Zanzana and a new friend, who loves to sing

Ontario and Abbanera

Ontario and Abbanera, CER Monza

Zanzana is happy about her life, but she really misses the feeling of doing something useful, beside the Survival Compromise and her normal family life. She needs something that can not be monetized, or lead necessarily to a pecuniary result.

She wants to help someone completely for free, someone she does not know, who does not expect anything from her and who can not do a lot for her as a reward; something outside the normal relations at work or personal life.

Moreover, she was looking for something undetermined, possibly  happening in the nature, related to horses, helpful for other people, and she found by chance the website of this association, CER Monza: as many other ones, it deals with hippotherapy, helping disabled people to spend some time with horses and to learn some basics of horse riding.

She had quite some experiences in volunteering, with foreign people in Milan, volunteering abroad or online translating international press or citizen media contributions, but she did not have the same feeling about those activities in all cases. In many situations she was happy to help, but was also bringing home a big burden and a feeling of inadequacy, as she could not really help those people as she was wishing to.

She never worked in her life with disabled, so she was not really sure about the outcome in this case, while she was afraid to feel uncomfortable, as probably most people can feel, at their first contacts with people with big physical problems.

The association was looking for volunteers, so she asked them to help once a month, as it is not possible for her to do more. Now she goes there regularly, and she is really looking forward to it when the time becomes closer. She probably witnessed some difficult situations there, but she never felt bad or thought about stopping. She is not sure to be helpful, as she just accompanies young women or men when they slowly ride inside the riding centre, talking with them, when this is possible, and following the instructors indications.

What she saw most of the times is people with a very strong will to pass a pleasant hour, to learn something new, to go over their limits, even if sometimes they can not even stand alone. This was a very big lesson for her: believe that you can accomplish something if you really want it, and that you can look at the world from a different point of view, and try to be happy, even in the greatest difficulty.

Last time one of the instructors asked her to accompany a woman, saying: “She really likes to communicate and to sing, may be you can find one of those partisan songs you know for her”. Zanzana accepted, and she was following the horse Marta was riding, but she was not really able to do what was requested. Zanzana is not able to define her conditions, but Marta can not speak, while being perfectly able to communicate her feelings. After the first two laps, the instructor said: “You did not understand”, and started singing a song in his dialect from Puglia, while Marta was laughing. Zanzana then completed the lesson, having a very nice time, singing and having a peculiar conversation with a new friend.

Zanzana has the impression we all conceive all the volunteering experiences in a selfish way, because at the end we get much more compared with what we are able to give; in any case, she also feels that these friends she spends some time with would be very happy to know that they are helping her, instead of the opposite.