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Home Again, in Another House, but at Home

By Angelica Peluzzi

Here I am, a month has passed since the end of my experience, however I still find it very difficult to adapt to everyday life. How do I feel? I feel like I have just woken up from a dream, lived a parallel life for three months which seems to have been three days, and then awakened again in reality.

Thinking back from the start, I was so excited to live the experience, even very scared. But I never expected experiencing something so profound that it would have made me grow so much. It almost makes me laugh! The first day I woke up at the fazenda, the community I was in, I wondered who had made me do it. I wanted to scream; I couldn't believe I had to spend three months with strangers. I wanted to go home; I was afraid, terribly afraid.

I am very shy and I was also terrified of relating to others, making a fool of myself, not understanding situations and asking a thousand times for explanations. These were all things that made me uncomfortable and for the first week I practically tried to avoid people. After a while, however, I decided to wake up, I thought “okay you're only here for three months, you can't play this experience by being shy, now you bring out all your courage, go out there and face life.” And so, it happened. I started throwing myself more by asking, asking and asking at the cost of seeming stupid, at the cost of boring people. Slowly, I started to get involved with my brothers, and I slowly approached all the people who lived with me, until at a certain point, without even realizing it, I became part of that everyday life, of all its dynamics and facets.

The people there are fantastic! I found a welcoming, warm and smiling reality; everyone always helped and supported me, treated me like their little sister.

Kenya is a very special place; it is dangerous for a white girl to go around alone in certain areas and the idea of ​​having to stay 2 and a half months in one place on the other side of the world was making me a bit gnawing. Then it turned out to be the greatest gift: living 24 hours a day with those people who later became my family, allowed me to get in touch with a new culture, with a thousand different ways of thinking and acting, of seeing the world. I could never thank them enough for all the conversation during work hours, or in the evening after dinner when in the company of my dearest friends we often talked about everything and often about nothing. I will always be grateful for all the laughter and the tears shared together, the misadventures and the funniest and most joyful moments.

At that point I felt at home again, in another house, completely different but just as beautiful. The stimuli came from everywhere, there was so much to learn, to discover and I didn't want to waste a single second.

I learned a lot, more in three months in Kenya than in five years of school: living in community, jumping into situations without being afraid, being resourceful because only in this way can you face life, living in harmony with everyone and being patient and kind as everyone there has been to me.

I want to thank everyone, the first and the last, to those who extended their hands to me right away, to those who closed the doors in my face, gave me a hard time because it made me grow a lot anyway.

I discovered that in my life I want to travel, I want to learn a lot and at the same time I want to share what I know to other people.

And in the end, the hardest thing of all was not adapting to that new reality, but starting over. I had to greet people, people who become my daily friends with the thought that maybe I will never see them again. Then a few days after returning to Italy I receivedf the first message, a dear friend of mine writes 3 simple words "I Miss u" and then I understand that it's all true, it all happened, and it happened to me!

Now I'm back in Italy with my family and friends but I feel like a complete stranger. The thing that initially troubled me was not being able to talk to anyone about what happened, or rather, I did it but not thoroughly, always with the impression that the people around me could not actually understand; I think it's perfectly normal but it wasn't easy.

I will never stop thanking my parents who supported me in my decision and Milonga, Ivan and Corinne who made all this possible for me and always followed and helped me in all circumstances, allowing me to live the most beautiful experience of my life so far.

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