Since living here, I have discovered that family is an important part of Italian culture. Being so, having an Italian family includes having Italian grandparents! Every Monday afternoon I spend with "Nonna" (grandmother) and "Nonno" (grandfather) at their house along with the two kids I care for.
Nonna is so sweet and loves spoiling her grandchildren, just like any American grandmother does. Nonno is originally from Rome. He loves his country and culture, and especially enjoys sharing with me about the local traditions here. He is also an excellent teacher! Neither he nor Nonna speak any English at all, but he pushes me to learn their language, constantly quizzing me on vocabulary by pointing to random objects around the room and waiting for me to respond with the right word. I know I'll never get through dinner-time without correctly naming "plate," "glass," "fork," "knife," "table," "white wine," "red wine," and "candle." (Every meal is candle-lit at their house.)
And speaking of dinner, Italian food really is as good as I had heard it would be, and is completely different than "American-Italian food." I think my Italian family would laugh if I took them to Olive Garden. Fettucini Alfredo does not exist here, and you won't be able to find a plate of spaghetti and meatballs, either.
However, I am thoroughly enjoying sampling the authentic Italian food everywhere I go. My new favorite is "prosciutto crudo" - dry-cured, uncooked, thinly sliced ham. Last night I had the most delicious, melt-in-your-mouth, perfect blend of salty-and-sweet prosciutto ever! It was freshly sliced by Nonno in their house, with a traditional machine he has downstairs. Yum!
I love Jesus and what He has to teach me while I wander around the planet. My other favorite things include: foreign languages, yoga, hiking,
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