ॐ " Fαΐ ∂εllα τυα vΐτα υŋ' Oρεrα ∂' Αrτε " ॐ


PS: No offense dear oriental people, these are Iranian or Indian songs understood in Italian language, which result in a funny (mostly without sense) version!! 😉 Love them

 

Silvia 🙂

Annunci

Hey there! I’m alive 🙂 Sorry for not being much present in my blog! I want to thank anyway all the people from all around the world who visit my blog. Even if I’m not writing at it right now, I’m often checking my stats and I can see it’s pretty seen in every corner of the globe. So, Grazie again!
Hope to be able to write something new whenever possible 🙂

Saluti dall’Italia
Greetings from Italy 😉

Silvia

What is exchange?


Questo e’ una delle tante testimonianze della vita da exchange student. Allora anche io ho voluto condividerla, in memoria della mia esperienza di vita negli Stati Uniti d’America per un anno.
~ This is one of the many stories of what an exchange student’s life is like. Therefore I wanted to share it too, in remembrance of my one-year-experience in the United States of America.
 

What is exchange?
Exchange is change. Rapid, brutal, beautiful, hurtful, colourful, amazing, unexpected, overwhelming and most of all constant change. Change in lifestyle, country, language, friends, parents, houses, school, simply everything.
Exchange is realizing that everything they told you beforehand is wrong, but also right in a way.
Exchange is going from thinking you know who you are, to having no idea who you are anymore to being someone new. But not entirely new. You are still the person you were before but you jumped into that ice cold lake. You know how it feels like to be on your own. Away from home, with no one you really know. And you find out that you can actually do it.
Exchange is learning to trust. Trust people, who, at first, are only names on a piece of paper, trust that they want the best for you, that they care. Trust, that you have the strength to endure a year on your own, endure a year of being apart from everything that mattered to you before. Trust that you will have friends. Trust that everything’s going to be alright. And it is seeing this trust being justified.
Exchange is thinking. All the time. About everything. Thinking about those strange costumes, the strange food, the strange language. About why you’re here and not back home. About how it’s going to be like once you come back home. How that girl is going to react when you see her again. About who’s hanging out where this weekend. At first who’s inviting you at all. And in the end where you’re supposed to go, when you’re invited to ten different things. About how everybody at home is doing. About how stupid this whole time-zone thing is. Not only because of home, but also because the tv ads for shows keep confusing you.
Thinking about what’s right and what’s wrong. About how stupid or rude you just were to someone without meaning to be. About the point of all this. About the sense of life. About who you want to be, what you want to do. And about when that English essay is due, even though you’re marks don’t count. About whether you should go home after school, or hang out at someone’s place until midnight. Someone you didn’t even know a few months ago. And about what the hell that guy just said.
Exchange is people. Those incredibly strange people, who look at you like you’re an alien. Those people who are too afraid to talk to you. And those people who actually talk to you. Those people who know your name, even though you have never met them. Those people, who tell you who to stay away from. Those people who talk about you behind your back, those people who make fun of your country. All those people, who aren’t worth your giving a damn. Those people you ignore.
And those people who invite you to their homes. Who keep you sane. Who become your friends.
Exchange is music. New music, weird music, cool music, music you will remember all your life as the soundtrack of your exchange. Music that will make you cry because all those lyrics express exactly how you feel, so far away. Music that will make you feel like you could take on the whole world. And it is music you make. With the most amazing musicians you’ve ever met. And it is site reading a thousand pages just to be part of the school band.
Exchange is uncomfortable. It’s feeling out of place, like a fifth wheel. It’s talking to people you don’t like. It’s trying to be nice all the time. It’s bugs.. and bears. It’s cold, freezing cold. It’s homesickness, it’s awkward silence and its feeling guilty because you didn’t talk to someone at home. Or feeling guilty because you missed something because you were talking on Skype.
Exchange is great. It’s feeling the connection between you and your host parents grow. It’s hearing your little host brother asking where his big brother is. It’s knowing in which cupboard the peanut butter is. It’s meeting people from all over the world. It’s having a place to stay in almost every country of the world. It’s getting 5 new families. One of them being a huge group of the most awesome teenagers in the world.
It’s cooking food from your home country and not messing up. It’s seeing beautiful landscapes that you never knew existed.
Exchange is exchange students. The most amazing people in the whole wide world. Those people from everywhere who know exactly how you feel and those people who become your absolute best friends even though you only see most of them 3 or 4 times during your year. The people, who take almost an hour to say their final goodbyes to each other. Those people with the jackets full of pins. All over the world.
Exchange is falling in love. With this amazing, wild, beautiful country. And with your home country.
Exchange is frustrating. Things you can’t do, things you don’t understand. Things you say, that mean the exact opposite of what you meant to say. Or even worse…
Exchange is understanding.
Exchange is unbelievable.
Exchange is not a year in your life. It’s a life in one year.
Exchange is nothing like you expected it to be, and everything you wanted it to be.
Exchange is the best year of your life so far. Without a doubt. And it’s also the worst. Without a doubt.
Exchange is something you will never forget, something that will always be a part of you. It is something no one back at home will ever truly understand.
Exchange is growing up, realizing that everybody is the same, no matter where they’re from. That there is great people and douche bags everywhere. And that it only depends on you how good or bad your day is going to be. Or the whole year.
And it is realizing that you can be on your own, that you are an independent person. Finally. And it’s trying to explain that to your parents.
Exchange is dancing in the rain for no reason, crying without a reason, laughing at the same time. It’s a turmoil of every emotion possible.
Exchange is everything. And exchange is something you can’t understand unless you’ve been through it.

ImmagineSilvia


Right.

-(just) romantic.


I think I’ll need my brain to do double work. For my heart got stolen (and broken) by you.


Se c’è una grande lezione che ho imparato

quando incontri gente nuova

e conosci tante nuove persone

è che non importa la nazionalità

non importa il colore della pelle

come non importa il colore degli occhi

non importa la statura

nè la “bellezza”

non importa la cultura

non importano le tradizioni

non importa la musica che ascolti

non importa ciò che leggi

non importa quanto ci hanno insegnato

non importa se hai studiato

dove hai studiato

dove sei stato cresciuto

chi ti ha cresciuto

o perchè,

perchè dovunque tu vada

se incontri un uomo

sarà, con maggiore probabilità,

e resterà sempre

e comunque

uno scemo.

Silvia 


An exchange student shares his feelings:

Not so long ago, you and I were complete strangers. But little by little, we entered each others’ worlds as friends, students, teachers, and something more: classmates in the school of life.

You have now arrived upon that moment that nearly a year ago seemed not so certain. Soon you will depart our shores and return to your homes in your countries, one year older, many experiences richer, and a lifetime wiser. Be it in doubt to you or not: you are returning to your homeland a different person, enriched and invigorated by your months here in America. Indeed: you were blessed with an opportunity many of your peers were not, and we in turn were blessed also: with each and every one of you.

Our lives have changed by this meeting, and so have yours. None of this will leave this set of life experiences the same, and none of expected none should have expected to be the same, anyway. For of all those things we strive to keep unchanged, the only constant in life is that it will continue to change, evolve, and prosper in a new light every day.

I want to instill on you the importance of your experiences here in my country. You have been lucky to see with your own eyes what many back home have only gossiped and whispered about; that country of dreams and plenty, that place where our concerns are prom dresses and homecoming dances. Where apple pies and McDonald’s aren’t special treats, where Cricket is an insect (and a cellphone company), and where football is something altogether not football. But beyond that, you have witnessed the excitements and tears and mundane of a group of people you never knew existed beyond Hollywood and really bad TV shows: the Americans.

As you prepare for what we Americans call the homestretch of your time amongst us, I have some final lessons to teach you both as your friend, chaperone, teacher, and yes, fellow student.

First amongst these lessons is the following: we each have a moral imperative to change the world for the better. I cannot begin stress to you the mortal dangers we all find ourselves in because the generation of our parents, and our parents’ parents chose to change the world their better, and not for everyone’s betterment. In simpler words: you and I alone can take what we learned from one another, and use it to help the animals, peoples, and institutions around us healthier for us all. You have no option for failure, and neither do I. As a wise Muslim once said in the desert, “God has put you and these difficulties in my path. I have no choice but to solve you, and resolve the difficulties.”

The second lesson I have for you is that: you are not alone. Thousands of you came to my country in search of a year of parties and fun, and those same thousands of you are going back to your countries after a year really easy math exams (don’t lie, I know you were laughing at us in Algebra class!), and really strange eating habits (eating in the middle of the night, chocolate cereal for breakfast, and/or pizza for dinner more than once a week ring a bell?). You have a network of friends who you must keep in touch with for the rest of your life. They will be just as confused as you will be when you wake up at 6am for the school bus, only to realize there is no school bus, and that math class all of a sudden got a lot harder. Those friendships among yourselves–and among us Americans you’re leaving behind for “cool” places (I’m sorry my fellow Americans, but Karachi and Cairo are not “cool” this time of year, they’re really really hot!)–are the most important asset you have gained for both yourselves, and the beloved home countries you are returning to.

Take it from me, (we’re still on lesson two), the friendships I have made with people from South Africa, Israel, Pakistan, South Korea, India, the Arab World, and Eastern Europe throughout my life in Washington D.C. have made me a better person, and have helped me grow to appreciate each one of you. If it wasn’t for Phil Mok & Dave Kim whose families are from Korea, Thupe, South Africa’s indomitable beauty queen, and that girl on my high school bus from Ethiopia, I would not have learned to enjoy all of you as much as I have. I know that because of those friends, there have been many times in my work in politics that I was able to show people that I care and understand about their cultures, their families, and their concerns. More than once when misunderstandings have happened between Muslim, Jewish and Christian groups, my lessons from Catholic primary school, being president of a Jewish fraternity, and growing up (and remaining) a devout Muslim have helped to avoid huge problems, and helped to make new friendships. America was your chance to learn the same, and in 6-7 years when you are my age, it will be your turn to do the same: help people understand one another.

And that leads to my third lesson: be a bridge builder. We Muslims like to say that Jesus Christ once said that, this world is a bridge. But each one of us belongs to one common world as well as the world we come from: Desi World, Muslim World, Arab World, Russian-speaking world, Francophonie world, East African world, West African world, etc. So build bridges that connect our worlds. It’s as easy as a Facebook group, or even a post on a timeline teaching about another culture, language, or even religion. Before some of you got here, I never knew how cool Moldova was (even though one of my closest friends in America, Alina Goldman, is originally from there!), or how interesting Sumatran and Javanese dances were in Indonesia. You built a bridge to me, and I built a bridge to you too. Keep at that.

My fifth lesson for you is this: Americans want to help, and we might know people in your country who want to help you do great things, too. You have seen with your own eyes what America is like, and what is not. Hopefully you have learned that we have little interest in attacking Mecca, or conquering Africa; that the truth is that we wouldn’t find cricket that boring if we hadn’t already invented baseball, and that we love football too! We just call it soccer for some very strange reason. Really though, you know us. We want to be your friends, and for you to be ours. Friends look out for one another, and so I am making myself available to at least try and connect you guys to people I might know to help you do big things to develop, teach, and make your countries even greater than they already are. Just promise to pray for my country in return, so that America can keep doing good things in the world, and move away from ever doing bad things.

My final lesson to you is one from the heart: each of you has a Qadr, or destiny. Your destinies are both written and unseen: meaning you won’t know what it is until you strive to achieve it. But do not think that you somehow coming to visit my country was a fluke (accident). It was not. It had a deeper meaning, that only you can discover. Each one of you has the potential to bring world peace, rescue the dolphins of the oceans, and end world hunger. Each one of you has the ability to petition the Higher Power (i.e. pray) to give you a destiny of greatness. A great teacher, doctor, lawyer, politican, army soldier, merchant, tribal chief–whatever. Live up to your destiny, and in the process, help me find mine.

Destinies are tricky business, and are as elusive as true love (stop crying over your prom date, you haven’t true love found it yet), and as awe-inspiring as a bolt of lightening. Do not understimate yourself, and take that “can-do” attitude we Americans have back home, and solve the problems around you with the same confidence that you made friends here. And once you think you have found your destiny, pause for a moment. Reconsider. And make those castles in the sky you dreamt of while chowing down on a Big Mac in America, make them grounded on this earth by sheer will and even blunter tenacity. Never be afraid to fail, always be afraid to never have tried to begin with.

I leave with the following: if a tree falls in the woods, does it make a sound? The answer is immaterial. What matters is the journey you take to get to it.

Now the foundations of your souls have been set. You are no longer a mere exchange student traversing the murky path of self-discovery. You are now adventurers from whom the world expects so much, and for whom your countrymen hearken and beckon. Go back home knowing that neither one of us has an option to fail in making a better world, and that our destinies from hereon while separate, are forever connected. When the histories are written, when the words are spoken, and when the monuments are built to what you and I endeavored to achieve on this earth, there will be one truth that I hope we all will be held into account for: that these months for which we have each other are the moments in which we all decided: we have chosen to better understand each another for a better world.

Exchange students of 2012, you are dismissed.

Silvia,

me too exchange student in the U.S.A.

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