To live or to collect? That is the question…

New country, new continent, new people, new job. Three months have already passed by, so fast that I can hardly believe it.
I clearly remember my first weekend here, invited to crash   birthday beach party by an Italian girl that I had met the day before (national solidarity rules). I arrived too early  (only around 10.30pm…) and did not know anybody there. I began to introduce myself to the people around me, following a well-established set of questions that rarely move away from “whatisyourname, whereareyoufrom, whatdoyoudohere (clearly referring to which UN agency or NGO the person is working for), howlonghaveyoubeenhere, howlongareyougoingtostayhere”. Questions that rarely imply a real interest in the answers, mostly a longer version of “hi, I am X, nice to meet you”. Continue reading

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Growing up is hard to do…

All my bags are packed but I’m not sure I’m ready to go…I have been given an allowance of 3 suitcases to pack up my personal effects and move to another continent. In one, I’ve stuffed food and drink -enough pesto sauce to feed a family of Italians for…well, probably about a three days. In another, toiletries, in case there’s a mysterious shortage of deodorant, skin lotion and hair paraphernalia in Africa. And in another some clothes which will be dust and mud-stained beyond recognition within a few weeks. Yes, it’s finally time for me to move out and make a home of my own. Continue reading