Life in Italy

Melanie —  April 11, 2009

Well, I decided it was time I put a post on myself . . . just to give a flavour of what life has been like for our family over the past few weeks.  Get ready for a long one – I guess it’s always feast or famine with my posts!  Last night we visited a church in Paullo (2 hr. drive away).  Quite the opposite of our normal style, we arrived quite early (we couldn’t remember what time we were supposed to be there actually!) had a delightful time with a sweet and fun family. I have been understanding more and more Italian but still can’t speak too much.  But it has been fun to try to communicate with people -their limited English and my limited Italian.  I learned a very random verb last night – aparechiare (to prepare, as in, to set the table!) I also got a lesson on how to prepare tomato sauce for pasta.  You can be sure I will try it at home!  We had lots of laughs and fun at the dinner table.  The girls do very well saying things like – “My name is . . . ” and “I’m x years old” in Italian and people are always delighted!  Even Joel knows how to count to 10 in Italian!

Anyway, the meeting started at 9 and we showed up at 9:10 (we and our hosts lost track of time!) and slipped in the back (slipped in is the wrong word!) of a tiny meeting room.  We were packed in like sardines.  I literally could not move a muscle where I was sitting.  It is so wonderful to see a group of believers so hungry for the word and growing in numbers too.  They seemed very grateful for and challenged by Peter’s message.  There were lots of lovely people, lots of kisses afterwards and much love shown to us, despite the language barrier (Peter and I are usually not in the same place after a meeting so I don’t get the luxury of him translating for me!).  The longer we are here the more I understand and I am really motivated to study Italian more when we get back!  It’s such a beautiful language.  I love the culture too.  Very family oriented and warm and friendly people.  Maybe the Lord wants us to move here someday!?  Anyway, we arrived back last night at 1 am so we slept in til 9 this morning.  The kids did great, behaving well overall in the meeting and then sleeping the whole way home.

Today we went to a new friend’s house about 10 minutes drive away in a little village at the top of a hill – gorgeous setting.  The wife is American and she has come over to our place a few times to meet up with us and our friends who live here in this house.  It was really fun to spend time with her and get to know her family.  She blessed us with giving us some pass-on clothes for Joel too.  Tonight we will go to visit a family with 5 children (a HUGE family by Italian standards!) along with our friends who we are staying with.  So altogether there will be 11 kids and 6 adults – wow!  Tomorrow is Easter – Peter will preach twice and we’ll enjoy Easter lunch with our friend’s mother (3rd floor of this house).  Then we plan to go out for a meal in the evening with Andrea and Marta – our hosts – something we’ve been trying to do all week but sickness in their family has prevented.  Thankfully, their son seems to be much better now.

One more fun thing we did the other day was to go to Rivanazzano, the little town where Peter grew up.  We intended to get there at breakfast time so we could go to the bakery where his dad used to buy him foccacia every morning for breakfast.  Well, in Mead fashion, we left late and got there about 10am.  So we wandered the streets of his town for the next 2 hrs, listening to Peter tell “little boy” stories, stopping at 3 bakeries for foccacia, and 2 playgrounds too!  So that covered breakfast and lunch!  It was special to see the places that hold so many memories for Peter.  Anyway, I should end this rambly post . . . in between all the socializing, church visits and eating good food, we have managed to maintain a good routine of work for Peter and school for the kids.  I have also been able to do quite a bit of reading which has been fun (away from home it’s easier to sit down and rest in the afternoons instead of finding housework, etc. to do!).  I finished Kevin Leman’s Birth Order Book – very interesting and insightful.  I just started #7 of the Left Behind series. It has been ages since I’ve read this series and I thought I would allow myself the rare treat of reading fiction.  Happy Easter to all of you.  Thank you for your prayers for our family.