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Serving in Italy 2010

a travel blog by ItalianaCinzia

Ciao everyone! Sorry for the long delay in my first blog. This has been crazy every since I went to the airport in Dallas...talk about stressful. But I'm here in Italy having fun, speaking italian and just taking it all in. So for the first few blogs i will need to back date the entries...enjoy! =)

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And the madness never stops...

Rome, Italy

So this has definitely been one eventful flight experience that I ever had to experience. UGH! So here we go. I will wrap up this negative madness in a nutshell since I don't need to dwell on it but focus on the postive. So I got a delta buddy pass to help save money on the cost of airfare since this year it stayed at $1500 plus. Buddy pass is basically a stand by ticket. Well I was already really stressed about packing because I never had to pack for such a long trip before. Every trip I always overpack but its just because I don't wanna forget anything. so I had 4 chances to make it to atlanta from dallas on standby and there was only one flight out of atlanta to rome. Well I couldnt make the first flight to atlanta which departed at 5:40am and went to the airport to make the next one. I didnt get on any of the atlanta flights and they even tried to get on the flight to jfk then to rome and all flights were full and there were so many people on standby by the time it got to my name all the seats were given to the standby passengers with senority. Plus my bags already went on the plane and Delta confirmed later on that the bags are on the way to Rome.

So what does that mean? I either had to cancel this entire trip or cough up at $2598 last minute ticket to Rome. Well I did exactly that was NOT happy about it. But at least I knew I secured a seat. So go on the plane to JFK the next morning just fine. So we are now landing in new york and so excited. Because I love ny and seeing the buildings were great from the sky and I'm just a flight away from arriving in italy. When we landed there was something about the area in which we landed and this airport that seemed all too familiar but I couldnt put my finger on it....hmmmm. Then I heard another passenger say..."OMG we landed at the wrong airport Laguardia instead of JFK!" WHAT! I couldn't believe it because my flight to rome will depart from JFK in less than an hour. Evidently its was due to the captain circling the airport waiting for permission to land that the plane loss fuel. Thankfully flight was delayed.

So we arrived and I'm going to my gate and looked at the tv monitor for my flight and its says" Final boarding to Rome"...15min from take of.f I'm at Gate 40 something and need to get to gate 8. So Im running with two heavy bags on me to my gate and they I hear my name on the PA "Final call for passenger Cindy N'Kele to Rome". CRAP! Still running and they call my name 2 more times and I'm there waving my boarding pass in my hand sweating and out of breath but I made it. It was nice to hear the italian language on the plane and hear flight instructions in italian which I was ableto understand completely compared to last year at the international.

So I arrived in Italy! Nice and sunny...loving the language and the beautiful and so all that is left is to pick up my luggage right? WRONG! When I went to go pickup my luggage that made it to rome before i did, the lady said that they didn't arrive to rome and they didn't know where they were. These two bags had the majority of meeting clothes, field service material, lotions, swimsuit, electricity converter and adapter..everything! So I had to file a claim and thankfully my friend in Rome Paola works for an Italian airline and was there to help me through this process.

To make a long story short, I just picked my bags today 4 days (july 1) later and it took a bus, metro and train just to get to the airport to pick up my bags. they could have delivered it but I have an italian assembly tomorrow and i couldn't risk not having my bags arrive on time. But I will be sending a lengthy letter and will get travel expenses reimbursed and a free flight after im done!

permalink written by  ItalianaCinzia on June 30, 2010 from Rome, Italy
from the travel blog: Serving in Italy 2010
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Being Flexible...

Teramo, Italy

So when serving in a foreign land one thing that I knew I would have to be in flexible. My plans have changed so many times even to current day. My roommate needed to go to Switzerland at the last minute the week of my arrival so she made arrangements for me to stay with another family with the help of a brother. I thought she would put me with a family in my city pescara but it ended up being a different family so km away in Teramo. The family is the Barbieri. A very nice family with a beautiful home that overlooks the hills and mountains. They have two sons Allan and Ruben and they all serve in the spanish group and speak spanish and french as well. The sons know some english so that helped out a lot too since this would be my first time speaking the language in a long time.

Italian breakfast are light and just only consists of toast, jam or the infamous nutella and fruit. Sister Barbieri made this honey type spread that was so good and I ate that every morning. One thing that i noticed was that they are particular with only eating healthy natural foods. Many times they mentioned that they dont eat this or that brand because they put chemicals in it. This was said by many italians. So rest assure you know I'm eating more healthier here in Italy then back at home. But I did pack me some koolaid...comfort food I call it ! =)

My stay with this family was only for the first two days. During this time I was able to go out in service with the father Hansel who is quite funny. There is this outdoor market in Roseto degli abruzzi where they preach and find alot of spanish speaking people and english. The witnesses ssetup a stand there as well so I met some new people. It was nice form of witnessing esp since it was right by the beach. Bro Barbieri was explaining that the people in the south are more receptible than people of north like milan where they have money. I explained its kinda like out valley ranch terriory in tx.

All the foods i ate were great. I went on "la moto" ask italian motor bike one day and went through all the hills and valleys and different places and we even went to a bird park. I will upload pictures soon. You have to see my new love" Gaetano (guy-tah-no). This beautifull pelican I guess is what he is. But he was intimidated by me at first but at the end he allowed me to get closer to him. I got to feed Mario a little deer and the ducks and peacocks. FUN!

This region is pretty picturesque! Just like it was right out of a book or movie. Scenary is nothing but hills, sea, mountains...it never gets old to look at.

One funny comment that I will end with is my experience of being an "alien resident" here in abruzzo which is the name of the region of italy where i am in. They took me to a street market that surprisely only last for the morning time up until lunch where everything shuts down. The brother asked me "do you notice that people stare and talk about you when you pass them"? Do you understand what they are saying? I told him no which is true because with side conversations I have to really be listening or else I don't pick it up. He said that "we just passed by a man on the telephone with his friend I guess. Then suddenly he says to his friend, ' OMG there is this tall dark italian girl walking around here right now!" lol Sister Barbieri said that I am "an unusual sight to see here in abruzzo..there are not people here that look like you...tall dark skin of color and so many people like to look at you because you are pretty."

Which is true because I have not seen not one black girl yet only very few black men. So i'm definitely an alien where everyone will quickly know who I am since I'm constantly being watched. Oh and still getting the Naomi Campbell comments "Umm no Im sorry I'm not Naomi Campbell!" lol

Well italian assembly this morning and going to a new family: My friends Simona and Simone! Sorry for not spell checking but I gotta go! Pix soon! Ciao Ciao!

permalink written by  ItalianaCinzia on July 2, 2010 from Teramo, Italy
from the travel blog: Serving in Italy 2010
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International Convention Reunion

Pedaso, Italy

Well today I left my 3rd family in teramo and met my friend Simona on Pedaso who I will be staying with and going to the assembly in roseto degli abruzzi. It was so good to see her and she was even more beautiful than when I first met her. She has incredible blue/turquoise eyes. She actually does speak some english which I didn’t know since I only write to her in italiano. Lydia in miami if you are reading this blog, Simona and Simone sends you their greetings! She told me that she keeps in touch with a sister in miami italian congregation. I knew it had to be you! Lol

But this assembly is right on the beach. For those of you who have been to miami, just imagine parking on ocean drive and walking to the assembly on Collins. This hall is half indoors and outdoors. Those who are sick and elderly who cannot stand the heat sits in the inside and the speakers gave the discourses on the stage outside. It was like one big garden their. One of my friends francesca was the one of the first people who greeted me when I walked in. She is getting married next year and she introduced me to her fiance. There were a lot of people who came up to me who remembered me from the international convention. I didn’t know I met so many people in this region of italy.
We found seats in the front row. This was my first time ever sitting that close to the front. But I actually liked it. One other observation is that when the music starts the italians all make their way to the sisters like the branch instructs us to. They don't have the mentality like me where I think "ok music just started...lets see how many friends I can talk to in 5 minutes."

After going to the restroom, the elder who I will be staying with in Amandola (mountain area) found me and said hi. I met him and his wife at the international convention. One day last fall while going through all my little gifts I found their bookmark. I saw that they didn’t leave an email address so I decided to write them a letter. Well to make a long story short, they emailed me back and we ketp in touch. When I later found out that my letter was approved they said that they wanted me to stay with them for one week before going to serve in pescara and so I agreed. Some things came up in their schedule so I will only be with them after the Sunday assembly until Wednesday evening which is why I needed to stay with Simona because I couldn’t stay with this elder and his wife the first week of arrival like we origInally planned.

I didn’t really understand a whole lot of the assembly because italians talk realy fast but I could follow along in my italian bible and song book. I could understand when a scripture was being stated and find it. One thing that I did find out was that the name Giacomo is James in english. It took me a minute to figure out what book in the bible was Giacomo. Simona didn’t know either. Ahaha

After the assembly was over, we went to Simona’s mother in laws house which is where I will be sleeping since Simona’s place is so small. Their names are Elio and Luciana aka my FAVORITE “MAMMA MIA”! I love this woman to death. She is so funny! We were all in the car together and this entire family is pretty funny! They speak little english in general but I can understand italian jokes. But I had my own little room with my own bathroom in the lower level that is separate from the main house. They really made me feel at home. And my mamma mia took me in like I was one of her own. Whenver I want to go somewhere she always says “mamma goes with you”. Lol My italian has improved from what the friends say and that I speak really good correct italian…even though I feel like I am struggling.

Tonight she made spaghetti…the one thing that I can never get tired of. One thing that they told me is that they don’t like other peoples spaghetti ( americans, etc) because in italy spaghetti is very simple…no spices, onions, bell peppers or anything. Just pasta, fresh pomodoro sauce aka tomato sauce and maybe a little salt and that is it. The other interesting thing they said is that americans overcook their pasta. It shouldn’t be soft but a little harder but still cooked. I could tell the difference compared to the way I make my pasta. It was still really good and not obviously hard or anything. Well still got two more days of the assembly. I will surely take lots of pictures!

permalink written by  ItalianaCinzia on July 2, 2010 from Pedaso, Italy
from the travel blog: Serving in Italy 2010
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Lovely time at the Italian Assembly

Roseto degli Abruzzi, Italy

So I will be summarizing the day’s events from Saturday and Sunday of the assembly. So Saturday was a new day at the assembly and extremely hot. I already got an Italian tan and I used sun block. The outside area was covered but if you sit in the front you are directly in the sunlight. Mamma mia Luciana’s husband Elio had a part in the assembly so we sat in the front and Sunday Simona and Simone also had a part on Sunday of the assembly. I met more beautiful Italians so new and some from the international convention. Took lots of pictures. Also on Saturday I received a text that 3 friends from Tuscany were driving 3.5 hours just to come and say hi to me since realistically I cannot make it to Tuscany for this trip. The brothers arrived towards to end of the assembly on Saturday.

I also had two sisters drive down from another part of Italy that is not terribly far like Tuscany but they came on Saturday too just in case we wouldn’t be able to see each other during the course of my trip but I think it would be possible. They live in Castle Sangro in the mountains of Abruzzo. It’s about an hour by car from Pescara. How sweet my friends are. I keep in touch with a lot of Italians. Pretty much every person who gave me their email address at the international convention which is A LOT!

Also little Talita found me at the convention. For those in my congregation, when I first returned from the international convention I sent yal greetings from a family in Italy who the little girl became an unbaptized publisher after her experience of going to her first international convention. She was so moved by the unity and even witnessed to her classmates about her experience. She always found me throughout all three days. And her mother told me that she was very very excited about this assembly because she knew I would be here and that she loved me. She is soo cute! This family also wants me to return to their particular city before I leave but Im not sure if that is possible. So many people including Simona and the elder in Amandola that I will be staying with after the assembly all want me to come back to spend more time but I’m really not sure due to time and money. I think sometimes people forget the main reason I came to Italy is to serve ;-). If I was staying in Italy for 6 month then it would be more possible.

After Saturday assembly because those brothers went out of their way to drive all the way from Tuscany for a visit me, Luciana and elio returned home in pedaso, had a quick dinner and then met the brothers in Grottomare AKA ITALIAN MIAMI! This was one happening area right on the beach. We had a nice time all together walked around, had gelato of course and just talked.

Sunday of the assembly was the drama which was pretty cool to hear the drama in Italian. All the children unlike in the states all sat on the ground in front open area in front of the stage as if it was story time. So cute!!!! Now I really have an appreciation for traveling overseers and missionaries. Because for me, I will have slept with 4 different families in a week and that can be very overwhelming. Sleeping from place to place and talking with some many people. Don’t get me wrong I had a great time with everyone. By Sunday morning I was mentally exhausted. Being pretty much the only black person, you get a lot of attention and everyone wants to talk to you and find out where you are from, why you are here, why are you learning Italian, etc. Sunday morning I simply didn’t want to talk to anyone. I think within the past two days I met like half the assembly hall and I was in much need of “me time”. It made me think of circuit overseers how they are constantly going to different congregations and meeting and talking to people and everyone wants to tell them something. It’s exhausting and hard. But im sure it was an adjustment that took some time to get use to. So I explained to mamma mia and Simona that for the morning I didn’t want to walk around and meet people but just stay in my seat since we had to wake up and leave the house so early because since both Elio and Simone have responsibilities at the hall. They totally understood and knew everyone kept wanting to talk to me.

But we did go to a nearby bar where all the witnesses had coffee and cappuccino where I also had my first cappuccino. It was good but I don’t drink cappuccino or coffee but I’m sure to those that do it would be excellent. Well the brothers who came from Tuscany, came to Sundays assembly and we all went to a different bar that was nearby for coffee. When we got there it was a pretty cool sight to see! Many young ones and some families from the assembly were there socializing about the days assembly, drinking coffee and eating gelato all together. It really did feel like “happy hour” The bar was playing upbeat American music, everyone was having a good time and taking pictures. It was something that I wouldn’t think I would experience at an assembly…the atmosphere and all. But I had fun and met many new people there too.

So after the assembly was over I had to say some quick goodbyes to Simona, Simone, Luciana and other friends that I met at the international because the new family I will be staying with in the mountains of Amandola needed to leave right away because they live kinda far off.

The drive to Amandola was very scenic and beautiful! When we got to the house it was this big beautiful country type home. I had my own room and bathroom upstairs next to the terrance with an awesome view of the mountains and houses on the mountains. It was quite nice. We all took a shower which made me more relaxed and refreshed. Then we went to a nearby pizzeria with their daughter, son in law two other friends and their 97 yr mother who lives with the Tamagnini. I was not a big fan of Italian pizza I guess from my Rome experience last year. But this pizza was really good however service was really slow for some reason. Then afterwards we went to the gelateria for some gelato! Yum!

permalink written by  ItalianaCinzia on July 4, 2010 from Roseto degli Abruzzi, Italy
from the travel blog: Serving in Italy 2010
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A day I will NEVER forget...

Amandola, Italy

OK so I'm now in the mountains with the Tamagnini family in Amandola! This city has about 3000 people living here and yes here too Im the ONLY BLACK PERSON HERE! Its funny how there have been some times here in italy and people would actually touch my skin as if black skin would feel any different. It was kinda weird at first but then i just thought it was funny. So on that note Im call all black people to ital! LOL Yeah the people got to know me real quick. I didn't realize how small 3000 people is because I saw the same people over and over again. And Maria Rita the wife is the 1 of 2 pioneers in this city. Only one congregation and so everybody here knows her which is kinda cool. This area is mainly an older crowd but there are young ones too.

I love their house. Really nice two story house. A country home feel. So I slept in today because I was exhausted but I went out in service with Maria Rita on a bible study and some return visits. It was in italian of course and I could actually understand the what she was saying because I knew that chapter in the bible teach book. I don't know a whole lot of theocratic terms. But her calls appeciated me coming and surprised that I speak italian well.

Overall everyone has been really impressed with my italian and give me compliments. They said there was a sister who come from the states or UK and served here for 3 years and never came close to speaking as well as I do. Kudos to me. But as I already prepared myself service in Italy requires alot of walking which I brown comfortable walking shoes and sandals especially here because the streets were cobblestone. No diva heels here. lol One thing that I learned is that they meet in service in the morning and then stop at about one people because italians go for lunch from 1pm to 3pm and so there is no point because people are busy eating lunch.

Now I still haven't gotten used to eating lunch and dinner here at all. They eat things in separate portions. First is primi which a lot of times is pasta or bread, proscuitto (ham) or some other appetizer then secondo, carne (meat),contorno (fries or something), vedurra (veggie). and with these different sections you eat each one and then proceed to the next section. So I would get a plate of pasta and eat and eat and eat thinking that is it but then they bring the meat and then veggies and then so on. Dessert is usually fresh fruit and gelato of course and my stomache is a complete capacity at that point. A lot of food no wonder why lunch is 3 hrs...i always need a nap for my stomach to deflate literally! All these sisters want to fattening me up thinking I don't eat but they know now I eat more than them. I clearED a whole pan of pasta a couple of nights. I had like 4ths...sooo good!

So after service they took me into the mountains which was beautiful. We had to go up this curvy windy street to the top and it was beautiful and crisp fresh air. I like the area lot, a nice change from the hustle and bustle of the city.

After the mountains we came home a rested and then got ready to go have dinner at another family's house. Graziella was cooking tonight my favorite...spaghetti...can never get tired of it. So we arrived and all was great there were two other families a total of 9 people at the table. One of the two teenage sisters i met at the assemblya and one just got baptized. There is only one congregation here with 34 publishers and so I met the entire congregation at the assembly actually. There are alot of hindi here and polish and so there are groups here serving.

So we began our "primi" of melone, bread, cheese and ham. And we had a nice time talking as we ate our first portion. One of the teenage sisters (the other one who was already baptized) had this pretty flower in her hair and looked like a beautiful doll just sitting there and we were all complimenting her because she is pretty. Then suddenly this sister started screaming and like ducking her head forward like there was a bee flying around her head. And I kept looking around for the bee because I didn't want to get stung either. And then I think it hit me at the exact moment as it hit everyone else. And I was like OMG SHE IS HAVING AN EPILECTIC SEIZURE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I never seen anything like it...it was like something out of an horror movie or something. Her eyes got really big, she clinched her teeth really hard, her muscles tensed, contracted very hard, her wrist curved over and fingers curved and she was just frozen in that positioned. IT looked sooo painful. Everyone jumped up all this commotion. My elder and another and her mother was getting her out of the chair and she was actually the same sitting down postions when they lifted her out of the seat and a rushed her into a bedroom and maria rita was apologizing and everyone yelling and freakin out and I was just shocked.

I wanted to cry to but I knew if I started crying then it would make matters worse. So there I was sitting at the kitchen table, alone because everyone needed to attend to her and I didn't know what to do so I just sat there and just prayed. Then the brothers came back and began to apologize I guess then felt bad because this dinner was for me. I told them don't worry about me but GO GO TAKE CARE OF HERE! CALL 911....

"911???" they said...Oh snap Im in italy and don't know the emergency number here italy! My bad! Well they didn't call amblance right away for some odd reason but then they did because something happened in the bed room but i couldn't see. The mother comes to the kitchen all crying and panicking because maybe something by the way she was acting.

Thank goodness I brought my italian dictionary because medical terms is in level 4 OF Rosetta Stone which i don't have yet. So what happend is 3 weeks ago this 19 yr old sister had her first attack. They don't know why and they went to two different hospitals. Well they put her on medicine. Well this sister is taking her final exam for graduation and this test here in italy is evidently hard and stressful. She didn't want to take her medicince today because she thinks if she takes it she will not remember the things she studied and not do well. So she didn't take it this morning and planned on taking it tomorrow. Well thats why she had the seizure. It took awhile for ambulance to get here but when they finally did they weren't even gonna take her to the hospital! Can you believe that! They did some stuff and gave her a medicince and told her to sleep and eat something in an hour. As they were getting ready to leave, the sister began to have another seizure because I could hear her make that weird noise again. So then they did some more shots and after an hour of ordeal they finally got her in the truck to take her to a hospital that was 30min away. I told the other siser that in america she would have been taking to the hospital immediately and the medics shouldn't have taken so long trying to do whatever at the house. So dinner was kinda cancelled because everyone but maria rita and the two kids left to go to the hospital with the mother because she wasn't doing well. So we had dinner just us 4.

After dinner we all slept at my house (marita rita and felizano elder) for the night. But I really couldn't sleep well because I couldn't get the image of the sister's face out of my head but finally I was able to go to sleep.

permalink written by  ItalianaCinzia on July 6, 2010 from Amandola, Italy
from the travel blog: Serving in Italy 2010
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Back to Civilization....I now have internet access lol

Montesilvano, Italy

IM BACKKKK! The last two families I stayed with had zero to little internet so I couldn't blog. I will be back dating my blogs throughout this week and slowly adding new pix. Its 1am here. Im finally with my beautiful roommate Roberta! We are super excited to see each other. More blogs soon! Ciao

permalink written by  ItalianaCinzia on July 7, 2010 from Montesilvano, Italy
from the travel blog: Serving in Italy 2010
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Final days in Amandola and now finally coming “home”…

Amandola, Italy

Well today is my last day in Amandola with the Tamagnini! I love it here! So the sister who had the seizure will be leaving the hospital tomorrow I believe. They said that she is doing better but now on more medicine than before. As far as her head/brain from what I understand its not very good. I guess the health condition of her brain is not good and that’s why she stayed at the hospital to be monitored. They said that she sent me many greetings and hopes to spend more time again another time. They said that she doesn’t remember anything as far as the accident goes but the last thing she remembers was the moments before the seizure.

Yesterday Tuesday we went to a national park in Amandola. It was really nice and “fresco” or cool there next to the river. The river was really cold but so fresh that you can drink because it comes from the mountains. We went with the family who originally made that dinner the night of the seizure. It was really nice and we took a whole bunch of pictures together. One of the brothers found these baby strawberries. He ate it but I was too afraid to do so. Italians here eat all sorts of berries they find in the bushes. With me since in Texas a lot of berries could be bad to eat I just felt funny eating them.

Afterwards we had some gelato that was really good! I prefer fruit gelato instead of the crema because crema taste like our ice cream but of course better with more flavors. So we sat and talked for awhile at the gelateria. And they drank coffee and of course I don’t drink coffee. I don’t like the taste of coffee in general. I prefer hot chocolate or tea. So afterwards we came home a rest a little bit and had dinner.

Afterwards we met a family for gelato. The Tamagnini knows I LOVEEE babies and kids and this family has 3. I met the father at the assembly but now I’m meeting the whole family! So this family has a 8, 6 and a year and half-Genevra! She is a cute little chunky monkey! =) Very active and looks just like her dad. The other two kids were real cute too.
So today I woke up a little earlier to prepare my bags since we will be heading out to Montesilvano around 3 or 4pm. It’s about a 2 hour drive to that city. This elder and his wife were very sweet to drive me all the way to Montesilvano from the mountains. That was there original offer that they extended to me from the start.

For lunch they other family that we went into the mountains with came and joined up. They bought me a going away present which was a nice picture frame made out of pretty material. Also they bought italian pastries from the pasticerria nearby and they were so good!

So now I’m about to finally head to my city finally…there is a congregation party at Roberta’s (roommate) parent's house and so I will get to meet plenty of more brothers and sisters. I just can’t wait to see her because we talk all the time and to actually see each other again will be great! Gotta go Ciaoooo!

permalink written by  ItalianaCinzia on July 7, 2010 from Amandola, Italy
from the travel blog: Serving in Italy 2010
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Reunited at last... =)

Montesilvano, Italy

So after a nice long scenic drive from Amandola to Pescara we reached the spot where I am to meet Roberta! Then I hear a beep beep! There is Roberta in her red mini cooper all smiles. And she jumps out of the car and we give each other a loonng hug! Finally! We are like sisters except that she is tall, blonde and Italian and im tall black and American. Thank goodness I got a lot of practice with the previous families in speaking Italian since she doesn’t speak any English. So I was a little bit more comfortable and prepared. So we excitedly talked for awhile with the Tamagnini and then we went into her mini cooper and excitedly drove to her apartment.

When we got to her apartment, I LOVED IT! It was decorated so nice…the colors and everything. She loves Africa and been there two in like a year to Kenya! So there is a lot of reds, oranges and blacks. One time when we webcam she web cam the room and she was apologizing because the room was smaller than hers. I thought it was a good size for one person…I don’t need a whole lot of space even though I did bring 4 luggage to Italy…LOL. But I told her that I loved it especially the curtains because they were purple and purple is my favorite color. Tell me why when I entered the room….the room was painted purple! I was a lime green color before and the she painted it purple! And I don’t remember seeing these huge new storage cabinets for my clothes. So I think she bought those too. How sweet!

Well when I got there didn’t have much time to settle in because down stairs begins the congregation get together. There I got to meet her family…her TALL family shall I add, so I fit right in and friends, from the congregation. They were all really nice and welcoming. Her mother looks so young, you couldn’t even tell that she had 3 kids…there must be something in the water here…or wine! =) Her older sister Romina is really tall and pretty with full lips and her kids all have those full lips too! Ahsia which is Asia in Italian but pronounced “ah-zee-uh”. She looks Cuban or something to me. And there is little Cristel who doesn’t like me. I gave her a kiss on the cheek and she screamed and cried bloody murder! It was kinda funny…I guess she is only use to seeing tall Italian giants and not a jolly black giant! She is way too cute to not like me and I will have to work on this one.

So I continued to meet different ones and socialized. Then by surprise my friends Claudia and Andrea came from Teramo to the gathering and brought my other two luggages! I stayed with Claudia for a few days and when I went to Pedaso and Amandola I didn’t want to take my big luggage but only took what I needed for a week. I told them that I would take the bus and picked them up and instead they brought them to me. They said “no more buses for Cindy”! Because I took so many on arriving here and then to pick up my luggage to the airport. The bus I was taking was like a Coach bus like greyhound. Claudia and Andrea both serve in the Spanish congregation. Andrea has a “moto” and it was his moto I got to ride in.

After eating and socializing I was getting tired and wanted to go back to the house and go to bed. Claudia and Andrea brought my luggage upstairs. We all sat and talked for awhile and then someone walks through the door and who is it but my sweet friend Ylenia, from the international convention! She dropped by after her meeting since she knew I finally came in town. So we all started screaming and hugging! Another nice happy reunion! So we talked and took pictures and finally I went to bed.

permalink written by  ItalianaCinzia on July 8, 2010 from Montesilvano, Italy
from the travel blog: Serving in Italy 2010
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My New Congregation!

Pescara, Italy

The next day, Thursday, we had “colazione” aka breakfast which in Italy again is quite simple. Fruit, breads, nutella and jam. Then she took me around in Montesilvano and Pescara mainly the area near the beach. It was quite nice. Everyone rides bicycles here and especially on the beach. You will see the families riding bikes with their kids and the babies in the baby seat in the front. So cute! The water is actually pretty nice but I personally think the beach in Miami is prettier. The sand here is not white but a dark tan color and when wet looks kinda brown…like a dark toffee color. But we walked on the beach and talked. It was very strange to see all these naked little babies running around everywhere and some with no bottoms even the boys. I told her that its not something that you can do in America because we have so many sick people in the world who would take pictures and do who knows what to them. There are even some girls as old as 10yrs walking around without tops, just the bottoms.

So we walked the beach for a long time and we are way far away from the car. We stopped at a gelateria where they sell real good gelato aka ice cream and had some and walked back. Once we got to the car, she asked me if I had the keys. I said that I had the keys to the house but not to the car. And she was searching her pockets and she couldn’t find them and then I remembered. She left them buy the fountain where we stopped to take some pictures. This fountain was waaayyyy down the street and really far. So she wanted to walk all the way down there by herself. So I told her that I would walk down there with her…even though I didn’t really want to do it because it was sooo hot and I didn’t where sunblock and my arms were noticeably a different color from the rest of my body. But she said no no its too far. So she actually was walking down the path trying to find a bicycle “to borrow” so she didn’t have to walk back but all of them had locks on them. Then I thought what if we flag down a guy on motorbike to take you down there. So we stood on the street waiting and of course no motorbikes were coming but a few on the other side of the street and they didn’t stop because they didn’t see us. So she resorted to walking down there by herself.

We she came back she came back out of the breath. She stated that she was able to have a guy take her on his moto to get the keys but had to run all the way back. Crazy! But afterwards we went home and she made some pasta and we had our first lunch together! It was kinda hard to express myself sometimes and understand her but slowly we were able to understand each other. I always have to remind her to talk slowly! Lol My Italian English dictionary always came in handy. So after lunch is “riposo” aka nap time! Well I got to take a nap but she had to rush to work. She works at this meat company for her dad. So we get all the best meats that we want including this really good meat from argentina that she says is really expensive but since she works for her dad the we get it all the time. That is one meat I will miss. I will have to see if I can “smuggle” that in my luggage! =)

Well when my nap was over I prepared to attend my first congregation meeting! I’ve kept in contact with the presiding overseer this whole time and so he is really the only person that I know. Originally he was suppose to pick me up for my first day but his car was still getting fixed and it wasn’t ready yet. So Roby dropped me off. Its wasn’t too far of a drive actually. So when I first walked in the friends were real warm and welcoming no problem. This one sister of Indian decent greeted me and said “so you must be the sister from America, we’ve been waiting for you!” How cool! I so we started talking and immediately I started to make field service arrangements. Now with the first sister I made arrangements with her name is Paola, a pioneer sister probably in her early 40s. At first I was real intimidated by her….the way she came across but I knew she had to be somewhat cool because she wore electric BLUE mascara! She pulled it off good too with her short black hair and hazel eyes! The first thing she said when I wanted to make arrangements was that they way they do service here is by “appointment”! WHAT?!? I thought she was joking and i started laughing. She said no really if you want to go out in service you have to make an appointment a week in advance because if you do it the same week then we are all booked. And the way she said it was like real straight to the point firm! WOW! Very different! Well one of the reasons is that they go out in service in pairs and not in car groups so its only two at a territory. So I was able to make a two appointments at least for for Friday and another when I come back from the wedding.

The meeting attendance was tiny. A couple of studies showed up but what was interesting is that I found out its actually easier for me to give a comment with less people than in my own congregation. Strange! We also have a cute congregation baby name Elisabeth, she is half Nigerian and half Italian! She is the most happiest baby that you will ever meet! After the meeting an Italian couple kindly took me back home. They were telling me how service is in the territory. How the Nigerians sometimes don’t take studies seriously and its hard to maintain them. They do move and a lot of them are illegal. So its can be challenging at times but they say they love it and wouldn’t go back to the Italian congregation because Italians problems are they not opened minded. Its only catholic beliefs and no other. So they said its real hard to preach to Italians. But this couple is real cool and funny! She Raffaella is sooo pretty like Cuban or Puerto Rican or something. So this couple said that they will pick me up for service on Saturday. We are going to preach in the COUNTRYSIDE! =) Our territory consists of Silvi, montesilvano, francavilla, Pescara and Chieti.

permalink written by  ItalianaCinzia on July 9, 2010 from Pescara, Italy
from the travel blog: Serving in Italy 2010
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Ciao amici! (Hello Friends)

This is my blog where I will update experiences and photos from my 3 month stay while serving where the need is greater in Pescara Italy!

In case you guys were wondering "Cinzia" is my name in italian...pronounced chin-see-ah. =p

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