Thursday, May 21, 2015

Allora . .  .
So the victories have been getting the plumber and the electrician to come, getting internet service, and painting the entire apartment in two days. I sent out an S.O.S. to my students from the "Very Much" English class, some of whom are still unemployed and have experience in construction. Two former members answered the call on facebook and whatsapp. One is a graphic designer who paints houses part-time and one was a mechanic and bus driver who has a family to support and has been out of work for the last four years after being involved in an accident. I found out late in the game that his peripheral vision was lost in the accident. We were really happy to make him happy with the hours of paid work we were able to give him. Painting was not a perfect match for him as far as jobs go as he could not see what was covered or where the drips were flying, but he had a good attitude and so we wanted to have a good attitude, too. We now have a bright white house instead of an ugly canary yellow one with brown trim.

We went to another student's family's furniture store and found a used pantry made from ancient Mexican wood that is a huge improvement over the ugly greige laminate that came with the apartment. I have been up on ladders and filling in any gaps around the windows and doors with silicone and acustic glue. We still need some furniture before we can take new photos to send to the reluctant families from home exchange who we had contracts with for the summer.

Our old landlord settled with us so we don't owe him any more money and now we just have to turn over all of the various power and utility contracts and do all of the bureaucratic things since we are currently still living off the grid, which is fairly dangerous in Lucca.

I had a terrible class with the apprentices/yoots yesterday. In the first five minutes I yelled at a boy and told him to leave, in the second hour I gave them a very generous snack break, in the third hour I lost all my love of teaching and in the fourth hour, I showed them the first episode of How to Get Away with Murder with Italian subtitles and tried to teach them legal terms in English. Even my best Viola Davis impressions couldn't save the situation. There was a nod to a homosexual love scene in the first episode and I had to yell at them to say that I wouldn't remain silent if there were any homophobic comments. I'm pretty sure several of the male students were whispering speculations about whether or not I was on my period. Lovely.

There are only 572 things left on my to-do list for this apartment. We celebrated F's 51st birthday. T surprised him with family photos and sweet messages on post-its left all around the house when he woke up. A party was just out of the question given all the chaos. 

I don't even want to see people. I met the construction guys next door. It encouraged me to find out that the team is made up of friends and family of my colleague Elisa from the English school. They told me that the work will go on for two more months, but the noisiest part is now and not to worry. I am still full of angst about the arrival of the newborn upstairs. I don't want to do all of the virtual feedings and I don't know how it will play out.

Photos are coming; I promise.

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