Saturday, December 23, 2017

Santa time
The brownies were too crumbly to cut into shapes. We opted for holiday light themed cupcakes. It seemed simple enough, if you don’t mind separating out a dozen bags of M & Ms into their separate colors and unwinding licorice twists into single strands. And I don’t. The first batches went out without a hitch. The next day went to bring them to Jennifer and Wisdom and Tina and Peace, but I didn’t notice that the rainbow colors had melted right off the M & Ms leaving little naked chocolate blobs everywhere. It was too late for some, but before the second shift of deliveries, F and I replaced every single M & M and went out into the cold night. We visited Paul, did a drop off for Emmanuel, and drove out to Porcari to visit Patrizia. Luckily, we also had donated clothing for everybody in the group, so we came out with a full sleigh.

I was so tired at the last stop that when I got out of the car I neglected to notice a potted cactus in front of a beauty salon. I brushed up against it. Twenty minutes later, as I was sipping tea with Patrizia, I brushed my hand down the side of my stockinged leg and had the sensation that I had forgot to shave my legs. But then I remembered that I haven’t had any hair on my legs for over ten years, and that is when I realized I was full of dozens and dozens of prickly cactus thorns.

I am sorry to have sad things to report. It was not easy bringing Christmas to Jennifer and Wisdom. Their once lovely house is in shambles. We couldn’t even go in the usual back entrance because it was boarded up. There are at least eight people living there in the dark. They owe a thousand euros for electricity. Cool is in Denmark where he has been unloading trucks each night to earn money. Jennifer told us he never got paid and is now stuck there waiting for back pay. Wisdom had the flu all week and looked miserable. He didn’t seem to recognize us and has full on stranger anxiety. Luckily, a friend had donated some money to the families that I could pass on to them because they were out of groceries. It was truly awful. If anyone can help them out, please let me know. Emmanuel is also begging for rent money. If he doesn’t collect enough, it is possible that the owners of his house will finally evict everyone. I am so upset that they didn’t opt for the jobs I had found them. I don’t see how they would not be better off.

Today we are going to Viareggio where I hope to see Courtney, who has food to donate for our last stop, and then a visit to Emmanuel’s ex landlady who seemed a little lonely, and, lastly to Moro, the guy who helped us visit the Red Cross Tents last year and who now lives at a group home outside the city walls. Here is the good part:

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