By: Israel Pulido
It has been eight months since I arrived in Trento, Italy to be part of the Broader project, through the European Voluntary Service (SVE) to be part of the InCo association’s work team, mainly in the field of communication.
In my daily work, which I love, I have to attend schools to talk about my experience as a foreign volunteer. From my first participations until the most recent, two weeks ago, I became significantly aware of something that I did not suspect at first; the loss of the SVE family.
I still remember the second day of my arrival in this beautiful city, extremely clean, with an atmosphere of old age but at the same time a warm climate of freshness impregnated through the youthful energy offered by the thousands of students from different towns. Prior to my arrival, a french volunteer had contacted me to schedule a meeting and have a drink with the other volunteers. Her name is Margot, just like “Dispara Margot Dispara”, my favorite mexican radio show. A casuality?
I was walking towards the main square, with a map in my hand and a completely dysfunctional mental compass that has made me lose myself in my own city, in my own home. I arrived at the expected meeting, accompanied by that adrenaline that fed an engine of new emotions. I knew I had to look for a multicultural group in a nearby bar. I paid attention and finally managed to find them.
The group seemed quite serious, even a little retracted. After presenting myself kindly, I showed off my social ability to break the ice through comments of high sexual intensity. Some blushed. That was the intention, to lower the barriers that appear in a new group, in order to be able to converse more fluently. That afternoon, in that bar, an important part of the world was concentrated, through the representation of its people, its language, its culture, at the same time that it merged with the Italian culture while we drank a Spritz.
Germany, Austria, Hungary, Spain, Ecuador, France and Mexico were talking pleasantly. Argentina joined us later. If the diplomatic meetings were carried out in the same way as we did, the volunteers, surely we would lack stupid wars and conflicts. At that time and in that conversation we knew we were different, we knew ourselves intellectual nomads, but we were there, together, sharing and always respecting the ideas and personal baggage of others. That night I found a new family.
But just like every road that starts, it also leads to an end. After a few fantastic months in which we shared millions of things, the first member had to say goodbye to this multifaceted tribe. I did not know and I was not prepared for that moment, nobody warned me.
Margot had to return home. That was sad because in our group she was the sun, the sun that with her gigantic energy kept all the planets together. We gravitated around her because she is that kind of warm woman who likes to have her people close, and facing such sympathy it was impossible to refuse such invitation. Saying goodbye was difficult, as difficult as a mexican using a Turkish bath for the first time. But his departure could not be a deep wound, but an invisible tattoo that accompanies us through her memory. Today a little piece of my mexican heart is in France, in view of undertaking new trips to new lands.