The European Meeting Running
The moment the Évora team joined the Lisbon team – forming the secretariat at Lisbon – the greatest event Portugal has ever seen started for L.A. students.
From here on until the departure of the last guest, there has been no rest for this team. Other colleagues and guests joined the former, on a constant wave of cooperation, so in the end it was hard to define the difference between organization and participants.
The meeting day-by-day
Weekend 24.3. and 25.3.
Even with only a few cars (not always in tip-top shape), we managed to welcome all guests at the several arrival points. The atmosphere at the secretariat room was one of absolute celebration – the names we’d been dealing with for months turned to flesh and blood people.
Among the administration for the youth of the “Mr” they had been dealing with, and the perplexity for the apparent mess, the guests were mainly astonished at the precarious APEAP’s working conditions.
Confirming their arrival just before, or even without doing so, double the expected guests arrived during these days. This waysome had to be lodged at the Youth Hostel for the first few days.
The visit to Arrabida’s Natural Park was not at all a good beginning for the activities.
Not much was remembered from this sad beginning after the excellent opening dinner offered by Oeiras Town Hall.
As well as on the day before, ISA kindly offers a bus to visit Sinatra-Cascais Landscape Protected Area. Once more the institution concerned with conducting this visit, with guaranteed success, managed to make it terribly boring.
Now the secretariat heads Évora to meet the colleagues that remained to prepare the last details.
The national works exhibition is ready, and the first News is prepared – the European Meeting News (covering the events, giving information, making interviews…) will be released every morning, while the action is taking place at Évora.
The Évora’s University bus leaves in the morning to bring our guests from Lisbon. Évora University still invites all for lunch.
The representatives meeting takes place while others put up the international exhibition. IAAS (International Association of Agricultural Students), the ELEE’s director and an IFLA representative are also present at this meeting.
The Local Youth Committee invite us for a kind of welcoming dinner. Some associations, coming from all over the district, concerned with the defense of nature and with student or youth matters take part in this dinner.
The previous day meeting proceeds in seperate groups until lunch time.
At the opening session the guests receive the welcoming words from the representatives of Évora’s University, Évora’s Town Hall and the Coordination Committee for the Alentejo Region.
The conference begins with two lectures: Professor Caldeira Cabral and Mrs. Margarida Cancela d’Abreu representing Portugal and its landscape architecture. Then Roger Seijo and Niek Hazendonk tell us respectively about ELEE and IFLA and also something about EFLA. The Portuguese representatives for this organization are also present, as well as members of the directive board of APEAP.
The representatives are working together again while the General Assembly of APEAP takes place – new members of the directive board of APEAP.
The party at night is just one more chance for the acquaintance among guests and the Portuguese youth.
The lectures by the foreign colleagues start early in the morning.
The initiative let’s plant a tree, announced in yesterday’s News, is now announced for today.
At last the tree is planted after lunch!
The presentations start again and the meeting finishes with the European Meeting of Landscape Architectural Students General Assembly.
From now on, till November, several tasks are already defined for the E.M.L.A.S. representatives.
The farewell dinner, offered by Évora’s Town Hall, comes full of speeches and has the bitter taste of seperation.
The visits to Malagueira town quarter – a Siza Vieira project – to Reguengos and to Monsaraz shall be the last images of Portugal of our responsibility.
After this, the guests shall return home, but several will still remain in Portugal “wondering around” for a few days.
… In fact, these are so many that one last farewell dinner shows up in an unexpected but quite joyfull way.
We must mention that the institutions referred to above had a great deal to do with the E.M.L.A.S. success. Thanks to them, we managed to offer a fine image of Portugal. An image, above all, supposed to be as complete and real as possible. Some not so good images are maybe the natural consequence of a meeting which was never supposed to be touristic!