i know it's already thursday but i haven't had a chance to talk about last weekend and we really had a great time!
so last saturday morning, eric, jessica, emily, ryan, and i got up early and rode in "cicio" (emily's small blue panda fiat that she has so lovingly named "cicio" or "chubby little one" in italian) to vicenza. it took us about 3 1/2 hours and we went straight to the house of these lovely people and their 2 beautiful girls
francesco and lorenza
they prepared an amazing lunch for us, including the best lasagna i have had yet in italy...and i have had a lot of lasagna. we had so much fun getting to know them, they are such a wonderfully warm and hospitable family.
so after lunch, francesco led us to the soccer fields where our good friend marco was playing
we first met marco at the youth weekend that we had here at the bible school the first weekend ryan and i were in italy. he is a new christian but he is quickly making a huge impact on his group of friends and the church in vicenza. he speaks english really well but graciously allows us to struggle though italian with him to practice and have him help us. he's really great at soccer too, it was very cold but so fun to watch him play.
after the game, the 5 of us, francesco and his daughter went to the church in vicenza to meet some of the other members, walk around downtown, and eat pizza together. after dinner, we all went up to lindsey's (the avanti worker in vicenza) apartment and sat around talking and getting to know the members of the church. it was such an enjoyable evening and we got to know so many wonderful people. when we all got tired we retired to the houses where we were staying. emily stayed with lindsey, eric and jessica stayed with marco and his mom, and we stayed with this sweet couple
sonia and cristian
they live in verona, another small town a few miles away from vicenza where of course romeo and juliet was set. we stayed up and talked with them for a little bit longer when we got to their house saturday night, but my brain had all but shut off completely and my italian had been exhausted. when i was to the point of grunting and playing charades, we decided to call it a night.
view from their balcony
sunday morning was church at vicenza, obviously, where we met some more people and enjoyed very uplifting lesson.
jessica and i quasi helped lindsey with kids class and quasi provided crowd control, but the kids were really sweet
cute kids from ghana, there are a lot of ghanaians living in vicenza for work and a lot of them go to the church of christ in vicenza
some new friends sonia and begonia
after church we went home with marco and had HANDS DOWN the best meal i have had and probably will have in all of europe. marco's mother was born and raised in spain, has a spanish mother, a german father, swiss grandparents, a brother living in haiti, and has lived in about 10 countries, so needless to say she is well traveled. if the fact that she is fluent in 5 or 6 languages isn't enough, her cooking is the proof! this woman is a genius with food and showed us her heart in this meal. she was the most hospitable hostess i've ever been in the home of, and she was so happy to have us in her home loving her food. man, was i glad too. it was truly amazing. we laughed and ate and laughed and ate until we were all about to pop.
their NINETEEN year old dog, gigi.
(i hope all the dogs in my life live to be this old and still healthy)
after lunch we piled (difficultly, i assure you) back into cicio and made the journey back to firenze in time to prepare for another week of classes and skype my parents.
the other exciting thing this week was on tuesday when jessica, emily, and i got to go to the pepperdine campus in florence to help them make their pies for thanksgiving.
together with a few of the pepperdine students, we made 30 pies (10 apple, 10 pumpkin, 5 blueberry, and 5 pecan)
emily's pumpkin cooling technique
ryan and i spent our thanksgiving morning taking an oral exam in our italian class and the afternoon walking around florence together looking at the christmas lights, sharing a sandwich, enjoying the sunshine (2nd day it hasn't rained in over 2 weeks), stopping to talk to our favorite artist in the piazza of the duomo, and talking about the things we are thankful for (we have a lot).
happy thanksgiving to all and don't forget to tell others you are thankful for them today and everyday