We're fine

Publish date 27-03-2022

by Arsenale della Speranza - S.Paolo

What then in the end it happens like this ... maybe you have thought about it many times, you have prayed about it, you have longed for it, but this trip to Brazil never came. In the meantime, the responsibilities in fraternity also increase, the emotional and working bonds increase and you come to think that, probably, it is better this way, that you already have so much to welcome from the Arsenale in Turin and that, blessed the fox, the grapes of Brazil it is perhaps a bit unripe. Then, one morning, Ernesto passes by in the office and everything, with our usual frenzy, changes. But we're fine. In a moment we find ourselves catapulted with the heart and mind nine thousand km away, you have to find the right words to say it to your parents, notify employees and volunteers, start greeting everyone with the only two words of Portuguese you know Bem-Vindo and Parabéns… and in the meantime you are already part of a new whatsapp chat, where everyone writes, of course, in Portuguese!
Yes, come on, we're fine. Between ups and downs, moments of tension, moments of precocious melancholy, fought with spoonfuls of Nutella, we found ourselves on the day of departure. The only things ready were the suitcases, the courage maybe was in the trolley, the faith had already got into the car; the heart in the sweaty hands that embrace and greet; eyes too full to avoid the inevitable. Not even the rosary in the car gives you the peace you ask for, but maybe it's not the time yet. When we are on the ocean, at two in the morning, with an unlikely Spanish lasagna, we can tell ourselves that it is all true.

We have been in Brazil for two months now and we are fine, we go to school two mornings a week and by now we are also able to understand and make ourselves understood, thanks to their patience and hospitality. Brazil has its arms always ready to welcome. A Brazilian would never say a clear "no", rather he uses a beautiful turn of phrase. This is the welcome we received as soon as we arrived: we can understand nothing, speak Ostrogoths, but they try hard for us, to understand and welcome us as we are, simply different.
Here, this is precisely what strikes us so much: a people of a thousand origins, all different, which mixes continuously, which seeks its unique and univocal identity, scattered, between an African accent and conspicuously Japanese eyes, between a typical Lebanese tradition and a plate of fresh pasta. With the conscience and the desire to feel like a unique people, a nation.
We're fine. This is the answer we always give to those from Italy who ask us for news. On the one hand it sounds strange, even if it is true, on the other we have said it to ourselves a thousand times: it was just “moving one floor in the same building”, the people do Sermig and that's where we are. We found ourselves in the family, with the fraternity, but also with the volunteers, with the people who frequent this Arsenal. We are the same even if we are very far away, we recognize ourselves, from the words, from the attentions, from the shared life, from the hardships experienced, that, everywhere, they are the same, precisely because they are human, by the desire to share and divide the Bread that it is given to us.
We're fine. Yesterday in the summer of Brazil, today in December in Turin, perhaps again ready to leave, to serve where we will be asked. Quarantine aside!
Alberto and Riccardo
... but we're fine, really!

NP December 2021

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