Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Halloween: Convent Style and Other News
We all know Halloween as that fanciful holiday at the end of October where little children and often times adults dress up and merrily go about their neighborhoods picking up tasty treats. However, in Italy, Halloween was just another Saturday. We spent the day cleaning the house and doing this and that. I attempted to see the church that contains the body of St. Catherine of Sienna (just her body because her head is in Sienna) although it was closed for unknown reasons. So basically just the same old same old. We were just about to settle in for a Saturday evening movie when Sr. Angela bounced into the room brimming with excitement "You must dress up!! It's Halloween! That's what you do in America (and Canada). Dress up and come up to the convent for treats!!"
Well, okay. We all like treats, so let's go. But what shall we be? Hmmmm. We are in Rome, maybe we should do as the Romans do...we'll just put on a couple of togas and be good to go. So that's what Lydia and I did. We got a couple of sheets out and pulled up some leaves from the garden. She was Nero and I was Julius Cesar. Diggy put a little more effort into making her costume scary with make-up and all and ended up being some kind of psychotic killer person.
After we put on our awesome and carefully thought-out costumes we went up the the convent to trick-or-treat. The sisters kindly invited us in, complemented our costumes (they said we really looked like Roman senators) and fed us oven roasted chestnuts. We also got a little key chain for a treat. It was fun to be able to share our North American holiday with the sisters and enjoy their company as well as some tasty chestnuts.
And now for the news. My ticket for the Congo has been booked! Lydia and I are leaving at midnight on December 1 for Kampala. Once in Kampala we will take a bus up north to Arua where the sisters will meet us and take us across the border to Aru! It's very exciting to have the tickets booked. The time in Rome has gone incredibly fast. I felt like I had so much time at the beginning, and now I only have a few more weeks before I'll be settling into Africa and there is still so much to see and do here.
In other news, we have a new friend here at the VOICA house. Matteo, an Italian who will be volunteering with us in the Congo for one year starting is February, is here for a month of formation. He spent 1 month in Aru this summer with one of VOICA's short term projects, so he didn't have to do the whole 2 month training. He has been able to share some of his experience in Congo, which is helpful as we prepare ourselves for a major lifestyle change. He also cooks!
That's all for now, but the next few weeks will be very busy with seeing the rest of Rome, making preparations for Congo, and enjoying my parents visit!