And adventure is coming to an end and a new one is starting: The story of Davide, a young ex-volunteer of the Civil Service

Giacomo Pizzi11 March 2013

Davide Bianchi was employed for a year at the Archaeological Museum, on the project “Telling the Story of the Holy Land” and has now returned to Jerusalem in order to continue offering his abilities as an archaeologist to support the Holy Places. Here is his story, that shows us his joy about returning and his wish to start this new adventure:

“It is difficult to summarise in few lines the amazing experiences and adventures that I have had this year. From the first shy moments in the rooms of the museum, full of numerous finds that needed to be labeled, to the fascinating adventure of the archaeological excavating missions at the Basilica of Moses, on Mount Nebo, in Jordan. The adventure of the Civil Service has given me many encounters, surprises and gifts. One of them has been the chance of returning to Jerusalem, and instead of writing about last year, I would like to write about what returning, after the wonderful experience that I had lived here, has meant to me. The Old City at dusk, the alleys full of smells of spices and crowded with pilgrims who are coming back from the Holy Places, already close to the pre-Easter celebrations or the familiar faces of complete strangers. The wooden gates: our home “Maria Bambina”, the stairs made out of stone, the door, the switched-on lights… Nando staying until next summer!  The greeting, the hug! Feeling for an instant that you are in a very distant time. Realising bit by bit that you are reliving the same experience, that you are still here despite everything.

This is a strange month, February: It is full of departures, silence and waiting. New volunteers will be arriving in March and then Easter, which here means excitement everywhere. The first day, which was almost infinite, a group of Italian students of Archaeology at the University of La Sapienza visited the museum. I enjoyed the joy of talking to them for two hours, guiding them through the rooms full of antiques and giving them a voice, telling about where they came from and focusing on the emotions of a girl after my explanation about the Holy Sepulchre: I smiled, realising I had succeeded on my first try. The evening arrived and, like an old explorer, I returned home. Along the empty streets, at night, the Old City lives an unreal calm, between mysterious and mystical. I am now waiting to be awaken in a few hours by the muezzin chants that the first night (after the break in Italy) woke me up as well”.