Saturday, June 22, 2013

Free Gelato, Mafia Trash Issues, and more.

I realize it's been 18 days since my last blog post--I've been meaning to write, but I've been soooooo tired. Calabria was crazy. I thought teaching for only four hours  a day would rock--but it was even more exhausting. We had to cram lessons, and there was a lot of pressure because some of the parents expressed THAT THEIR KIDS NEEDED TO LEARN TONS OF ENGLISH---TONS AND TONS OF ENGLISH....IN ONE WEEK. Four hours including breaks--so really 2 hours-- was just not enough time. We were also expected to put on a show at the end of the week. Again, not enough time. I had older kids that I grew to love. They had tons of energy, and it was easy to get them excited about anything and everything. I ended up writing a Lion King dating show for them that went pretty well. Rawr. The other tutors and I lived in the directors house which had it's perks and non-perks.Living with the director made it almost impossible to escape the topic of camp. Our days would end a bit before 7. We would have a 30 minute meeting about camp, eat dinner and talk about camp....campcampcampcamp AHH!!!

It was really wonderful living with the other tutors though--we were able to go out together, lesson plan together, bitch know. AND THE DIRECTOR'S DAUGHTER WAS AMAZING. Her English was fantastic, and she had the best attitude about everything. I miss her so much. She taught me some very useful words in Italian like tipsy, watermelon, and see you tomorrow. We also had the royal treatment because people in southern Italy are so damn welcoming--one of the father's of a student owned a bakery--so we often had FREE gelato, espresso, and baked goods. Also--have you ever had FRESH almond milk? I think I about died when I tried it. It was incredible.

The one sad thing about our town was the trash issue. I learned later that the Mafia manages the trash --and they wait until it gets to the point that someone has to call the government. The government then pays a ton of money for the issue to be resolved--but waiting means less work, and more money for them. It was a bit sad to see the filth--and all the poor mutated looking cats and dogs. THE SEA WAS NICE THOUGH. (Being Positive) The end of the week approached quickly--and it was very sad to leave. Meg and I stayed together while the other three tutors went their separate ways. I think Meg and I might be together forever--we met in Rome and haven't left each other since. GOOD THING WE LIKE EACH-OTHER MEG ;)

Oh another thing. One night we had a GIANT dinner with one of the classes at a family restaurant. The food was great, but unfortunately there was some "entertainment." Someone told the singer that Meg had a beautiful voice--so he publicly came to our table and tried to get her on stage. We just worked all day, and were trying to eat. Then he suggested that ALL  of the tutors come on stage, and sing for the children and families. Reaction Shot.

Sophie's not having it. 

Best Part: The only American song he had was  Hit me Baby One More Time. So you guessed it. We sang Britnay Spears for sixty people. I did not have enough vino for that. I made sure to avoid that man for the rest of the night. 

The Saturday after camp-we left for Sicily!! It was a nice change because we went from a town with more stray cats than humans--to a town with lots of humans! Go team! Getting to Sicily was a bit challenging. We waited for our train--and as the time inched closer--our train was delayed--and just...never came. We called our company and they made a joke that we were supposed to get on a train that went INTO a boat. Oh silly company--except it wasn't a joke. We were so lost. And some of the trains were going into the boat. There were about five different unlabeled places to catch a boat. We walked back and forth, almost got on the wrong boat, and after looking more and more like pathetic lost Americans--this man walked us to the right boat and let us on with the wrong ticket. Finally! The view was incredible. Post boat we were welcomed by two lovely host families, and a really nice director. THEN WE HAD GRANITAS--which were created in Sicily. So. Freaking Good.

We only had a two-tutor camp in Sicily that week--so Meg and I were once again together forever. Small camps are really difficult and I realllllly don't prefer them. There is a huge difference in having 50+ kids, and having 14. Some days their energy was absolutely pathetic, and no matter how high we jumped, or how big we smiled, or how loud we were--they weren't into it. The school was beautiful. Camp was held at a private Catholic school, so we were greeted by tiny nuns everyday (and occasionally yelled at by them......) Meg and I decided to combine our classes since the numbers ran low. In the end it was a bit odd--the students had two teachers, and I always felt like I wasn't doing enough--it was just a really rough week. Our director was nice, but sometimes I thought she was either way too involved and unhelpful--or she was never there when we needed her. She was convinced that all of her students were English Gods and needed no translating ever. Look lady, yes this is an English immersion camp, but sometimes kids need things explained in their native language. Our final show was a bit of a joke--she didn't seem to care that the script should stick to language they knew--so she rewrote what we had and overstressed emotion. "There needs to be a love story---the kids need to speak with passion...blablabla." Okay they are seven. What do they know about emotional monster love. Hell, what do I know about love?

There were a few students that kept me going. Simone was awesome. He was excited about life in general, and he thought everything was hilarious. Props Simone.

My host family was also incredible. My 14 year old host sister--who I am convinced is really a 30+ year old in a 14 year old body is a genius. Every time I spoke with her I was extremely inspired. She wants to be a journalist-and is already working on learning multiple languages. She goes after what she wants, and she is unlike any teenager I have ever met. I tried to talk with her as much as possible. I miss her so much. She really inspired me to work harder--read more--and go after whatever I want in life. Just wow.

My little host sister was adorableeeeeeee. Our only form of communication was "Get the horseeee!!" She would make me chase her around while she held onto a little toy horse. I loved her.

The family was so kind, and adjusted what they cooked all week to cater to my no grain diet. It's really difficult telling an Italian family that you don't eat bread, pasta, cake.....etc. COSAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA?!?!?!  I survived. I cheated to try a few typical Sicilian dishes--they tore my stomach apart but tasted good!

Part two coming soon.

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