Ecco una nota della nostra cara amica Gulshara ..
From the Caspian sea coast to the coasts of sunny Sardegna
My journey to Italy started with a surprising email received from Gianluca who informed that Aksaicultura Association granted me two weeks scholarship to study Italian language in Italy, in sunny Castiadas in Sardegna. This was an amazing and unbelievable news for me and I was counting the days till my departure.
As an old adage says “All roads leads to Rome” I could not bypass the eternal City which has amazed me at first sight. Apart from Colloseo, Foro Romano, Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel , Fontana di Trevi and Piazza di Spagna I was fascinated by the old streets and pretty terraces which were ready to tell about their history to everybody who would look up closer. Nice walk in the evenings, crowded little ristoranti on the streets located near the ancient buildings, delicious smell of Italian dishes and wine were very enjoyable and unforgettable.
Upon my arrival to Cagliari airport, my teacher and host Alessandra and her father Mario were waiting for me and they warmly welcomed me to Sardegna. All the way home I was listening to cheerful stories of my Italian family and watching the beautiful coast from the car. Cagliari is capital of Sardegna island which has about 156,000 inhabitants. The city is ancient and the old part of the city called Castello has a lot of historical sights and outstanding view of the sea. No wonder that there are so many tourists from all over the world as this city is located on such a beautiful island.
The house of Usa`la-Seu is located in the pretty and peaceful village in Castiadas where the time seemed passing with no rush, but full of joy. I met very friendly and warm people there: my host family’s relatives and their friends and neighbours. Population of the village is around 1,000 people however I would say that it is the best place to learn the language as the people are very friendly. The mountains, forests and the coasts with golden sand are truly beautiful and they make the place very special.
Although I speak Italian on a very basic level, it was very surprising to me that I was able to understand general conversation on different and difficult subjects during dinner or a chat with the new people. In fact all family members were my teachers and day by day I noticed how my Italian was improving. I was practicing the language everywhere and it was a real submersion into the language environment and I enjoyed listening and speaking Italian. Although Italian was not an easy language at all, the learning process was very fun and full of wonderful discoveries every day. I could find and learn the new words even in the garden while making the beautiful pictures. Alessandra turned the learning process into wonderful adventure with lots of fun. We were learning the language even during one week horse-riding lessons at the local riding manege. My horse was very smart although a little lazy sometimes however I was communicating with it in Italian!
Its amazingly true that one of the best ways of learning the language is – yes, cooking! Even the names of the dessert could become a subject for an interesting discussion during the dinner. For example, while preparing the “Tiramisu” which literally means “pick-me-up” I learnt a lot of new words and for sure some new cooking skills! In particular, making the Culurgiones – traditional Sardinian Raviolli was a lot of fun although a little tricky and the stitching process required some practice. However I can be proud of myself as the last one finally looked not so bad!
During my stay in Sardegna I met a lot of wonderful people who helped me to learn an interesting new experience of discovering the new language, culture, cuisine, new friendship, beautiful places and the most important thing - to discover how we can be brave to challenge ourselves.
Therefore, I would like to thank Maestro Gianluca Chiarenza (R.I.P) for making this remarkable experience happen, Alessandra Usa`la and Domenico Renna(Director of Mariposa Association of Italian Language and Culture) for the amazing Italian language experience, Vanda Seu and Mario Usa`la – the most hospitable and my wonderful Italian mamma and papa, also all their relatives Teresa, Lucio, Gabriella for their warm hospitality, Ignacio for adventurous horse-riding lessons, Giuseppe for the interesting guided tours around Cagliari and my new friend Vanessa for her book “Travelling Light” and all nice conversations and fun we had while learning the Italian language together.