Just two weeks after returning from the Pacific, I was packing my bags again. My “sabbatical year” was in full swing and it was important not to waste time. I had two months for myself in Giugliano in Campagna at the Istituto Maristi, a school of the Congregation of Marist Brothers. My goal was to get to know their life and their work for young people… and to see if this could be the program for the rest of my life.
For two months I shared the life of the community of brothers and worked with them as much as possible in the school and also quite a bit in extracurricular activities with local youth. The community was young, dynamic and very nice. My Italian, in daily contact with the young people, was enriched by a few words of the unusual Neapolitan accent. I learned a lot about myself, about education and training, and that school is not just hours in a classroom. And who would have thought that four years later I would be putting these experiences to good use on the other side of the world?