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It’s my first month in Palermo already and it feels like it’s just yesterday when I arrived as a new volunteer, how fast time flies. Remembering my first day when I arrived here and the CESIE staff received me with open arms, since then I’ve liked everyone working here. Their smiles, openness and willingness to help have really touched me and I’m glad to say I consider here my home away from home.

I’ve met other volunteers from other countries, we are all different and this difference is what makes us unique. I consider these people my second family. I’m involved in different volunteering projects within MPV project.

First at “Cooperativa La Fraternità”, being able to work with disabled people really makes one aware of what they experience, how they view reality. They are unaware of what’s happening around them and I have learnt to love them and I’m grateful I’m working in this project.

Cooking and cleaning up the kitchen takes a new perspective at ‘Mensa’ my second project, it’s a canteen that provides food and responsive aid to the homeless people and newly arriving refugees. Here every action you take makes a difference and every minute counts to ensure that humanitarian action is taken appropriately and impacting others’ lives positively.

Finally, my other project is ‘Ubuntu’ a children’s social centre that has taught me how to be more patent when it comes to interacting with kids. Each child is unique and has their own range of needs and honestly for me at first it wasn’t easy because there are so many children might require your attention at the same time, so a common ground of understanding must be created between you and the kids.

At first when I arrived in Palermo the weather was too cold for me, it was rainy and quite windy with temperatures below 10°. So far I’ve adjusted though it’s raining less each and every day and he skies are getting clearer, I’ve been told it’s the typical Sicilian weather!

Sicilian food is really something else, it’s totally different from what I eat in Kenya my home country. There’s a lot of pasta in many dishes, what I loved most is their pizza, wow! It’s really fantastic. In the open markets, you can find fresh vegetables and meat at very affordable prices.

I’m really looking forward to the days ahead and if you’re reading this I’d challenge you to get involved in the EVS whether locally or internationally for those outside the EU zone.

It’s a life changing experience, with love.

Felix M. Nzeki