Monday, May 1, 2017

Settling down in Genova

March was a crazy month, trying to move all our belongings in our little Toyota Yaris from Savona to Genova, about a one hour drive (we made 5 trips in all). 
I had to practice what I preached, so I cleaned our Savona apartment from top to bottom. I’m not sure it had ever been so clean before. Fortunately our Genova apartment was all cleaned and ready for us to move in. Miles couldn’t figure out how we could have five carloads of “stuff” to move when we only arrived in Italy with 2 suitcases each! I admit I had accumulated quite a bit, but it was all “necessary senior missionary couple stuff.” I have the Church’s Keyboard class curriculum, including a keyboard, all of our English class curriculum and notebooks, all of my “learning Italian” books, and lots of kitchen supplies. I have even acquired some house plants!

I have three words to describe how we feel about moving to Genova and our new apartment. WE LOVE IT!!! The apartment is lovely, with very beautiful antique furniture. We have beautiful big windows in every room. I love sitting in the kitchen and looking out the window at the cars and people passing by. 
 The best part of all is we have parking! 

I won’t repeat the details, but here in Italy, that is more precious than gold. 

The worst part, if there is one, is the wild and crazy tile in the bathroom. Not sure what they were thinking when they picked this!

We live in the hills above Genova in an area called Castelleto. During the 14th century, Genova was fortified and protected with a wall and fortresses built high above the city.
Christopher Columbus's house
Porta Soprana, ancient city gate 

Castelleto lies right below these walls and forts.

To reach our apartment from “downtown” or centro, as it is called, we take a little red train or “funicolare” up the hill. Our apartment is right at the top of the hill. Or if you still need to get your 10,000 steps in, you can always take the stairs! But you will be sore the next day!

I thought I would hate this big, crazy, conglomeration of a city, but now that we know our way around, we love it. There is so much history, so many beautiful buildings (palaces and castles), and ornate apartment buildings everywhere you look.

We are supporting the two Genova wards, working mostly with the Young Single Adults (people between the ages of 18 and 31). Each group meets twice a week for Institute (religion classes) and also a Family Night. I’ve been making brownies and lemon bars for these events and they LOVE the brownies! There are 83 names on the rolls, but only a handful of people actually show up. We’re hoping to change that. We are also in charge of having a big activity every two months. Our first one is going to be a talent night on May 13th. This has caused quite a bit of excitement with everyone, so we are hoping for a good turn-out.

Our first Sunday at church Miles met an elderly couple who were new converts when he was here 43 years ago. He loved seeing them and the brother has been a stake president and president of the Swiss temple.

We invited our Savona missionaries to come to Genova so our Italian chef could teach me how to make REAL lasagna. It was quite a process taking over four hours, but the results were amazing!

We had our Senior Missionary Couples Conference in Ravenna, Italy. We had all of the senior couples serving in the Italy Milan Mission meet together for 3 days. It was amazing! 

Ravenna is famous for its churches and basilicas built 1400 years ago that are decorated in mosaics that will take your breath away. You just need to see it to believe it. There is a lot of early Christian history and symbolism. 

We loved spending time with the other senior missionaries and getting to know them. Since we are all spread out across northern Italy, we don’t see each other very often and it was so helpful to hear about what they are doing.
As we walked through a piazza in the middle of town, who should we meet but the local elders, with their pass along cards. Way to go, Elders!
President & Sister Allen with Elders
We had a fabulous dinner at a trattoria, which was the best Italian food we’ve eaten since being here.

On our last day, we went to San Marino, which is that small, independent country in the middle of Italy. I had no idea it was a cliff-side castle, reminding me a where Beauty and the Beast might live! It was breathtakingly beautiful, not only the castle and fortresses, but looking down it was surrounded by green rolling hills, clay-tiled roofs, dotted with wineries.

On our last evening, I was feeing a little adventurous at dinner and wanted to order something other than pasta. The waitress described something that she said was delicious. I heard “potatoes and stew” and thought I was safe. I guess I need to learn the Italian word for “baby octopus”! I didn’t eat one bite.

On the last day, before we left for home, Miles and I wanted to say we had been to the Adriatic Sea. It was only a few minutes drive from Ravenna. It was beautiful, flat, somewhat desolate, but we loved it. Just to say we had been to the Adriatic Sea was enough for me!

A wonderful gift for my birthday was attending the baptism of a sweet young girl. The ward was extremely supportive. There was enough food to feed an army.

One of the hardest things we’ve found on the mission is transfer time. Just when you have truly come to love these hard-working missionaries, they get transferred. The upside is that they are always replaced with another group.

No comments:

Post a Comment