It is always strange trying to put into words what you can’t even explain to yourself

Thursday 29 July 2021

Home / Experiences / It is always strange trying to put into words what you can’t even explain to yourself

A week ago, I started packing, not because I felt like it was a necessity to do so but because it seemed logical; I don’t think I could imagine that this was real. With a Global Pandemic going on I feel like I unlearned expecting. Now my laptop is behind a window showing me the hills surrounding Palermo and I am happy about the noise-cancelling of my headphones. I surely couldn’t expect this. It is a loud city, probably also a quite dirty one and still, it seems beautiful.

The first thing I noticed when leaving the airport was the heat, but as soon as I got picked up at the central station, I realised that the people of Palermo greet one even warmer. The second thing I noticed was that I am the youngest volunteer in our group. While the others already studied at university, I just finished high school. A high school that really changed me and made me grow but simultaneously was a bubble away from society. I couldn’t imagine choosing a university course while being so detached. I felt the need to explore more, to not be blinded by the sheltered life I was used to. Growing up with volunteering as a normal part of life it is important to me to be an active citizen as a way to be part of a community that is not based on your social background. Imagining myself without being there for others doesn’t just seem unfulfilling but also wrong. The possibility of exploring this sector abroad in an unknown city and improving my understanding of the topic (and hopefully, also my Italian) still seems too good to be true. Having the opportunity to do this here with Cesie makes me excited, especially when talking to the other volunteers I realized how we are all different in many ways and still, each one of us gets their chance to contribute to projects that fit best to them. Seeing how some of us already started with work so multifaceted, makes me even more excited to get involved.

By now I have been in Palermo for 5 days and I have seen football fans running through the streets because of the European Championship. It is crazy to think that we will be used to this city and walking through its streets, more so that we will have a daily life here. I don’t believe that the work as a volunteer will be easy, on the contrary, it will probably be uncomfortable and challenging but I am excited to grow and become a member of this community.

I guess I still can’t realize that this will become my home for the next months but I already managed to sleep and not mind the traffic noise in the middle of the night, so I guess it will eventually all work out.


Volunteer of European Solidarity Corps – ESC

Project: Mapping Solidarity

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