Photo: Brian O'Donnell

Memories of Australia - Part 2

Among fellow international students and young professionals visiting Australia, some CL visitors have met a different companionship that provided them with a different perspective. They very simply describe their experience of happiness and gratefulness.
Andrea & Cecilia Trianni

Finding a friendship that can embrace you when you are not fluent in English and face language barriers, when you enter a completely different culture and are faced by feelings of dejection, loneliness, and homesickness, is perfectly described by Father Julian’s Carrón's words in his book "The Radiance in Your Eyes. What Saves Us From Nothingness?" (See Chapter 3: “The flesh is the pivot of salvation. You recognize this flesh because it is different”).

“So, what saves me from nothingness? What saved me from the nothingness of those days? This companionship.” In other words, a real, carnal companionship in history. This is the flesh that saves life: the flesh, not our thoughts or imaginings or fantasies, not the virtual, but flesh, or as Carrón concludes, “precise faces where I find this gaze of love and tenderness that direct me to another, a living ‘You,’ present here and now, faces that have brought me back to life.”

Richi, Sydney.

My name is Riccardo, I am 24 years old and I'm an Italian cook. I have lived in Australia for one year and travelled a lot around the country. I worked as a cook on a tourist boat that took people on sightseeing tours of Sydney Harbour. I was very impressed by how happy I was every day to go to work, not because it was a cool job but because it was clear to me that there was something waiting for me every day. That certainty has been the key all year round.

Sydney Harbour Cruise

Why can I say that this certainty remained throughout the year? In February I decided to go and work on farms. I worked for about four months and it was wonderful, but of course also exhausting. It was an uplifting experience, because it wasn't a burden to be there even if my usual friends were somewhere else. Especially at that time, many things happened and I met friends of different nationalities with whom I built a wonderful relationship. I learned what it means to work as a farmer, both the sacrifice of getting up at 5 am and also the beauty that if you are not in the reality no one else can be for you. So I asked some friends like Bea, a young mother living in Adelaide, to help me not to waste time and discussed together with my friends in the community what we were living and what questions we had.
I came back to Italy immediately after the farm experience and I saw myself grown and above all with so much joy in my heart. I want to go back to Australia for another year not only because I have seen so many beautiful things, but also because I have become more mature.

Photo: Brian O'Donnell

Bhawani, Sydney.

In 2019 I started my Australian experience with the family who hosted me for six months as an au pair. They were months full of vitality and grit, but also full of the beauty of those landscapes, which were for me a great gift and rediscovery of Christ’s presence.
I felt it was all there for me, just waiting for me to live that experience.
All the things that I could try, live and discover were there for me, as gifts for me.
Also the family I was with and the friendships I have found: I didn’t choose them... they were the gifts I was given!

Photo: Andrea Trianni

Andrea, Sydney.

When the company I worked for in 2018 offered me the possibility to go in Australia for 6 months, I was very excited as it was the first time for me far away from home.
Arrived in Sydney for the first 2 weeks, I stayed with my Italian boss and colleagues. After this I needed a room for the following months. This was the most difficult time in Australia, as I had to deal with different cultures and people. After one month with some Chinese guys, where I went home only to sleep, I found a room with some nice Irish guys.
During this difficult time, I had the possibility to meet, thanks to Davide, an Italian friend in Sydney, some of the people of the Movement of CL and this encounter completely changed my time in Australia. Without them, I don't know how I would have been during my six months there. I met the Movement in Italy during university so I can say that just as the Movement saved me in Italy the same happenend in Australia. Thanks to this friend and particularly to Cecilia and Andrea and their incredible kids, I was not alone anymore, and with this big family my Australian journey has been one of the most beautiful experiences in my life. I will never forget their attention for everyone and the fact that their home is always open for friends. I will never forget how many BBQs were organized for us.
What I think is unbelievable of the experience of the movement is the fact that you can live this human experience everywhere in the world, through different people, that are all moved by the same desire of happiness.

Photo: Brian O'Donnell