Failing Forward

with Daniel Cassadio

Chapter 8 - An empowered Pride Ball Kicker

Chapter EntriesDaniel CasadioComment

In the German community, upstairs kitchen. It’s usually madness up here with loads of people but currently its nice and relaxed. 

I wrote this blog: 

English teaching. It’s hard, confusing, draining, exhausting, you realise how rubbish your grammar is in your own native tongue, you generally have to be pretty enthusiastic throughout the whole lesson and there are endless amounts of worksheets and exercises. Yet somehow once you overcome obstacle after obstacle throughout the lessons you feel like you’ve achieved something and so have they. But it was also so unbelievably rewarding when the students got an answer right when I’ve been trying to explain it in every physical acting motion possible.

The next week I had 5 awesome, unique and hilarious students. They were a lot of fun and it made it hard to talk about deeper topics but we somehow still managed and we had fun with it. Some of the topics would go in a completely opposite direction and somehow came to the point for the student to get his point across to me he drew a naked Nicki Minaj with an excessive amount of pubic hair. It was hilarious but I guess being a teacher I should have been a bit stricter.
Naaaa, screw that, let them enjoy themselves.

Throughout volunteering in Belgium, I was planning the next adventure and in my mind, it was going to be Italy but plans fell through and didn’t work out. I was pretty annoyed and somewhat a little stressed because I didn’t know where to go from here. And when I’m not doing a Workaway (volunteering organization); travelling, food and accommodation really builds up and becomes very expensive.

It came to the point where I wrote to many hosts in Italy requesting I come and stay and work in exchange for food and accommodation. Only a couple responded and they were all ‘No, not at this time’ or ‘We like your profile but we are completely filled with volunteers’. Oh man, is it time to activate stress mode? Stressed DC thought. Hold up let’s not activate it just yet, maybe Italy can wait for now. Optimistic DC thought.

I started talking to some of my closest friends Keir and Jaz who were still volunteering at the international Germany community in Sammatz. I asked them for advice about returning and volunteering in Sammatz until I could work out the next chapter and see where I go from there. They were both incredibly supportive, which was what I really needed because in my I haven’t been one to go back on something. I hate back tracking. Back home I worked/volunteered lots of different jobs that required a different skillset and challenged me massively. From working in a TV station to basketball coaching to café work then to being a support worker. And the idea to back track in travelling, definitely didn’t appeal to me at all, I want to constantly see new things and be in new locations. But maybe this is a lesson in itself and at the end of the day I think pride was a big player for me not wanting to go back to Sammatz. Once I realised it was pride, I got that out of my system and emailed one of the hosts at Sammatz and requested to come back and volunteer.

He responded within a couple of hours with a beautiful message saying ‘Of course you can come back!’. But then there were emails underneath that were from other hosts who were in Italy saying yes, I can come and volunteer. Argggghhhh. Decision time. It was quite empowering kicking pride in the balls, so I’ll go with that. Back to Sammatz I went and incredibly excited.

Wow. Once I arrived, it literally felt I was returning home. Lots of the other international volunteers and the Sammatzians were very warm and there were loads of hugs. I knew I made the right choice and I was so happy to be where I was.

I was volunteering in Sammatz again for another 3 or so weeks and it was again such an incredible and somehow an even more eye-opening experience. From going back to Sammatz I was then asked by a couple of the volunteers to go on another adventure after this. Obviously, I said yes because I had no plans, I’ll be travelling with some of my closest friends and somehow, we were going to Italy. Incredible. Absolutely incredible sometimes how things work out.

It has been an awesome few weeks in Sammatz and so far, a beautiful few days on the beach in Sicily. Pride is a loser, it doesn’t help anyone and can restrict a person a lot to what they can and can’t do.


If you can kick pride in the balls this week, do it. It’s a damn good feeling.