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Fabian in Sant’Angelo di Gatteo

My name is Fabian Becker and I am 26 years old. I was born and raised in Bochum, Germany. The city has over 360.000 inhabitants and is part of the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region with over 12 million inhabitants. At the end of 2014 I received my Master of Science in Business Administration. I studied at universities in Bochum, Aachen (also in Germany) and Hayward, California (USA).
In contrast to my former life I am now staying in a small village of a rural area. I am working and living in the retirement home “Arturo Fracassi” in Sant’Angelo di Gatteo. My daily routine consists of accompanying the elderly, assist them during meals, entertain them with games and music and trying to have a sympathetic ear at every minute.
After I finished school I already worked as a volunteer for 9 months at a Paediatric Orthopaedics ward in an urban hospital close to my hometown. I enjoyed this time very much and learned a lot about myself during that time. In the course of studying I also lived in the United States for 7 months. Even before returning to Germany I knew that I have to see more countries and live in different cultures before I grow too old. Before starting to work in an office or under similar working conditions I decided to combine two of the main influences of my life so far: living in another country and doing something good for the community. EVS offered perfect framework condition because it ensures  that the volunteers will have assistance when needed.

Fabian in Sant’Angelo di Gatteo
The main goal of my stay in Italy is definitely to improve my language skills. Since I am working in a facility where no one is speaking English or German I have to learn Italian as soon as possible. Of course I also want to travel as much as possible. The history of Italy is unique and offers a lot of ancient buildings and amazing landscapes to admire. For years I dreamt of visiting the lost cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii, hopefully I will manage to go there during my service in Italy. Moreover I am a huge fan of football and desire to see plenty of Calcio games in Italy.
Before arriving here I feared most that I am not capable of learning Italian quick enough. Former volunteers also reported about isolation in the village. Especially if there is no possibility to talk in Italian to locals. Despite it is true that language skills are a key to success in a foreign country I do not feel isolated at all. Everyone is really nice to me and speaks particularly slowly so that I can get most of the things. What I cannot understand is shown to me via hand gestures. Though I appreciate this effort I do not want to hear the most used words so far in the future anymore – “Piano piano” shall be a memento of the past which makes me smile after I return home because I managed to get pass the imaginary language barrier.
The best part of my first week in Italy definitely is the food. There are two cooks at my work which prepare dinner and lunch of regional specialties every day. I do not have to worry about a thing because my stomach always gets filled with delicacies. When going to Forlì I simply have to eat Piadina because it tastes so good. And there are so many other things to explore and try in this region and Italy in total.

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