13 years ago, I worked a summer at a YMCA children’s camp in Calabria, in the South of Italy.
I was the leader of a group of 6 fifteen-year-old girls. I was just two years older and my Italian at the time was very limited, so they were more in charge of me than me of them, which mostly meant trouble.
That summer shaped the following years of my life, bringing me to Rome and some of the most amazing friends into my life.
And still today, it keeps bringing.
With the benefit of social media, I have managed to keep in touch with the girls, and just now, Claudia, the girl with red dress on the left, is sleeping on my couch, in my apartment here in Oslo.
She was actually born in Oslo but moved to Rome when she was three.
And now she is here to find a job and start a new living.
I told her she could stay with me. She just had to help me put together the new couch first…
She is looking for a job as a bartender so we’ve spent the nights out at some friend’s bars and clubs and a few days into her job hunt, she is already assigned to a try out and a possible position.
People have been really cool and helpful and it makes my heart swell to see this girl gaining hope and confidence.
In fact, I remembered my own words (I just want to make people happy!) as we were standing outside a club speaking to my friend Michael who is a bar manager and he said: I know a place looking for staff. I’ll come with you and introduce you to them.
The joy on Claudia’s face and me knowing that I’m a part of her future success.
Nothing makes me happier than when my friends meet my friends.
And I can step back and just smile.