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March marked the end of our eight-month experience in Thessaloniki. They have been eight months of continuous encounters, adventures, confrontation and discovery of the other, of small moments of daily happiness and also of some little challenges to face. During these eight months we cultivated special relationships among us volunteers, managing to recreate a small home where we could share stories about the day, plans for our future and also moments of leisure. At the shelter, I met about 30 special children and teenagers; I entered their lives on tiptoe and tried to become part of them as much as I could, trying to help them, stimulate them, entertain them and let them discover new things. There have been hard and difficult moments, when I have had to face life stories that have made me think and reflect a lot. It was a unique experience, which I would recommend to anyone and which I will always take with me, just as I will take with me the children’s smiles, the trips, the walk up to the shelter on sultry August days, the noise of the Egnatia, the snow and the children running in it, the complicity between us, the meals at Mama’s and the sea of Thessaloniki.

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