Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A couple of weeks ago, we needed to find a lady in our branch and make a visit to her. We had her address, but we weren’t sure exactly where her town was located. So we decided to make a “practice run” to find her address before we actually had our appointment. It just so happened that her town is located about 30 miles to the west of Savona, where we are living. This means we HAD to drive along the Riviera coast road until we got to her town of Loano. It was one of the most incredible drives we have ever taken. The scenery was breathtaking. I remembered driving along this very same road when I lived here as a 10 year-old with my mom, dad and sisters. How strange to be here 50 years later on the same road, experiencing the same gorgeous scenery.

Earlier in the month I started seeing flashes of light in my left eye when I was in the dark. At first I thought it was from the fireworks that were going off on New Year’s Eve. But when Miles said he didn’t see anything, and the flashes continued later in the week, I started to get worried. Of course, the first thing I did was Google it and my suspicions were correct. I had a retinal tear, which if I didn’t see a doctor right away, I could lose my eyesight in that eye. I was so scared that #1. I would have to go back to the States. We worked too hard to get here. I was NOT going home. #2. That I would lose my eyesight in that eye. I was ready to do that if needed, but I really didn’t want that to happen. To make a long story short, through the help of a wonderful friend, we were able to find a top-notch eye specialist in Genova, who performed a laser procedure on my eye to “seal” the retinal tear. It wasn’t a fun procedure, but it fixed the problem, thank goodness. He did a great job! AND, we got to make several train rides into Genova. We are getting very good at riding the train and getting around that big crazy city. Here are a couple of pictures of landmarks in Genova that are right outside the eye doctors office.
Monument to Fallen Soldiers 

Train station in Genova that is becoming like our second home

Commemorative garden honoring local boy
Christopher Columbus and his three ships,
the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria

We are still waiting for our apartment in Genova to be ready for us to move in. It looks like it will happen in February, if all goes well. Here is a picture of the building from the outside, if all goes according to our plan!

It is still very, very cold here. In the 30s and 40s. But what makes it unbearable is this wind that blows down from the Alps. It is so freezing cold. The other thing is that I haven’t been used to being outside and walking when it is this cold. But now we walk a few miles every day. Here is a picture of me after we walked to the church.

I might look a little scary if you saw me
late at night in a dark ally

And last of all, for those who really know me well, you will appreciate this picture from today. I finally found a place to get my hair colored and cut! At half the cost of what I pay in the States! All is right with the world again!
Happy at last thanks to Alessia!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Historical Savona and Genova

There is a huge fortress here in Savona, called Priamar that we pass by when we walk to the church. On New Years Day, we had some extra time in the afternoon, so we decided to go check it out. This was a fortress built in 1542 that has been used as a castle, used by the military, and was also used as a prison until 1903, There was also a cathedral built in the 7th century but that was demolished to make room for other edifices. This place was huge! I can see where it would have lasted for 470 years.

Priamar Fortress

We had a fun Family Home Evening with a couple of our African Refugees. My heart really goes out to these young men who are searching for a better life. Many of them have left their families in Africa and are hoping to find a job and earn enough money to reunite in Italy. I hope we can bring a little light of joy into their lives as we meet together.

Miles and I once again made the trip into Genova to look for an apartment. They want us to move there to work with the Young Single Adults in the church. We found the perfect place, but I don’t want to post pictures until it is done deal. Genova has a long history as a seaport, dating back as far as Christopher Columbus (who was born here). It is now a highly industrial seaport and also services many cruise ships that dock here. But as you move inland a bit, the city suddenly turns into hills that would rival anything we saw in San Francisco. But this hasn’t discouraged the building of huge apartments right on the hill. The cute thing is that you can take the funiculare up and down the hill, saving your legs for walking on the level ground.

Most nights when we walk home it is dark (and very cold). Yes, we have a car, but if we are lucky enough to find a parking spot in front of our apartment, we don’t want to move the car. So we walk. Its been really good for us. We figure we are walking about two to four miles each day, some days a lot more. Here are a couple of pictures of our usual walk home in the dark. I have gotten so brave! But we do walk very fast.