Day of R&R with the Habitat team!

Barcelos Travel Blog

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Portugal!
Went with Irene to Braga yesterday to pick up the team for their day of R&R. In Habitat, you work for about 7 days, but one of them is a day to tour around and hang out. Our R&R 2 years ago I believe was to see Bom Jesus, that gorgeous church on the hill. For them, they went to Barcelos where there is a beautiful, enormous outdoor fair that sells everything under the sun. One could walk around for hours and find everything from the latest fashions to designer handbags to luggage to fruit to traditional pottery to machetes and lawnmowers. This fair/market happens every Thursday in Barcelos and I highly recommend it to both visitors and residents alike.
The very private beach in Ofir
The goods are very cheap, there are some knockoffs of course, but definitely a feast for the eyes and not too dear on the pocketbook!

Afterwards we went to some beach and sadly the fog started rolling in. But the sun in Portugal is strong enough that there were definitely some UV rays going on so the youngins played some soccer and girls got a bit of a tan. After a couple of hours of typical high school shenanigans we headed over to Bom Jesus - JUST AS THEY WERE CLOSING! Luckily Irene saw the custodian on his way out and he said he's keep the church open 5 more minutes for the volunteers. Better than nothing, I say! So in they went for a quick peek, and the President came out to the church to meet them. I want to write a separate entry on the President of Habitat Braga later. He reminds me of Mahimbo - those people that have lots of vision, charisma and success.
dusk at Bom jesus
We got to chatting and ended up talking about a microfinance project he wanted to start in Cape Verde, another Portuguese ex-colony, but he didn't know anything about microfinance, just knew the principles were supposed to be very similar to what he wanted to do. So we scheduled a meeting for tomorrow at the Habitat offices so I could teach him what I know, and so that we could come up with a strategy. Sound familiar?? =)

Ricardo came out to say hello as well, and we drove down Bom Jesus together in his brand new little car and he showed me the nanotechnology institute that Spain and Portugal are funding together. I have to tip my hat to the portuguese government, they truly have their hands in all areas, not a bad balance in industries although salaries seem a bit low, but cost of living is low too! And their country is still beautiful, safe and innovative. I want to live in a country where I can charge my phone or pay my bills via ATM machine! I want to pay $2 for a great bottle of wine and 60 cents for an amazing cup of espresso! I want to walk around gorgeous streets and feel safe and duck into scrumptuous restaurants without breaking the bank! It's really just such a nice, nice country.
TRE69 says:
oh i can't wait to visit...hmmm maybe next year?
Posted on: May 22, 2009
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Portugal!
Portugal!
The very private beach in Ofir
The very private beach in Ofir
dusk at Bom jesus
dusk at Bom jesus
2 teachers, President Jose, and 2 …
2 teachers, President Jose, and 2…
traditional crockery - good for fi…
traditional crockery - good for f…
fashionable thingies!
fashionable thingies!
Street in Barcelos
Street in Barcelos
in front of the market!
in front of the market!
Main square in barcelos
Main square in barcelos
Roosters in a shop window!
Roosters in a shop window!
Barcelos
photo by: jenn79