Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Life is getting interesting...

Hello everyone! Well, today was my last day of language school class. I will go next Tuesday to take the final exam, but I am done with class. I've learned a lot, but of course I still have a long way to go. Now that that is over, I am going to be very busy with students. Lauren and Matt, two of the other AI workers, are moving to Vicenza, a town in northern Italy, next month. They will be working with the church there, especially with the large youth group. I will be taking most of Lauren's students over the next couple of weeks, so my schedule is filling up fast. It's been very busy around here the last couple of weeks with Thanksgiving, a benefit dinner to buy a special bicycle for a disable man at church, and our Christmas festa.

Today, we had quite a crowd at lunch. Our directors' two sons arrived yesterday for the holidays, and we also had a couple from church over. David and Laneida Calabrese met here in Italy when she was an Avanti worker several years ago (He's Italian and she's American) and since their marriage have lived in the U.S. They have just moved back here with their two (soon to be three) children, David, Jr. and Miranda. We are really getting quite a crowd of kids at church!

In other interesting news of the week, our van is yet again in the shop. That vehicle is at least entertaining... Sunday afternoon, we were getting in the van to go home from church when the latest problem cropped up. I pulled the sliding door shut as usual, but this time, instead of latching, it bounced back. At first I thought the seatbelt or something must have just gotten caught in the door. So I checked it and then slammed it a little harder. It bounced open again. Yup, it was broken. The door no longer latched. We moved around until Matt ended up by the door. He tightened his seatbelt, and kept the door (mostly) closed by pushing on it with his foot. (Except for that part where he bounced it open and closed to make the overhead light flash off and on to annoy Greg, who was driving). Anyhow, we made it back without loosing anyone.

Sunday night, we headed back into town for the English service at Pepperdine's building. This time, we were prepared. David brought along an old belt, and he fasted the door shut by cracking the front passenger window and the window of the sliding door and belting them together. (See picture). This worked fairly well. Oh, by this time, Gary had tried to find the cause for the problem, and removed the inside door panel, and the lock was now jammed as well for some reason. But, a mechanic is taking a look at it now.

After we finished with the service Sunday night, a few of us went downtown and walked around enjoying the Christmas lights. Several streets in the historic center of Florence hang lights overhead between the buildings, and all of the shops decorate their windows. I'll post pictures of it next week when I get back.

Speaking of getting back, tomorrow morning (entirely too early in the morning, especially considering it's now after eleven and I haven't packed yet) Anna, Melissa, and I are going to Catania, in Sicily. Melissa is from Catania, but has been here staying with us and practicing her English. Anna and I are returning with her to attend a convegno at the church there. The church in Catania is the largest in Italy, and they are expecting quite a crowd this weekend. I'm looking forward to meeting the church members from other places around Italy, and also seeing a part of the country I've never been to. I'll be back next Monday night, so watch for a post about it sometime next week.

Well, I really need to pack...


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