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European Young ESCapists – Vaida’s Fourth Month


    “But it is a really small town, I want you to understand it well. There might be not much to do” the voice on the first volunteer interview step told me about Orta Nova. The voice was fair and right. Orta Nova is a small town where people say “it is far” for the objects that require 20–30 min walking. Usually, within this time you come from one part of the town to another. To compare, when I was still living in Vilnius, it used to take 40–60 min to get to my work by bus. And it was my daily routine! Time is relative. Your living place is one more proof to that.

    Even though small towns don’t have some of the big city advantages, they might be proud of some other inspiring and great treasures. One of them is definitely a stronger community. People tend to know one another and try to help with all they can. Here in South Italy, it is even more significant. Just for one day, I was writing down all what has happened. Could you deny it is nothing more just a pure beauty?

    I woke up early and went outside. My ear was gently tickled by the lovely voice coming from the balcony “Ciao Vaida! Tutto bene?” Meanwhile in Vilnius I even didn’t know all my neighbours. With the hidden smile (masks cannot be forgotten) I was continuing my journey and stopped by the shop. “Ciao” a lady who works there shared her enthusiastic greeting and added “come stai?”. I swear I haven’t heard this question in any of the shops or supermarkets in my own country, unless acquaintances were working there. Because I was “bene”, after this shop I kept on going to buy groceries. On my way I met a gorgeous and kind girl I already knew before. Unluckily, we could not spend much time together before. At the moment we met, we shared few words and she asked “Do you want me to take you to supermarket by car?”. My mind was already on the highway. But my feet were bringing me to the supermarket.

    There, once I stepped in, I heard from the behind “Ciao, cara!”. It was a store security! Before men of this profession used to make me scared. But just not in Orta Nova! Should I mentioned that the guy at the cash made sure I could use the discount card? Last but not least, I went to buy some vegetables. A man of the good heart made sure I will not starve and in addition to all his gifts, he gave me a cabbage accompanied with words “prepara il tuo piatto lituano” (referred to “balandėliai”). People of the small community knows much more about you than you think. Even if you are just a fly in their sugar.

    This is the story of only one day. Do you imagine how many big hearts we see there daily? Volunteers working to make others life easier and filled with food, people bringing products for people in need, acquittances sharing with others what they grow in their fields. And most important, the feelings that grew in their hearts.