I've had a soft spot for Italy, especially Italian movie culture, since I saw "La Vita e Bella" in eighth grade history class. I became obsessed with watching Italian neorealist movies ("La Dolce Vita," anyone?), learning the language and eventually even spending a semester abroad in Rome. The culture shock was incredible, I'd never been somewhere so beautiful or filled with life. Everything was fascinating, from the Spanish Steps and Colosseum in Rome to the Canals of Venice, the sandy beaches of Sicily and the cobblestone streets of Naples. There was something new to learn or taste around every corner, a person who wanted to know everything about you in each shop and a story hear from every local and visitor who loved Italy as much as I did.
11-year-old David's wish to go to Italy caught my eye while browsing through wish.org a few weeks ago. He'd spent his childhood reading many books about Italy and used his wish to finally get there and see it all with his own eyes. He rode in an open air cab around Capri, an island surrounded by clear blue water, toured the Colosseum and saw the incredible Mount Vesuvius looming above the famous town of Pompeii. David has seen more of the world than many adults, and that's a pretty powerful thing.
I can only hope that David's wish has continued to impact his life in more ways than having a pretty cool vacation. I hope he's still as hungry for the culture as he was when he was growing up, that he's still devouring books on Italy and that he will one day be able to return to the most beautiful country in the world. (It wouldn't be bad if he ended up an Italy soccer fan, either.)
It's amazing what a wish can do. Even more amazing what one can teach, and how it can have a lasting impact on the life of a child. Although I'll be leaving Make-A-Wish soon, it won't be leaving my mind anytime soon, and that's the best part of this internship.