Archive for the ‘Trips’ Category

In Croazia

Monday, April 18th, 2016

It is time to catch up on some news, now that I have a moment free.

We had a relatively good week at the ECM conference in Croatia. The time looking after the family took out a lot of time that usually we would have had to catch up and meet the other missionaries, but we were expecting that. It was interesting coming from our town, where I know of only one other family with four school age children, to a mission conference where four (or more children) is quite common. For the mission as a whole, it was a good time to reflect on where God is leading us into the future of Europe.

Back in Italy

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015

We have arrived back home. The trip went well, and I have suffered only a bit of vicarious jet lag – my body clock adjusted quickly, but with the children waking up at 4am so was I. But sleep seems to be back to normal now, even the twins are sleeping better now in their own beds than their two months of repeated wake ups during the night whilst in Australia.

Today we were in church, meeting friends and catching up on news – 3 new pregnancies, a few conversions at the children’s camp, a couple of families that will be leaving shortly. On the other hand, there was another refugee from Pakistan who had come for the first time today.

This week Stefania and Daniele will be doing a holiday program run by the town council, which will hopefully give us some time to start preparing for the coming year. In church, I will need to begin thinking about restarting the small groups and preparing Bible studies for them, and Pinuccia about the Sunday School. In the family, Pinuccia might start receiving some job offers, we need to organise Luca and Mattia’s nursery commencement, and there are a few other things to do around the house.

Out and about again

Sunday, July 19th, 2015

Now that the family chicken pox epidemic has ended, we have come out of our quarantine and started doing some more interesting things. On Saturday there was a wonderful lunch with the extended family, and on Sunday a trip to Newcastle to catch up with friends there. Since it is 27 years since I lived there, there are not a lot of people I know left, but it is great that the friendships continue even though we see each other so rarely. There is a solid base of lives lived together almost three decades ago that does not go away. I did feel a bit out of place, as we caught up on what has been happening, which for the others was often children finishing school or university or getting married or having children. We are a long way from getting to that stage of life!

This week, we are finally able to do some holidaying, and some things that the children want to do rather than what the parents want/have to do. So there are a few visits to parks and museums booked. On Wednesday it is Pinuccia’s turn to speak, with a talk at a women’s meeting. Always difficult for her in English! Then on Saturday it is time to pack and move again, as we will be spending 10 days in Canberra visiting two churches and various friends (let me know if you would like to see us during the week sometime), as well as doing a bit of tourism.

Little Italy

Sunday, July 12th, 2015

I had a wonderful weekend in Melbourne, returning to my Italian roots – eating Italian food, giving and getting lots of kisses, having Italian coffee, going to visit someone in the afternoon and ending up staying for an impromptu dinner for 10. It was good also to see Pinuccia’s cousin again, with his new family. And also to talk about God’s work in Italy in one of the few Italian churches left. But it was also great to return home and be greeted by smiles from the twins when I walked in the door, even if they soon turned to two simultaneous cries of combined hunger and tiredness.

Pinuccia did not have quite such a good time with the children… She survived looking after them, with help from some friends for which we are very grateful. But just after I left at midday on Friday, Daniele got a fever, and on Saturday morning he had spots from the chicken pox that he had caught from Stefania. And a couple of hours later Luca and Mattia came down with chicken pox as well, which is not the best thing at 8 months old. This despite everybody being vaccinated. So we have cancelled our “social” and tourist appointments for this week. I have a prayer meeting to go to tomorrow and a couple of talks to give at a Bible college on Tuesday, and then I will finally get three free days – probably free only to do some nursing, but at least free from other commitments.

On the move in Australia

Saturday, July 4th, 2015

We are at the end of our theoretical rest period at the beginning of our time in Australia. “Theoretical”, because looking after the family is still more than a full-time job here as well, so there has been little time for resting or doing other things we enjoy to have a break. At least I got over the jet lag faster than on previous trips to Australia. We all still have bouts of tiredness, but it is hard to distinguish the effects of jet lag from the effects of two eight month olds. And in Stefania’s case, also the effects of the chicken pox that she came down with immediately after arriving. Daniele on the other hand crossed off one item on his life’s bucket list: not only did he see Colin Buchanan live in concert, but he sang with him on the stage. Daniele was terribly excited by it, whereas Stefania coped quite well with the disappointment of missing out due to her illness. We have also packed and unpacked for the second time in a week, and tomorrow pack again, this time for four days of prayer with the mission, which is the start of our official meetings. We get back to Sydney on Thursday, and on Friday I will be going to Melbourne for the weekend. This is an unexpected opportunity for me, and if any of my Melbourne friends want to see me I’ll be speaking at the Italian church in 196 Blackburn Road, Syndal on Friday night (in English) and Sunday morning (in Italian), or we could arrange to meet sometime on Saturday. Pray also for Pinuccia during the three days I am away – it is hard to look after the house and family when we are both at home, and impossible when one of us is away.

Visits

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

Just a week before we leave for Australia, and the panic is starting to come as we try to get everything ready in time, especially with four children at home (the summer school holidays started last week). The program for our stay is coming together, but there is still time to if you would like to see us (or your group or church). For those out of Sydney, there will be two opportunities:

1. Newcastle: We will be there on July 19, and present at an afternoon tea from 2pm to 5pm (come for as long as you are able) at Catherine Hollier’s place, 32 Elder St Lambton. It will be great to have a reunion of all the people from Newcastle from those days – if you know of anybody else near Newcastle that knows me, invite them along as well. For catering purposes, let me know if you are coming.

2. Canberra: We will be there from July 26 to August 2, visiting Crossroads Church on the first day and Dickson Baptist on the last day. During the week in between we will be free to see people, let me know if you are interested in meeting up some time.

Coming to Australia

Monday, June 1st, 2015

Pinuccia was not in the top 10% of the candidates, so will not be going on to the next phase of the exams for a  permanent teaching position. So we have closed that phase of our life, and another has opened up: we have finally been able to decide to come to Australia and make plans. In fact, I have just booked the tickets, and we will be arriving on June 25 and leaving on August 17. So we are looking forward to seeing many of you in that time! We already have some bookings for various churches, but if you would like to see us or visit your group, please let me know. In the meantime, we are still looking for 2 cots, strollers, and high chairs, and car seats for the children that need them. If you can help, get in contact with us.

One little highlight from yesterday: Although we did not explicitly encourage people to invite children not from the churches of Trento and Rovereto to the children’s camp last month, to keep it small and simple to begin with, one of the children did invite a friend from school. The friend seemed to enjoy herself and fitted in. In fact, she came to church and Sunday School yesterday, so it was great to see her and see the work of the camp continuing.

Adventure

Sunday, December 21st, 2014

We have just finished packing and getting ready for our big adventure. Tomorrow morning we leave for Sicily, a trip of 1500km and a sea crossing which we will be doing in two days. Although we have made this trip many times, including with a two month old, it is of course the first time that we have done it with two two month old babies, plus a couple of other children. We will be trying to synchronise feeding times and rest stops for everybody, which sounds like a good plan but whether it comes about is another matter entirely. The reason of course is our extended family: they all want to see the twins, and in any case it is 18 months since we have been to Sicily and might be another 18 months before we can go again. As well as this, there will be the wedding of the first of Pinuccia’s niblings to get married, who will be living 500 metres away from us at Trento. After 11 intense days in Sicily, there will be another 2 day trip back, with a rest day before going back to school and the restart of the church activities.

Italy

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

My short time in Australia has come to an end, and in a couple of hours I will be flying home. It was good not only to see my mother, but to see her health improve a lot whilst I was here. Back in Italy, the summer school holidays have started, so it will be back to work having fun with the children for three months.

And we won 2-1.

Oz yes, Oz no, Oz yes

Friday, May 30th, 2014

As well as the change in plans caused by the upcoming twins, there has been a few more changes and much uncertainty since then. A few weeks ago my mother entered hospital with some serious health problems. So I am taking the opportunity of using my old ticket to go to Australia on Tuesday, although I will be going by myself and be away for just two weeks instead of 2.5 months. If anyone wants to meet up at Sydney during this time, let me know!

Pray for this time with my family, and for Pinuccia and the children (all four of them) – she will have a lot more to do in the house, and although she feels better now that she is in the fourth month of her pregnancy, she still gets very tired easily. We do have our niece staying with us, who is a help, although after 5 months looking for work she started a job today, from 2pm to 10pm, so her help will be limited. Just to make matters more complicated, our brother-in-law is also staying for a couple of weeks as well. It will also be a help that the summer school holidays start on the 12th, which means many school, church, and recreational activities are winding down, and there is less running around to do. On the other hand, I will be busy until the last moment. Sunday morning I will be going to the church at Rovereto to preach. Then quickly back home to change into my band uniform, for a concerto at 1.30pm. After that, we’ll be going to a church pizza night hosted by one of the families. Then on Monday, a public holiday, there will be a Sunday School excursion to the zoo near Verona all day. Somewhere in there I hope to be able to pack my bag as well.