The story is – or was – known. The Genoese little boy who crossed the ocean to look for his mother. “He had left two years before to Buenos Aires (…) to put themselves at the service of a rich family and thus gain, in a short time, something with which to help the family. “Many did it” thanks to the good salaries that people find there who is dedicated to serving “.
The woman did well: “As soon as she arrived in Buenos Aires, she found work right away (…), an excellent family in the country that gave her a good salary,” insists the author. The book – you must have realized it by now – is Heart, that italian Edmundo De Amicis published in 1886. There are several stories: this is From the Apennines to the Andes.
We read the story with a 9-year-old boy. If we, the two adults around him, that rich Argentina, a desired place, gives us a certain anguish and pain of no longer beingThe baby is surprised, as if we had told him that a few years ago cows used to fly around here.
“Did they come from Italy Why was Argentina rich? “He laughs. Really? The boy knows some who preferred to work here: a Chilean friend, two Paraguayans in El Tigre, the Bolivian couple from Cochabamba in the grocery store.
But he also knows that the rising footballer is waiting for a plane and an accent that is not from here or chewing from English to Chinese. And that Uncle Fulano made the European passport thanks to grandfather, that Aunt Fulanita calls from distant mountains. And they don’t talk about coming back, even if they are always asking if they had a roast or dulce de leche ice cream and are always about to come to visit.
The boy knows that for a long time this is not a country where a European comes to pay his debts, like Marco’s mother, the Genoese. Although it does not have details, such as that in the last year wages lost 5 percent compared to inflation. He does not know that it is the fourth consecutive year of decline, but he does know that not everything that was bought can be bought. That is clear to him.
We looked at each other with dismay, what to say to him? Perhaps that what was can be again. That is also in your hands. That the future is a brave bull and you have to dare to grab him by the antlers, like Marco.