Ways beyond the sea (Ja Guata Yy guaxu rovai)

I was a little apprehensive, seeing those people speaking in languages I didn’t understand and, at the same time, a desire to be together involved me, so yes I took the decision

Travelling for me was something I didn’t think about, something distant. Sometimes I had imagined visiting Mexico because I heard that there were also indigenous people there and I was curious to see what it was like to be indigenous in another country.
When I heard about friends from other communities who had participated in ‘volunteering’ in Europe, in Italy, it caught my attention; I imagined and wished that one day I could also participate.

Foreigners are different, but at the same time they are also similar to us

A few years passed and, in November 2019, I met the CMT group in Guarapuava for a day. I was there to organize Tembiapo products for a fair and they arrived for a meeting that the volunteers from the Americas had to attend to take part in volunteering projects in Italy and Spain. Luckily, fate or the will of Nhanderu, a young Guarani woman from Ocoy who would do the program was not in the training and so there was the opportunity for me to take part. I was a little apprehensive, seeing those people speaking in languages I didn’t understand and, at the same time, a desire to be together involved me, so yes I took the decision: I’m going to be a volunteer for the Change Making Tour project!

Then starts the preparation; make a passport [I didn’t even know what it was] to ask for a visa, do the interview, visa granted and, it was just a matter of boarding! The Covid19 pandemic arrived and we have to change the ticket once, twice, and… I couldn’t travel anymore, a little frustrated, but anyway… Everything was confused, no one knew what it would be, how it would be.
Two years passed and it was finally possible to at least receive visitors in my country, Brazil. It was the Study Visit of the Change Making Tour and I could follow the tour.

And I realized that it was possible, that meeting people again was possible, doing things together; that people are interested in visiting the communities, that we are Guarani and yet we have differences between us; that ‘foreigners are different, but at the same time they are also similar to us. I saw many smiles, attempts to talk, to understand; and when the words didn’t come, the smiles resolved.
Now, in May 2022, I finally had the chance to go to Europe; a bit of suspense, tension in the preparation, documents and forms.. boarding time!

They said so much about the plane trip, but everything went very smoothly. Upon arrival, colder than I expected.
I haven’t seen much so far, but what I’ve seen they are a lot of differences: the houses, the stones, the colour of the land, the food…
And I thought: I want to see more, I want that other person from my community to come and see it too; so that the young people here can also get to know our villages.

So Aguyjevete [the fighting spirit that lives in me greets and recognizes the fighting spirit that lives in you].

João Ricardo miri Fernandes