Being a volunteer in the Italian School for foreigners is simply to giveto others without expecting to receive, but in the end everybody still gets something. In the language school of Casa per la Pace we take care of children of the students while they are having lessons. You need to truly open up here to receive the love of these children that come every week, to win their big smiles and laughs and little hearts.
All of them are so different! As they arein this young age(sometimes even of a few months old!) and still likes sleeping almost all day long, they are quite chaotic « and continuasly compete for toys. Of course there is always that someone special who touches us more than the rest and I call thislittle one, the beautiful Peruvianboy, “my little prince”. He seems to come straight out from a Disney film “Pokahontas“.
Since the beginning that I joined this project, there was always the longing for a return home to Portugal, but it was these children and the good eventual taste of independence of living far from my parents, the sense of belonging to the local comunity, what made me feel so much better with some time. With every month that has passed the desire to return to my roots was growing. Now I believe that since September, that my EVS journey started, until today,a lot has changed in terms of the perspective and how I function at work living in a big foreign city. I like the work i do and as new people joined our team there is more timeto develop new activities and personal ideas. Sometimes there is an impression that volunteers are a bit invisible, but I try to understand it is not easy to coordinate many of us at the same time. Having a voice here is important and respected though, so we have the complete freedom to proceed with our tasks, both inside and outside the four walls of the organization. Being able to listen, to be hear, to express own opinion and needs, regardless of the spoken language, is something that I value very much. We are all very different here, there is no hierarchy, each one goes his or her own special way and at the same time we are all the same!
I must admit that in the beginning I was a bit afraid of the main EVS coordinator of Casa per la Pace, whom I will call the Big Boss, but after knowing her more with every day I learn she is a great person, deeply affectionate, innovative and environmentally friendly to the maximum. So here i got rid of the prejudices of a person,which is the basic principle Casa per la Pace is teaching people,teaching us. We all have our bad days and our good days, of laughs and some sort of sadness, but the difference here is that no matter how you feel there will always be someone to sharea hug and sometimes it can even be a massive one,when everybody in the office sneaks behind your back and squeezes you tight, it seems, with all the love they have in this world.
We are improving in our organizational skills so we always plan our time in order to save on travel costs. Apart from Milan, I already visited Naples, Bergamo, Como, Lecco. More tocome! These past 5 months of work here were spectacular: meeting new people of all ages and ethnicities, experimenting every day in various things,managed to create a new language which i call ITANHOLO! Me and my flatmates,as well as colleagues of the same project in the same organization, we all come from 3 different countries, so you can only imagine the mixture of languages in the house! We get along really well and often like to share our experiences in each other`s company with a glass of wine. Some of us prefer sun, some snow (usually the opposite of what our countries have!)some tea to coffee, there’s everything in our placefrom minimalism to disorganization,sometimes we go together for anaperitivo and sometimes we battl for the space in the kitchen to cook. I experience different emotions,improve my skills and learn new things in a way a typical tourist could not buy for any money!
I hope the rest of the time spent here will be no less wonderful. I already feel a part of a new family, with whom every day is interesting and a bit unpredictable. Also Milan does not seem so expensive as when I arrived here, because I spent some time searching and discovering the sites of a more reasonable prices. I chose a one-year-project and I do not regret it, the time is flying! Eventually I will leave with a luggage full of experiences.
Being a part of this organization here means receiving so much more than you can expect from first glance! I hope nothing will change this strong opinion that I hold now and after we wake up from this dream we will still continue to maintain a contact with these spectacular Homo Sapiens Sapiens creatures of Casa per la Pace (being the most sincere I can from antrophologist´s point of view!). 😉