5 October 2019

My Summer in a Nutshell

It's a chilly morning of late September. I'm home with my cats, not feeling my best, regretting the fact that in order to carve out some time for myself I have to be feeling sick. Where has all the me time I used to have gone? In the first months after ending my master's degree, all I did was working from home, translating and teaching, but alas, a lot of my time was spent job-hunting. Now that I have got two jobs and my part time freelancing work, I've turned into a stressed workaholic with no regular timetable whatsoever. I've been focusing on my work life and my personal life, and completely neglecting my sweet little blog. So today my goal is to sit down and journal about my summer 2019, which was a whirlwind of happy, stressful and emotional moments. Let's begin.

June was spent at home with my kitties, working and in the UK. I started working on a translation and revision project of a mannequins and tailor's dummies website, which I really enjoyed, especially considering the shop's authentic, locally-made products, which I like supporting. I got to travel to Nottingham, which I still hadn't visited, and brought my work there. Of course, I took a few snapshots with Robin Hood's statue and felt the breeze coming from Sherwood Forest - though I did not venture to visit it as it was very rainy and cold. Classic British summer... 

July was spent between Palestine and Italy. Travelling back to Palestine was a very spontaneous decision which I'm so happy I made! I booked a few days earlier and travelled from Florence to Rome, then from Rome to Tel Aviv. Yet, there was a slight delay… indeed, because my first flight was delayed by a couple of hours and the layover wasn’t very long, the second flight left, without me. Not exactly a great sign since I had decided to travel there on my own for the first time and I was the only passenger who got left behind… but I decided to see this as a good sign instead – I was probably not meant to be on that flight for some reason I’ll never know. Therefore, I had to wait around for eight long hours, until the following flight arrived. Needless to say, I got bored to death and also quite hungry; I’m not a fan of airport food. But on the good side of things, I got myself a cotton blue jumper saying ‘good mood’ which kept me warm for the rest of my wait and on the plane hours later. I finally reached Tel Aviv, where a cousin of mine was waiting for me and brought me home, to Bethlehem. The next day I got to see most of my family living in Bethlehem, which was, of course, a very emotional moment. I caught up with everyone, finally ate Arab food, drank mint tea, spoke Arabic again and did all the things I'd missed the most. It was soon time for the engagement parties and weddings, which I’d flown over to attend! All parties were so fun and we danced and sang until late, had cake and chatted. I spent so many evenings up with my cousins playing card games and other silly games we made up, it was so simple and so fun. The weather was great as in Palestine it’s hot but also very dry, so you don’t get as sweaty as in Italy. While last time I went to Palestine I got to travel lots, this time was really about spending time with family; yet, I still got around to going on a few trips to Jerusalem’s old town and also quite a few areas of the city I hadn’t been to before. I did quite a lot of shopping, as each time I come back I regret not buying enough souvenirs, but also got myself some sandals and heels as they were so much cheaper (but still so classy!) compared to Italy. Of course, leaving was very sad, though knowing I can now be back on my own, it was much easier to return home. 

As usual, re-adjusting to Italian life took a few days, both emotionally and on a practical level. I reunited with my family and got back to the tours, though August was the month in which I worked the hardest. I had some big groups of customers from Quebec and some individuals and families from France and Switzerland, some from Morocco and Lebanon as well. I went to Cinque Terre a lot and the Chianti area as well, as customers love their wine tastings (even when it's boiling outside...). 

Then, it was time to go back to Prali, in Piedmont, to the Ecumenical Centre I volunteered at last year. I went back as volunteer interpreter for a camp called ‘Oikonomia’ about alternative economic systems. This was a fantastic opportunity to get some work experience and learn more about the economy whilst enjoying the fresh air up in the Alps and go for some epic walks. Or at least that’s what I thought. Actually, all of us got a bit sick half-way through the week and definitely ill by the end of the week. So it wasn’t exactly relaxing as I thought it’d be. Yet, on the other hand, I got to see fellow interpreters again and even my former tutor whom I didn’t expect to be there, and made new friends with lovely interpreters Valentina and Nathalie, who was also my roommate. The camp was a great experience, though I have to say that the previous year was by far much more fun and a unique discovery. This centre is really a place where to reflect and meditate, and I still brought a few life lessons back home. I am happy for having had this experience and I might even be back next year. 

That is it for my summer account, I hope you enjoyed my diary entry as this was a very personal blog post. I would love to hear from you - what have you been up to last summer? 

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