Friday, December 23, 2016

Santa Plus  
Even though our main focus this year is making life a little easier for some of the refugees in Lucca, we still went around to the ortofrutta, the paneficeria, the farmacia, the parrucchiere, the edicola and to a few of our friends' houses to spread a little cheer in the form of polar bear cupcakes. Oh polar bears, we know how you feel buddies, and we're sorry.
We also received the sad news that F's mother Anna had passed. She was 88. He will return to California right after Christmas to be with his sister.
 
The donation distribution business is no joke. We have been going around picking up old coats and gently used baby clothes from one house after another. In Italy, it is rare to find a stoop sale or a garage sale or any other trade around used items, apart from the two mercatini, which mostly sell antique furniture, but have started to sell some clothing mostly in the winter time. Therefore, the pickings are good. Our house is overrun with shopping bags, and I can admit that I will be happy to get most of them out tonight when we go to the tents and tomorrow when we go to the families in Montecatini. 
 
My guy on the inside, Moro, wrote me with the good news that he is getting transferred today from the tents to a group home. He was sweet enough to say that he would still help us distribute tonight since he knows everyone and speaks all five dialects that are spoken there. The problem is that he doesn't know where his new home is, especially in relation to the tents. So that should be a challenge. 
 
Stanley is coming around today for money because he swears that he can bribe his way into a job in Sweden at a tie company that pays really well if he gets 150 euros by tomorrow. His pregnant wife is pretty miserable these days, sharing a house with her in-laws, who already have a baby, so we decided it was worth a shot. I talked to Cool and Jennifer about the situation because with F gone, I won't be able to take her to the hospital and she is going to need for them to come together as a family for the baby's sake. I feel for all of them because it is a lot of pressure to live all together in a small space in those conditions. On the other hand, based on the videos in The New York Times this week, they are better off than the majority of refugees in Italy at the moment.
 
A nice lady from the piccoli aiutanti tells me she might have found a stroller for baby Peace so that she can get to church on Sundays in Florence.
 
My work at Fabio Perini is going pretty well except for a few hiccups like the time I guessed whose name belonged to whom in one class despite my menopausal memory issues and the fact that I teach five hour and a half lessons back to back for people who are all named either Fabio, Fabrizio, Massimo, Giacomo, Giovanni, or Francesca. The punchline is that in a room of six students, I did not get even one of them right. Then there was the class where three students reported that they had the flu and one choked so hard that he turned redder than a peperoncino on fire. Also the women from human resources have given up on even pretending to want to spend time with me, which, trust me, is all for the best. We all gave it a college try, and it just did not work out because I am not enthused by the cafeteria food due to early childhood cafeteria trauma. Any of my ex therapists who might be reading this -- just know that I did try and also that I am so okay with myself at this point that I honestly don't care how pathetic this sounds.
 
The highlight of the week up until now has to be giving my friend Patrizia, who just adopted three kittens along with her daughter and son-in-law, a cat apartment/scratchpost/activity center. Just look at these pics:
kitty joy to the third power
hee hee

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