Know your tenses! – Changes in a Sicilian village


Put the verbs in brackets into the correct tense:

At the same time every afternoon, while seated on the same bench, my father-in-law, Rosario Buttaci, silently <1>__________ (watch) John Babalola Wale and his family <2>__________ (climb) the steep walkway in the village of Sutera that <3>__________ (lead) from Piazza Europa to the old Arab quarter of Rabato.

In Rosario’s day, the “foreigner” who <4>__________ (come) to this picturesque Sicilian village <5>__________ (be likely) to be from Palermo, 100km away, or nearby Agrigento. But Wale, 35, <6>__________ (be) from Ekiti state in Nigeria, and he <7>__________ (reach) Sutera four months ago after a trek covering 6,000km. He <8>__________ (live) with his wife and a son, like dozens of other African people seeking asylum who <9>__________ (come) from another continent with their families to live here.

“The world <10>__________ (change),” says Rosario, a 65-year-old retired architect who <11>__________ (be born), <12>__________ (raise) and <13>__________ (grow) old in this village, as <14>__________ (do) his ancestors for generations. “And Sutera <15>__________ (be) a part of that change.”

(Adapted from

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