What happens in Geneva stays in Geneva

Woman dancing in the sun

London in the early morning is fascinating, simultaneously a city that never sleeps and a city that is just waking up, slowly and gently. The sunrise in slow motion is the best thing about early flights, with its golden rays spreading on the fluffy cotton clouds underneath you.

My first day in Geneva was too frantic for me to take notice of the melancholy I was carrying with me. We were caught in the thick of the work of the United Nations on the last day of the discussion of a motion about Israel and Palestine. It was happening under our eyes yet it felt remote, because of the screens in the public gallery separating us from the world of the powers on earth moving around like on a stage. It became more real when meeting the Israeli ambassador and the Apostolic Nuncio face to face, but there remained a sense of expectant excitement about what life could be. It’s surreal to be in the present moment in a place where history and the future being shaped meet: my idealistic heart was filled with the realisation of what people fought for behind those walls, and how their life and my life and the lives to be were interconnected. It was the last lesson of our IMPACT course, and after that, it’s whatever life throws at us.

It was only the next day, rising early after a late night out, that the divertissement keeping my emotional wall from crumbling down was not there anymore. The melancholy of things finishing hit me in the face like water when diving from 35 mt. I’ve spent 1 year of my life going through the most transformative experience with a group of people. Some of them will likely be friends for a lifetime, others never have been more than an acquaintance but, nonetheless, the sense of the end of an era was there, as unbearable as it can be, with the whirlwind of emotions that characterise periods of transition.

I flew to Geneva in the sunrise, to fly back to London in the sunset, tears in my eyes. Even with those people who’ll remain in my life the feeling that a chapter is over and a fresh blank page is waiting for us is there. The past 3 days have been full of the kind of drama that is typical of groups of people spending a long time together, especially when travel is involved. What happens in Geneva stays in Geneva. We’ve forgiven the wrongdoings and we’ll cherish the good memories, but I can’t help wishing that time could freeze and “Geneva” never ended.

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