Set 03 2016

Stampa Articolo

Un anno incredibile parte 2

On the 24th of December finally also the EVS- Project was approved. That was like a Christmas present for us, because we could be from now on a part of the ERASMUS+-Projects of the European Union. And the best: there would be also two other international volunteers with me from January on. Obviously I was very excited to meet them, I was hoping that they are nice, also because we would live together for the next months. Now I can say: these two girls (another one from Germany and one from Spain) are really the best company I could have had.

Some days later, on the 7th of January I was coming back to Civitella.

The next months are going to be very exciting, and I swear: they were! The first days we were showing the girls the territory and that we all start to know each other. That was also including to go to the Bar here in Civitella that is called “Bar il Camoscio” and like every week there was a Carribean night with Latin-American Music.
As it is usual in the beginning of an EVS, we also had in the first weeks our On-Arrival Training in Vitorchiano. This Training was for one week and there we had some lessons for Italian and the tutors were prepairing us for our EVS-Experience. Telling us the aims of the project, our rights and also our tasks and responsibilities as an international volunteer were also part of this week. Obviously it was also very nice to know other volunteers from all over Europe that are working in different project in whole Italy, we got friendships that are very important and strong because we were all connected through one thing: we are all EVS-Volunteers.
After that week another event was following: a dinner with the inhabitants of Civitella that was organised by the people of the Centro Anziani. It was a nice evening with good food and traditional music by a band with people from Civitella Alfedena, Villetta Barrea and Barrea. It was also nice for the other two girls to get to know some new people.
In that time we were also working for the Museo della Transumanza here in Civitella: we were helping in translating the panels that were all written in Italian into English for the tourists of foreign countries.
According to this we were organising a “Chiacchierata” twice a week for the people from Civitella and the towns around. A “Chiacchierata” is translated into English like a “Chat”. We did these “Chats” because the people here are not so good in talking English, so we organised this every week with a different topic. The aim was to not have a lesson, it should be not too formal to have a relaxed atmosphere and that the people don’t feel forced to talk, so they get used to the English language. Especially in summer there are many foreign tourists, and so it would be good to talk a little bit of English. And in winter it was also good, because there was not so much to do and the people were looking for something to do in the long evenings. It was quite successful!

When we were finished with the translation of the Museum and the weather was getting better we also got a quite important work of the park: we had to do a “Censimento” of all structures of the parc. That means: we have to register all the structures like banks, informative panels, signs etc. with pictures, place, GPS, and the conservation. It’s quite a lot, so it will take some more time to do everything. We already did a lot, but there is also a lot left. The good thing is, that you will do some trails that you are normally not doing everyday.

When there were some days where there was not so much to do, we also went out with the “Donne che corrono coi lupi” a group of women of every age and that is going out once week if possible to have a walk, eat some things together and sharing something. I was already starting to walk with them in October, and so in the new year we were also going out with them. The women that was guiding the group was the same women that was also giving us the lessons in Italian.

In winter, as I already said, the people were always searching for something to do in the evenings, so there were a lot of things to do, like lessons to learn how to dance Latin-American dances, Folk-Dances or Country-Dances. We were also deciding to take part in one of these courses: the one with the folk and traditional dances. It was very nice to meet other people from the towns around and also learn some traditional dances of Italy and other countries of Europe. One evening we were also having like a little performance in front of some people and after that a big dinner with all the people and their husbands that were taking part.

In march also the first half of our EVS was ending and so we had to go to a midterm evaluation of our project that was taking place in Nola, next to Naples. This training was just for four days but it was good to again think about our projects and evaluate how it is going. It was also nice to see how much I grew in all that time and what amazing things the time in that project made to me. We could also meet other new people in other EVS- Projects that were also just having their half time here in Italy.

On the day that we returned from Nola my parents came to visit me in Civitella and to stay with me for Eastern. It was nice for me to show my family how my life in Civitella looks like and that they can see how happy I am to stay here and to show them all the places that I discovered the months before. Together we went to La Camosciara, Val Fondillo and Pescasseroli. We also made a tour by car through the National Park and one day we were all going also with the other two girls to Pompeii. In that week also the parents of one of the other girls arrived and all together we spent Eastern in Civitella. On the Saturday of Eastern there was the “Passione Vivente” taking place in Barrea at the other side of the lake. In the Passione they were playing the death of Jesus Christ and many people that we also knew were taking part in it. It was very realistic and we were very impressed by that play. The next day we were doing an excursion to “Lago Vivo” together with Claudia and Luigi and our families. The lake is very beautiful and in that time of the year there was also water in it. Because the lake is in the mountains and you have to go up very high, there was still snow up there, although in Civitella the spring was already starting.

On Monday my parents left and also we were packing all our things. We did that for two reasons: 1. the foresteria in the Municipality was starting to be restored and we had to move into another own house in the old town and 2. also we were going on vacation. For one week the two other girls and me were going to see Florence, Pisa, Lucca and Bologna and we were going there with the parents of the girl that was also with us. This was very nice, because we could again meet the other volunteers that we met on the two trainings for our EVS.

After we retourned we were prepairing the new house with a very beautiful view on the lake and also the time with the preparations and events of summer was starting.

One of these events was a feast of “Corpo Forestale dello Stato”, an institution that is appearing in all over Italy and that is responsible for different areas of nature and have the same power as the police. The event was a feast that took place all over Italy in all offices of “Corpo Forestle dello Stato” and was a kind of nature education for families. Different things were organised: a horse was there, an exhibition of pictures, moduling figures with clay and baking the famous “Scurpella” with the group of women from Villetta Barrea that we were also dancing the traditional dances with. Also INACHIS took place there, we organised some little games, like Memory for the children.

On the weekend of the 29th of May a religious feast in Civitella took place: the Infiorata. For that occasion the people are organising a lot of things in the week before: they ordered I don’t know how many tons of sand which had to be coloured, and in the days before there were also arriving big branches of Myrtle, where the leaves had to be taken off for the Infiorata. Mostly the women of Civitella were meeting in the evenings to do that, while the men during the days were colouring the sand. Finally on Saturday afternoon they started to prepare the big flower ornaments on the street: at first they put a layer of sand so everything was at grade. After that everybody that wanted to help could take a box of coloured sand and could start by the help of huge gauges of wood to put the ornaments. This work took nearly the whole night and many people from young to old were helping. In the end we had like a 150m long “carpet” in the main street and some smaller ornaments in the old town. At about 12 o’clock in the night the “Centro Anziani” organised a dinner for all the helpers with pasta, wine, many dolci and even the band that is playing the traditional music was playing. At about 2 o’clock we went to bed but they told us that they were working until 4.30 in the morning. The people that could wake up early in the next morning were again helping and when we arrived we helped putting the myrtle leaves around the ornaments. At 4 o’clock in the afternoon was starting the messa and after that the big processione through whole Civitella and with loud and impressive music was starting. We saw how in just two minutes our work from the whole last day and night was destroyed by the processione.

At the same time we were during the week starting to prepaire some english courses for the little children of Civitella that we wanted to do in the summer holidays in the tourist office, somehow we couldn’t do it but it was anyway nice to think about some courses for them.

When the weather was better, we went to a farm in Villetta Barrea to help there to do cheese and with the normal works that have to be done. It was very nice to see how the Mozzarella, Scamorza, and the Caciocavallo for example is done.

In the middle of July the feast of Santa Lucia took place here in Civitella. Santa Lucia is one of the patrons of Civitella and on the second Sunday of July the feast is done. There are many messas, a banda is playing and a processione in the evening. On the afternoon on sunday there were games for children and later a tombola where you could win a sheep. Now in August the feast for the second patron of Civitella took place: the fest of San Nicola di Bari. Also here was a banda playing and a processione took place with a messa that was right before. Although I am not religious it was each time very impressive to see how much the people are believing and how much work they put into each of these events.

Now it is August again and the year here in Civitella is coming to an end. Right now the Civitella Alfedena Folk Festival is again taking place here and I can hear the singers warming up for their concert in the evening. It is a beautiful Thursday afternoon, the summer came back today, so it is still sunny and warm right now after the past days. I am sitting in the museum of Transumanza, two tourist just came in and I am really sad right now: I am thinking about my past months here with all the amazing things we did, all the lovely people that I met and all the incredible things that we experienced. Today in the morning one of my roommates from France that just arrived two months ago left and we had to say good bye. It was incredible to see how extremely close you can become to people in just this short period of time. Also for me it is getting harder and harder because I see that there is not much time left for me and I am thinking about the things I really wanted to do and I didn’t in the end. For the fact that our roommate left we did a nice evening with some really nice and lovely people of Civitella that I am really starting to miss already now and that I am really thankful to meet. I am really sad that we just get in close contact now and not earlier, but I think things always happen for a reason and if we should meet again, we will! Anyway, it is nice to know that even when I am back in Germany there are people in Civitella that think the same way and that you know you can always come back to! This place really became my second home and I am sure that I will come back to be here in this place with this stunning landscape, the way of living and seeing life, and its people that is so deeply different from where I am coming from.
Big thanks to everyone that made my year so beautiful with all its sad and great moments, I will never forget what I learned here and I am sure that one day our ways will cross again. For everyone I wish all the best, many lovely moments, and aspecially I hope that everyones desires and dreams will come true in the end. After all these inspiring and deep conversations with people that I didn’t really know and that were anyway willing to open their selves to me and tell me what they are thinking about and what is bothering them and also with the people that I really love and that I know and get close to, I also learned a lot about myself and about the fact that the best things in life are always happening when you don’t expect it or when you already gave up and don’t have any expectations anymore. There is a song in German and it is starting with the words “There is this thing with miracles: first they are not coming at all, then they all come at once. You don’t need to wonder, miracles don’t ask, they don’t ask” (Es ist so’ne Sache mit den Wundern: erst komm’ sie nicht, dann überfall’n sie dich. Du brauchst dich nicht zu wundern, Wunder fragen nicht, sie fragen nicht. – Sportfreunde Stiller) and I think this describes everything in a good way, it was like a red line through my whole experience here in Italy. So: never try to force things that you can not change anyway, try to enjoy every single moment and if things should happen, they will happen.

One last thing I have to add to to this report, before I will finish it: this week was again a counting of the bears that was organised by the park. I was also asked to come there and for this I woke up yesterday morning at 4.30 to go with Claudia, my parents, that arrived this week to have some holidays and to bring me home, and people of the park to place that was near Pescasseroli. We arrived there at about 6 o’clock in the morning. The morning was a little bit cloudy and when we arrived the fog was leaving. The air was cold but clear and after a while also the sun came out a little bit. We arrived by car and had to go just some meters to the actual place where we had to look for the bears. On the mountains that were just right in front of us were growing the “Ramno” that the bear was supposed to eat and so we put the binoculars and the spotting scopes and waited to see something. At 6.14 the first bear came out. He was starting to eat the berries. We were so excited to see it so clearly walking around the plants searching for something to eat. At 6.37 we saw a mother with a little cub that was born this year and a another young bear that was from the last year walking around there also to search for something to eat. This morning was really incredible, because four bears in one place in just a very short period of time in on observation is something really special. It was a great closure of this year!
This week is somehow a little strange but at the same time really amazing. On monday morning the other German girl left, after we lived together for 8 months. This morning was really sad and hard, but we know that after all this time we will stay in contact. My parents arrived, we spend the last days together with them, with my friends here in Civitella and it is really amazing how much you can enjoy every single thing here, every moment, every walk, every look at the mountains, simply everything that is happening, and I am happy for every moment here.
Vabbè, Grazie a tutti per tutto e buona vita!

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