Monday, July 12, 2010
Day 32: Setting Up
After a small breakfast of bread from last night, jam, and blood-orange juice with a real kick, we heeded the message on the note that was passed under our door in the wee hours of the night last night. Ed, the archeologist from Oxford who is the other co-director of the project here, and his grad student Chris Noon, who has been coming here for five years, got in late last night, and didn't know what the plan was or anything, and asked us to wake them and fill them in. We rung the door bell, and were greeted by a slightly confused and very sleepy Ed. He woke up Noon, who had a lot of trouble getting up. They ate our left-over breakfast, and we all walked together to meet Sam and Susan.
They opened the doors to the Nursery school that is going to be our home base. It is run by the church, and is severely lacking in chairs higher than ten inches off the ground. After a short tour of the facility, which has an industrial kitchen, a dining room, and several classrooms and multi purpose rooms. We moved some chairs and tables around, and set up some full sized tables and chairs in the main work room and the dining room. We then all went back to Susan's apartment to get things. We pulled things from their living room, the attic, and everywhere in between, stuffed it in Ed's rental car, and unloaded it at the school. I then spent the next while putting together my studio. It is in the corner of the large room upstairs; which fortunately has shutters on all the windows. I unpacked the new lights, table, and put things together. Unfortunately one of the light bulbs does not work, but fortunately, that was the only problem I ran into. As I was finishing the initial set up, Sam called for lunch. We ate cold cuts and salad, and then Ed and Noon went to their flat for a nap.
Sam and Susan then took us for a drive. Tornareccio is situated at the foot of the Palano mountain; this area has been inhabitant throughout the history. Our first stop was a little visitors center and summer nature camp. There are posters up about the history of the area, and I was given a concise history, and introduced to several artifacts and maps. We then continued up the mountain, to the Samonite wall. The Samonites were a pastoral tribe that lived in this area from about 1000-300 BCE; about the same time as the Etruscans were living in Italy. Near the top of this mountain is a huge wall built by the Samonites, with remaining doorways. Not a lot is known about the Samonites, though some burial sites have been excavated, there is little remains of them in life. The wall has only one side; so it is not clear if was even used for defense--it could have just been to impress alien tribes so they wouldn't attack. After walking along the wall, with Eli and Jamie telling me the history, we met back up with Sam and Susan. We drove to the top of the mountain, to the antennae farm. There are tens of different communication towers and structures, that apparently has been growing and expanding each year. From here, a beautiful view of the Sangro Valley presented itself. We then drove down the other side of the mountain, with Susan pointing out archeological sites and telling us more about the area.
We got back to the apartment, relaxed for a bit, and then headed to the school for dinner. During dinner, Noon introduced me to Wanta, a local specialty. It is a mix of, as the name suggests, red wine and Fanta. After dinner, I went to the Bar Reviavol, right across from our flat to watch the second half of the match for third place. There were some locals there, and one, Sol, who knows about as much English as I know Italian, and was very keen to speak it and learn more. We had a good time communicating and learning each others' languages during the exciting game. After that, I came home to find Eli and Jamie reading the bible in Greek.
Not long after I got back and took my shoes off, Ed rang our door bell, wondering if we wanted to go to a party. After some uncertainty, we decided to come. We piled in the car with Ed and Noon. The directions to the party were: drive up the mountain a ways, put down your window, and listen for the music. We drove for a while, and then passed an area with some cars and caution tape. At first, we thought it might be an accident site, so we kept going, but we soon realized it was the party. We went back, parked the car, and talked to the guy with little tickets, a friend of Ed and Noon. The ticket gave us one free beer. We walked through some shrubs to an an open field. There was reggae music, played through an impressive set of speakers and amps and sound equipment. There were about 25 people, all standing around. There was a tent with beer, and a bar-b-q cooking Arrosticini, a local specialty of very thinly sliced pork on a skewer grilled. We received our beer, and stood around for a bit listening to the music. We ate an arrosticini, and then I wanted to dance. There was no one dancing at all. I finally worked up the courage to ask someone to dance, and she politely declined. Every other girl I saw was with a guy, and I didn't want to cause any trouble. After standing around and talking for a bit, trying to dance, and eventually giving up, we headed back home and went to bed.