Posts Tagged ‘thought’

I know I’m doing it right when the children I used to take care of and have grown up come up to say hi and want to talk and tell me about their lives. I know I’m doing it right when the kids see me from far away and run to hug me and wave when they see me drive by. I know I’m doing it right when they remember me and somehow I contributed in making a difference in their lives. I know I’m doing it right when my children (they are my children, you know) tell me,

“Hey Alicia, should we take a selfie?” and I’m not into selfies, really I’m not but I’ll take a selfie with my children/teens any day.




These are the moments that add value to my life, the moments that are important to me. These are the moments I cherish the most. These are the memories I’m forever taking with me.

“A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove…but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.” Forest E. Witcraft


Read Full Post »

I was nominated for the Liebster Award for being a blogger with less than 200 followers! Cool!

Well, I want to thank the person who nominated me, that was very kind of her! I also wish I could nominate 11 people and ask them 11 questions, who will in turn nominate 11 people and ask them 11 questions. But I cannot nominate 11 people because I follow just about 30 blogs and some of these guys are big shots in the blogging world and have over 200 followers, and the rest don’t have the kind of blog you could send them such an award, not when their blog deals with social problems and raising awareness;  this is probably not the kind of award you would nominate them for.

That leaves me with only one option. Actually two: 1) follow 11 random blogs so I can pass on the award 2) invite you to check out the blog of the person who sent me the nomination

I choose option number 2.

The blog is called lovingafrenchman, she’s an American French teacher married to a French man and writes very interesting posts about their cross-culture marriage. I’m sure you will enjoy her writing, I sure do!

Read Full Post »

I’ve had a blog for 5 years already. When I first started as a blogger I did it as a way to write down some of the experiences I’ve had that were important to me. I wrote about volunteering at the homeless kitchen in Budapest, about the summer camps in Deva (Romania), I wrote about the visit to Auschwitz, about seeing the results of your work, and about my internship at the residence for disabled patients.

I wrote it mainly so I won’t forget that I lead a pretty awesome life. You know sometimes I forget. It’s good to be reminded.

Then something wonderful happened. People started reading the blog, some of them were my friends and family, and that’s when I linked the blog to Facebook, so that they (friends and family) could read the new posts. But not all of the readers were people I know personally, and some of these people started following the blog and liking the posts.
And that was such a nice surprise! Especially because you don’t start out thinking you’ll have an audience; but if you write and I will repeat it again IF YOU WRITE people will read your blog.

It’s so much like having a secret friend. Nobody knows about it but one day you start talking to these other people who comment on your blog and like your post. There’s even a little orange star that blinks at the top corner and lets you know you are a champ!

Then you go on with your day-to-day life and all your mundane problems, your colleagues who are awful, your crazy working schedule, the lady at the stationery store who’s nasty (but she has the only store in town so you have to go there even if you rather not) and the incessant rain in August and you tend to feel a little bit discouraged.

You go home, check the garden just to make sure the neighborhood cats didn’t use it as their private spot, you open the windows to let some fresh air in, if you are really hungry you take a bite of whatever has been sitting in the fridge for God knows how long and then you open your WordPress account and you have a comment, or a star, or stats that let you know that someone cares. Your invisible friend at the other side is someone you can count on!

And some of these “invisible friends” are not so invisible after all, because you know their names and you read their posts and somehow you can cope with the day-to-day life with a knowing smile because you’ve discovered the wardrobe that leads you to Narnia.

I’ve been trying to get my family to start a blog, every time I go over I tell them “so did you start your blog yet?” and none of them have. My dad asked me if I get paid for advertising WordPress since I do it with such boldness. “Of course not dad, I just thought it might add some mystery to your life.” He still hasn’t decided if he’ll start a blog at all.

I found this article that says it better than I ever could. So there, do you have a blog?

Let me introduce you to some of my invisible friends: Erik, John, Diana, the Wife of Bath, and of course this wonderful group of people.


Read Full Post »

Whenever Loris and I have half a day off, usually on Sunday afternoon, we like to go to the mountain. The Venetian Pre-alps rise right behind our charming little town and it takes about 20 minutes to get to the top. We prefer the mountains to the seaside. The sea and sand and heat tends to make us both grouchy and we come back home tired and annoyed at each other and at everyone. The mountains on the other hand renews us and we come home with an overwhelming feeling of elation, and the sense of belonging that only nature can give. Earth sign, remember?


Because Loris’ grandparents live in Piemonte we go visit twice a year. During the summer months they are up at their house in the mountains, and that’s where we go stay.  Loris loves the place, he spent every summer since he was nine with his grandparents in the mountains, surrounded by forests and the river that runs through it.


This time we visited I made Loris’ grandparents tell me about their life while growing up; I wanted to write down for our future family what it was like for they great-grandparents growing up right after the war when families still lived off the land.


From my dad’s side of the family we know all our history. Both from the Italian and the British side, with the Italian side being predominant. From my mom’s side of the family we don’t know anything. I guess my dad’s side were better at storytelling.

I want my children (whenever they decide to come) to know where they come from and their whole family history. That’s why I made my grandmother-in-law tell me about her childhood while she made dinner one evening.

One interesting thing about both Loris’ and mine lineage is that we both come from mountain people. My family from my dad’s Italian side were shepherds. Our nickname is “caorer”, which means goat herder. Loris’ grandparents were both farmer children. Actually my mom grew up in a farm also in the north of Argentina, she only moved to Buenos Aires as a young teenager.


It’s only natural that Loris and I love the mountains, we have a mountain heritage. I’m a city girl but always longed for mountains. I’m in love with brooks and bees and yellow flower meadows. I love deer, cowbells, mushrooms and sheep that graze by the lakes. I love the rolling mountain clouds that gather at the peak and rush overtaking the whole valley by surprise; and then the sun that breaks through and pours over the fields leaving a trail of glittering drops.


I love mountain people, with their simplicity and slowness. Mountains can make one feel both small and great at the same time. Life has often been compared as a mountain and rightfully so. I find that literature that describes nature in all its forms is the most uplifting and stimulating kind of reading.

I found a quote on one mountain cabin we often go to that inspired me. I looked up the author and couldn’t find it. I also didn’t find the English translation on google which makes me believe it was originally written in Italian. I’ll like to share it with you.

We were impatient and the mountain taught us endurance when faced with hardship and difficulties.
We were afraid and the mountain told us that fear shouldn’t be ignored but conquered. It taught us that braveness shouldn’t be used recklessly or too much but rather in a measured manner and with self-control.
We were easily prone to selfishness but the mountain taught us to suppress that feeling with a silent pact of mutual assistance. An implicit alliance that up here becomes the soul’s innate maxim, as an instinctive aide.


Read Full Post »

Did you notice that saying “oh this summer I’m going to learn French” and you actually learning French are two different things?

Good intentions unfortunately don’t lead anywhere; whereas deadlines help you accomplish so much. I learn French at school (and Math and other happy subjects that I am not particularly good at), and I thought that during the summer break I would take so time to listen to French music, read some French novel, find a native speaker who would drink champagne with me while conversing in French and feel très Francaise.

The truth is that ever since school ended I’ve been busy with so many other things and French has been left on the back burner, along with Math. Really, who has time for French when there’s so much going on?

But during the school year when I have a test on any subject I HAVE TO study, there’s just no way around it. If I didn’t have to study for a test I probably wouldn’t study at all. Deadlines, I discovered, are actually your best friend; they make you do things that otherwise would never get done, especially when they deadlines aren’t self-imposed.

I accomplish the most when I’m forced into doing something, finish a paper, study for a test, prepare a powerpoint presentation for the English course at school, learn a particular song to play for a gig, just to name a few things.

Not that I like deadlines, sometimes the stress that results from having deadlines drives me insane. But on the other hand, when I look back at all that gets done I kind of feel satisfied and thankful. Deadlines? Yeah, bring them on!

“Good intentions are quite continental but deadlines are a girl’s best friend.”

Read Full Post »

Claire sent me this Walt Whitman’s poem when I told her I would like to read his “Leaves of Grass” book.

Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring,
Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish,
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d,
Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me,
Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?

That you are here—that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.

From- Leaves of Grass (1892)

Some versions write “you will contribute a verse”. I don’t know which one is accurate, but I prefer “you may contribute a verse”. It’s not written in stone that you will, maybe you take part of the wonderful play as an actor, or an spectator; but it’s up to your choices if you get to contribute a verse.

Something to think about! Are we contributing with a verse? If not, why not?

Photo: Holger Bergner. Check out his photos on Facebook

Read Full Post »