Reflective It wasn’t until I arrived in Porto that


Reflective writing

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Sebolelo Mokoena


Introduction. 3
1….. First impression of Porto and the
cultural shock. 3
1.1 The culture shock. 3
1.1.2…… The honeymoon stage. 3
1.1.3…… The frustration stage. 4
1.1.4…… The adjustment stage. 5
1.1.5…… The acceptance stage. 5
2….. Prejudices and
stereotypes about South Africa. 6
3….. Where is home. 6
4….. Portuguese lifestyle. 7
5….. The meaning of peace. 7
6….. New technologies and their impact on
human life. 8




following essay will be reflective essay will be based on several factors


1.    First
impression of Porto and the cultural shock


I first arrived in Porto I was full of excitement and wonder. I admired the
architectural designs of the buildings and landscapes of Porto. When I arrived
at our residence I was most impressed by the view of the river from my window
and waking up to the sounds of birds chirping, such pleasant and breathtaking

accommodation also being pleasant in the sense that it’s tranquil thus matching
my personality. In addition to that, the reside


1.1 The
culture shock


wasn’t until I arrived in Porto that I fully comprehended cultural shock.
Growing up it was always my dream to go abroad, be it to work or study. It’s
strange how we don’t realize the impact that being in a familiar environment
has on a person’s well being and personal growth.

shock can be defined as

1.1.2.   The
honeymoon stage


first stage is the most exhilarating one as it consists of fascination with the
people, their language and the food. This is the stage where travelers are
filled with positive emotions regarding their decision to travel and an
adventure that can never end.

must say, immediately when I landed in Porto I fell straight into the honeymoon
stage. I was so consumed by being in Porto, I wanted to explore everything. I
was filled with fascination regarding the people (the manner in which they spoke and interacted with
each other),   the transportation system
of Porto which is so reliable and smooth slaying. I had imagined myself being
in Portugal for such a long time and it was finally happening. So I wanted to
see as much as I could. Within a short space of time I had seen places in Porto
that I never thought I would ever see in person, one of the places being Estadio de dragoa. For years I had been
seeing FC Porto all over the TV screens but little did I know that I would
someday arrive there. Wherever I went I ensured my phones battery was ready and
I was also camera ready because I wanted to capture everything I saw. I didn’t
want to miss anything.

1.1.3.   The
frustration stage


Frustration stage may be considered the
most difficult stage of the culture shock, as you go from being fascinated by
the language to finding yourself in apposition where you are overwhelmed with
not understanding the gestures and signs. This is then followed by
communication breakdown due to language barrier.

The frustration stage can be very
exhausting at times as simple things like buying something from the store can
require tremendous effort on your part. I found myself at stores trying to
purchase items but because I couldn’t understand the language I found myself in
an awkward position and at times I would end up not purchasing the item because
of the language barrier. Going to the supermarket in a foreign country also
proved to be quiet tiresome and I was surprised at how many things I had taken
for granted.  For instance, simple things
such as being able to read the name of the product and its functions. 

Going to the supermarket now required
doing some research before hand, like searching for the name of the item in
Portuguese and also what the equivalent was just in case the one I wanted
wasn’t at the store. After gathering all the data then one could have peace of
mind while shopping at the supermarket.


1.1.4.   The
adjustment stage


At this stage frustration often subdues
as travelers start become familiar with their surroundings, the different
cultures, people, languages, food and new environment. This is the stage where
navigation becomes easier for travelers and it’s the point where friends as
well as communities of support are established and certain details of language
become more recognizable during this stage.


1.1.5.   The
acceptance stage


stage can take weeks, months or even year to reach. The last stage is whereby
the individual realizes that they don’t need to comprehend everything about the
new surrounding in order to function there. During this stage, travelers have
the familiarity of the new surroundings and can draw together the necessary
resources to feel at ease.

I haven’t yet reached the acceptance
phase but I’m positive as time goes on that I will reach it as I become more
familiar with Porto and realize that I don’t need to fully comprehend
everything about Porto in order to function here. I am fortunate that I am not
alone here, as there is a group of us, South African students all staying at
the same residence. So we are able to encourage and support one another as we
adjust to living in a foreign country.


2.    Prejudices and stereotypes about South Africa



There are several prejudices
and stereotypes about South Africa that are well know. Some of these consist


Ø  South
Africa is just made up of a jungle where wild animals roam free

Ø  South
Africans have wild animals as pets

Ø  There
are only black people in South Africa

Ø  All
South Africans are Isizulu

most common stereotype about South Africa is that it’s very rural with wild
animals roaming around everywhere. Which is extreme misconception. South Africa
is a very industrialized nation. We don’t have wild animals as pets. Although
South Africa has a vast range of wild animals, special care is taken to ensure
the safety of both animals and people. Wild animals are kept in secure game
reserves, parks and zoos. The South African reserves do however have sections
where the animals roam freely within the game reserve and people are
transported throughout the reserve in secure cars that allow them to get close
enough to see the animals. All this is done under the supervision of the


3.    Where
is home


think one of the most over used statements regarding description of home is, home is where the heart is.  I think the reason for it’s over use is
because whenever we think of home we imagine a place filled with love and
warmth. A place where you are surrounded by those you care about. A place
filled with reciprocal love, care and patience for one another, where you can
be yourself without fear of intimidation or discrimination.


to define a home solely based on the physical structure or location will be and
incomplete definition or illustration of the concept of home.


4.    Portuguese



The text should be written based on information you collect from
portuguese people (colleagues and other people you know) . Please ask them what
they consider to be the typical portuguese lifestyle (entertainment, food,
habits, traditions, family, work routines, worldview, travelling, etc).


traditions about Porto

Unbeaten City

The city of Porto played an
important role in defending the ideals of liberalism in the battles of the
nineteenth century. Because of the courage and
valor with which Oporto endured the siege of the miguelista troops during the
civil war of 1832-34, it was granted the title of Invicta Cidade do Porto by
Queen D. Maria II.


Invented in the 60’s by an
employee of Regaleira, Daniel Silva, Francesinha is a typical Porto specialty. Based on the typical Parisian
snack, croque-monsieur, francesinha is one of the most appreciated delicacies
in the city of Porto.

The great secret of
francesinha is in the sauce, which among other ingredients carries beer and
Port wine. However, the best French
restaurants keep the secret of the seven-key sauce.

São João do Porto

This popular festival takes
place from June 23 to 24 in
the city of Porto. It is an officially Catholic
festival, but with pagan origin. This feast celebrated at first
the solstice of June and the fertility, related to the harvests and the abundance.

Later on, the Church made this
pagan celebration of joy and abundance in the harvests a religious celebration,
the patron saint of which was St. John. On the night of St. John, the streets
of Porto are filled with people and on the two banks of the river Douro which divides Porto and Gaia,
people crowd to watch the fireworks spectacles.

Garlic, rubber hammers,
sardines and bread are not lacking in the streets. And there are even arraiais in
some typical places of the city. The night of Oporto is also
lively with concerts promoted by the local authority.

The term “tripeiro”

In 1414 the king D. João I
decided to conquer Ceuta, although that decision was kept in secret. Support to Porto was requested
so that the fleet that was to follow to conquer Ceuta was built in the
dockyards of the Douro.

When the Infante D. Henrique
went to the king’s command, his father, to Porto, from where he was born, asked
for all the support and greater speed in the construction of the vessels so
that they could leave as soon as possible.

The inhabitants of Porto then
offered all the meat they had to carry on the vessels and thus support the
conquest of Ceuta. In Oporto, the viscera, the
intestines, remained, and the population had to create new ways of cooking
them. Hence the name of tripeiros
for the Porto, because they fed on guts for a long time.
Typical Dishes


Portuguese cuisine is rich and
varied. Porto is no exception. It also takes your name and
the one of your country borders out. There are several typical dishes
in Oporto, the best known of which is the “francesinha”, followed by
Porto’s guts, the Gomes de Sá cod, and the famous green soup that accompanies
the grilled sardines in times of popular and arraial festivals.

In addition, with the rapid
growth of the night in Porto, other spaces have been recognized nationally. After all, who has never heard
of the ham sandwiches with the cheese from Serra da Casa Guedes or the nails in
bread, also with cheese from Serra, do Venham plus 5?

If you want to discover more,
there is nothing like going on a gastronomic tour of the city of Porto. You can simply do it solo or
else choose to buy a tour of Taste Porto, where you will be guided on foot
through the streets of the city, learning about history and sampling the most
diverse and delicious delicacies.



5.    The
meaning of peace


Peace is a concept that has

Most of the time when we think
of peace we like to think of peace in terms of our surroundings. But for me peace
is more than just about physical things. I believe peace starts from within. When
you don’t have inner peace it is very difficult

At the same time having inner
peace in an environment that has no peace can also have its disadvantages. So I
believe that peace is a combination of your environment as well as your inner being.


Self actualisation


6.    New
technologies and their impact on human life


I am
so grateful for technology because it plays a big role in terms of
communicating information as well as basic interaction on a daily basis.
Technology gives us the convenience of communicating with people miles away. It
also has an impact on education and careers. Thanks to technology, when it
comes to applying for universities, you don’t have to walk into every
university to find out the courses that they are offering, prerequisites for
the course and then apply.  Technology
allows us to simply log on to the internet, find the University of your Choice
and go to their platform and find everything you need. If there’s any
uncertainty you can just send an email or phone the university and you will get
the information you need. You can even apply online. The cherry on top is that
you can even study online which is very convenient especially if you have a
full time job.


for jobs has also become much easier to do thanks to technology. You can
register to get alerts for the type of jobs that you are interested in and then
apply online.

technology has many benefits, the sad thing is that with every development in
technology, it would seem that there are also development in the crime sector.  Before technological advancements when you
thought about crime, you thought about physical crimes such as burglaries,
muggings, beatings etc. but now there are developments with regard to crime.
Now someone can be defrauded and bullied by someone who is miles away.  

in the same way we are alert when we are walking in the street, we also need to
be alert when we are online. More specifically regarding the kind of information
we are sharing. Most recently with the schools opening in South Africa, the major
warning to parents is to be careful of the information the share on facebook regarding
their children. Most parents like sharing pictures of the children’s first day of
school not realizing that the picture they have shared has the name of the child’s
school on the uniform. When you look on the surface it may seem harmless but what
most parents don’t realize is that the internet is full of sick people. The internet
has become haven for paedophiles as they search for their victims online.  So by sharing a picture of child, their name and
the school the child is attending, the parent has given the paedophile all the information
they need to locate the child.




disadvantage about the internet is the catfishing that happens. Catfish can be simply
defined as pretending to be something or someone you are not online.  Most people meet people online and get into relationships
with those people only to find that the person they have been communicating with
has been pretending to be someone else.


The internet
is great but can also have certain disadvantages which can have dire effects. Caution
must be taken when using the internet.