Archive for May, 2007

Still in Sicily

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

My time in Sicily is coming to an end soon – on Thursday night I will be driving to Messina, then catching the overnight ferry almost to Naples, with a further nine hour drive after that. I should be home just in time for dinner. Pinuccia and Stefania will then be catching the plane on Monday morning, so I will be going to Verona then to pick them up then.

The holidays have been restful, although having holidays in May means that I have had some work to do as well. Pinuccia has had lots of opportunity to rest as well, despite a lot of relative and friend visiting in these weeks. With her increased appetite due to the pregnancy, all the big Sicilian meals did her good as well. Stefania took all the changes in her stride, even eating dinner at almost 11pm when she usually goes to sleep before 10. Her curiosity was well fed by the many new experiences, and she enjoyed being pampered by her relatives – especially playing with her cousins.

A Sicilian Wedding

Saturday, May 19th, 2007

Last night was the reason why we came to Sicily: the wedding of Pinuccia’s cousin and one of our friends. Since it was in the same church as our wedding three years ago, it brought back memories… Even the photographer recognised us (we had suggested him to the couple, since he did such a good job for us). Sicilian weddings are quite tame really, with no entertainment during the reception (as happens at Trento) and is relatively short (for example, in the heel of Italy the reception starts at lunch and ends early the next morning, and you eat the whole time). However the Sicilian reception does keep to Sicilian eating hours – which was why I preferred a morning wedding and lunch reception, when it was all over at 5.30pm. Last night the appetisers were served at 9pm, the main course after 11pm, and the desert at 12.30. We said good-bye to the bride and groom at 1am – in Italy, the couple are the last ones to leave and not the first as in Australia, so they would have stayed for quite some time still. Since Stefania could not have lasted until 9pm without eating (nor Pinuccia due to number two’s appetite), we went to Pinuccia’s sister’s house between the church service and the reception (along with the other brother and sister and their families) for something to eat, and so the ladies could rest their feet from their hurting shoes. With that Stefania had no problems during all the time, and was the only small child who showed no signs of tiredness, still fresh at 1am despite not having had her afternoon sleep either. Two power naps of 10 minutes in the car between home and the church, and from the sister’s house and the reception were all she needed.

I do have some good photos of the three of us dressed up for the wedding, but with a slow Internet connection and limited time on line each day it is hard to upload them here. So you’ll have to wait until June when I will have returned to see them.

Going away, and (maybe) moving

Friday, May 11th, 2007

It is now Friday morning, time to start packing as we will be leaving at 4.30pm for three weeks in Sicily with Pinuccia’s family (and a wedding). We were wondering if Stefania would be able to cope with such a long trip, but it turned out to be irrelevant. We found out that Pinuccia can’t stay seated in the car for more than a couple of hours in her state, so like last year the girls get to fly whilst I drive. So first stop this afternoon will be the airport at Verona (an hour south of here). The second stop will be another hour and a half to the south, where I will be picking up Pinuccia’s cousin and aunt who will travel with me (they are going for the wedding as well, the aunt in fact is the bride’s mother). Then after dinner we will be leaving and travelling all night, with an estimated arrival after midday on Saturday. A long trip, but I will have company and driving help.

The other big news and prayer point at the moment is the possibility for the church to rent its own place. This is getting more and more urgent, as using a public hall creates some problems (we can’t leave things there, neighbours, etc), and as the church grows it is outgrowing the hall we use. Prices usually are exorbitant at Trento, but recently we found a space in a very central location (look at “via Lampi 10, Trento” in Google Maps if you want to find it; it is about 2 minutes’ walk from the train station) that we can rent at a price we could afford with an increased commitment by the church. It would need some restructuring work, and we also need to get the required permissions. But there is a friend of the church who is an architect and on the town council who is helping us with that. Then it would need to be approved by the church, and we hope that we could begin work on it in June. So pray for this in the next few weeks, that we can find our own meeting place that will help us in our witness at Trento.

Almost finished, but not really

Sunday, May 6th, 2007

On Friday I will be going away for three weeks holidays, of which I will say more later in the week. But it means that I am winding things up at the moment – although it is a strange feeling, because there are still two months left in the church year. Coming back in June and having to lead things again for a month will be hard. Since the school year finishes in the first half of June, by the time that we return home there will be only one meeting of the Youth Group left, when we will go out to eat an ice cream together (at the shop under our previous apartment). So I have finished my studies for the year with that group, although the other leader (Gloria) will be continuing meetings with them whilst we are away. I will be finishing the series of studies that I have been doing with the Monday and Wednesday cell groups this week; the people that I have been training will take over whilst I am away, but then I will have to think of something else to do in June for the last few weeks. There will be two fortnightly meetings at Rovereto as well; Angelo (one of the elders) will go to help them in my absence since that group is not so strong as the others, and then we will keep going with the studies in 2Corinzi when I return.

Back to the Bible studies

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007

With a public holiday yesterday (May 1), and many people taking Monday off to have a super long week end which meant that the Monday cell group was cancelled, I have had a bit of a break from the usual activities. Which was useful, as I had some catching up to do on work accumulated whilst I was away (a newsletter, the Italian Operation World website, some programming work for my Bible website, preparing future studies, etc.). But now it is back to the usual commitments, with five studies to lead from tonight until next Wednesday. After that it will be time to get ready to go away again, this time to go to Sicily to stay with Pinuccia’s family for a while.