It’s not a UWC gathering without jollifications!
The Congress opening reception was one of the first gatherings. The Molo IV filled with lots of voices with accents from all over the world. I ran into people from previous UWC gatherings and amazingly friends who went to school with me. To top it all off, the wine was complementary! You cant go wrong with free Italian Wine. Every night there continued to be lovely sessions to faciliate the celebration of the UWC Community. Some nights there was even live music, and many people continued the celebrations at other venues across the city. On my last night, I was able to attend a nice informal gathering hosted by Mahindra College (my alma mater) where I was able to meet many recent graduates and many graduates from before my time! I spent some good effort trying to explain to the recent graduates the importance of continuous financial support! (not sure how effective that was)
The second kind of celebration that stood out to me was the celebration of the life of Giulio Regeni UWC Adriatic Grad- 2007. Giulio who was pursuing research in Egypt when his life was taken. The circumstances are still unknown. Giulio’s parents shared very passionate and loving stories of their son accompanied by a picture montage. This was a very touching story for me, as it was the story of Giulio just following his heart and his curious mind, something we all do every day. Giulio’s story is the story of many other alumni and young people across the world. It reminded me that there is so much work to be done to uncover truths and fight for justice across the world. It made me wonder if I have fully embraced my curious mind and found my avenue to pursue my curiousity in the name of truth and justice. Amnesty International is working on behalf for Giulio’s family to find the truth behind Giulio’s murder. To find out more – Truth for Giulio Regeni
The final celebration memory that I want to share from the Congress, was the performance by the UWC Adriatic students. After a long day of congressing we all hustled over to Teatro Verdi where we we greeted by students. First off, let me comment on the amazingness of this facility. I felt as if I were transported to another time (see title photo). Then came the performance. Student concerts as many of us know, tend to take the form of a variety show, and UWC concerts tend to take the form of a cultural variety show. Needless to say expectations were not grandiose, but its always cute to see students perform.
This play was an autobiography of the journey of a refugee student at UWC Adriatic from his home to the college. He narrated his journey intertwined with the stories of others like himself smoothly transitioning from Arabic to Italian to English when he finally begun at the college. He told his story accompanied by musical interludes and dances both cultural and contemporary. This show embodied in just under 2 hours exactly what the UWC experience seeks to provide. It demonstrated opportunity, resilience, cross culture sharing and understanding. It demonstrated the development of an individual – the courage and the willingness. As his entire student body gathered to sing the final popular South African chorus Siyahamba, you saw the UWC ethos in motion as this brave young man bared his soul to 600 strangers but was supported by his fellow students. Truly a magical moment.
Photo Credit: Bea Uhart (and the big one is actually mine!)
I was able to visit the town of Duino in which the college is nestled and given a tour by one of the students. FUN FACT: There are only 20 boys enrolled at UWC Adriatic. It is a beautiful location for a campus and I hope you get a chance to visit one day! Check out my pictures from the tour below – YES i took them