February 2013

Civil Service in Jerusalem: Nando tells his story as his experience comes to an end

This week four young Italians finish their Civil Service in the Holy Land. During the past year, they worked on different ATS pro Terra Sancta projects, thanks to an agreement with the University of Bari. The students put their skills and knowledge into practice, learning a lot and gaining from a unique human and professional experience. Here Nando Gizzi, who worked in the Technical Office of the Custody of the Holy Land on the project “Telling the Story of the Holy Land”, tells his own story.

Considering service as a life ideal

“This has been a year of great discovery and growth, above all because I learnt that working requires complete openness to whatever may happen, a can-do attitude and the ability to see minor mishaps as positive opportunities. It often happened that, during the year, I woke up with a certain idea of what there was to be done, and what I had to do, and then, arriving at the office, the idea went completely out the window when faced with new requirements, urgencies or emergencies that came up. Nearly every morning I had to revise programmes and projects to meet new priorities: it was not always simple, frequently it meant choosing between adhering entirely to the new requirements asked of me and resisting and doing things my way, and there were moments in which this daily “tug-of-war” made me feel defeated and frustrated. But in time, I realised that I had become moulded by this availableness, accustomed to this openness and learnt that to “serve”, that is, putting yourself at the service of others, of what’s in front of you, of whatever happens, depending on my own skills, my interests and my humanity, really is a life ideal. Furthermore, I was lucky to work here, in Jerusalem, in a place where every stone reminded me and testified to the fact that this ideal had become concrete, had become “flesh”, some 2000 years ago when God became a man and chose to put Himself at my service.”

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