"It’s the second week we are in Portugal, which welcomed us nice and warm (with direct meaning also). The sun is common guest here. And of course warm people who impress us for their kindness. By the way, to know them better – portuguese language is necessary and we are learning with pleasure, the first phrase I learned was: «Pode falar mais devagar?»! So talking about speed I must mention crazy drivers (including drivers of tractors also!). To cross the roads of Joane everyday seems like a big adventure for us! Another thing I am surprised of is to see expensive cars next to the poor houses in village… interesting view! So, this a little bit of my impressions about Portugal. Beijo, Sandra"
"My name is Alexandra and in Portugal I prefer Shana, because there are already three persons which I met in Portugal, who said to me, when they heard my short name – Sasha: « O, I have a friend who have a dog with the same name… » and then they smiled a lot! =)
After Moscow it’s a very pleasure to be in Joane, the calm and safe everywhere in here. There is all conversely in compared with Moscow, but I enjoy it a lot, specially the nature of Portugal which is very beautiful.
Now when I know a little about A.T.C. by practice I can say this is organization with the total new structure for me and it let me to look to myself by other side. I am interesting about work more with disabled and old people and teenagers in Casa de Giestais, but it was a big surprise for me that I made this decision… Because the same centers in Russia are total different and it's very hard to work there. Casa de Giestais is the place where you feel not like in social center but like in the home for a big family. Working there, being in contact with disabled people, old ladies and teenagers, – it is very interesting. It let me see that we can create so many useful things for them which could be a good experience for us also. They all are always together and if they will be separated from each other for some time in day we can make a lot of programs for them: the training of improving memory for old peoples for example, probably by internet; beauty days for ladies - there are so many of them here; active games for disabled people. Teenagers in Casa de Gieistais have a lot of free time and enough background for more deep developing. I would like working together with them for some projects: monthly newspapers, web site, art trainings and others.
Our staying here is more enjoyable because of people around us, who are very friendly. Sometimes there are many diversity of languages around and when you hear someone started to speak by portuguese-english-french mix – it is absolutely normal situation! For me Portuguese language is difficult for learning, but day by day I like it more and more. So, it's very interesting to be here and I am excited by future six months and after two weeks I am sure about my motivation to be here."
"Before I came in Portugal I was scary about my participation in the project and communicate with other volunteers and portuguese citizenships. After two weeks being here this feeling had degreased. I was very impressed about the structure of organization with so many directions. First meet with organization gave me inspiration for future six months, to develop many activities and gave me motivation to learn more about A.T.C. The most impressive thing for me is Casa de Giestais. There are a lot of old people, disabled people and teenagers, but it’s a pity there is not enough of staff there. Who would help for people needs in this house? I would like to participate in it. I want to propose the idea of making some art groups for people from Giestais, singing groups for example, because I know that they like singing so much. I also can propose to make the life of old persons and teenagers more active with sport, picnics and other activities. We can do the internet blog together with teenagers.
We live in a big house which we share between three very different persons and I appreciate this since the moment they started call me «pequena menina» (little girl).
Our neighbors are very nice and welcome persons who gave gifts for us and now we know that we can ask them for the help if we need. All people I'd meet in Portugal are also nice in general. I am happy to meet some different people but sometimes it's hard to communicate with them by different languages, but it is interesting. I would like to learn portuguese language quickly to know better persons around me."