In March of 2019 I met up with Angelo and Susana, the co-managers of A Avó Veio Trabalhar (Grandma Came to Work), an organization that creates a space for older Portuguese women to work on meaningful projects, stay active, and be involved in the community. Their goal is to fill the gap between generations by offering everyone a place where they can meet, discuss and learn from each other. They have outgrown their current space in the Barrio Alto neighborhood of Lisbon, Portugal.
Together, with them and a couple remote working friends also traveling/living in Lisbon, we hatched a plan to host a supper club style dinner where expats could get a traditional meal cooked by Portuguese grannies. The title, Netos Por Uma Noite, means Grandchildren For The Night in English. The money raised from the dinner would go towards outfitting their new space so that ultimately, the organization can continue to thrive and support more grannies.
I was nervous about taking on an event in Lisbon, to committing to selling 35 tickets in a city I had just arrived to. But, it felt like home and something that could be accomplished. This is the kind of event that I would easily pull off in Baltimore with friends and colleagues and team members, so why not take a chance on a good cause and see what we could do in Lisbon. Despite my nerves things ran smoothly.
We came up with a traditional menu featuring fresh fish, risotto, salads, local cheeses and wine. We reached out to remote-working and expat groups, we connect with coworking spaces, Angelo translated the details of the event into perfect Portuguese. We sold out.
The night itself, the tables were decorated with handmade paper flowers and little handwritten thank you notes from the grannies. We felt so loved. To see the dinner all come together, to watch the Portuguese grannies engage with the next generation, to see them pour wine and serve food and serve more food and dance and smile and laugh and hug. I could do nothing but smile and have gratitude for what unfolded on this evening. The community I’ve found here in Lisbon, the ease of diving in and connecting, reminds me so much of what I have in Baltimore.
So yes, this month, Points North Studio had a hand in pulling off a successful give back project in Lisbon, Portugal.
The feature photo above is courtesy of Fermenta. The photos below are courtesy of photographer Kristen Loken. Thank you to Remote Year for helping to make this event successful.