Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Wildlife in Abruzzo

Today our normal classes were interrupted to attend a 2 hour lecture about wildlife in Abruzzo. The professor's English was very poor but funny with statements like 'alimentation of wolves is anthropic waste material 'meaning wolves eat out of garbage cans. After stumbling over such statements, she resorted to her hundred mile an hour Italian which was actually easier to understand. The kids were pissed at having to listen to anything and played games amongst themselves. Allegedly Italy has the most biodiversity in Europe and the Abruzzo area the most in Italy. The principal animals that they are trying to conserve is the wolf, the chamois and this rare bear. My film teacher Elena saw a wolf while running this morning. She runs my former uphill route to Secinaro but lazy Sue runs downhill to Castelvecchio and runs/walk cross country on paths back. The uphill route is much more scenic but...uphill. I have been fairly good recently eluding Dave but soon after leaving town today, I heard the familiar clicking of his nails. He usually stays with me for a mile and then gives up trying to get me back in the herd. Later I found him waiting at the edge of town to walk with me back to the monastery. Down near the other town, Dave was fortunately not with me at this moment, I saw a wild lactating dog walking in the road with one 8 week old pup closely following. About 100 feet away another puppy was crying waiting for the mom to find it. I was afraid the puppy would follow me. There were probably other pups too as all her breasts were full.
For movie night last night, we saw il mostro, the Monster, a Benigni film that was their highest grossing film ever. It was pretty funny. We are now studying genre films instead of their very arty films. Next up, a Spaghetti Western. For film class, we had to interview the Italian kids to try to get an idea of what they think is funny and to compare expressions and hand motions. We also discussed idiomatic expressions with them as alot were used in the movie. They did not know what being caught with your pants down or being caught red-handed was. Being caught with your hands in the cookie jar was translated as being found with your hand in the marmelade. Each Italian student has to give a presentation on American slang and culture and we are invited to watch. Should be funny.

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