18 June 2009

Next stop: Modena

"Where troubles melt like lemondrops, high above the chimney tops, that's where you'll find me. . ."

Found out this morning where I go next: Modena. Stress on the first syllable. It's in the same region (Emilia-Romagna) as Modigliana, but about an hour and a half to the north-northwest by train. I'll be leaving Saturday afternoon at 1:30. I was trying to figure out where I'd heard the name, until someone told me: all the balsamic vinegar bottles around here are labelled 'di Modena,' so that's good.
The last two days have been pretty good at camp. The kids are getting maybe a little too comfortable with us (for instance, they know that all my threats are empty), but we've got the final show pretty much ready to go for tomorrow, so that's good. I expect Poke-Garfield to be a rousing success which everyone will be talking about for years to come.
My Italian is definitely improving. I think now I might actually be at the level I claimed to be at on my application- 2/10. This morning I asked Alberto in Italian how his 'son' was doing, and he said he was well. Later I asked him where he was, and he said that he was at home. Remember, Alberto's 'son' is a monster drawn with marker on a yellow balloon. He had a face, prominent eyebrows, horns, lopsided arms and legs, as well as male genitalia. I'm pretty sure the boys (or little Alberto at least) are completely obsessed with that kind of thing. Josephine told me that yesterday, Alberto and Matteo P spent a large chunk of time just kicking each other in the crotch. Today, during dodgeball, I noticed a bunch of boys standing around Alberto and laughing, so I went to see what was up, and he pulled his shirt down quickly. "Che cosa sta facendo?" I asked him. Finally he showed me. He had taken a big piece of cardboard and left it hanging out of his open fly. I'm embarrassed to say that it made me laugh. A lot.
So that's favorite pasttime number one of the boys in our camp. Favorite pasttime number two is throwing things at my chest when I'm looking away. The best part is, these boys aren't going to get more mature. They may get smarter, and they'll get older, but they will still be laughing at that sort of thing 20 or 30 years from now.
Heard some more good Bruno stories when Josephine came over for dinner last night (we couldn't leave her with him). Apparently, Bruno: a) watches the movie Anastasia (yes, it's animated) with his nieces so he can have an excuse to cry, b) claims the wild animals at his country house recognize him and follow him in a line when he goes up there, c) they also speak to him, d) he may or may not have special needs, and e) we've already established that he's a hoarder, which is a sign of obsessive compulsive behaviour. Diagnosis, anyone?
Went running tonight for the first time in what felt like forever. I think I explained in a previous post (Llanes, perhaps?) that I firmly believe that running through a new town is one of the best ways to get to know it. The run didn't kill me like I'd expected it to, which I think is a sign that running around with kids for ten hours a day is actually pretty decent exercise. I mean, you have no idea how much time we spend playing dodgeball (a couple of hours, at least), and you'd better believe I participate. I feel like a sniper out there. Sometimes when a ball comes to me I'll hand it off to one of the little ones, but more often than not I'll start charging to the line, and then everyone on the other team will run the other way, screaming. There's one boy I sort of pick on (is that bad?), because he enjoys taunting other people while we're playing. I wait til he turns around and shakes his butt at me, and then I reach back and knock him over with a fastball (overhand). Sometimes I let the children hide behind me so they can get all the way to the line before they throw, but usually it's the other way around. Realizing I use children as body shields signified a new low for me.
Today, actually, I was more or less responsible for a near concussion. There's one girl, Agnese, who I don't feel bad for hitting because she's a champion wrestler who can definitely hold her own against the boys. So today when she was going for a loose ball, I let one fly. It was headed straight for her head, so she ducked out of the way. . . straight into a wall. I really felt bad about that, because she's a tough girl and she was crying. At least no parents were called- I can see that being a tough one to explain.
All right, Olga's just finished preparing dinner, so I've got to go. Possibly more later! Love!


Kelsey Rogers said...

I love you. You make me laugh!
I would have laughed at the cardboard too. Who wouldn't?

Uncle Dave said...

I will NEVER play dodgeball against you, killer!

Mom said...

Sounds like a neat city to visit- hometown of Pavarotti, known as the "capital of engines" (famous for Ferraris and Maseratis), great Balsamic vinegar.

Piazza Grande- with 12th century cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site! University was founded in 1175- the second oldest Atheneum in Italy, and sixth oldest in world. Hope you get to sightsee there!

Will Josephine be going there too?

Sounds like there is more to see that is interesting than my visit to Wichita this week. . .