Although finding myself in Upper Egypt is still a mystery for me, I have no doubt that these 6 weeks in the lovely village called Berba are a gift from God. Drawing and painting has always given me a lot of joy and peace, so I found the opportunity of sharing this experience with children very promising. However, when I saw sometimes really poor living conditions in Berba, I thought that handicrafts wasn’t the most important need they may have had. Different culture, sense of estheticism, language and new people were a big challenge, but very soon sisters’ support, children’s sincere smiles, enthusiasm during our work and Egyptian generosity, hospitality and big hearts decreased my fears. What is more, every house we visited welcomed sister Darlene, sister Wafaa and me as their family members, so at the end it wasn’t easy to leave. I will miss all the tastes, smells, sounds and colours of Berba: their bread, night and day “dausha” (noise), long coptic-catholic masses, children screaming my name on the street, peace between muslim and christian neighbours, arabic language full of God and even electricity cuts. Life in Berba is not easy, but still admirable and thought-provoking. I will never forget Egyptians’ smiles and eyes full of gratefulness in spite of sufferings and difficulties. Alhamdullilah for everything. I hope to visit you again, Berba, insha’Allah!
Gosia Mrówczyńska (Volonteer)