Calabria Travel Blog› entry 4 of 6 › view all entries
In 1949 a little Italian man named Vincenzo Cosentino left his beloved homeland. He left his adoring wife, his 4 daughters and only son. He traveled across the long and empty sea to the other side of the world to a very foreign and exotic land called
Life was bloody tough.
A year later, with a job and a bed in the shed of a friends property he happily welcomed the arrival of his equally brave and resilient wife Rosa and their 5 children. They all lived in that empty old shed.
Approximately Nine months later their first ‘Australian’ child, and daughter, Annunziata was born.
That woman is my mother.
This blog details the highly emotional and spiritual journey that took her back, for the first time ever, to her mother land. 50 years after her family first set sail from the shores of
My parents had never been ones to travel for a number of reasons, but I’m somehow the total opposite. I’ve been trying to encourage my mother to make the journey for years and was finally able to make it happen. I happily took on role of travel co-ordinator, organizer, concierge, driver, navigator, porter and financier to make it all happen.
We arrived in
We immediately were greeted by family members. There was a lot of tears as my mum proceeded to hug and hold cousins, aunts and uncles, that she’d heard so much about, talked to, but never met. We were taken to a cousin’s house in Polistena and then the extravaganza of our first family lunch started.
I’ve never been part of such a thing, and I’ve had 5star Christmas banquets!
The food just kept coming and coming. It started with entrees of bread, salami, cheeses. Then was a delicious pasta. Followed by some very tender fresh veal. Then came the salad and vegetables. After this was fruit and I thought it was all over (I’d actually been full after the first bits of cheese and salami).
God Siesta’s are great! I had an hour nap and came back. They were all still eating and drinking…
Over the next few days I visited all the spots that had been important to my grandparents. This included their village, where they lived, where they were born, where they farmed, where they washed their clothes, where they went to church, where they went to the beach, where they went to market.
We met many cousins and other relatives, including my grandfathers remaining sister and my grandmothers two remaining sisters.
Everyone was so unbelievably warm and friendly and I soon learnt that my capacity to eat was directly proportional to how much people liked me.
My wild young second-cousin-once-removed also hijacked me from the family. She took me out partying till in the night. We drove all over the countryside of
The whole time I was in
I’m also infinitely grateful for the extreme sacrifices my grandparents made to make the life I have possible.
In some ways, ironically, I’ve returned the favour. By heading back in the other direction to the way their boat went, to start my new life here in
Grazie tunto Nonno e Nonna!
Life moves in some beautiful circles.