Most of March 2015
Lizzie and I help out with the “farm” chores as well as the house ones! I have made a few meals myself, and Lizzie a few delicious carrot cakes. And together, we made halibut with a mandarin and tomato sauce. Yum! It’s almost an odd thing entering the world of family that you didn’t previously know, though. At first Lizzie and I didn’t care for the feeling, but I think we both have grown used to it. You have to absorb the energies, man.
Here’s the house we are living in for three weeks! It feels very Italian to me – beautiful:
Monday through Saturday, we travel to their olive grove or barn or garden or vineyards in the mornings, and sometimes we even return in the afternoons! It’s really wonderful work mostly, but those olive trees really feel never ending at times. Our necks are often tired after a full day in the grove, but it’s absolutely beautiful regardless. Working in nature is a very wonderful and a very satisfying feeling I have learned.
It was amazing to see, though, how trimmed they became! Maybe 75% of the foliage was ultimately cut. Lizzie and I collectively and sincerely hope we applied the proper technique.
Cheese. It can’t be overstated. Cheese. We have tried and loved numerous cheeses: monte veronese, mozzarella, stracchino, formaggio ubriaco (literally, “drunk cheese” with a red wine flavor and aroma), gorgonzola… All made fresh, locally, and, of course, with lots of magic. Scrumptious, I tell you.
One day, Anna took us for a quick tour of the olive mill they take their olives to every December. Incredible really. It may seem like a stretch, but this was the scene we walked into at the mill, in 2015. Honest.
Fun fact: Tiramisú in Italian translates as, “throw me on top,” or,”give me energy,” hence the infused coffee readily sensed in the first soft bite of this delectable sweet.
Another fun fact: I think I can spell maybe 25% of the words I know in Italian. No, probably 10%. Si, dieci per cento. (You see, that’s probably spelled wrong.)
Also, Lizzie and I have come to a common mutual opinion of our WWOOFing experience thus far:
Imagine entering someone’s life for an instant. The routine is set and the rhythm is your responsibility to follow. Because this routine is so… routine, Lizzie and I have been pushed right into the swing of things. It’s great on one hand because we know what comes next, but there’s also no option outside the routine. When outside the routine appeals to us, it suddenly seems rude to the family.(For example, they have eaten one of two salads for maybe 20 years. Amazing! And of course delicious.) This adds a very interesting dynamic in our adventure and experience, and interestingly perhaps purely cultural? This also means, however unfortunately, that we also find ourselves between their discussions and arguments, which intimidatingly incorporate some harsh language. Good fun, haha! Most of the time, though, we have enjoyed ourselves thoroughly, staying busy with all kinds of tasks, anything from cleaning the house, ironing clothes, and mowing the grass to planting peas and watering their garden, artichoke plants, or lemon trees.
All in all, we have had an undeniably incredible adventure, thoroughly interesting education, and several absolutely beautiful moments. We have liked you, Illasi, Italia:
Allora, molto amore a tutti. A dopo ragazzi!