Yesterday while sitting on the square just next to the library in Bologna (Italy) a man came and start talking to me. He was from Tunisia and asked me how I feel in Italy. I responded that I really like it, because it is one of the most beautiful countries I have visit and peoples’ mentality is very close to the Bulgarian one so I feel well among them. I was curious about the same thing about him – if he feels good in Italy and when I asked him he answered that he prefer to live in some other place in Europe but Italy is the only place so far where he manage to live without documents.
He didn’t say what exactly he was doing for living and I assumed it was something illegal but anyway I don’t judge for such things, in fact I’m always opened to meet new, different people with interesting personality who make me think outside the box. For me it is far more important how the person behave with me, if he is gentle and kind, I would never tell someone is a bad person because he\she may have done something bad in his\her life. As I have already told you, in my opinion there are no bad people, only bad actions.
So, this whole story about this man, made me think about peoples’ mentality, about the choices we make every day in our life and how every day they affect the people around us. Why this man chose to live illegally outside his country – is it because of the better standard, or is he doing it to help and support his family? Does he feel nostalgic or he prefer to try at least to earn some money which he finds harder is his country..?
So here is my question this week.. Where in the World do you want to wake up tomorrow? And more important – Why?
On the 15th of August I chose Udaipur, India, the city of lakes.
I was in my room in the guesthouse writing letters to my best friends that day. It was the National Independence day in India. In 1947 they received their independence from England.
Later, me and the other 3 polish girls who were also volunteers, have spent the day together. I have visited the center they were teaching at. We organized some interaction activities for the kids to celebrate the National festival. They were supposed to paint the flag of India and we also discussed some of their national symbols. So here’s a little information for you too, my readers.
The national fruit in India is Mango, the national tree is a fig tree, animal – tiger, bird- peacock, flower-water lily. And the national sport is Hockey! The flag of India is 3 horizontal lines and an emblem in the middle. This emblem depicts the blue Ashoka Chakra – the “wheel of the law” and the 24 spokes of the wheel signifies 24 hours and progress every hour. And surely, the choices we make during this time.
The dark orange color on the top is a symbol of courage. Next, in the middle, the white colour stands for peace and honesty and in the bottom, the green colour symbolize hope, joy, fertility and love.
It was amazing time doing all that with the students, they were incredible!! The kids were all sitting on the floor under the little roof. We were away from the village but I felt wonderful energy. We were singing some songs while we were making from paper and strolls the flags. All of the kids were making jokes and were smiling and smiling. They were so jaunty! At this moment I was 19, I was still a teenager and they reminded me for the time when I was also a kid, I was just like them. I was full of energy, smiling all the time and happy for no reason. And I was thinking why while we are growing up we stop smiling so much and forget to enjoy the life. I miss how high-spirited child I was. And at this very moment I just thought “who has stolen the smile on my face?”. If I wanted I could’ve been happy and cheerful all the time. No excuses.
The same night I spent my time having dinner with the other tree volunteering girls and they seemed to be very nice. They proposed me if I like to go with them in a mini trip during the weekend to see a city nearby. I accepted.
Later on that night, S.(the founder of the organization) and the teacher from the center joined us and we went to the mall. In Udaipur there are not so many entertaining things that you can do apart of eating and meeting with people. I figured out that even in the restaurants you can rarely see for example women gathered together for a drink or dinner. Usually, they visit each other at home because in the Indian society it is not very well accepted if a woman go out to have fun without the company of her husband or family. I asked if there were some dancing clubs in the city but they told me that once somebody opened a disco bar, but there were no visitors so soon they had to close it.
Then after this amazing, but also very exhausting day we all went back home where I relaxed and before falling asleep I saw the image of the kids from earlier in my head – singing and smiling. Then I just thought :
“Paris, now is the time of your life. Appreciate what you have, choose wisely where and how you want to live, and more important what you want to leave behind you. Smile, be happy. And never, never let anyone ever again steal the smile on your face and stop you pouring your laughter in the air.”
Same goes to you.