dai volontari in evidenza

Return home: the reversed culture shock

By: Felicita Invrea

I completed my EVS in the city of Buenos Aires for 10 months. It has been 10 months of incredible experiences that have given me the most varied teachings. I worked in the community kitchens of the city and province, and in the educational centers located in the slums and in the most disadvantaged neighborhoods of the city. In my work, I have met many people who dedicate themselves in body and soul to programs to nourish and support children and young people in these realities, encourage development and encourage their cultural and personal growth. People who have put their lives at the disposal of others, using all available resources to give a daily and hot meal to their guests or to guarantee them a better education.

Buenos Aires is a difficult city, but full of surprises. At first it is not easy to unravel the multitude of neighborhoods that make it up, as varied as physically and socially distant. The northern zone is the most affluent, the southern zone is quite poor and the locals suffer from this obvious differentiation. But if you have time to discover it, then it’s hard not to love it.

Culturally offers a lot, there is always something to do or see, tango shows, craft markets, festivals, concerts, various activities. The Argentines, although the soul of Latin America, mainly, affected by their European origins (mainly Italian and Spanish), and, like the Italian, it was interesting for me to see what they have inherited from their ancestors emigrated from the beautiful country after the war. Among the activities that most interested me there was an intervention that we carried out with volunteers of a dining room to bring food and clothes to the homeless, in newborns in the pediatric ward of a public hospital and families in a neighborhood poor of the suburbs of Buenos Aires. Another incisive experience for me was a field of work that we have carried out in a town in the province in northern Argentina, the local NGO, where we have helped to renovate, equip and repaint the dining room of a rural district with the collaboration of the locals. They are experiences that mark, because they show an extremely different reality to what we are used to and in some way we motivate to want to know more, to want to be able to do more.

Now that I’m back in Italy, it seems like a country to me a foreigner, I’ve experienced the culture shock invested, because the transformations that have suffered during these 10 months now will have to face my life as before, they are no longer used . I often compare the Italian situation with the Argentine situation, although in reality each country has its own peculiarity. But, after almost a year out of their country, it is as if the roots were uprooted and must continuously interact with the contexts that I knew and experienced personally in recent months. I think this experience has been for me a great growth of knowledge and perspectives, maybe I will never see more things like before, and without a doubt it motivated me to continue on the path of international volunteering and development cooperation, I decided to take it years ago and I am determined to want to continue.

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