Juan in E.U.

Page 28

Adrianne Marfil Chef Rome, Italy

I

still remember the first time I left my country when I was 7 years old, more or less. It was the first time I flew in such a huge plane and I knew right there and then, it was going to take me to the most beautiful city in the world: Rome. I was also heart broken. I didn’t want to leave the most important people in my life: my brother and my father. Nevertheless, there was one great thing about this trip that made me very happy: I was travelling with my mom, my hero!. In this new city, I experienced a childhood that was both positive and negative. Positive because I had the opportunity to know a new culture, to meet new people and most of all, to make new friends. Negative part was I was too used to a different kind of life. Back home, we were well off as a family and then, we found ourselves living in a nightmare, as my parents had to suddenly live apart. Back in the day, we had a textile factory and a car repair shop. My mom originally came here with the intention of working only for 3 or 4 years. It was supposed to be enough to help our businesses back home. But that didn’t happen. My father was a selfish man: he betrayed my mother for another woman. When my mom found out, she decided to send me back to the Philippines hoping that once he sees me, he would stop his fooling around. So,I went and stayed in the Philippines for another two years. However, it got worse. My dad had a daughter with the other woman and it was such a shock for me. I didn’t leave the house. I didn’t speak to anyone in my family. I had become withdrawn because of the shame. My mom, understanding the situation, decided to have me come back to Italy and this time, with my brother. When we arrived to Italy, my brother and I had a challenging experience. It was a stressful for my mother to raise 2 kids alone abroad. My mom always works ended very late, so I had to start taking care of my brother. For him I was a mini mom. After school, I’d pick him up and we’d wait for mom in a church for 4 to 5 hours. Sometimes, it happened that my brother was so tired, he’d fall asleep on the pews. This was all because our landlord was very strict and he didn’t want the neighbours to see young kids going home unaccompanied. Luckily, some years later, our lives started to improve. One of my mom’s employers asked her to work for him and in return, we could live in one of his apartments. It was also in this period I had to make an important decision regarding my future, which high school to go to, Languages or Hotel Management? So, I chose Hotel Management as I was really interested in tourism and mostly, because I wanted to be able to express my creativity through cooking Italian cuisine. I studied in one of the most prestigious culinary institutes located in the most beautiful part of Rome: Trastevere. There, I learned a lot of international dishes and other aspects of the restaurant business I didn’t know. This was also the place I met the most important person in my life: my boyfriend! He is also like me, a cook and an immigrant. When he was a child, he lived in Bulgaria, and just like me, he moved to Italy for economic reasons. Lets say, we literally fell in love at first sight. At school, we really shine when we participate in the different cooking comptetitions. I also tried to help my mother by doing odd jobs. At 20 years of age, I’ve already worked as a shop assistant, a baby sitter, a barman, a waitress and an assistant chef. My brother has chosen a different path from mine. Since he is passionate about technology, he decided to go to a Science and Technology in high school. My mother, after all the misfortunes she suffered, has always managed to take care of the family by herself and for this, I admire her and would like to thank her for all that she has done and given us. Because of my experiences in Italy, I have become more responsible and more independent. We are currently living in the heart of Rome, I have lots of friends and now, I’m closer to making my dream come true: becoming a professional chef. I’m grateful to be working in a Roman restaurant as a cook. Someday, I will work as a chef in a famous hotel. I would like to wholeheartedly thank the people who have always been with me during the good and the bad moments; for believing in me and for never giving up on me.

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