They were all so elegant, and there I was, traveling with not many change of clothes, which were a bit old, mind you. My grandaunt told me she might have another of pants and other family members offered to lend me some clothes and shoes.
However, sheer clothing and heels were not my style, so I firmly stated that I preferred wearing my safari-style pants! They told me that if people were looking at my shoes, they were just trying to guess where I was from. I imagined that they would realize on the spot that I wasn’t Italian.
In the end, I spent two weeks in the village since my grandaunt didn’t want me to leave. The goodbyes were very sad, everyone was crying… but how happy I was to have met them!
The next stop was a farm in Cava d’Ispica, near Modica, still in Italy. I chose that farm because it was located on an archeological site and they had horses as well! The place was incredible. I stayed at a house made of stones with four other volunteers. One of them, Audry, ended up living in Quebec, and we were able to meet here in Montreal; she even visit Argentina once, and is now a friend of my mother, as well as some of my friends.
At the farm, we had to work almost six hours a day cleaning the fields of stones, taking care of the horses (that was my job, of course) and planting several gardens on the patios close to the house. In return, we were offered a roof, food, and the owner’s friendship, who drove to the city, his friends’ parties, to the beach—several times at that. I was supposed to stay just a week, but added another one; I ended up falling in love with the place, the people, and the ruins surrounding us.
Author: Helena Aroyo