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  • This is a 32-year-old woman. She is doing one of the things that she enjoys the most in her life: teaching.
    She is a teacher of foreign languages in a small Italian town, not far away from the city of Milan. She lives on a farm, in the middle of nowhere. Everyday she drives her car to a small language institute where she meets small groups of students; children, teenagers and adults. She teaches Italian, English, French and Spanish. She says she makes her living enjoying what she does; she feels like teaching is one of those jobs that are worth it. She believes that spreading knowledge and helping people to get to know what the world has to offer is a good deed.
    She is grateful for the chance she had to get an education and to study foreign languages, despite coming from a modest family. This opportunity opened her mind and her soul; it has deepened her desire to travel and experience the unknown.
    Being a teacher in the post-Berlusconi era is not easy, nor was it easy in the past. Teachers have been mistreated almost everywhere in the world recently, and the only reason many of them just do not give up is because they love their mission.
    Lau prepares her lessons in the morning; she works at her family’s farm and later starts to teach from early afternoon until late at night. Not many people would be available for this working schedule. She has terrible contracts that do not allow her to get sick, as she has no sick days paid, not even maternity leave if she were to get pregnant. Too much of the taxpayer money is now funding the private schools in a country, where education has always been public and free for everyone. Her way to protest against this is to not succumb to private greed by applying to private schools where she could probably get a decent wage, benefits and a full time position.
    She dreams about teaching big classes in a public school one day. She sees her education and knowledge as gifts and she dreams about sharing these gifts with her students.
    This girl is me and this is my first story. The picture was taken by my colleague, freelance photojournalist and good new friend Kevin Riddell.
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