Why I called this Project A Bridge Of Roses.
My father and my mother were born in a little village on the Italians Alps, at the border with France. The village didn’t have any school or teacher, no doctor, no stores, just a church and 200 people working in their farms.
One day my grandmother and grandfather riding a mule were trying to reach their place at the top of the mountain, when my grandmother entered in labor. It was too late to ride back to the village and too far to reach their house. So my grandmother lying on the side of the path, with the help and love of her husband, gave birth to my mother, right next to a rose bush. My mother was called Rosa (rose); she was the little one of 7 brothers and sisters. It was the year before Italy entered in WWII.
When she was 5 years old, Italy was still in war; my grandfather was hiding in the mountains trying to escape the Nazi with his two older sons. And my grandmother, pregnant one more time (after my mother she had two more children), was trying to raise 7 children and to manage the house. There was not much food on the table. Day in, day out there were only potatoes and milk on the table. One day my mother, while she was playing in the barn, found an egg. It was summer. She hided it, keeping it to give it to my grandparents at Christmas as present. At Christmas when, finally, she gave it all wrapped up in a shiny paper to my grandmother, the egg was spoiled. Disappointed she cried. My grandmother cried even more trying to console her little rose.
I am told this intime story of my family to tell you how poor are the origin of my family. My mother and her 8 brothers and sisters had to walk an hour each way to go to school. In winter the snow was sometimes 2 feet high. Still my grandparents sent all the 9 children to school trying to give to them a different future.
To help children in remote areas of Madagascar makes me thinking of my mother and her struggles to get an education. She knew how important was to keep walking everyday to learn the ABCs. And I wanted, in her name and honor, to help other children to learn it too.
My mother name is Rosa Ponte (Rose Bridge). And this is the name I chose to called my project.
My mother walked to learn how to write and read. I walked to give the same possibility to other children.