It was great to celebrate World Snow Day with the children of Casa do Menino Jesus!
The event began on Saturday, January 21st, with a visit to Casa do Menino Jesus, to know the children and explain them next day’s program. We gave them the snow suits, gloves and wooly hats, asking everyone to try them on. This first contact with sports equipment raised a lot of enthusiasm and anticipation for the next day's activities. During this initial approach we talked, clarify doubts, laughed together, took some pictures and agreed on the departure time.
At 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, World Snow Day, when we arrived to Casa do Menino Jesus, the children were already waiting for us, full of excitement. We drove to the mountain in two vans provided by FDI Portugal. The children were very happy and made lots of questions all the way up to the Vodafone Ski Resort- Serra da Estrela 2000m, our partner in WSD.
The day was fine, sunny, no wind and a pleasant temperature. The snow was not much but it was enough: the snowfall from the previous week and the production of artificial snow guaranteed the necessary conditions to develop the program we had planned.
The activities started at 10:00, after everyone had received and put on their ski equipment and boots. The ski teachers began the class with the children, while another teacher started the skiing class with the journalists who had accepted our invitation.
The ski classes went on through the morning, and the result was very positive. The children learned how to balance, glide, stop and they even learnt how to use the ski lifts! The journalists were also delighted with this experience, having learned the basic techniques of alpine skiing.
After lunch - a very nice picnic in the mountain where we could mingle with each other - there was another very special moment for the children: a magic show that everyone enjoyed a lot!
In the afternoon there were also two snow related activities, a sled race and a snowman competition. Everyone had lots of fun!
Two of the main national television channels were present, publicizing the event through live reports at lunchtime and again later in the day. These included films of the activities, interviews with some of the children and an interview with the FDI Portugal Chairman, Pedro Farromba.
We finished the day taking pictures of all together and making promises of never forgetting this amazing day. Exhausted but happy, we returned home…
We thank the Vodafone Ski Resort - Serra da Estrela 2000m all the given support to the implementation of WSD, Casa do Menino Jesus, Litocar, the Magician José Miguel, and Casa do Clube that offered us an excellent teatime meal so that we could finish the World Snow Day in the most wonderful way.
The following day we woke up with a feeling of accomplishment, happy with what we taught and learned with these fantastic children. As a kind of reward, we received the news that, for the first time, a Portuguese ski racer won an international competition in alpine skiing, opening a new phase in the FDI Portugal life which we hope have a long way to go...