It’s been one week since I’ve been in Alghero, Sardinia. I’ve learned so much already, from trying new foods, experimenting with preparing food for yourself, doing new activities with other, living with house mates.
This week we learned about Roma population (informally known as Gypsies), Bangladeshi and Cameroonian refugees which was an eye-opening experience. To be honest, hearing their tragic stories about why they fled their country was unsettling for me. I was surprised by how I felt about it because my own parents have been through forced migration from Afghanistan to Uzbekistan so I should be familiar with how that experience is like. But Later that day, I realized that the reason I could not relate to these refugees is probably because my parents never really shared details or their feelings about their migration. Meeting the refugees has motivated me to try and approach my parents and see if they’d be willing to share their experience with migrating.
Since we are abroad and we don’t have our personal cars and we are not so confident in using public transportation, we walked. A lot. Our school was 20 minutes of walking from our apartments. We walked there and back every day which isn’t that bad but it gets tiring. I cannot remember the last time I’ve walked so much on a daily basis because We don’t walk much in the US. In Uzbekistan, I waked a lot but I was just a kid back then, it’s different now.
Since we, my study abroad group, is studying about refugees right now, I can’t imagine how much walking refugees must have done and how tired they must be because of carrying either their bags or their children. They would be walking from the loading docks to the refugee camps, or to the border. I had water on me when I went walking but these refugees probably didn’t, or had very little of it. I had bandages… for my blisters, I bet they didn’t. If one person’s feet are wounded without protection, since there are many of them, the infection can multiply and increase. I’m grateful for all the volunteers who stand to welcome the refugees because they not only hand out food and water, but they give medical supplies too. Those volunteers are the true heroes in this crisis.