We are the kind of people that when the contract calls for a "social," we say -- well what is the point of having a luncheon at a restaurant where all the students must speak English for two hours? Let's just invite everyone to our house for a cocktail party! And, as you know, it doesn't stop there. We are also the kind of people who say that because our students are all runners who work for Brooks Running Company, we should make the dessert be a cake that looks like shoebox with a giant cake sneaker on top of it. And, yes, I get that kind of people may indeed be a euphemism for mentally unstable. Just check out the weird glint in my eye in the photo below. Enough said.
Last time we used fondant to coat a cake, it worked out very well. However, it turns out that there is a big difference using heavy fondant to decorate in winter than in the beginning of summer. Cut to us redecorating the cake four times, the last of which was a frantic effort half an hour before our guests arrived. Despite all my handywork melting down the sides, we were able to roll, cut and patch well enough to have the desired effect. Hopefully, a good time was had by all. I can never tell for sure what the students are thinking. For example, in the pictures below I suspect they were thinking, what the cabbage is this weird spread? (Italians put the word cavolo into all sentences where they would like to say hell but they are too fond of cruciferous vegetables to do so.)
Today was supposed to be an easy work day for me with just a few lessons, but of course the Nigerian situation exploded and my day became a nightmare.
First I spoke to Emmanuel's new lawyer. That went well, actually because he thinks that if Emmanuel loses his appeal there is some loop hole by which they can make the request for a stay permit all over again. I don't know how. This lawyer speaks some English so he can understand his client. The other great thing he said was that he thinks that the charges against Emmanuel for not having a document can be argued since he was legally still waiting to hear about whether he would be granted a document at the time that he was charged for not having a stay permit.
Then Cool told me he had a job opportunity in Switzerland. I was happy for him until I remembered that the form he signed at the police station when he acknowledged that he was caught without his valid document on his person stated that he cannot change locations without the permission of the police. You remember how I waited there for hours until they translated the form into English for us? Well, that's why. The charity lawyers were busy and did not answer my email or texts and Cool has a train ticket that leaves in 24 hours. I forced myself to have a lot of awkward Italian communication today and even called another lawyer who said that Cool could face jail time and not be allowed back in Italy if he left without permission. He said that Cool needed his own lawyer to accompany him to ask for permission. I advised Cool to try calling the lawyer. At 7 pm he finally got her on the phone. She told him that there was no problem. Then I had to call her and read her the part of the document that said that there is a problem. She changed her opinion and told me to tell Cool to stay put. Cool was really upset and he did not seem to fully believe me. I told him that I was trying to save him from not being able to see his family again and that he could make any decision he wanted as long as he understood the information that I was offering him.
This was stressful as having lasic eye surgery done by a manicurist in the subway and it took me all day long and a frantic phone call to Jennifer to convince him not to approach the police on his own at night.
One of the ladies from the foreigners in Lucca group said a journalist friend of hers might be interested in writing about this for a magazine, but not if the story had a woe is me refugee angle. I suggested that if the journalist's editor wanted an angle relevant to Americans, they write about how what is happening in Tuscany is a test case for why Trump's plan for immigrants will cost the country and cause the opposite of the desired effect. The interest of another journalist may have prompted the journalist from Il Tirreno to let me know that she plans to interview us tomorrow. I may also be a sly dog. An exhausted sly dog. But a sly dog all the same.