June 20, 2010

Chocolotopia

Posted in Trek through Italy at 11:40 AM by goingbeyondzebra

Well, as hinted in my last post, I have now visited a chocolate factory.

Unfortunately you only get to go into the shop, you don’t get to tour the factory or anything, but it was amazing! Not only did they have wondrously magnificent multiples of almost every kind of chocolate imaginable, but they also sold cool boxes and baskets and whatnot. In addition to buying some delicious chocolate, I purchased a beautiful porcelain teapot, a tea tray, and a little water jug that actually fits in our teeny fridge. I have been meaning to build up my tea repertoire, and they had some pretty stuff for fairly cheap, so I thought, why not?  It was a highly enjoyable and fruitful visit.

I was also able to go to my second Market day, this time with my flatmate Tiffany. We purchased lots of fresh fruits and vegetables for very good prices, and we bought a few things to make our place look a little more homey and a little less dorm-like. It was a fun experience. At one of the vendors, there was an older Italian man standing next to me. He was trying to tell me something, and kept laughing and smiling, so I just laughed and smiled along with him, though I had no idea what he was saying. When he went to purchase his items (some bananas and tomatoes, I believe), he said something to the man who was ringing his order up. He pointed at us and said something else and kind of laughed and they chatted for a few moments. Then he turned to me again, said something else, laughed and smiled some more (which I returned) and then went on his way. I really wish I could have had some sort of heavenly wisdom bestowed on me at that moment, just so I could have understood what he said. Alas, no such luck! I felt that Tiffany and I did a pretty decent job navigating around everything on our own though. Between the two of us we had just enough Italian to get what we needed. Hopefully our language skills will continue to bloom as the months continue!

The final day of English/Sports camp happened yesterday, which went from around 10:30 to 4:30ish. They were calling it the Olympics, and they separated everyone out into different “countries.” Each “country” had a leader and got a representation of their flag painted on their faces. They would go around to different stations doing sports or hearing a Bible story, etc. The different countries were: Scotland, USA, Italy, Germany, Moldova, Singapore, and Mexico. I think that was all of them, though I feel like I am forgetting one. It was fairly clear and sunny past lunch, which was a huge blessing since rain had been predicted. I didn’t really do much in the beginning, just kind of hung out and took pictures. For lunch, a lot of the parents decided to show their appreciation for all that we had done for their kids, so they brought us mounds of food to eat. It was delicious! There were sausages, cheeses, breads, pizzas, sandwiches, just altogether taste-bud heaven. Then, just as we thought everything was finished, out came all these glorious looking desserts! I don’t know really what anything was, though some of them were kind of like big tarts, but it was all very yummy. I had to walk away to keep myself from continuing to eat.

After lunch, I’m not really sure how, but I kind of took charge of a couple of the little girls who weren’t feeling well or didn’t really want to join in the activities. So we went around to the different stations, watched the teams, and “talked”. I was able to teach one of them how to play Patty Cake and she really seemed to enjoy that. Soon it started raining, so we all went inside and watched one of the Sports Interns put on a karate exhibition with his dad. Very cool to watch. Then it was back outside to finish up games, for the rain stopped for a bit, then back inside once the rain re-commenced, to present awards. At this time we also got all the kids together in front of their parents, and had them sing some of the songs we had been teaching them in English Camp. It sounded fantastic! Almost everyone did the motions, even the older boys. The songs we chose were Friend of God, Jesus Loves Me, Open the Eyes of my Heart Lord, and Every Move I Make. For Open the Eyes, during the “Holy, holy, holy, I want to see you” part that gets repeated, we had the older guys and girls sing the chorus in Italian while the rest of us would do the repetition. It was very touching and beautiful to hear.

You could tell we had really been able to touch some lives during this week. Not only the lives of the children we worked with, but their parents as well. They were so appreciative! Overall it was a great experience and a lot of fun, even if it was a bit wet.

Friday night I was able to hang out with some of the other interns at Anna’s house (she is one of the long-term OMers). We had pizza and played Apples to Apples, which I even won once! I was glad to be able to get to know some of them a bit better, I am looking forward to seeing them more often now that English Camp is over. I also received my first writing assignment! Just a small bit, I had to write a short paragraph introducing the Journal section for the booklet they are making to give to people at Transform 2010. But still, it was fun! I am supposed to be getting more writing work starting tomorrow.

One interesting thing to note. It got rather cool towards the end of the day yesterday and it stormed throughout the night. Tiffany and I, when it is clear, can see some of the taller mountains outside of our windows. So this morning, as I was eating breakfast, I looked through a crack in one of our curtains and noticed something seemed a bit odd. I walked over, opened the curtains, and lo and behold! There was freshly fallen snow covering the mountains! Even the not-so-tall mountain that’s very close to us had snow on it. And it was COLD! We were each scrambling around trying to find clothes we could layer to be warm for church, since we had to walk there in the rain. It was an interesting feat since neither of us had packed anything particularly warm, because, well, it’s summertime in Italy, and we were told it was going to be HOT! Alas! We will see what the weather feels like doing as my stay continues.

That’s all for now, been a busy week, but I think I am starting to get into the swing of things a bit. Though this next week I have a feeling is going to be much different than the previous one; I am sure it will bring its own, new adventures. I am missing everyone a lot, but thankfully God has been helping me deal with it. Farewell to you all, I hope you each have a terrific day!

Robyn

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