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This is not the end of the world it’s the beginning of a lifetime

Months ago I had bought a ticket destiny Cochabamba (Bolivia), to do a volunteer experience in the “Casa de los Niños”.

I did not know much more, to be honest, nor did I need more information, I could not wait to launch myself on an adventure I had dreamed all year.

I began the journey excited, without any expectation, but with all five senses ready not to lose any detail and with open arms to welcome others.

When I had waited so long, I found myself on the other side of the world, in a house full of children, with many names and stories. Small with few years of life, abandoned, orphans and with chronic diseases, sometimes with little hope of life and subjected to intensive care; there were also children with cerebral palsy, hydrocephalus, epileptic seizures, leukemia, autism, blindness. Of course, each of them had their own needs, their medicines, their schedules, their food, diapers and clothes. Each of them, in short, had a story of his own.

The first few days I felt confused, my head went to a hundred an hour, I saw myself surrounded by the needs of children and many of these I could not find a solution, there were a thousand tasks that I could not realize. The doubts began to grow more and more: was this my vocation? Was I really useful? Was this the place where I could form myself as a person? It was as if I were climbing a mountain, struggling every day to get stronger.

However, the answers soon arrived. That was my place, my vocation, my life project. For all this time I experienced the most beautiful routine: I got up surrounded by incredible children – of whom I soon began to forget their difficulties, to discover their full potential – and I followed them in the rehabilitation exercises inside the school.

I was able to live their life, a life full of surprises, of ups and downs along the way, of pains and frustrations, but also of hopes; some days we rejoiced for the good news, while others broke our hearts. I learned to live day by day, not to make plans, not to anticipate things, to be always available for each of them. I learned to embrace a child at the end of life, only to make him feel loved even in that moment of pain, to carry those who could not move, to give food to those who could not swallow, to calm those who did bad. I learned, in short, things that I never even thought about.

Every day, when I got up, I was aware of the value that has a life, the importance of those little creatures that live there in the center and that, even if only for a moment, they found a place that would treat them and love them as well if they were children; and people who make their lives a continuous giving and loving, which truly give life for them – without selfishness or pessimism – but with joy, hope and so much vitality.

I need a thousand pages to describe, in the least, the happiness and tranquility that one experiences and feels in an experience like this. Now, once this adventure is over, I still feel excited, with goosebumps, images that are not erased from the mind, new flavors discovered, words imprinted in the memory and the heart in hand. I am back with so many children in my heart, for whom I would give everything I have, and with immense happiness knowing that they could not be in a better place.

“This is not the end of the world, it is the beginning of a life”

“Questa non è la fine del mondo, è l’inizio di una vita”

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