Portuguese Trip 4 - Horses getting 'friendly'...

After breakfast on the second day of my project orientation visit to the Alentejo region of Portugal, it was out to visit some schools in the region. I wandered around the small town of Vidigueira first.
Like many of the towns, often only a few kilometres from each other, it had an impressive range of municipal facilities, and also two schools next to each other for different age groups. We had a coffee and chat in Jaime's school, and then headed on windy roads through endless olive groves and slopes planted with vines towards Serpa. On the outskirts of the town was one of the schools that we are going to work with on the proposed project. It was a vocational school where students learn all the processes involved with growing, processing and selling farm products. They also learn how to look after horses and many of the students have their own horses which are kept at the school, and which they use to learn how to teach riding, and other uses of horses on farms and businesses.

The tutor, who was connected with the Portuguese equestrian team offered to let us watch a class which he was giving to a group of students. We said yes, and headed out into the yard to see a group of students washing the rear-end of a female horse and as the tutor started talking, it was clear they were preparing it for something in particular. Having washed it, and tied its tail up with cloth, they led it down to another area of the yard. Shortly after, a very 'excited' stallion was led out and proceeded to play piggy back with the female horse... not something that's featured in a lot of my lessons previously :)

Lunch was accompanied by a cold Sagres, and then a trip out on the lake of Alqueva, which was mentioned in the previous post.

Another really interesting day exploring the potential of the connections that the European Teacher Academy project will be able to develop if it is successful in getting funding. The final day tomorrow, which is a return trip to Lisbon via the historic city of Evora.

Images: Alan Parkinson