It has already passed more than 3 months since I have started my European Voluntary Service, and a lot of things happened, a lot of things I have learnt and a lot more I will experience here. As in any genuine adventure, my trip couldn’t begin worst: my flight was cancelled, the departure postponed do the next day – summing up 50 hours of travel – and my luggage got lost in Madrid (fortunately it arrived three days after). But this is the best part of a travel, and this is what I’m learning day by day here in Mexico: nothing is going as you expected, and everything is a surprise, bad or good. And it’s right like this, because we cannot live exclusively under our own rules, following only our mindset, only in our own direction. We need to be free and ready to welcome what life is setting aside for us, being thankful and getting satisfaction of what we have.
The Mexico that I’m learning to discover for sure is not what I expecting: it’s much more. To arrive from Europe to a Latino-American Country means to bring with you a considerable dose of unfounded prejudices and fears, that I have quickly shaken off from me.
Mexico means being always welcome, and receiving hospitality everywhere and from everyone;
Mexico means making friendships in 5 minute, and I’m not talking about superficial friendships;
Mexico means colonial and deteriorated architecture in the same place, just like in the two city where I more felt at home, Genoa and Seville;
Mexico means learning to appreciate spicy and hot food, until the point you cannot avoid to eat spicy hot food;
Mexico is realizing not to have eaten so much corn so far in my life;
Mexico is new colors, new smells, new tastes;
Mexico is music in every corner, and in every shop and bar;
Mexico means feeling at home, being welcomed by a “Mom” and a “brother” that I’m getting to know and that always treat me as part of the household, with all its implication;
Mexico means spending the Christmas day with a family from Mexico City. I have been invited by two brothers that I had met during a weekend in Puebla and I was automatically integrated into the present exchange within the family;
Mexico means getting to know both of the two soul of the same family during the Christmas night;
Mexico means being welcomed by a couple of unknown people in their house and being introduced to the whole family, only because you are the friend of a friend’s friend of a friend…
Mexico means changing your way of considering distances and understanding that, all in all, 7 hours in a bus are not that much if I think about the size of this Country;
Mexico means learning how to treat the pig’s skin with salt for the production of shoes;
Mexico means working 5 days per week with two colleagues that since the first day made me feel part of a project;
Mexico means getting to know an organization of volunteers that since years hosts several international young volunteers making a lot of efforts, finding for them a family interested in hosting international volunteers, letting them meet their cities and Country and helping them to get involved in the Mexican culture;
Mexico means feeling an unconditional love for this Country from each Mexican I have met so far, notwithstanding all the problems that affect this place;
Mexico is listening 10 times per day things like “Pay attention!” or “Don’t trust anyone!”, even thinking that maybe that this scaremongering is a bit exaggerated;
Mexico is listening about stories of corruption and narcotrafic that make you think of Italy during the 80s and 90s;
Mexico is feeling far away from home, but at the end not too much – because the Latin soul bonds us together;
Mexico means coming back to speak Spanish after 3 years of non-practice, and realizing that at the end I still remember it quite well;
MEXICO I DON’T KNOW YOU, MEXICO IT WAS A LONG TIME I WAS WAITING FOR YOU, MEXICO I WANT TO DISCOVER YOU IN ALL WHAT YOU ARE!