When the government implemented lockdown measures, I was 10.000 kilometres away from home. My name is Alberto and I am in a study abroad placement in Lima, Peru. A week after I arrived (during which I could hardly get anything done) the state of emergency was declared, and everything shut down. That wasn’t fun.
After that, the few people that had sparked my interest started going back home and that is when it started to feel lonely. The people that I already loved were on the other side of the Atlantic and the people that I could have started to love left Peru. Luckily, I am not fully alone since I share a flat with four other people. I realised that the way to tackle this situation without having a community is precisely by creating one! In the beginning, the only thing we had in common was that we accidentally lived together, which can hardly lead to a quality relationship.
However, there is always something that you share with the person next to you. Love is rarely monopolised, and you always share it with at least another person. Knowing that no one is truly an island we started looking for bridges. What I discovered is that a good starting point was reality TV. How dumb, right? But as it turns out, something that brings people together is other people (I know it sounds a bit redundant, but it makes perfect sense in Spanish so I’m sure it also makes sense in English). I could go on for hours talking about all the things that the people that live in TV do. They are either in a desert island of the Pacific hunting for food or in an island of the Caribbean going out and getting drunk.
How amazing and bizarre and exceptional that is!
Seeing the citizens of TV lead their crazy lives while sitting on the couch unable to leave the house gave us a lot to talk about. That is how we started our little community away from home: talking. I understand that this was supposed to be about local heroes and inspiring actions, but it instead turned out to be about lonely bored kids who started watching TV to cope with their loneliness. Be that as it may, I consider this story to be important. Maybe ‘important’ isn’t the word and the Thesaurus isn’t helping me out a lot right now. What I mean is that before a community can harvest an inspiring story, it had an origin story. And this is our origin story of how five students locked up in an alien city decided to combat this global pandemic by getting together and starting something new.
Edited by Shreya Sharma