It was between March 31st and April 12th that I would once again have the privilege of being part of the British Project TCFT (The Complete Freedom of Truth). I had already participated two years ago in Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and as such, I loved the experience. This year is not far behind either. This time it was in the Italian town of Sarteano, in the province of Siena, Tuscany, that I, together with Inês Mares, Ana Marques, Constança Pereira, Margarida Correia, Miguel Santos and Sara Caldeira, and the special participation of the composer Sara Ross, I was able to really enjoy this unforgettable trip that, of course, I miss.

As is typical of Portuguese, when you think of Italy, you will soon think of... food! No more. I can say that the Italian food enchanted me. I like the bread, without salt, the water that, according to what they said, is delicious, not to mention the fabulous and more than famous pasta, perché la cosa importante è la massa. Just to enumerate some dishes: the bruschetta, that is to say, loaves roasted with butter and on top they carry tomato, paste of liver or mushrooms. A soup that carries peas, tomatoes and carrots; beans with parmesan cheese (hum! So I like it!); bean stew with potatoes (very good too). Do not forget also a giant pizza, family size (I must have filled my "Justin" well that day). Anyway... Oh I was forgetting the salads, my hit when there comes an "insalatina! Insalatina!".  What about the ice cream? It was my dessert, instead of the coffee, the ice creams genuinely made in Italy, of different flavors; strawberry, stracciatella, Nutella (which is very good!), pistachio, caramel and so on... As I would say, another casual way to be in Italy.

But I write this text to tell you a bit about my experience this year in Italy. In this edition of TCFT, I met new people: Vittoria, who cared about breakfast food and whom we thanked so much; Laura, a great Theater director – incidentally, it was with her that we visited the Teatro Povero di Monticchielo. Among others, I also rediscovered the people of Srebrenica: Rosie, Darren, Susan and a special greeting to Tina, mentor of this project. To these people, we thank you very much because without them, none of this would be possible.

But this year there are two very special people that I got to know and collaborated with: Raul Correa and Petronela (Petro) Ionescu from Romania, professional theater teachers with whom I have been fortunate to work with. And along with them were, for example, Maja (I met her in Bosnia), Ismir (also Bosnian), Ricky... they also participated in the Theater workshops. However, I could say that I was a "one man show"... well, rectifying, I was not a "one man show", but I say I made a very special participation.

I wrote, along with many, a writing from when I was 7 years old and how the very challenging first years of school were. I further added my political-economic views at the time I started my school walk(in 1999), I added a historical event that happened in my beloved country that was Euro 2004, I still remember (it seems like yesterday) of my tears of sadness in the corner of my eye when Greece scored the goal that dictated Portugal's defeat in that final at the Estádio da Luz. It was one of the sorrows that I most intensely experienced in my youthful times. Fortunately came Euro 2016 and my country and I were able to finally sing victory because we were now European Champions!

But the thread of all my performance was a text that I wrote about my walk, passing through various parts of the village, and at each of these points I wrote down everything I detected, observed, listened to and felt. I interviewed several colleagues, Portuguese and foreigners, about what they were doing at the time and how they felt. At thebase, it was not a serious performance, but it was a test, especially for my English, because it was the first time I did a theatrical play in English, so the nerves were more than countless, but nothing like a precious and always present help and trust of my friends Raul and Petro, whom I thank and I owe very much. They are already in my heart and, God willing, I will have the good fortune to meet them again.

Speaking now of our overall performance, I say that it was stupendous, moreover, more than stupendous, it was "the good and the best". In the performance of my group, I also made a special participation. We played together the introduction of Giufà, then the "staircase" climbed to certain points: one of them was a performance of Besso's group with a tango by Carlos Gardel "Por una Cabeza". Another of them was a recital by Sara Ross of a Portuguese poem, then a few touches in the djembe by Sara Caldeira, followed by a moment of clownery with Margarida's violin solo.  Then Margarida was soon to continue her violin solo, this time in a "Game of Thrones" moment, plus some "blows of Molière" by Sara Caldeira, a moment of Billy's dancing, who I also met in Bosnia, a recital of "Yesterday" by The Beatles, also including Margarida's violin. Finally we all sang, thanks to Susan's more than precious help, loud and clear, "viva viva la musica / viva viva la musica / viva la musica".  And in the end Alex (a great friend I also met in Bosnia) joined us to interpret the final theme of this performance that was "Complete", an anthem of TCFT 2017. And it was very hot on that Sunday!

But what really mattered was the effort we made to get here. We wore sweaters, we got tired, but it was worth it. We were happy with our own work and that's what matters.

And when we arrived in Portugal, the only thing we wanted to do was sleep, sleep and sleep (words of order). Our last day was really pure and hard, we were almost with a stone behind us, really tired. But these trips are a lot of emotion to live! Madness! I think I already miss Sarteano. And is not it that I really miss? Believe me!

I would like to thank everyone for the dedication they have given me (us), especially to Inês Mares, who was our experienced helmswoman during these thirteen days, to thank also Sara Ross for the strength and courage she has had to ensure another success of our participation in TCFT, to my colleagues also for the playful moments that have been provided, and so on. There would be much more to add, but I believe that what I have written so far, at least for me, is enough.

As the song would say, "Viva TCFT"!

Pedro Pereira - Sarteano - 2017