Abbiamo intervistato Sagra Alvarado in merito alla sua esperienza di Fulbright ETA (English Teaching Assistant) a Marsala (TP). Here’s what she told us!
What brought you to your city in Italy? How long have you been here?
The Fulbright Commission assigned me to Marsala, the Western cape of Sicily. Since I arrived in October, I have been working in two local high schools, Liceo Pascasino and Istituto Tecnico Garibaldi. These nearly eight months in Sicily have truly enriched my life in more ways than one and I will take these lessons as I continue to develop my career.
Had you ever been in the south of Italy before?
Although this is my third time in Italy, this is my first time in the South and it is such a unique experience. Sicily is a dynamic island alive with its traditions that are kept close to heart and present in its society today. Getting to explore Sicily’s breathtaking terrain, tasting its cuisine, and making new friends has been a very formative process and vital in making my Fulbright grant a memorable year.
How do you like your experience so far?
My Sicilian experience has become one of the most important chapters in my life. I have learned so much about Sicily, education and myself. Thanks to my students, I have grown as a teacher and gained new skills in the classroom. One of the most rewarding features of being an English Teaching Assistant is getting to share my experiences as an American student and helping students realize their academic potential. The memories and friendships I have made in Marsala will always remain with me.
What’s one thing that may have surprised you about the habits and customs of the Italians you’ve come in contact with?
The concept of “Domenica Pranzo” is both a wonderful and intimidating tradition. A word of warning: come with an empty stomach and afterwards, expect to be full all the way till breakfast the next day. Each dish, from primo, secondo, to fruit and dessert, is treated with fond familiarity and respect. Meals in Sicily go beyond ritual; it’s a communal gathering and part of the identity of this special place and its people.