My experience with Salim ed Abeba is something that “comes from the belly”. When I first saw that little girl totally unable to communicate, I got overwhelmed with an emotion of unease and I felt like I had to do something, but at the beginning it wasn’t easy.
We didn’t know anything about her and I was afraid I could do mistakes, but with some help I got to find a lady who was able to speak tigrino; this has been the first step to get closer. I will never forget her smile when she heard the lady speaking her own language.
It’s been a while since this happened; it’s still hard to communicate sometimes but she’s a homie now and I think we’ve built a relationship of trust. She seems happy when she spends time with my kids and I can see her becoming more comfortable and more confident day by day, also at school.
Before Christmas we also had lunch together with the Eritrean group hosted by Progetto Itaca: that was just a beginning, it was still too early to create a relationship of trust but it has been a very pleasant time. I wanted to ask them several questions, to better understand them, but it’s not that easy: we were two different cultures sitting at the same table and desperately looking for a common meeting point.
I’d love to do something more for them, but maybe this is just part of the western excitement that I belong to.