In 1988, a 30 year friendship was formed.
After finishing school at 17, I deferred university for a year and with a little help from family & friends I headed off to Torino for a year to learn Italian.
There, I was welcomed into the home of the Agodi family where I met Luisella, who was to become, a life-long friend and the sister I never had!
YES / NO / I DON’T MIND - 2014
Fast forward 25 years and our six wonderful children (between us . not each!) are now enjoying all the cultural and linguistic benefits that our experience and resulting friendship brought to us.
The first SIB holiday took place in 2014, when Luisella’s then 11 year old daughter came stay with our family for the first time.
She spent 2 wonderful weeks with us during which time we began to realise something quite interesting.
During her two week stay at our house, Letizia uttered (approximately) 3 words to me for her entire stay...
- I don’t mind.
However, and much to our amusement, as myself and her mother watched her playing in my garden with my children, the dogs, the cousins and the neighbours kids we noticed something truly amazing... she never stopped talking!
It was then that we both realised that children talk to children.
This is why SIB’s core principle of matching Italian and Irish children of the same age and interests is fundamental to what we do. Yes, it’s more challenging, yes it’s more difficult to arrange and involves a greater understanding and appreciation of our host families and our visiting families... BUT IT WORKS!
My year with Luisella and her family was a life changing experience for me. A very personal and powerful cultural exchange during the most formative years of my life. It resulted in a lasting friendship, and a love of Italian language and culture that continues to this day.
The experience would also eventually form the very foundations that SIB can to be built on 30 years later... Friendship and communication!
We would like to offer a similarly unique and empowering experience to young Italians coming to Ireland.
Our small but growing network of Irish mums and families help your child experience the very best that Irish country and family life has to offer.