Another drawback happened on the gate too. We had a 30 minute delayed flight, but after that everything went well.
We got on the plane and the first thing I saw was a group of fair-haired people who were speaking Swedish only! We looked for our seats that were on the back of the plane and got ready to leave for Sweden.
It was a nice 4 hour flight, with a little bit of turbulence, but other than that and the fact that there was no food being served, so, if we wanted to eat we would have to pay for it (when we tried to do that we were told they didn’t have the food we were asking for), everything went exactly as it should.
At midnight we finally arrived our destination, Stockholm, Sweden. The first thing I noticed was the difference in temperature, but that only added to the belief that we were starting one of the most incredible week of our lives.
When we were going through the arrival’s door, I was the first one to see my host, so I said goodbye to my friends and teachers and went to say hi to her and start to live as an actual Swedish.
It was a 30-minute drive from the airport to her house. It was really cold, but fortunately all the houses were warm inside. We spoke the whole time and got to know a little bit more about each other.
Once we got home, we had some food, I still couldn’t believe that I was in a typical Swedish house. She showed me around and told me what the plan for the next day was and then each one of us went to our rooms and got a really nice night of sleep.
Tuesday arrived, second day of our stay in Nice. It began with the visit of the Vence Market, near Nice, where we were shown some of the typical food.
After the trip to Vence we visited the famous candy factory "Confiserie Florian", which makes sweets worldwide known.
After a picnic that included a football game in a local garden, we explored «Perfumery Fragonard» and they showed us the process of creating different perfumes and soaps.
First thing in in the morning, we got to the Adamstown’s school and it was “The
Orange Day” (suicide prevention day) and we got our faces painted in orange.
We gathered together in a classroom and everyone presented their works
which they had been preparing for the past week, then we went downstairs to
the “lunch area” where we had a lecture by a MP about food in the European
Union (how it is legalized in certain countries, how exports and imports are
controlled and the general differences between some countries) and in the
end we discussed about equality rights, policies and criminality. After that we
got upstairs where we had our food fair in which we tried typical foods of
several countries and overall it was a great experience to get to know better
the other countries´ culture and traditions.
Later we all got together with a drama teacher and, with her help, we
prepared our acting about the tales we had chosen and presented it to the
other students and teachers, who seemed to have enjoyed it. When we were
finished, by lunchtime, everyone went back to their homes and in the evening
we went to town to spend some time together and say our last goodbyes.
On Thursday morning, we were divided in two groups. The first went to listen to a small audition of traditional Irish music. The instruments used consisted on two guitars, an accordion and a flute.
Meanwhile, the second group worked on their reinterpretations of the paintings they chose in the National Gallery of Ireland. Most of the reinterpretations were made with oil pastels, and they were based on paintings involving food.
Before lunch, the groups got together in the auditorium, where the works they had prepared through the week were going to be presented.
First, the short movies the students had produced were shown, including the ones which had already been made before the exchange program by the Portuguese and the French students.
Afterwards, we, the Portuguese students, presented the work we had already done about the representation of Still Life in Portuguese Painting.
In the end, the students presented their reinterpretations, explaining their meanings.
After lunch, the groups switched activities and, after school, everybody went home or hung out with their friends.
On Tuesday, we went to the school in the morning and after a quick talk, we got together in the groups that were created.
The Irish teachers told us we had to think about recording two silent movies in the school, one about the school rules and another one about the rules of a dream school, it was very funny!
After that activity which lasted all morning, we went to the National Gallery of Ireland. We had a guided visit where we saw some portraits of famous artists and then we had to choose one and recreate it: for me this was the best activity because I love drawing!
After the visit we didn’t have more activities till 7:30 pm so all students went to town to visit and to explore Dublin.
After getting to know the city, we had to start going to the theatre, where we saw a play about the history of Ireland. It was very cool and interactive.
In the morning, after reaching school, we had a talk with the director.
After our talk we were split in groups for a guided tour around the school. We saw the students’ classrooms and noticed each of them belonged to a specific teacher. Our tour didn’t end there since we still visited the school's library, the director's office and the teacher's room.
We took a bus and left Lucan to go to town, where we visited the National Library. There we had a presentation about the library's system and we got another guided tour. After the guided tour was over we had a typical Irish lunch (Irish stew) that consisted of a kind of soup with meat, onion, carrots and potatoes.
We left the library and had some free time. In our free time we went to the Liffey river, and we walked by The Spire, a monument 120m high.
At the end of the afternoon we went back to our hosts’ houses and got ready to go out for dinner.
In the evening we all met and went to a buffet restaurant named Cosmos which was near the Liffey Valley shopping centre.
Around 10 pm we got on the bus back to Lucan and each of us went back "home".