Arriving in Perugia was dramatic, to say the least. From the train station we went across the street to the bus stop, transferring a way to our remote hostel. We were suddenly distracted by a loud bang and indignant cry of the crowd.
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We turned around and saw a young boy, lying on the floor, being unconscious. At first, we thought that he was hit by the bus, but later on it was cleared that he actually fell from the bus. Apparently, he was leaning on the bus door, when the driver while still driving (not in a slow way) suddenly opened that door.
Wild drivers on the street
The boy struggled to awaken from his unconsciousness and fell back again. Obviously, he was injured quite badly. Of course, the ambulances came and took him away. So two lessons learned from this situation: do not lean on the bus door while still riding and watch for the buses as they are fast – even in locations where they shouldn’t be. Otherwise, you probably already know, Italy is famous for its wild road drivers. We recommend the boy to your PRAYER.
Couchsurfing with Marcus
Marcus is an English teacher in Perugia. He welcomed us very friendly and provided us with accommodation for the next three days, where we could get a decent rest and sleep.
We are constantly surprised by hospitality of some people. So much joy over meeting new travellers, so much willingness to help, and above all, so much trust in people. We were handed the keys to the apartment soon after we shook hands with Marcus.
Thousands of young people from all over the world
Marcus had his daily obligations, so we stayed alone with Silva, hiking around the Perugia’s old town. Looking at sights, old buildings, and especially enjoyed the pulse of the city, which is specifically invigorated by thousands of young people. The city has 162,000 people and two major universities, one being only for foreigners (Università per stranieri), which hosts students from all over the world.
Otherwise, Perugia is one of the oldest Italian cities (from 310 BC), with a rather turbulent history, full of wars and conflicts with its neighbours. In the past, it was a city of five conclaves, when they elected four new popes: Pope Honorius III. (1216), Clement IV. (1285), Celestin V. (1294) and Clement V. (1305).
Arriving in Cottolengo on May 20th
In a previous post I already mentioned that we have established contact with the Cottolengo hospital. The story has a short sequel. With hospital’s head we agreed that we may arrive to Turin on May 20th, since only then the space will be released for two new volunteers like us.
Volunteering has long been an established practice in Cottolengo hospital. They regularly accept new people who are willing to help, but only for a period of 15 days. Just enough for a nice and very memorable experience. During this time, volunteers are ensured free accommodation and food.
Continuing our journey with help of Lazarists?
And another good news. We didn’t want to reveal it by now, but it is time for us to say that there is a high probability we will be able to reach a variety of charitable and community associations through religious communities of Lazarists.
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We will post more on Lazarists in one of our future articles, only the essentials for now. The Congregation of the Mission (Lazarists) are present throughout the world and follow the example of St. Vincent de Paul, devoted almost exclusively to the poorest people, those at the margins of society.
Since Operando’s mission it to focus on people pushed aside by their communities, it made perfect sense for us to connect with the missionary community, such as the Lazarists.
So much for now, until next week, when we post again.
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