Saturday, July 11, 2015

Chapter One: Summer in Veglio

Two of our volunteers from the music and acting troupe
With so many activities this year, I thought I would write more short updates on our experiences.

We arrived in Italia on Wednesday afternoon.  Smooth flights from LAX, through New York and onto Milan.  I had the bright idea of a new train right to Domodossola that turned a few hour trip into, let’s just say much more.

We finally settled into the house, which for the first time, we have our bedroom ready, two bathrooms and the beautiful new(600 year old) kitchen.

What we use to turn one piece of beef into two!
Our workshop starts next Tuesday so we have been crazy getting the house and property ready.  We have volunteers from a local art and theater group who are helping out which is great. 

Today was a strange day.  While Linda and I were catching up on sleep, one of the young bull cattle that grazes the hillsides tripped on an old stone terrace and proceeded to roll down the hill…a quarter mile down the hill. 

So, a frantic race to quarter the animal and haul the meat up the mountain ensued.  We now have the head and four parts hanging in the cellar awaiting a visit from the butcher to finalize the preparation. 

Some of you may remember the new painting that hangs in the old church by Fredy Buchwalder. The painting depicts the Madonna, baby Jesus, Saint Mark and another Italian saint.  There is a “sister” painting that was deemed too controversial to be placed in the church so we are putting that painting in the house.

Andrea called to say that we should walk down and pick up the painting.  Good idea, but a few details that added complexity. “Down the hill” to Fredy’s is about one mile.  Secondly, the painting is about 4 feet by 6 feet.  Lorenzo, the leader of the theater group, and I ran down the hill to meet Fredy at his studio.
Temporary Resting Place for Madonna

We then proceeded to carry the Madonna di Veglio up the gravel road…one mile up a pretty steep slope.  We tried many different techniques to handle her with care. Finally, we took off our shirts and piled them on our heads. From there, Madonna went on top of our heads, balanced rather precariously.

The “Pilgrims” arrived safe and sound.  With the warm weather, we have been eating under the stars.  A wonderful meal followed this crazy day with songs in French, Italian, English and local dialect being sung until midnight.

In the morning, we pick up Alexandra at the airport.  Just a few more days til our guests arrive.  Hopefully, the bull parts will make their way to the locker soon!

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