Archive for August, 2010

The end of the vacation

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

After the long summer break, preschool starts for the rest of the family on Wednesday. Stefania starts her third and final year, whilst Daniele goes for the first time. Pinuccia has accepted a job at a school in the centre of Trento from 2.30pm to 5.30pm; that is, the after school care. It means she will be at home almost an hour later than she was last year, which means an hour per day less with the children. She is not happy about this (and neither will Stefania and Daniele be once school starts), but there was nothing better available. On the other hand, with both children at school, Pinuccia and I will both get a lot more time to do other things. After a few years in which I have been able to do a lot less than what I had wanted to do, it will be a big change. I wonder though if we will suffer from the “empty nest” syndrome, having such an empty house during the day.

Although the school restarts on the 1st, it will be a couple of weeks before we actually arrive at the normal rhythm. Firstly because Daniele has a gradual insertion at the preschool, first doing 1.5 hours per day, then a few more hours, before starting full time attendance in the second half of the month. At the same time, my mother arrives on the 1st for a visit for a couple of weeks, which will help to fill the hole left by all my family going out every day!

The first couple of weeks of September are also filled with the preparations for the new church year, and getting the groups restarted. Pinuccia will be leading a meeting for the Sunday School teachers on Thursday, with the classes starting probably on the 12th. She will also have to work out a program for the monthly ladies’ meetings. I will be getting two cell groups started, as well as helping the other groups start looking after the enrolments. So I will have a gradual insertion into my normal pattern of church ministry as well.

At Trento

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

We arrived at Trento on Thursday evening, after a pleasantly uneventful trip, apart from occasional heavy holiday traffic. I am so glad that our children are so good at travelling! Since then we have been sorting out things at home, and now are preparing the house for our first visitors of the new year, with one of Pinuccia’s cousins (plus family) coming to stay tomorrow. He is a missionary in Romania, so it will be interesting to talk with him about that.

We still have nine more days of school vacation, so we will be doing some things as a family this week. Pinuccia will be going to a meeting on Friday, where she should find out if, where, and what hours, she will be working this year. We are praying that she will be offered a good job, suitable for our needs as a family.

I did get a surprise at church this morning, as all the musicians were away and on two minutes notice I was asked to play the piano. I haven’t done that for a long time, what happy memories! Especially as the lady leading the singing I had played with a lot over the years. I was certainly a bit rusty, and without my music books I was rather limited in what I could play, but it was good fun, and the congregation certainly sang better with my playing than if I had not played.

Going home

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Today is packing day, getting ourselves and the car ready for the trip back tomorrow. This time we will be doing the whole trip on the road (apart from a short ride across the straight from Sicily to the mainland). 1500 km in 18 hours, which we will be doing in two days, spending tomorrow night in a hotel near Naples. Pray for a good trip, especially for the children.

In our time in Sicily, we have done what we wanted to do, including getting some rest. We have had some good time with family and friends as well. Earlier this week Daniele’s third birthday party was a success. I even managed to get a good day at the beach, at our last time there yesterday. Being on the Mediterranean Sea, usually the water is flat, and personally I find swimming there as exciting as having a bath. But sometimes the wind creates a bit of movement, and yesterday there were 30-50 cm waves. This usually frightens the Italians, who don’t like the water like that and don’t go swimming, but it was just enough for me to go body surfing and catch a couple of waves.

When we get back to Trento, it will of course be back to work for me. Apart from catching up on a few things that I have left undone whilst I am away, the next couple of weeks will be mostly dedicated to preparing Bible studies in Acts to do in the next few months, and getting a new version of my Bible computer program out.

Sicily

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

We have been here in Sicily for a while now, and have a couple more weeks to go. It was constantly 40 degrees for the first part, although for the past few days there has been a cold snap, with a bit of wind and temperatures only reaching 30 degrees. With this heat, like most Sicilians we remain indoors most of the day, and around 4.30pm think about going out. We go to the beach two or three times a week (which of course the children enjoy), and often have late nights (as here people usually have dinner no earlier than 9pm) with family and friends. So Stefania and Daniele have been going to bed often in their clothes, going to sleep whilst we are out or in the car going home. At least it means that they sleep in late in the morning, so we are getting some good sleep as well. No more 6am wake up calls, like at home! We have already had family get togethers for the birthdays of two of Pinuccia’s siblings and her parents’ anniversary. Now we are planning for Daniele’s birthday party next week, in which we will recruit a “rent-a-crowd” of some children of Pinuccia’s cousins, so that Daniele can have some “friends” at his party. I’m also looking forward to my niece’s baptism next week. These holidays though are a bit hard on Stefania and Daniele. They enjoy playing with their cousins (even though they are all older), and going to the beach or the park. But the rest of the time they are a bit bored, especially being stuck inside with the heat. Stefania quite regularly tells us that she wants to go home.

I have also been able to get a bit of work done, at least keeping up with my e-mail. But I have also been able to make some progress on some projects I brought with me, updating my personal web site, creating some resources for my Bible study computer program, and doing some preparation for the Bible studies I will be leading in Acts when I return.