This piece was originally intended to be very different: a chronicle of the ESN Utrecht trip organized to Groningen on Saturday March the 19th. I would have reported you how powerful it was to visit the concentration camp of Westerbork, how many flavours and perfumes one could experience in the Vismarket, or how clear was the view of all the pretty hofjes from the top of the Martinitoren. However this article will never exist. How could it, after the very same day another ESN trip ended how it should have never.
Destiny decided that the ESN Barcelona trip to Valencia, to witness the Fallas celebrations, was to be remembered forever as one of the most tragic pages of the whole Erasmus programme history, as thirteen girls on their exchange never returned from it. Thirteen stories interrupted. They say once Erasmus, forever Erasmus. For these girls it will surely be so. It seems just incomprehensible. It is just unfair.
One may think that this tragedy affected me in a particular way cause half of them where fellow countrywomen of mine. But in all honesty, little did it matter their nationality: as Erasmus students we are all a family. It is not a figure of speech: each and every one of them was a sister of mine, a relative of ours. And now we miss them just so.
If anything I try to find relief in the thought that probably they all met their destiny in the most amazing time of their lives. A period of study exchange, be it Erasmus or in any other form, remains one of the most extraordinary moments in a student’s existence. You spontaneously decide to take a life-changing turn, and embrace a path of learning, enjoyment, integration and brotherhood among the nations.
Thus I can only say: keep travelling, keep studying, keep enjoying yourselves while meeting cultures different than yours. These are all things we need in these days more than ever. And you all make their spirit live.
Ciao ragazze. Tschüß Mädchen. Salut les filles. Pa fete. Xayr qiz.