Dear Inés and David. We would like you to briefly introduce yourselves by telling us your age, what you study, what hobbies you have and what you would like to be when you grow up:
Inés (I): My name is Inés Navarro Llorens, I am 15 years old and I am studying the last year of ESO in Salesianos San Antonio Abad (Valencia). I enjoy reading, going to the movies and traveling. I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, but I’m trying to figure it out.
David (D): My name is David Andrada Martínez, I am 16 years old and I am studying Technological Baccalaureate in Salesianos San Antonio Abad (Valencia). I like movies, listening to music and playing guitar. In summer I like to surf, I love the sea. When I grow up I would love to be an aeronautical engineer, I love aviation.
We know that this past November 19, 2023 you participated in the National Youth Meeting of AA.AA that took place in the facilities of Salesianos San Antonio Abad. Who invited you and what motivated you to come together on this day?
I: I was invited by Anna Jordina.
D: I was invited by Anna Jordina. What motivated me to join the meeting was that I wanted to get a taste of the Salesian environment. Although it sounds strange, at school, among classmates, I do not get to notice that “Salesianity” that is noticeable in events such as the National Youth Alumni Meeting and I thought it would be a good experience to better understand what it is to be Salesian.
What tasks were you able to participate in? Would you have liked to have been able to spend more time with the other young people during the whole weekend or were the activities on Sunday the 19th enough?
I: In my case, I participated only in the mass, reading the petitions together with Rafa from Andalucía, and in the paella that followed. At the beginning I thought that these activities would be enough, but after meeting the other young people and having a good time in both activities, I wanted to spend more time with them and to get to know the Salesian environment better, which at that time seemed very present to me.
D: I, in particular, only participated in the mass, playing the electric guitar together with the parish choir, and in the meal afterwards, but I wanted to get to know more of the other young people who attended the meeting. I did not participate in the other activities, but I can assure you that anyone else who participated in the meeting would agree to do this kind of meeting more often or for a longer duration.
What did you think of the young atmosphere?
I: I was surprised at how at ease I felt in the young environment and was sorry I could not have enjoyed it for longer. I found it incredible that so many people from different provinces of Spain were united by the same illusion, forming a community that goes beyond location and I felt welcomed in it. All the young people were nice and I was sorry to see them go to their respective cities so soon.
D: I thought it was great. The fact that I was able to be with people who were also Salesians, but from different places, reminded me that there are Salesians beyond my neighborhood, beyond my city and beyond my autonomous community. Although we did not come from the same place, all the young people who came were the perfect example of Salesianity. I was surprised that, although we had never met before, it seemed as if we had been friends for years.
Did you meet a Past Pupil or Former Pupil from another Salesian house? Can you name anyone? Did you enjoy the experience?
I: Yes, the ones I got to know the most were Gabri Céspedes and Carlos Morillo, from the Salesian house in Villena, who were incredibly nice. I thought it was a very nice experience and I would definitely like to repeat it and extend it as much as possible.
D: Yes, during lunch I was talking with Gabri and Carlos. I loved having the opportunity to meet them, it was as if we were lifelong friends. I was sad to say goodbye so quickly, but I hope to meet them again at another meeting soon.
Apart from being current students of San Antonio Abad School, do you belong to another Salesian environment at present? Would you like to be an Alumni or Alumnae now or in the future?
I: Currently, apart from the school, I belong to the youth center Amics (Valencia), which is also in the school. But, apart from this, I do not belong to any other Salesian environment. The truth is that I would love to be a former student since I have been in this school since I was a child and I would love to continue to be linked to it in the future.
D: Right now I don’t belong to any other Salesian environment. I play at the Amics mass, but nothing else apart from school. Without a doubt, I would like to be an Alumni, because when I finish my studies at Salesianos, I would like to continue to be linked to the school and in general to everything related to the Salesians.
If your answer above was yes, what activities would you like your local association to prepare for you?
I: I think the activity that would excite me the most would be to visit other Salesian houses in their respective cities, just as the participants of the meeting were able to get to know ours. I think it is an activity that can provide us with knowledge about the Salesian environment while we meet new people, thus reaching the feeling of community that we were able to experience during Sunday morning, despite the earthly distance that separates our provinces.
D: Seeing how much the young people who attended the meeting enjoyed it, I would love to be able to visit other Salesian houses as well. Not only for the trip itself, which is worthwhile, but also to continue to learn about the Salesian movement outside my school, which is something that many students of the school are completely unaware of. I could also meet other Salesians from other houses. It is an activity that motivates me to want to join the Alumni.
Thank you very much for your cooperation 😊