February 2013

Civilian service: Alessandro’s story at the end of his experience

At the end of his experience, Alessandro tells his story, one of the four young Italians, who during the past year have worked on different ATS pro Terra Sancta projects, thanks to an agreement with the University of Bari. Alessandro worked in the library of the convent of San Salvatore, on the project “Books, Bridges of Peace”.

“At the end of this year spent in Israel, I can’t help but think of my very first days in Bari, just before I left, when none of this had begun and we were getting ready for this experience, attending the civilian service training course. A course which I consider in itself part of the year, indeed all four of us who were destined for Jerusalem got to know each other and the others, who were destined for Peru. When the four of us left from Italy for Jerusalem, we had in our minds those eight who were on their way to Peru. We heard from each other sporadically, the time difference being a problem, but we knew we had the company of others on the other side of the world, others who were central to our conversations in the year away from home.

From this starting point, our little group of twelve grew: we met more people along the road, people who, during our months of volunteering, came and left, but always leaving their mark on our story. They certainly remain companions of an adventure:  Giuseppe, Davide and Nando, who, despite the disagreements, misunderstandings and separations along the way, are the only people I can say that I truly shared this experience of civilian service in the Holy City. People whose friendship I will treasure forever”.

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