21 março 2019

O testimunho do Mathieu

Time for my first testimony, a short article for just few days passed in Lisbon. Yes, I am here since
around 20 days. It’s not easy to explain my feelings about this beginning, but let’s try.

First, I really want to thank the Bernardim Casa. I was really curious about this experience, go to a country which I don’t know, alone, for a big project, working with children. But my flatmates came here in the same way of thinking, curious and excited about this new life. And, together, we managed to discover Lisbon, this city which never sleep. Thanks also to Magda to take so much time to help us through this city, to show us so many things… The Miradouru closed to the Igreja e Convento da Graça, the right way (sooo many times we were lost without Magda), the City Center, Bairo Alto…

We had the chance to came here just before the Carnival. Just the time to learn our respective names, and let’s party. And this is why I really fall in love with this city. There is no one day without an activity, and event, or anything to see. So many colours, so many places to visit, so many landscapes to watch during hours.

About the work, before I came to Lisbon, I had many expectations: I wanted to interact with the children, to learn throught them so many things.  And, after this few days with them, I can say that I really love my job too. I work at Vicentix and I wouldn’t change this for anything in the world. The staff’s members are really helpful, while I can’t speak Portuguese yet, they are always trying to help me understand what happened. And it’s a question that, on the beginning, I was asking so many times so myself “What is happening?”. The kids here are very lucky: they had ton of activities, they can do (almost) what they want to do. Ping-pong (which is really helpful to learn how to count in Portuguese!), playing cards, music, dance activities, debates… And, often, they have some special activities : we played football during a competition with… father’s children ! And we had a diner with a small party for the kids during my first Friday at the center.

Also, the kids are amazing. It was quite complicated for me during the first two days, because I don’t speak their language, and they don’t speak mines. But they always want to play with me, interact and teach me Portuguese words. And they also want to learn, every time. They are really happy when I can teach them few words in English or in French. I loved them, and I think that they like me. It’s still complicated for me because it is just the beginning, I haven’t found my marks yet. But with the help of the staff and of the kids, I am 100% sure that I will find my place at Vincentix. I had a conversation with Paula, my tutor in the center, and she asked my about my feelings at the end of my first week. I will repeat it here, and I think it is a good way to conclude this first testimony : I love what I do here.

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