Sunday, November 22, 2015

Peace in Umbertide

There is a lot going on in our life right now. We have had many visitors for the past two months and have enjoyed travelling with all of them. I started a new beginner's English class with the nuns who live across the piazza. I am half way through a major work project for the US which is always fun. Next we are getting ready for Thanksgiving, which we will celebrate on Saturday, in order to include our working Italian friends, and will host 14 of us. Happily Ely, from Calagrana is doing the turkey again this year, as none of us has an oven that would accomodate an American style turkey roast. A lot on our plates, no pun intended.

In the local news, I am so very proud of Umbertide. Last night they had a special presentation in the church across the piazza. It was called "Pace KM0" or Peace at kilometre zero meaning bringing peace here. First the town asked foreign people to be videoed saying where they were born, their name and where they live. Gary and I of course participated. It was fantastic to see this short film of all of the different faces and places of people who live in this small town in Umbertide.

The poster says, Memory walks with us. There are 62 nationalities represented in Umbertide. It was amazing to see everyone. The theme of the evening was not to be afraid of foreigners, particularly in light of the Paris bombings. We were encouraged to get to know each other, welcome each other and speak to each other. They talked about the importance not just of liberty, justice, equality, but also of fraternity.

We walked over to the presentation to be supportive. We were asked to bring a dessert that represented our country so The Stoic One and I worked together (!) and made an apple crisp. I knew I had to leave early, because my English class was meeting in 45 minutes. Of course, nothing begins on time, and so I was late coming back home to class. The major thing was that the moderator asked me to speak in front of the group as to why we chose to come to Umbertide and how our experience had been here. Easy enough, except I had to ad lib in Italian. I apologized for my poor language skills but told them we had chosen Umbertide because of its beauty, accessibility and friendliness. All true. A very eventful day for all of us.

Wherever you are I hope that you are in a place of love of friends or family and are able to reflect upon all of the blessings of the season. Gary and I are so happy to be living our dream of life in this rambunctious, beautiful, and crazy country.

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