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I live here.

Carpasio: about 50 inhabitants (average age: 70 years old). It was colonised by foreigners, i.e. dutch and german families, in the 80s. They brought their love for nature and their wish to live in the middle of it, they produced curiosity,Β  and sometimes a pinch of hate.

Fela, Omar and I, among with others, were born here. Many other children came to live here following their parents; my brother, for example. Our fathers were best friends, they still are. They built their houses out of stones and mud, can you believe that? In the middle of the wood, with no electricity and at a 30 minute walk from the nearest road.

We were raised in the middle of nature, playing outside all day long. It was the best time of my life and I still call Omar and Fela my brothers for rent.

Then I grew up and my parents decided that it was too hard to raise a child in that way. I had to go to school and living there would have meant walking for hours every day. The family needed more. So we moved to the other side of the valley, very near and still surrounded by nature, but in a place that was easier to reach. Omar and Fela’s family decided to stay there, and they now still live there, on the mountain I can see looking out of my window (there it is, on photo number three).

I missed my friends, but Omar stayed at our home a lot. And we met every day at school. We moved another time, this time to the village, in a house we all hated. Those years were not the nicest, but my parents were succeeding in buying the ruin we now live in. They built this home, this time with concrete and bricks, but also with beautiful natural stones.

I have hated this place, oh, how I hated it. When I was in college I had to spend 2 and a half hours a day in the bus. And to meet my friends, well, it would have meant another 2 and a half, therefore I stayed home a lot, studying and watching the tv we didn’t have back on the mountain. I hated it because I was comparing myself to the others. They could wake up at 7, I woke up at 5.30. They could go to the movies, meet their friends and even go to the disco whenever they wanted, I couldn’t. And so on and so on.

Then I went to University and started living on my own in a city for the first time in my life. You can’t imagine how I missed this place. I felt imprisoned and claustrophobic in the city. And I started appreciating these mountains more and more.Everytime I came back I felt like I could breathe again.

This is just to tell you how thankful I am for the childhood I had. This place is beautiful, I think it’s obvious I hated it, who wouldn’t have? But now I can see why my parents chose it to raise me and my brother. I learnt so much about nature and now I see that you have to make small sacrifices to have a better life. I would never ever replace my childhood with another one, maybe in a city, surrounded by friends, but also by concrete walls and buildings (no offence of course!).

And the moments I spent with those two friends of mine, Omar and Fela, are the best memories I have.