Habitat Party in the Romeo and Juliet estate

Famalicao Travel Blog

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Irene in one of the gardens =)
Well, that's what they call it here. Built in the 1700s and owned by an ex-board member of Habitat Portugal, this estate is nothing short of divine. There are about 6 different little gardens, tons of fruit trees unfortunately rotting away due to lack of picking, and a multi-tiered estate that is so gorgeous from the outside, but we didn't see the inside because the owner is a little OCD. Am starting to think that's one of the requirements of becoming rich, unfortunately.

Met the latest Habitat team, all older ex-americans/canadians who now live in Paris. Can I be them?? We had an extra special party here because the leader of this Habitat group, Betsy had come back for something like 5 years in a row building houses. For groups that come back again and again who form relationships with the Portugal Habitat affiliate, the President tries to plan something extra special.
how pretty!


Realized I like hanging out with younger people more - the energy and optimism level is just completely different. I'm still in awe of the number of women who come to do brute construction work and older women at that! Women are awesome. And the ones who travel from so far (my old team) take it so seriously. Nothing can stop them from getting the work done that they came to do. Younger kids are a bit lazier and probably thinking of the thousand things they'd rather be doing. =)

I was really very proud of Habitat Portugal speaking to these women though. After the 4 groups that I've met, I have no doubt there's something particularly special about this affiliate. Some teams had done this work in Romania and had such a bad experience. The older ladies in this group mentioned that they have never experienced a visit where people took more effort to make the teams comfortable.
Irene and I at dinner =)
It's true - the President really uses all his resources to create a high quality of hospitality and a great experience. And to do something special almost every week because new groups arrive every week?! That's a lot of energy, time and money. I mentioned this comment to Irene and she said "that's the Portuguese way. when we went to Mozambique to build, we were basically left alone." Can you imagine?! Left alone in Mozambique!! So there is not a place I could recommend more highly to do charitable work and get a little (ok a lot) physical exercise than this one. I'll do a review eventually for anyone interested, or see if I can lead a team if enough people are interested.

Walking around this estate, setting up, taking guests on little mini-tours, etc. I was so exhausted!! Realized I could never manage an estate, it's too physically draining and as much as I'd love to have a home, one that requires a ton of maintanance would absolutely take up all my time - time I'd much rather spend say, traveling!! =)

And the pictures here are just some of the lovely flowers that they're growing in a portion of their gardens.
my favorite picture of the day
I'm not really a macro person, but the light and the colors here were so lovely. My favorite thing was the little raspberries growing, from bright magenta to pink lemonade colored =)

Had dinner in the outdoor covered area. so pretty - I hear weddings happen here! And we got to come for free and be served mediocre food - yay! =) Met one of the new local Habitat volunteers and he peppered me with questions about sports in the US. Oh boy am I the wrong person to talk to!! Typical of Portuguese hospitality he asked me when I was leaving, and said that if I stayed another week, he would take me surfing or to the Algarve. Wow, I met you like 1 hour ago! I am so lucky to have met so many wonderful, welcoming Europeans during my trip. Between Ricardo plying me with trips to Lisbon, this new volunteer offering to take me surfing, Chris asking me to come back to Vienna, Karesz and Pearly asking me to come to Budapest.
DESSERT! cream-filled puffs oh my!
. I could seriously keep touring Europe until the day I turn 30. No joke. If only my bank account weren't speeding towards $0... =(
jenn79 says:
tracy: yup! it's pricey though. Last I remember the cost without plane ticket is about 1100 bucks for a week. Includes a small donation, accomodation, food, transport, etc.
Posted on: Jun 25, 2009
TRE69 says:
You mean lead a team to work at Habitat in Portugal? I'd go! Any excuse to visit Portugal is a good excuse especially since I have never been...hehe! =D
Posted on: Jun 25, 2009
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Irene in one of the gardens =)
Irene in one of the gardens =)
how pretty!
how pretty!
Irene and I at dinner =)
Irene and I at dinner =)
my favorite picture of the day
my favorite picture of the day
DESSERT! cream-filled puffs oh my!
DESSERT! cream-filled puffs oh my!
Front of estate
Front of estate
one of the gardens
one of the gardens
pink lemonade colored raspberries!!
pink lemonade colored raspberries!!
Sandro
Sandro
Me and Sandro
Me and Sandro
Me and Irene!
Me and Irene!
with flash - its getting dark!
with flash - it's getting dark!
musicians
musicians
Carolina (Phillipas daughter - pi…
Carolina (Phillipa's daughter - p…
The Habitat President
The Habitat President
Famalicao
photo by: jenn79