Another guest blogger … Meagan Ray
This morning we got up a little earlier to have an early breakfast. We met up for devotions afterward and heard Roxy and Adam’s testimony. It’s alway encouraging to hear other people’s testimonies and how God has worked in their lives. I think it’s easy for us to start think that we are the only ones who have experienced whatever it is that we have gone through to get where we are today and it’s refreshing to hear that we’re not alone in our struggles. After our little meeting time, we went to work! There were more shrubs to be trimmed from the day before that the guys and Abby attacked and the rest of the girls began cleaning the main building where the basketball boys had been staying. We went through all the rooms dusting, making beds, cleaning sinks and mirrors, sweeping and mopping. It was a lot of work that normally takes a couple days to complete but we knocked it out in just a morning. We did take a break for the usual mid-morning snack but for the most part we worked straight through until lunch. Wednesday was also laundry day, at the camp the wash the clothes in a washing machine but all the clothes and towels are hung on clothes lines. Several shared in hanging and taking down the dry clothes.
Can I just take a moment to say that every meal I’ve had here in Italy has been delicious? It’s a good thing we’re working so hard! After lunch we moved on to their newly constructed building that is not quite finished. They need some of the space for meeting rooms so we swept up dust, wiped up scuff marks and cleaned windows so that the rooms were usable. It is a really nice building already and is going to be even better when it is all finished up.
We worked very hard until about 6 o clock. Joe took a picture of us in our work clothes, all hot and sweaty, in front of the building. To get us to smile (it wasn’t really that hard) he told us we would be going to the beach tomorrow! Needless to say, we were pretty excited to be able to experience more of the Italian culture and get a tan on the beach!
Dinner was quite late, because the former camp cook, Ashraf? was making us PIZZA! Kylie’s Dad is Italian and owns a Pizzeria back in Ohio. My Dad is not Italian, but we used to own a pizza shop up in Northern Michigan. Given both of our pizza making backgrounds, we were especially excited to experience Italian pizza! Ashraf had dough balls already made, and set up a plethora of toppings, tomato sauce, and, of course, mozzarella cheese! Italian pizza crust is really thin, and they don’t put as much sauce, cheese or toppings on their pizza as you would find on an American pizza. The best part was that the pizzas were baked outside in an approximately 300 C (475 F) stone oven.
They were honestly some of the most delicious pizzas I have ever had. The toppings were different, ranging from artichokes and anchovies, to the more familiar salami (pepperoni type meat) and olives. Mine and Kylie’s favorite part was that we were given the opportunity to actually make our own pizzas. To be able to say that we made pizza in a stone oven in Italy was just about the best thing we could ask for. When Ashraf pulled my pizza out of the oven he showed it to his friend, and pizza colleague, Lazaro and said something (in Italian) about my pizza. I heard “Americani” so I knew he was talking about me. I still don’t know if what he said was good or bad but I thought my pizza was delicious! The whole pizza making experience was like one big party. There were a lot of new people visiting the camp that day having lunch with us. There were kids running around and playing, people talking loudly (and usually in Italian) and some people having more quiet conversations. It was all outside, right next to the big stone oven and it just felt so… Italian (haha) and communal. One of the things I have always loved about camp staff is the sense of community. One of the girls who had been working at the camp for the past couple months was leaving the next day to go home to Austria. Julia had come to serve and learn Italian and had really become part of their family. They served gelato in her honor and presented her with some gifts to remember them by. It was neat to see how attached they had all become after such a comparatively short time and since the girl had not known any Italian before she came. We’re all learning a lot and growing in ways we never would have been able to experience if we had not all been together here in Isola, Italy.
Marcy, Julia, Sara & Meagan after dinner and fellowship.