Hi all! I hope you had a great and happy Easter, or as they say in Italian, Buona Pasqua!
This was my fifth Easter spent away from my family, but my first in a foreign country, and it was quite an enjoyable experience. My roommate and I were taken in for Easter lunch and dinner, and were treated like family by a large family from the softball organization. And let me tell you something, the food was AMAZING. Family members brought and made different dishes and the only food that day that I had had before that day was the bread. So needless to say, I tried a lot of new foods (I couldn’t tell you the names of the dishes because they were all in Italian and there were way too many for me to remember) but one of my favorites was called “Green Lawn”.
From afternoon to dinner, the day went like this: first course of the meal, break, next course, another break, next course, and another break all the way till dinner. The breaks varied in time, but were filled with a lot of talking, playing games, and laughter. All in all, it was a great day and both my roommate and I went home in a food coma.
If you know me, you know how much I love chocolate. Well here in Italy, for Easter, stores all over sell these giant, chocolate eggs (yes, I was in heaven). Shout out to my teammates for telling me about them as well, because I would go to the grocery store and see these giant eggs wrapped in a shiny plastic/foil type sheet and had no clue what they were. I thought maybe they were these big plastic eggs with a toy inside. I had no idea there was chocolate in them. Following their recommendation of two brands, Lindt, or Kinder, I went with Kinder so I could get the toy surprise within the egg (its all about the prize right?). Here is a look at the egg, and the process of its destruction.
Okay well as you can see, I destroyed that egg (and I was hungry and forgot to take the rest of the photos) and the prize was cool. We seriously need to get these in the United States.
A day after Easter(shout out to time zone differences) I was able to tune in to Elements City Church’s Easter service back in Tucson. As great a holiday that Easter is, we can’t forget that it is the day that Jesus defeated death and rose from the grave to save us all. Shout out to Jack for a great sermon. Here’s a link to it: http://elementscitychurch.org/media/easter-2018/
Here in Italy, a lot of people actually get the Monday after Easter off from work as well. So one of our friends invited us to a BBQ, which resulted in more new foods for me to try, though this time it was different types of sausages and they were BOMB-cue another food coma. However, this time I couldn’t even make it home before passing out from being full, which resulted in some pretty funny photos of me knocked out in the car (I swear if either of you post those photos….you know who you are).
One thing I’ve learned from the Italian culture compared to America is how much quality time people spend with each other, engaging with each other. I realize this can be different from home to home, but during Easter weekend, I saw how people would put their phones away, except to send the occasional messages, answer calls, or show something on their phone and just spend time together—for hours on end. In America, I like to think I have spent a lot of quality time with people, but without phones or a movie or distractions I would say the average would be about two hours. In Italy, people will spend this time together for much longer than two hours and it is awesome. It makes me wish I knew the language (I’m trying to learn) so I could engage with people more instead of being limited by language barriers.
I leave these engagements exhausted, but very happy, as it is taking some getting used to take out of spending this much engaging time with people. Even our team does it, where a team dinner isn’t just getting your food and leaving, it is get your food and stay and talk and hangout with everybody. My roommate from Venezuela and I were talking about this, of spending hours truly engaging with other people, which is common in her culture. In mine, it is not, at least without some sort of distraction that gives people a break from speaking to each other. Already early on in my stay here in Italy, I have already found something I want to bring back to America with me.