We're doing our best

Publish date 30-10-2020

by Maria Claudia Brunello

Romualdo is an ancient name but he is a young man who does break dance, even if not immediately, not in front of a woman, then the teacher! The teacher does not have a name: she is "the teacher" for everyone, as if it were her name. The teacher in certain societies has a very important role, he is respected. We at the Italian school do not feel quite up to this task, but we try to do our best for Romualdo and other friends like him who for their part do their best to learn Italian and to feel good together.

All the volunteers bring home from their morning of service the humanity that passes in a few gestures, in a few glances. With delicacy we go deep into the lives of others and in a natural way also very personal things come out. Arif dreams of getting his driver's license soon, becoming a truck driver and finally being able to meet again with his family that he hasn't seen for 5 years. His little son has grown up, who knows if he still recognizes him! Meanwhile, he prepares the way for him in a quiet country where you can have breakfast every day.

Sofia is a bit of the head of the gang and you don't expect her to really care about you. Yes, because we enter their life but they too somehow enter ours.
"Why don't you have children?" In some cultures, a childless woman doesn't count for anything. How is it that here in Italy the teacher, herself, is childless? They look like feminine confidences in sincerity, it does not often happen in class, but unexpectedly every now and then we fall into certain more personal conversations.
"I can't have" and instinctively a sweet gesture of comfort, an affectionate sadness for the teacher.

We are women, we are people; before being a student and teacher, before being labeled. Here you can breathe heterogeneity in harmony. Abdul is in a wheelchair, he is very autonomous, but everyone helps him with simplicity. John is always in the same green jumpsuit, he looks like a child and everyone looks at him carefully, they worry about him, nobody gets tired of his ways. Ibrahim knows Shakespeare and Greg is illiterate but we help each other. We are friends, first of all people.

Maria Claudia Brunello
NP August / September 2020

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