Community Partner since 2007.

Portugal Team #16 — Many Ways to Have a “Good Day”

Our nine seasoned teacher-helpers started out for our schools in a  heavy fog, but Lynn and I now know the way and no longer get lost. This was our longest teaching day. We had five classes in the morning, a regular class in the afternoon, and then a one-on-one session with students who needed special […]

Settling Into a Teaching Routine

During breakfast, Barbara read her Monday entry in the journal, followed by the team’s impressions about their 2nd day on the job. We reported back a variety of experiences, as our students range from very young pupils struggling to learn a few simple words, to older teens very able to discuss sophisticated subjects in perfect English, […]

a warm welcome to our first class

Judy and I met Joe in the lobby at 8:45 to walk to our school, Santiago Major. In the teacher’s lounge we met Irene, the head of the English language department, to complete our schedules, and met two other teachers, Jose and Consecao. As we approached our first classroom with Irene, the 6th graders were […]

The Beginning of a New Service Adventure

Our new team gathered for breakfast at the TrypOriente Hotel in Lisbon after safely traveling from many points in the U.S.  Lynn, John, Judy, Ann, Barbara, Noreen, Karen, Ruth and David and our valiant leader, Joe Testa, set out for Beja to begin one or two weeks of teaching English.  I think we were all pleased by the […]

Don’t be sad it’s over, be happy it happened.

Finally, the long awaited rains have come, Portugal is grateful for them!  As Kei puts it, “Gold from the sky!” Bobbie, Diane and Paul met for their last classes today.  As expected, leaving was not easy.  They are very fortunate students to have had such perceptive and innovative teachers.  It was a very good match, […]

a little wiser, a little more humble

Thursday dawned blue and bright with the promise of another memorable day in Beja.  The countdown has begun to the end of our journey, and the realization that we will be arriving back home a little wiser, a little more humble and a lot more full. Reba had a good afternoon tutoring one-on-one with her […]

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Wine Tour

Joe, Carlos, Francisco (the driver), Joe, Mary, Arleen and myself went on a mystery trip organized by Carlos.  We went to Albernoa today.  We saw orange trees, olive trees and grape vines.  The orange trees were loaded with oranges.  Arleen could hardly contain herself. We arrived at the Cascado Santa Vitoria Winery in time for […]

Another Great Day

Another great weather day in Beja – clear skies and perhaps 72 degrees. Joe and I had a few hours of free time in the morning.  We visited the Municipal Museum which had an excellent interpretive handout in English.  Well worth the one eruo (retired person entrance fee) which also includes entrance to the Roman […]

Politics and Games

Paul, Diane and Bobbie greeted their morning class at the Instituto Politécnico de Beja with “T.G.I.F.” – another new slang expression to add to their growing list.A serious discussion about religion in the U.S. followed as a student wanted to know how we manage with so many different religions in our country.  Topics covered ranged […]

Strike Day

Mary and Joe’s day at the Dom Manuel I secondary school was informative, interesting and frustrating.  Today was Greve Geral (National General Strike), and it affected the school day. Workers around the country are protesting the economic impacts resulting from the Portuguese Government’s acceptance of the terms of the European Union’s bailout.  Workers are unhappy […]