sexta-feira, abril 24, 2015

Experiência Final! A entrevista de despedida dos estagiários LDV.

A Martina quis testar os dotes de comunicadora num último projeto de estágio na Rota Jovem. De regresso a Itália, entrevistou os seus colegas sobre a experiência terminada agora em Portugal. Será que ser um estagiário LDV é fácil? :)

1. Your first impression when you arrived in this new country?
Letizia Toni: When I come here I was really impressed about the light, because was night and from the plane I saw so many lights, especially on the bridge.
Enrico Fratti: It was strange, all new and all to be discovered. I remember I was excited and scared.
Carlo Brandoli: My first impression was really good, I thought immediately that this country would be perfect for me.

2. Where did you do your internship? Did you have any difficulties to integrate yourself in the workplace? 
LT: I did my internship in the National Museum of Tile, and there I worked with the children and we did some workshops. At the beginning it was quite hard about the language, they pretended immediately to talk just in Portuguese and of course I couldn’t.
EF: I am doing my internship in a hostel in Lisboa called Rossio Hostel. I have had no problem in my integration in the work place, all the people were always nice with me and I liked my job.
CB: In my internship I'm a warehouse technician, and so I helped my colleagues with the expeditions, the delivery to the clients and to take care of the showroom

3. The biggest difficulty that you faced on these three months: 
LT: There were mostly different difficulties: one - again - about the language, other about some physical effort: I lived in a fourth floor without lift and moreover Lisbon is built on seven hills so every time when you want go somewhere you have to walk on rise streets.
EF: I didn’t find big difficulties during my internship. Maybe the only one was always being nice with guests even if I didn’t want, but I had to do that because of my job.
CB: The biggest difficulty was the language, because that one it was new for me.

4. The most embarrassing moment that happened to you with a Portuguese? 
LT: Every time when I tried to say something in Portuguese but I did some mistakes.
EF: I think is better if I don’t describe that moment.
CB: When I asked for a paella :)

5. The Portuguese word that just you didn’t understand / that didn’t enter in your head? 
LT: The word bastante, I never remember it.
EF: Talvez, it means maybe.
CB: Chegar.

6. Do you think that Portuguese culture is very different from the Italian one? Tell me a custom of Portuguese culture that you definitely can't accept. 
LT: I think the Portuguese culture and the Italian one are not so different between each other, maybe the Portuguese is more similar with the one of south of Italy. That custom which I definitely couldn’t accept is that one to put milk cream on pasta, because I’ve this intolerance and I can’t eat it.
EF: The culture is different but I like it, the only think which is very strange for me is that they eat first and second together in the same plate.
CB: It's not so different, but I still don't understand why the portuguese people use so much butter!

7. Our experience here is going to end, what do you bring at home of this three Portuguese months?? / If I could bring home something of Portugal it would .. 
LT: A lot of things: especially the beautiful memory about some very nice places like the Monastery of Jerónimos, the Cathedral of Lisbon and that one in Porto, the Museum of Tiles, the Gulbenkian Museum, the Library of Coimbra, the Bookshop Lello e Irmão in Porto, the Nacional Palace in Sintra, Quinta da Regaleira also in Sintra, Palácio de Queluz. Moreover some beautiful beaches on Carcavelos and Cascais.
EF: If I could bring home something of Portugal it would be for sure the Atlantic Ocean.
CB: For sure the Pastéis de Nata! 

8. Would you recommend this experience to another person? 
LT: Yes of course, I think now when the young people have a lot of difficulties to find a job they can try to have one experience on foreign country. Leonardo da Vinci projects or European Volonteer Service and good options and could be good for everyone.
EF: Of course, it is an amazing experience, really useful for yourself!
CB: Yes for sure!

9. Is there a person who during this experience has been particularly important for you? Which memory about her you take home? 
LT: Is really hard say something just about one person, I found a very nice colleague at the museum, and as well I found one partner for the culture visits on Martina.
EF: Yes, my colleague Maria. She has helped me a lot and now she is like my older sister.
CB: Probably this person is my colleague Arnaldo, he is a very nice and kind guy, the best memories I think I will take will be the moments with him in the van for the deliveries, singing African songs :)

10. Say hello in Portuguese.. 
LT - EF - CB: Olá!!!

segunda-feira, abril 20, 2015

My Leonardo da Vinci project on the Museum of Tiles

A Letizia está a terminar o seu projeto de estágio no Museu Nacional do Azulejo e não podia deixar de contar a sua experiência:

When I saw this museum for the first time I was shocked and just though - "really, this beautiful place is my workplace?" 
The Museum is full of History and Portuguese culture, since the art of tiles (following how they are done) is a really identity of Portugal anywhere.
In fact, you can easily find a lot of tiles everywhere in Portugal and they can catch your eye in churches, on the walls of singular and significant houses, at train stations but also on subway stations. They follow the History of Portugal and any pattern tells us different stories. Of course that at the Museum, the tiles I work with are more ancient and more particular. 

The main part of my internship is connected with educational services, so I work closely with children at some workshops. I am responsible for preparing many materials for that workshops. As an example, I can tell you about the maiolic technique I made  - first the drawing and then the holes, after that, the childreen can take down this drawing thanksgiving with the black powder, then they color the drowing and after the final touches, we will be able to see nice "azulejos".

A few weeks after starting my internship, I also had the responsibility of thinking about the development of other activities and to help with some activities related with one fairytale about fish. During this workshop, my tutor would tell a story to the participants, while I speak as a little fish to make the children happy. After, the children are taught how to make the same sounds and how to make origami shapes from it. It's a nice activity and those with kids are all invited to appear! 

Since other of my tasks allowed me to follow a lot of groups visiting the Museum, I've learned a lot about the history of "azulejos" and it's connection with the Portuguese culture and language. In other hand, when we had Italian groups coming to visit the Museum, I has the opportunity to be the group guide in some parts of the Museum.

Leonardo da Vinci mobility project - Project “TILE- Tools for the ceramic district by International training and Learning on the job in Europe G85113000130006” rif.  2013-1-IT1-LEO02-03952

Olá da Holanda!

 A Raquel anda deslumbrada com a Holanda e com as possibilidades que o seu projeto de Serviço Voluntário Europeu lhe está a trazer. Cheia de motivação e interesse pela organização na qual está a colaborar, decidiu deixar-nos uma breve mensagem:

"Olá Rota Jovem,

De momento, está tudo a correr pelo melhor! Estou a ter acompanhamento com um voluntário holandês, que vem cá a casa uma vez por semana. 
Não tenho muitas fotos para partilhar ainda, mas ficam algumas para registo: na primeira, sou eu numa quinta onde ajudo pessoas que por lá trabalham, com necessidades educativas especiais. A segunda e terceira referem-se ao "arrival trainning": a primeira foi-me numa aprensentação de um trabalho com o meu grupo e na segunda todos os voluntários estão a indicar no mapa em que zona da Holanda estamos a residir. 
Tenham uma boa semana :)"

sexta-feira, abril 17, 2015

EVS Volunteers - Words of Experience: Iván Gutiérrez (voluntário SVE na S.P.E.A.)

Iván is known amongst us other EVS-ers as “Birdman” for his incessant admiration of birds, an admiration that took a more professional form during his EVS in S.P.E.A. (Sociedade Portuguesa para o Estudo das Aves). But the truth is that our Spanish volunteer does more in S.P.E.A. than just frolic around with flying creatures. In fact, a great variety of animals, from the deep sea to up in the clouds of Portugal go under Iván’s scrutiny. Here he is now, talking not only about why everyone hates seagulls but also about life in Lisboa, the ins and outs of a volunteer’s life and false friends between Spanish and Portuguese. Y vámonos, amigos!

Clara: Hello, Iván! Would you please tell us a little bit about yourself?
Iván: Hello! I am a Spanish boy of 26, here in Portugal to do my EVS project – an environmental project in S.P.E.A. I’m very happy with how it is going, I think it’s a great opportunity for me and I hope to live it up at its fullest.

And you’ve been a volunteer here for how long now?
My project is for six months and I’ve been doing it for about a month and a half now and time is going by very very fast.

Ok, so S.P.E.A., now we know what “S.P.E.A.” stands for. Would you share with us more about what you do there?
S.P.E.A. is an NGO that organizes different projects towards the conservation of bird species and their natural habitat here in continental Portugal, as well as in the two autonomous Portuguese  islands' groups, Açores and Madeira. As such, it has many different areas dedicated to the study of animals - more precisely, the study of birds - and I take part in the department focused on seabirds.

What I will be doing there, to be more specific, is contributing to one of their ongoing projects focused on birds in the islands of Berlengas. While there, we not only pay attention to the birds but also to their predators, namely in this case the rats and mice and some types of plants which invade the birds’ habitat.

We’re also interested in the effects of tourism upon the birds, especially in summertime when tourism flourishes and it disturbs the birds’ environment. A lot of people ignore the designated paths for hiking and camping and by doing so, they may ruin nests of seabirds or simply disrupt their fragile ecological balance. This does not occur too often, however it is important to establish the touristic capacity of the islands in relation to the birds’ wellbeing.

Do you also have a studies background in this field or previous experience?
Not at all. My studies in Spain were indeed in the field of Biology, but it is a very vast domain and I had nothing to do with the marine side of it. Only here in Portugal I got to come in contact with the marine fauna (particularly with the birds), the different ecosystems it contains, so it is quite the learning experience as well as a work one.

Would you like to tell us one interesting thing you’ve learned from your project so far, about birds or anything else?
Well, it’s always an interesting experience when I think I’ve found a bird’s nest and then I look inside only to find a rat or a rabbit squatting in there. That’s truly a problem: when these rodents invade the seabirds’ nests, the birds cannot use them anymore and so their eggs are ruined and they have to move away.

What about some nice birds specific to Portugal that you think people should know about?
For one, I think the majority of people aren’t familiar with seabirds and so they only associate “seabirds” with seagulls. However, if you will spend a bit of time on a beach or any rocky place near the sea, you will have the chance to observe a lot of birds, marine and terrestrial alike. One species that I particularly like and consider quite nice is the Sandwich Tern or
Garajau-comum in Portuguese. It’s a beautiful bird which can be often observed “fishing” in the sea, close to the beaches and rocks, but it somehow passes unobserved by the majority of people here in Portugal.

Now I’d like to talk with you a bit about seagulls, as they are the most hated-on species of birds from my own experience. Are you more tolerant towards them than the average person? 
 Yes, for sure I think most people don’t like seagulls too much. Especially tourists, who have to fight them off their food on the terraces during summer. Now the seagulls have evolved to eat almost anything, from the garbage bins to restaurant food and as such, their population has increased exponentially. It’s a problem and it’s particularly visible in the case of the Yellow-Footed Gull, which is the most commonly seen version.

Personally, I love seagulls and not just the common one, as there are many pretty species of seagulls who are also more well-behaved.

It’s obvious that you dominate the Portuguese language already. How different is it really from Spanish? Did it take you a long time to learn?
I think my Portuguese is decent, yes. I’d been in Portugal some months ago too and that allowed me to establish a basis for learning the language. A lot of people do think that Spanish and Portuguese are the same thing but they couldn’t be further from the truth. Although there are many similar words, there are also enough discrepancies and the pronunciation differs significantly. Or better yet is when a word is pronounced exactly the same in both language, but it means a completely different thing which gives way to many funny situations (see for this words like borracha, polvo, pelado).

Are there any words or sounds in Portuguese that you struggled with?
I think Portuguese has a wider diversity of particular sounds, which may be difficult to Spanish people learning Portuguese. For instance, to me the sound of “lh” as in “Julho” (the month of July) is still troubling.

On the other hand, it’s the same for Portuguese folks learning to speak Spanish. The word “rojo” (red), for example, is a very difficult one to utter for the Portuguese, because of the strong “r” and the “j” which requires a pronunciation unknown to them.

What’s the most common reaction people have upon learning that you are from Spain?
They often make references to the climate there, such as “oh, Spain is all beaches and sunny weather!”, when in fact that’s only the South of Spain. There’s also nice areas up the North that are not only sunshine and sangria, with more varied forms of nature and weather.

What are some of your favorite places to go to in Lisbon?
Here it’s really hard to choose just one. Maybe The Carmo Convent (O Convento do Carmo) is a good recommendation, also the viewpoint (Miradouro) from Saint George Castle (O Castelo de São Jorge) offers, I think, one of the best views in Portugal.

For showing people around Lisbon, I always go for the neighborhoods of Graça and Alfama. I consider them magical places that managed to preserve intact the streets and charm of old Portugal. I especially like Alfama, with its restaurants and traditional bars (tascas), so I take any opportunity to show friends around there.

Ok, we’ve reached the end of the interview and I will just ask you to send a message from you now to Iván at the end of his EVS. 
I hope by now you’ve exploited your time in Portugal very well, that you’ve visited a lot and that you got to know more about the culture here, as well as other cultures through meeting new people. And please, get involved in any activity that presents itself to you!

quinta-feira, abril 16, 2015

O que é que Portugal, o Chipre e Eslováquia têm em comum?

Que qualquer experiência de mobilidade internacional muda a nossa vida, nós já sabemos. O que nem sempre sabemos é o impacto abismal que elas têm e que transforma não só o envolvente mas a forma como nos posicionamos e vemos o mundo. A Sara tinha muitas saudades do seu Serviço Voluntário Europeu, mas nem sabia quantas ao certo. Até se deparar com pessoas na mesma situação no Chipre. No mês passado voou com a Maggie à descoberta para a redefinição de aprendizagens com o curso internacional "Vol.U.ME". Lê sobre a sua experiência aqui:

"Foi há seis anos. Estava frio, era de madrugada e a mala pesava. Mas o coração estava leve e a vontade de ultrapassar barreiras e conquistar o mundo era forte. Embarquei em Dezembro para os melhores sete meses da minha vida. Voltei no final de Junho. Estava calor, era de tarde e a mala pesava. E o coração estava cheio.
Em Fevereiro deste ano recebi um e-mail da Rota Jovem, a perguntar aos seus ex-voluntários se queriam ir ao Chipre contar o seu SVE. Sim, claro que sim! E fui.

Na mala levava as minhas histórias. Mas não estava preparada para o que aconteceu. Não éramos muitos. Uns trinta. Duas portuguesas. Todos pertencentes a organizações como a Rota em diferentes vertentes (mentores, membros da associação e ex-voluntários). O primeiro dia foi para fixarmos nomes. O segundo e os restantes para falarmos das questões de organização e toda a parte burocrática sobre voluntariado. Mas houve mais do que isso. Houve convívio. E houve mais. Houve troca. E foi essa troca que me deixou sem chão.
Parecia tão fácil falar sobre voluntariado, sobre o meu e a minha experiência.
Então como se explica o nó na garganta sempre que tive de falar sobre o que fazia? Como se explica que não tenha sido capaz de me caracterizar em frente aos meus colegas?
Aos poucos percebi que era a saudade que não me deixava falar tudo, e fui vencendo isso. No Chipre ajudaram-me a perceber que a nossa percepção do mundo é alterada quando vivemos um SVE. Às vezes de maneira violenta, e às vezes de maneira dramática. Mas que existem ferramentas para fazermos do SVE uma experiência única. Sei que pedir que todos os voluntários voltem como eu é difícil, mas que está ao alcance de todos, e de cada um, que isso aconteça.
É comum dizer que “não devemos voltar aos sítios onde fomos felizes”. Não voltei à Eslováquia. Mas voltei de coração cheio do Chipre. E vamos lá voltar."

O que é que Portugal, o Chipre e a Eslováquia têm em comum? A Sara Covas :)

segunda-feira, abril 13, 2015

Da Guatemala para a Costa Rica: o que representa um segundo mês de viagem?

A aventurar-se pela Costa Rica,  a Joana deixou há dias uma fantástica paisagem e vivências a repetir - ou a relembrar e saborear na mente de uma viajante na Guatemala. O que é que compõe o segundo mês de viagens?

"O que é o segundo de 5 meses de viagem, na Guatemala? Viajar 1 mês é bom. Viajar 2 meses é indescritivelmente bom. Porquê? Porque a minha rotina passou a ter uma expressão muito particular - chegar, adaptar e mudar! Quando chegar é um entusiasmo, adaptar é sentir em casa e mudar é trocar o entusiasmo de sítio. 
Há duas questões que desenham uma viagem: o tempo e o dinheiro. Eu? Cheguei à conclusão que tenho muito tempo para contar trocos. A vontade de conhecer tudo é incontrolável, mas o anseio distrai-se com coisas simples. Tenho imenso tempo para descobrir algo novo todos os dias. E dinheiro mais que suficiente para apreciar-lo.
Ao contrário do México cheguei à Guatemala cheia de planos. Quis fazer um percurso de 6 dias até ao ponto mais alto da América Central, e trabalhar num hostel no meio da selva durante um mês. Mentira. Não fiz nada disso… Porquê? Porque já me tinha esquecido que “O bom viajante não faz planos, nem tem pressa de chegar!” mas felizmente, a minha intuição não.

 Assim, sem intenção mas com intuição, cheguei ao Lago Atitlan onde vi comunidades Mayas, a Antigua Guatemala onde conheci os alicerces da História, a Rio Dulce onde mergulhei na natureza, e a Livingstone onde conheci o caribe africano. Uma troca justa e ajustada!
A Guatemala é passado primitivo, é presente colonizado, é futuro com identidade. Há mais homogeneidade que disparidade. A população indígena é quase maioria e vive, convive, e sobrevive nos diferentes contextos geográficos. Também eles se adaptam, seguindo o caminho da intuição? Discriminação? Globalização?
A boca cheirou inevitavelmente a frango, deliciosamente a pão de banana, admiravelmente a camarão e espantosamente a coentros. A Guatemala não pica na língua, mas esta derrete melancia, manga e ananás como nunca antes. Desmancha banana frita pela primeira vez. E tipicamente ou talvez não… agradece um copo de vinho tinto, chileno!

A mente saboreia o que é cultura social. O que é isto de encontrar indígenas? Eles não vivem na selva, mas a selva vive neles. O estilo de vida de quem conhece as plantas e cura. O estilo de vida de quem tem um martelo e sustenta a família. O estilo de vida de quem se integra numa cidade, manifestando-se culturalmente. Quantas justiças e injustiças cabem nestes estilos de vida, não sei ao certo. Mas que me ensinam que a vida tem muitos estilos, isso ensinam!
Os olhos encantam-se com a riqueza natural. O que é isto da selva? Descontraidamente falando a selva é uma floresta maior, com árvores maiores, com menos espaço entre elas e com muitos bicharocos! É vida, é movimento, é som! Estar lá? É ter respeito. É ter cuidado. É sentir-se maravilhada, privilegiada e grata a cada passo, a cada paisagem!
O que é o segundo de 5 meses de viagem, na Guatemala? É realizar as decisões que tomo, as expectativas que não tenho, os objetivos do presente. Os cenários, os estímulos, as hipóteses são infinitas… O sentido da experiência é único. Dois meses indescritivelmente bons, de património pessoal…"


@ arrotante do momento!:
JOANA Há 27 anos que quando chamam por Joana, eu respondo. Acredito que pouca coisa acontece por acaso e gosto de escolher o caminho que piso. Entre os deportos de aventura, o desenvolvimento comportamental, o turismo e a psicologia tenho passado boas experiências e aprendizagens.. Acompanha a restante viagem em Ladybug in Latin America

sexta-feira, abril 10, 2015

EVS Volunteers - Words of Experience: ANNA

À semelhança do que aconteceu no ano passado, quisemos conhecer a fundo os nossos voluntários SVE (Serviço Voluntário Europeu). 
A Clara é uma das nossas fantásticas voluntárias ao abrigo do Programa Erasmus + da Comissão Europeia, e que te dará a conhecer nos próximos tempos os colegas que partilham com ela esta aventura. Hoje é a vez da Anna, a última a juntar-se ao grupo, mas que já se sente totalmente em casa!

Clara: So to start with, why don’t you introduce us a little bit to Anna?
Anna: Well, my name is Anna Kosareva, I am 26 and I’m from Ukraine. I am doing EVS here in Cascais for 9 months.

And could you tell us a bit about your project and your EVS activities?
Rota Jovem works with youth and one of my major activities here is to promote what Rota Jovem does, all of its events and workshops and also creating interesting activities which enable young people to develop themselves.

Obviously, you’ve had previous work experience. What field(s) did you work in and what do you see yourself doing in the future, professionally speaking?
I finished university with a Bachelor’s (Degree) in Foreign Languages and Literature. I’ve had several jobs and they were all absolutely different. Mostly I’ve worked with people and for people, for example I was a tour guide in Crimea, organizing tours, taking groups around the peninsula and telling them about the place, which was quite an interesting experience. For the future, I’d like a job which connects intellectual work with creative aspects, maybe just a little bit of physical activities as well. I’d like to be able to apply my knowledge to find something new, to learn something and create things that can be useful to others.

Your project requires you to interact with other volunteers quite a lot, both at home and as part of your work. Would you say you work better in a group or individually?
Well, as with anything else, I’d like to have a bit of both, because they form a kind of harmony. I like teamwork, I like talking to people and communicating but I also like to have my personal space, so mixing these two things together would be perfect. And it is perfect now, actually.

Before coming to your EVS, I imagine you told the people in your life about it. What was the general reaction? Did they know about this program?
The thing is that the people I am close to right now are older than me, so they had never heard about EVS. Actually, they have never been abroad on such a program, so everybody was very interested in knowing more and at the same time scared, because it’s not a very common thing there. I think people my age and younger are quite aware about EVS and they are more into this type of intercultural communication. Anyway, everybody was happy for me and now they ask me all the time "What’s going on there? What’s going on there?".

And when you say scared, what do you mean exactly? What kind of fears did you most encounter?
Oh, things like "Are you going there to be a slave? Are you sure they’re not gonna sell you into sexual slavery? Basically the slave stuff."

So tomorrow is your one week anniversary here in Portugal! Can you tell me one thing that struck you most about Lisbon so far?
One thing that hit me is just how beautiful it is, because it’s absolutely beautiful. Everything from the streets paved with stones to the nature and mountains, ocean and rivers and then the architecture…everything is absolutely stunning. Anywhere you look it’s like a painting. It’s a pity our eyes can’t take photos.

But what is one thing from Ukraine that you wish Portugal had?
Well, I miss my boyfriend a lot, so he is the main thing from Ukraine I wish Portugal had. But on a serious note, I actually don’t miss anything from home yet. I can find Ukrainian stuff here, there’s some Russian stores, Portuguese food is also quite tasty and I’m exploring it so…yeah, just my boyfriend.

Also on the topic of Ukraine, what’s one thing about your country you’d like more people to know?
To be honest, I haven’t talked a lot about Ukraine with people here. People asked me some things, but nothing shocking yet, so I can’t say right now. Of course, I’d like the Portuguese people to know that Ukrainians are very kind, very hospitable and welcoming to foreigners. Also, Ukraine is very big and has many region: the South speaks Russian, the East is also Russian-speaking, but the rest of the country – North, Western and central Ukraine – speaks Ukrainian, which is a very beautiful language. People there like to mention a competition from the 90s meant to establish which was the most beautiful of languages, in which Ukraine came out 3rd (after French and another language). I don’t know if it’s true, but I can confirm that Ukrainian is indeed beautiful. So yeah, I’d like people to know that Ukraine exists and it has a wonderful language and a rich culture.

What about music? Can you recommend some cool artists for us people who’ve never been exposed to Ukrainian music?
Yes, I would recommend DakhaBrakha. It is folk music, but a very modern kind of folk. And then of course, we have Okean Elzy, who are very popular now in Ukraine. They’re like huge national icons at the moment. They were rock stars and now they got into singing national pride stuff, so they are quite big there.

Now for the ending, I would like you to say something to the Anna 9 months from now, to Anna at the end of her EVS.
Hey Anna, how are you? I hope you’ve been using a lot of sun protection cream and that your skin doesn’t hurt. And don’t worry; you can always come back. 

quarta-feira, abril 08, 2015

Now I Walk into The Wild...Dolomites

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, there is a rapture on the lonely shore, there is society, where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in the ITS roar: I love not man the less, but Nature blackberries.
Lord Byron

Few months ago, while I was rearranging shelves of my room, I came across a book that I didn't remember to have: Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer. For those who didn't have the opportunity to read it (i highly recommend to do it), the book tells the story of Christopher McCandless, a young American boy, who finished the university and decided, unbeknownst to the family and his friends, to take a long journey into nature abandoning civilization and running away from a consumerist and capitalist society in which no longer bear to live.
I don't know whether it was the cover image to appeal to me or the fact that I didn't want to re-order anymore, but in a few minutes I was sitting on the floor, completely absorbed in my reading, and after a day, book finished, I wanted to have a backpack and set off immediately. 

Because the feeling you get after experiencing Christopher and his story is this, you can not help but reflect and a question arises: what is my relationship with nature? I would be able to fully immerse myself in it, only live life, at that time in that place, no phones, no internet, nothing, just snow-capped mountains, rivers, starry skies, just me in the wilderness?

The case wanted that in that same period me and some friends were planning summer vacations and it seemed a good time to take up the challenge and take advantage of those ten days, free from university exams and work, to experience something different, not the usual holiday with all the comfort and technology always at hand, but something more lively, away from the monotonous security to which we are used and closer to an unconventional adventure. 

Once the friends were convinced, the choice of location was easy: what better place of Trentino-Alto Adige and its Dolomites? Set of mountain ranges located in northeastern Italy, the Dolomites offer to their visitors a number of hiking paths called “Alte Vie”, which have a historical, geographical and cultural valency. Our choice fell on the Alta Via number two that comes from Bressanone to Feltre for a total of about 185 km, a total climb of 11,000 meters and 6 mountain ranges crossed, not exactly Christopher's Alaska, but a nice challenge!

Now, ignoring the details about the preparation, the trip , about how hard it was to put up a tent in the middle of a storm on the top of a mountain, or climb a rockface with a backpack of 16kg on the shoulder, I believe that reducing life to essentials, free from the burden that we have in excess, not only the material one but also mental and emotional stress, let it go and live everyday under a new and different sun, is a really great feeling. At first, of course, it will seem strange and unsettling, set off with no certainty can be scary, but once taken the first step there is nothing more beautiful and inspiring.

Because in today's world, with frenetic rhythms , in which the imperative is to have everything at once, in which we can no longer do without the technology and all the comforts that, imperceptibly, change our lives and limit our skills, where it's becoming difficult  even finish a meal without having checked the phone and the dialogue and relations with people are minimized, immerse themselves in nature is a choice not only radical, but also beneficial and necessary, if we want to remind where we come from and what we are actually able to do,  to understand better  ourselves and the environment.

Let's think about it, try to spend a day or even just a few hours into the nature and for sure it will know how to repay you. I leave you with this words, found written on the door of one of the shelters that hosted us in Trentino and that I find incredibly true:
Ask me why I go to the mountains. Ask me why, when the rest of me is tired, the only way is the path.

Because in the mountains you can not waste your breath for useless words. You have to keep them to get to the top, there is only space for silence or kind words.
Because the only weight is the backpack. There is no burden on the heart.
Because everyone, if they wish, can get to the top. Just step by step.
Because meet people who find a moment to say hello.
Because there are no frills: just you and your body, you must love it if you want to have the forces. There is the sky with his moods. Do not mess with the rain, wind, snow or night. You must be very careful, and return to the primitive stage in which nature and her movements were part of your life, an integral part of your daily life. You can not snub the nature, in the mountains: it pulls you by the sleeve, asking you to look at it, study it, to be present.
In the mountains you can and you have to be yourself, no distractions.
Maybe that's why, over many peaks, mobile phones and internet work in fits and starts ... it is nature that says, "Let it go, let go the superfluous. Stay with friends. Stay with animals. Stay with yourself. You don't need anything else. "

@ arrotante do momento!:

Martina, 23 years old, Italian.
Aspiring social educator, calm, dreamer, lover of music, nature and outdoor life, but especially addicted to travel and to everything that allow us to make new experience. I found myself dreaming of being elsewhere..why, however, do not go there?