My name is Giorgio and I’m a 75 year old grandfather. Since I retired, my main job has been to look after my 13-year-old granddaughter Maddie, when she is not at school or out with her friends. My pace of life has clearly changed. Days seem longer, and with my low retirement income I can’t afford to spend much on extras. I try to be watchful of where my budget is going.

I have a habit of leafing through the newspaper every morning, and that’s where I found a “SoQua” ad. It said I could use my spare time to make some money with my mobile phone. I’m not that good with technology, but I like to explore new opportunities and my niece is my trusted assistant. After downloading the app with Maddie, I watched some videos on YouTube, read some articles, and I finally decided to subscribe. The platform is easy to use and guides you step by step.

I made myself available for the things I’ve always loved to do: woodwork and mushrooming! I offered to take people mushroom hunting in the hills near my home, on the weekends, when my niece is not with me. After a few days of waiting, I got a request for an entire morning. The app made everything very clear: I could see the person who was looking for me, how many people would come along, and where they came from. I was surprised because it was a group of young lads in their thirties who were passionate about mushrooms and walks. The day had come: I headed to the main square downtown, in front of the bar as we had agreed. There and then I thought to myself, “how am I supposed to find them now!?” Luckily they recognised me right away. They came to meet me, we exchanged our QR codes (that’s some rocket science I recently learned about), and off we went, each with our own car.

We spent 4 fabulous hours picking mushrooms in the woods; they listened to me with so much passion and attention. To tell the truth, I did the bulk of the work but I let them take the basket. I also explained how to cook them.
Before leaving, they asked if we could go mushroom hunting again another day. I was very happy to accept, even though we didn’t use the platform. These young people infuse me with so much energy and I always like to share my experience.

Meanwhile, I think I’ll treat myself to a good bottle of wine tonight. And Maddie may even get a treat herself.