to a very nice restaurant near the school in Madalena. I had a fish which was typical for the Azores, called a black daggerfish. It was really delicious 😋. Benjamin

Thursday, November 8th

Starting the day with calculating - starting the day with Maths class. We calculated how many rice corns fit on a chessboard if you put one on the first square, two on the second and so on. It was a very interesting hour of Mathematics.

After lessons we took our bus to the volcano “Montanha Pico” (it's the name of the island too). Actually we had a few traffic jams on the way...

The mountain was in the clouds so we couldn’t see anything. Then we drove around Pico island, stopped at viewpoints and took awesome pictures!

In the evening I went with my host to a party of her girlfriend. I was the only boy 😎. Max

Friday, November 10th

Again too late for breakfast, but it wasn’t my fault, the alarm didn’t work... I had to hurry up to get to school on time..

My host had classes in the morning so we had some time to work on our project, I was sitting together with the Greek, Slovenian and Portugese students, afterwards we played cards but I am not really good at playing cards but I won once..

Then the bus arrived and took us to a beautiful place at the sea with beautiful big waves and perfectly blue water.

We saw some beautiful old ruins. We walked all the way back to school, what I really liked because we walked along the sea all the time and saw some beautiful vinyards. All over this island are these beautiful natural pools in which you can swim during the summer days. We stopped at one of these pools and I wanted to go swimming there because the water was absolutely beautiful and the waves weren’t that high.

But I didn’t have swim shorts with me. When we arrived at the school again we worked a bit in our workshops and I went to the supermarket to get some food.

There was one further point on the plan of the day, we visited a wine cooperative right next to school. There we learned about the production of the grapes when they are brought here and how the Pico Wine is made. I bought a bottle for my parents.

Then we returned to school and finished our film for the presentations in the evening. At 4pm we took the bus home, there we had some time to relax before getting ready for the party.

At 7 pm we went to the party, first we had to hold the presentations. I really liked all of them and it really was fun to watch the different ways the groups approached the same topic.

Preparing these films was really fun, especially having the chance to meet so many different people from all over Europe. This was the third time I was involved in an Erasmus meeting and it was my favorite 😄

When we finished we all went down to the buffet and again we never had such a wonderful buffet. After eating the greatest part of the evening began. First some traditional dancers with costumes danced to their music and then they showed us how to dance. Soon we all were dancing. After they left we danced to our music until we had to leave. We were all tired, happy and a bit sad because this was our last evening together.

For me it was the most wonderful Erasmus party I have ever been to and the most amazing Erasmus trip ever. Benjamin

Saturday, November 10th

We spent the day with our families before meeting everyone at the airport. Here we had to say good bye to the Portugese families, the rest of us flew to Lisbon together. And here we had to say bye to everyone else.

It really was an amazing week, I will miss everybody and hope to be able to take part in another Erasmus meeting in the near future. Max

The End