Ah, Italy! I spent my life thinking about the country three of my grandparents come from and felt Italian event though I’ve never set foot in that country.
In December 2013, I graduated as an .environmental geographer after so many years in college, taking classes. Since I graduated during winter time, it was quite the challenge to find work in Montreal. I went to a Government job orientation class for immigrants who just graduated. It took several weeks.
I met people from all around the world in the same situation. We learned how to write business letters and resumes, to analyze the labor market and more. It was all very useful, but by end the end of January, I still hadn’t found any job and that made me sad. I decided to go to Italy for three months and come back to Montreal during the summer.
I wanted to visit my family and since I didn’t have much money, the idea was to work on organic farms. Just before graduating, I had taken Italian classes at my university, which allowed me to practice the language there.
As soon as I arrived in Italy, my mood changed completely… as if I had left all my sadness in Montreal. My first Italian word was “bagno”, meaning “restroom”, which I said to a man at the airport; luckily it was pronounced exactly like the Spanish word!
I arrived in Milan to see my cousins. They lived in the village called Cassano de Adda. I stayed there my first weeks in the country.
There is an international group called WWOOF, standing for WorldWide Opportunities on Organic Farms, and signed up to be a member. They then sent me a list of farms and I chose the most interesting ones.
From the village, I went on one-day trips to Genova, Venice and Milan, I was fascinated every time!
Author: Helena Aroyo