28 July 2011

trento: highest quality of life of all time

First off, props to you if you noticed the child on the ground in an asparagus costume in the last picture.

And now, the long-awaited Trento.

Trento is an ancient and beautiful city nestled in the lower Dolomites. Its name comes from the Romans' original name for it, Tridentum, which was a reference to the three main mountains, or teeth, surrounding it. Today, Trento consistently ranks at or near the top of the polls for things like quality of life and education among Italian cities.

Somehow, even with all of its modern convenience and whatnot, it still takes a hella long time to get there. I spent more than six hours in transit, leaving my Morgano home at 8:45 and arriving in Trento after three in the afternoon. That was annoying.

My streak of amazing host families continues here, with Francesca, Luca, a
nd little Giulia and Cecilia. Francesca speaks English really well, and Luca knows more than he lets on. The girls are adorable (when they want to be).

The day after we arrived, we went up into the mountains to see the tiny town of Lavarone and my extended host family. This next part is a little tough to explain so just bear with me: my host mother's father and his brothers and sisters own a couple of adjacent apartment buildings in Lavarone. Each of them has a different floor, consisting of a two or three bedroom apartment, to his or herself. In the summer, that generation, and/or their children and grandchildren, stay up there for at least a few weeks.

You know why they like to hang out in Lavarone in the summertime? Because it's COLD. I made the mistake of wearing shorts on my first trip up there, and I was chillin' like a villain during the quaint little stroll my host mother and I took around the volcanic lake. Was it worth it to see a beautiful, scenic lake nestled amongst picturesque mountains, surrounded by warm and welcoming Italians? I'm still not sure.

I ended up teaching a red class (something I more or less vowed never to do after my first summer) because it was the most convenient choice for the group. (What can I say? That's just the type of person I am.) While the class received red books, they range in age from seven to 11, and their skill levels are all over the place. But I love a challenge (that's also the kind of person I am).

Week one in Trento was pretty laid back. The kids aren't crazy about the warm-up circle, so there's been a lot of repetition and games. Bananas of the World has been met with a tepid response, and The Chosen One bombed altogether. Sometimes kids just sit down while they're supposed to be dancing around in the circle.

We did have one boy, however, who probably had more energy than all of the other campers combined. His name was Michele, and he was unfortunately only around for that first week. He spent breaks and recess popping and locking to rap music. When he needed a break, he'd stand still and put his hand on his chin or his hip and stare off into the distance, not unlike a male model. "Pose some more," I joked. I didn't expect him to get on the ground and strike a pose, announce, "January," and then change poses before saying, "February," and so on for all twelve months.

Michele also had quite a few fantastic one-liners involving poo, most memorably: "Can I go to the toilet please because the poo is now exits my bum." It was obviously funny, but after a few days of hearing about how he had pooed on the way to the bathroom, we began to feel a little concerned.

The weekend was spent up in Lavarone. I did my best to prepare for the weather, but that was a bit difficult, as the only long pants I have from home are leggings. Along with those, I took my purple waterproof jacket, an old softball sweatshirt, a cardigan, and a couple of tops. It wasn't enough to protect me from the 40 degree temperatures and constant freezing drizzle.

Whenever there was a lull in the precipitation, my host mom and I went for walks through the countryside. It helped to keep me warm, but the steep hills were mildly brutal.

Week two has been good. I've been doing a little P90X with my coworker Jeremy after camp, which means I'm roughly twice as tired as I should be, but I feel like it's worth it to have ripped abs. Definitely worth it.

The final show is this afternoon, and my children will be presenting a sketch about the Quidditch World Cup, where Shakira will perform Waka Waka. I'm excited about it, but who knows how it will actually go. After camp, we're going out for drinks, because two of our tutors will be finished after today. Jeremy and I are going on to Gianico tomorrow for a one week camp. This will mark my first camp in Brescia after two years away from there. Weather.com says it's going to be hot.

1 comment:

Malvolio said...

I just read your blog, because that's just the kind of person I am.