My name is Farileandro Londoño, I am 26 years old and I come from Colombia although I have lived in Spain for a long time. I would say that since my first Erasmus university experience in Turkey I have been, more or less regularly, trying to discover as many places and corners as possible. This, in an effort to get out of my comfort zone, get to know myself better as well as other people, learn and discover how beautiful and wide is the world in which we live.
As soon as I saw the opportunity to carry out the Norcia project, it seemed like a great opportunity to do the latter, this time in Italy and with a social purpose that I had not yet investigated. Now that it is over and I am back home, people ask “how was it?” and I have realized that the answer is actually tricky as it becomes difficult to express everything that I lived and learned. In a society where the monetary has tended to prevail over any other type of experience that can bring other types of benefits, articulating experiences like Norcia’s in a way that your immediate circle sees it as something worthwhile gets complicated for one reason or another. If I think about the friendships that I have created, the places that I have visited and the knowledge that I have acquired on a non-formal level, perhaps I would not know how to abstract all this in a way that is appreciable enough for another person who has not lived it with me. According to me, it is something that goes beyond any value that someone else can give to what I myself have experienced. This in turn makes me feel tremendously lucky as it makes my background and life history more and more interesting.
In the same way, each experience of this kind is undoubtedly fascinating in terms of culture and personal growth. In this case, I could say that thanks to the project I have reinforced my self-confidence by interacting with strangers in a new language, which has also helped me to prove and deconstruct myself. It was also very useful in order to work on values such as empathy and solidarity to the extent that other people’s feelings and perceptions are constantly taken into account, both those around you and the local population with whom you live. The latter even more if we consider they are also in the process of overcoming the consequences of an event as catastrophic as an earthquake.
Eventually, you realize that everyone has some skill or experience to share, and these can be given or received in unexpected ways or places. Life has taught me that we can learn so much from each other just by listening (in addition to knowing other people more deeply and forming more authentic bonds).
In short, it has been two intense and wonderful months, which have helped me to bring home much more than I could have even imagined, feeling grateful for the opportunity while giving me encouragement to continue on this path.