Sunday, July 13, 2008

la ceremonia e la chiesa Santa Chiara

My heartburn has returned. I went to mass this morning and it hurt so much to sit through it. The church is a thousand years old. Although it doesn't look like much on the outside, it is very beautiful inside with lots of chandliers, statues, and frescoes. The priest spoke so slowly, I could almost understand him. Lots of 'parole di Dio's'.

Yesterday afternoon, I slept after taking a long walk with Kelly, the cute African-American 21 year old I sat on the plane with. She is one of the few non-Italians.We saw fig and apricot trees.
There are a few stray dogs that wander the streets. Although only 300 people live here, there are alot of houses-mainly empty-from when the town was 3000 people. Streets are very narrow and steep. In the evening, we had a very long cermony which the town all showed up for. The English language students are now here. Anyway, all the local dignities each gave very long speeches-from what I could tell, they all said the same thing. "Buono sera a tutti, gratzie a tutti" They had given us heavy, green shirts that we were to wear over our 'dress-up' clothes. As it was so warm, I passed on that. We each had to introduce ourselves in Italian. which made some of the younger students very nervous. Then they had a buffet in the piazza for the locals-lentil soup, local cheeses, pizza, cold cuts and lots of dolci from the bakery. In the late evening, us older folks sat until one in the morning discussing a wide variety of topics.

The church bells ring 4 times an hour. Fortunately they don't go by the European time. So for 11:45, one bell rings 11 times and the other bell rings 3 times. The bells are right outside my window and I hear them all night. To announce mass, they ring continously for 15 minutes.

I woke up much later for my run. Again, it is very hard leaving town as it is all up hill and fairly steep but it is easy coming back. I then walked the streets taking pictures.

Tomorrow school starts.

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