Mama Mia! This is the first entry in a few days so my apologies. Now I don't know where to begin!
I guess this town where i'm staying. It is a small town near Venice called San Donà di Piave. In WWI this entire area was devastated from bombing. Piave is river in italian and the river which is less than 3 km from here was the Italian/Austria frontline. literally not one house remained in San Donà after the war. There are a few memorials consisting of plaques and old light artillery they found when they dried up some areas near the river for farming. also a few years ago an old farmer was killed handling a shell he found while furrowiing his land.
I am staying with a great brother who is an elder in a small English hall. He has been more hospitable than I could have hoped for. Helping me plan different trips here around northern Italyas well as the journey to other countries. we spent one day in Venice. Had dinner at his parents house a couple nights, service with Nigerian brothers and many other things I will try to relate.
First the food. local italian is better than some of the best italian restaurants in the states. Maybe because I'm in italy my mind is telling my tongue its better but either way its better! evbery dinner must have some kind of pasta. I've had so far: linguini with pesto, gnocchi(pronounced with a yn sound like the three stooges chuckle and pinnochio together) spaghetti a la carbonare. Its pasta with sauteed chunks of bacon and some light butter or oil and parmesan cheese. They don't know why its called carobonare because carbonare was a secret society in the 19th century created with the purpose of overthrowing the Republic of Italy. Allora, with the pasta is bread which you break off to clean your plate. Of course wine or carbonated water or natural or soda (wihout ice) can be drank thorough the entire meal.Then comes the salad, after the pasta,and then the meat. chicken or veal has been the normal usually cooked with different spices like rosemary, etc and/or with mushrooms. Delicious all around. The meal is finished with a cafè. There are really only 3 kinds of real italian coffee, espresso with sugar, espresso with a few drops milk(macchiatto), or espresso with frothed milk (cappucino). Newer coffee bars may have different variations and options but these three are the core.
Next. Ah mama mia i'm running out of time. the local brothers. The congregation I've visited is actually an english group made up of some Italian brothers and also Nigerian brothers. The terrtory has about 3000 Nigerian immigrants and there are already a handful baptized right from the area. they are actually very frielndly and if you catch them at home you can easily stay for up to one hour. They are actually very familiar with the bible and welcome any discussion of it. The only difficulty is trying to get them to see the benfit of becoming one of Jehovah's people. a person may study for several years and never make any progress towards baptism. however the brothers are extremely zealous and whenever we see a Nigerian person the brothers leans to me and whispers, " Our people." in his Nigerian english then nods his head or winks. So they are always on the lookout to witness informally.Just on the way to Venice one day we stumbled upon two of the elders calls,one of his bible studies as well as passed out a meeting invitation to another person who knew of witnesses.Other english speakers consist of british or irish and i even met a scottsh italian brother. Its interesting to hear an Italian brother speaking english with a british/ Nigerian accent! It is no joke that we have a united brotherhood. On sunday evening we even found an italian Punjabi group and were able to hear half of the bookstudy. They are studying the draw close to Jehovah book the same book we are studying in the punjabi group back home!
The brothers are nearly fluent with perfect prnunciation yet have some difficulty reading. I hope very much to see them again before I go home. When we arived we were really flooded by the group with words and greetings. It was like a warm bath and a deep breath of air.we were an american, an italian, and a nigerian all attending a punjabi bookstudy.A very memorable 45 minutes.
I'm sorry i dont currently have a way to post pictures at the moment but I will as soon as I can. Now though i must catch a train to Venice to see some more of the city and later tonight to eat some real pizza in Treviso.
A recommendation,. if you can get google earth on your computer it is a great way to see some of the places I mentioned. the map is far better than the ones provided by this site.