May 22 and 23, 2014
Ventures Being Rewarded With a Taste of Heaven
From the title it appears I am going to talk more about the amazing food we have had here in Italy such as a slice of heavenly pizza or a heavenly pasta dish. But these past few days have been filled with tastes of heaven beyond the power of good tasting food. In Life there is nothing better than ones ventures being rewarded and it is the little blessings we have encountered these past few days which have given us a taste of heaven here on earth.
These past two days were both work days here at the Villaggio Betania. As usual we woke up early and we put ourselves to work. Yes we still did not have working water but that did not stop us. We were down in the dirt…literally for some of us. We worked on mowing the massive amounts of lawn, finishing weeding the driveway and fence areas, cleaning out the drains along the driveways, and leaf blowing pine needles out of the old pool and back yard walkways. I am pretty sure I enjoyed climbing into the drain filled with mud way too much for someone who had no idea how they would shower afterwards.
Luckily Sr. Rafael, a Dominican sister of Bethany, got the workman out to the Villaggio quickly to work and fix the water! By late afternoon the water was fixed!! One of the work man named Rafael even came out on his birthday. To thank him we all walked out to the water pump and sang him happy birthday in English! Thank You to everyone who had a hand in getting the water fixed! A true taste of heaven is being able to shower and drink water after having to give it up for a few days. We truly learned not to take water the foundation of all living things for granted.
Time is coming to an end here in Bracciano so we took advantage of these last few days to do research and explore all the places in Bracciano we had not yet been able too. So in the afternoons we were off finding shortcuts and the best places to go around all of Bracciano. At last we made it down to the boardwalk/dock areas of the Lake. It was a piece of Bracciano we had not yet experienced. It was filled with activity and things to do. Sailing, kayaking, boat tours, biking, longboarding, swimming, tanning, and eating of course!
After we were done at the docks we headed UPHILL back to the town area to burn time hanging out in the Plaza area before we all had to meet up again with the group to go to mass. One evening was the feast of St. Rita. In Italy this is cause for some celebration. All the parishioners entered the church with flowers and roses. It is a tradition of the Feast of St. Rita that every woman should have a flower. The priest at the end of mass blessed every ones flowers and then proceeded to invite everyone to come to the altar to receive a rose. His words loud Italian said something like this, “I invite you all to come up and receive a rose but do not ruin this beautiful feast day with chaos and please come up in an orderly manner”. We all laughed because the priest knew how predictable these Italian church goers were as they always raced in chaos to the communion line.
After mass we had our choice for dinner so what did we do…of course a group of us headed back down all the way to the docks for a meal by the water. We remembered a great restaurant and thought we would try it. Sure enough the sisters who drove down to the docks ended up picking the same restaurant. As we walked in there they were! We wanted to practice our independence and try this whole ordering our food thing ourselves so as the waitress sat us on the complete opposite ends of the restaurant we were filled with relief. We could not get enough of the beauty of the water. After our lakeside meal we headed to the edge of the water and as we were dipping our feet in a huge pure white swan swam right toward us. The sun was setting and the water was calm. After a long day of work, walking up hill, and researching we felt peace and serenity. It felt like a glimpse of heaven after a chaotic day. We just stopped and stared into the sunset over the water with the peaceful swan in our presence all with the laughter of us enjoying one another’s company.
We then started our long walk back to the Villaggio Betania uphill in sporadic Indian runs until we started to feel sick to our stomachs considering we had just eaten. Walking the rest of the way we pondered how grateful we were for our water and the time spent with the beauty of the shore which for us simply seemed like a taste of heaven! So Long for now…