We are feeling some winter now.  The weather has been cold and rainy.  The kind of cold you get by the sea.  It gets into your bones.  I’ve determined that November and February are the worst months here for weather.  It rains and rains.  In November, it rained for 15 days straight.  (In Rome, it rained for 30 days!)  We’ve been hiding inside without much to report.  Hence, no blog post for a week.  I also realized that I needed to reprioritize how I’ve been using my precious quiet time.  

Secondo me (according to me), the most difficult challenge of living in a different country is not speaking the language.  Doing the most normal things can be difficult and stressful (and comical).  You are isolated from normal human interaction.  Not to mention that the possibility of friendships is severely inhibited.  It is also impossible to truly appreciate a culture if you don’t understand the language and its nuances.  Therefore, I decided that my first priority for use of free time MUST be improving my Italian.  A combination of reading, writing, podcasts, speaking and tv is beginning to reap some improvement. 

The boys have recommenced their swimming lessons at a grande palestra (gym) in a nearby city.  There aren’t many gyms of this quality around so the drive is worth the extra time.  They love the lessons and are improving rapidly.  Lessons twice per week help.  We’ll be ready for swimming in the sea (or the puddles if the rain doesn’t stop).

la piscina

This is the boys’ school.  

Scuola - (You just missed the janitor smoking at the door.)

Scuola - (You just missed the janitor smoking at the door.)

 

Scuola

They say it is the best scuola materna in Salerno.  When we first visited the school, I was, well, not impressed.  The outside is shabby and there is no outdoor play space.  We arrived for this visit while some classes were dancing and it was LOUD and chaotic.  Culturally, very different from the calm class atmosphere we experienced in the U.S.  It has taken me a long time to appreciate this school.  The teachers do seem good and caring.  The kids do some work with letters and numbers.  I believe the academics truly begin in 1st grade.  The boy’s school in the U.S. was definitely better.  However, First Congregational Nursery School was exceptional even by U.S. standards. 

Today they had a party for Carnevale.  The kids were adorable.

Duilio & Russell’s class dressed for Carnevale

My favorite topic – Food 

On yet another topic, my sweet Aunt Roxy has mentioned to me that she may try to cook Italian style.  Soon, I’ll post some simple and authentic recipes to try.  I’ve learned Italian cooking from Luca and his mother so the recipes are generally southern Italian.

Can you guess what’s funny about this picture?

What's funny about this picture?

 The scariest part of my morning 🙂

This is the street leading to the boys' school...I call it Viale del "Gauntlet". Yes, it is a 2 way.

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