23 Nov WHEN THE HEART MIGRATES/ARGENTINE
My name is Camilla and I am 26 years old. I entered the Congregation 3 years ago. This very important moment in my life coincided with my first important step as a migrant. During my first year as a postulant I found myself living, for the first time, in a country that was not mine. God gifted me with the experience of being welcomed before that of welcoming others. I emigrated from my country, my life style and my culture. I resituated myself and I put down roots in a place again. I left behind bonds, places, security and so much more. I packed “the essential” in a suitcase weighing 23 kilos and I left. This opportunity to migrate provided me with the certainty that the heart knows no boundaries. Jesus invited me (and I invited myself) to make of my heart a home for so many faces, stories, people, cultures… This year living in Ituzaingo, I received the invitation and challenge to take another step. I was given the enormous gift of living with an Armenian family. We shared everyday life, the morning greeting, school homework, mate or cups of coffee in the garden of the house. All this served to double the stakes. My being a sister became much bigger and I discovered that just like the heart, the family knows no boundaries and has unthinkable horizons. My life was filled with colour as I accompanied them in a small and humble way and as family member. Being family with people who had left their families. As an educator, above all of small children, I am moved when I watch children. I feel invited to take very special care of those little ones who have given up the main concern of what are they going to play today or what TV cartoon programs they are going to watch. Helping these little migrant faces to recover some of their innocence, simplicity, tenderness, and spontaneity was like a motor that fired me up. During this time, I enjoyed so many games in the town square, an amazing trip to Temaikén Zoo, lots of dances and songs, paper planes and irrepressible laughter. For me they were transformed into tiny acts of justice. Little girls and little boys are the same the world over. And these children in particular, have a great capacity for enjoyment, love and gratitude which moved and had a strong impact on my heart. In the present moment which has proved to be so complex for them, making them laugh is the very least we can do. I want to continue this slow journey trying to find ways of creating spaces in my heart for that “an ever greater we” which has a new face and a new culture to be embraced every day. A new dish to be tasted, and so many new ways to learn.
Camila Crespo, aci
The main image is a letter in which one of the Venezuelan children welcomed with his family in Las Tunas thanks his life in Argentina …