Think Bigger Volunteering in Portugal Episode 3

Piyarat Kittiwat or Palm

A Thai volunteer who participate the activities in Portugal for 6 months. The last one of Thai volunteer who came back from abroad after Covid in 2020

Duration 10 September 2019 - 9 March 2020

In this month, I have opportunities to join many activities both in and outside Famalicao.

Firstly, I went to a camp arranged by Casa da Juventud in Amarante a very charming city in Portugal. Casa da Juventud is a youth house which provide opportunities for young people both in Amarante and from other countries in Europe. They also contact with local farmer and organizing little vegetable in their place too. In the camp, I have learned and inspired a lot about volunteering association along with Fair trade and vegan idea. This camp is running by the volunteers who working here, most of them are around my age, I’m really impressed how they all can run activities smoothly and moreover, how the association provide them these management opportunities.

Not only the camp itself is interesting but also their food. Before this camp, I never have vegan food, never know how it taste like but in this camp, I try so many vegan food and found out that it really tasty. And more than anything, I meet a lot of incredible friends here.

And as you all know, this month has a very important holiday as Christmas, a festival full with love, people are preparing decorating and cooking for it. For example, JI Seide S. Miguel was visited by a group of senior dressed up like Santa Claus and give them gifts. Lots of people also set up dinner and meet their old friends during weeks before Christmas. On 24th December, Famalicao also have an interesting event which people will gathering at the city center and drink Port wine together. So if you coming here on this period please join it.

On Christmas Eve Portuguese people will spend time with their families, cook a lot of foods. One of their traditional meals is Bacalhau da Consoada which is fillet Cod fish with boiled potatoes, cabbage, and eggs. The next day, Christmas, they will use the left over to make a new dish Roupa Velha de Bacalhau for lunch which mean codfish old clothes.

After heavy main meal they will all dessert are followed, such as bolo-rei (fruit cake), Rabanadas (slices of of bread that are soaked in either milk, wine or sugar syrup, then also in eggs, then fried with sunflower oil),  and the most interesting one for me is Aletria which is sweet pasta.

The funniest moment is coming at midnight of Christmas Eve, when Christmas songs and bells ring, kids are running with the happiest face to see all presents that they get from Santa who are actually their parents. I love it so much that I will definitely tell my future kid about Santa’s story even there is way too hot and we don’t have fireplace in Thailand.

And in the last day of the year if you like to have some party with new people on the street, Porto is a very good choice for you. It’s may be a bit crowned, but with all nice people and good vibe it worth.

So last but not least, Happy new year everyone!!