Thursday, June 23, 2016

A Lecce  
After pulling my calf muscle walking on the beach for four hours yesterday, we decided to explore Lecce to see if we could imagine living there in two years from now after T graduates from high school. 

By the way, T is taking Harvard by storm. She gave her first speech in public speaking today and was so incredibly brave. She has to watch a video of it as part of her homework. She has made all of these new friends in her dorm. She thought she might get a single room when the girl who was supposed to be her bunkmate didn't show up for the first two days, but when she finally did claim the top bunk it turned out T liked her a lot. So that was a relief. Even though she is often wandering around trying to get from the library to the gym to the dining hall, she has got a lot of stuff figured out after less than a week that it took me months to sort out when I went to college. She is looking into volunteering with underpriviledged little kids and is going on a field trip to check out Yale on Friday. Her course on great political speeches is so hard that an adult student, stood up and announced it was too difficult for him, got on his skateboard, and wheeled on out of there. 

Anyway, back to Lecce. Lecce has the advantage of being large enough of a city that you can have some anonymity and not feel like everyone is in your business. It is a weird mix because you have these gorgeous, majestic architecture bursting forth from silent almost deserted streets and then crowded, noisier twists with McDonalds and Sephora less than two minutes away. I was dismayed to see large waterbugs smushed on the sidewalks, after everything we have been through, but as F pointed out, you would probably live in a big stone building that you could seal up if need be. There seem to be plenty of teaching opportunities with all of the University students milling about. At the end of the day, we were hoping that if Lecce is the Florence of the South, maybe Nardò will be the Lucca of the South. 

The best thing that happened, other than finding the perfect yogurt bianco, frozen yogurt that really tastes like yogurt and not candy, and a super clean bathroom, was meeting Vincenzo. He is a sculptor who let us take his photo and then took us in for a tour of his shop. He works with cartapesta which is like paper mache and his work is at the Vatican. He also made a bust of Mel Gibson that the actor signed. He has been married for fifty years and his son has a shop just three blocks away. He tried to sell me a beautiful piece that I couldn't afford, but was just as delighted to sell me to thumb sized paintings he did of the church where he was married. Before we said goodbye, he gave me a warm hug and a little sculpture for T of an owl that is supposed to bring her good luck. 

I got phone calls from Emmanuel and Jennifer, who said they just wanted to hear my voice, but they also wanted to hear that I was coming back, God love them. F is hoping to hear from his friend about agricultural jobs for Cool, Emmanuel, and Job and so I hope I will have good news for them soon. 

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