Saturday, February 17, 2007

From the little town of Quartu (almost): November 16, 2005

So the email place is tied up in Questura problems, and the other one is closed on Wednesdays, so we are actually in Cagliari, the big city next to Quartu. Let me fill you in on what's happened since I've been transferred.
We took the boat at 6:30 on Thursday and went up to explore the deck. The front desk (the boat is more like a floating hotel) told us just to go up and there was an open door to go through. We went up as high as we could and found an open door that went to the front deck. We went out and looked out at Civitavecchia and just admired for a little bit, when a man came out and began gesturing at us to leave. He explained that we shouldn't be there... apparently someone had forgotten to close a door and there were no signs letting us know not to pass. We left and closed the huge white metal door behind us and latched it tight. Then we went to the back deck. All the benches were soaked and covered in mud, so our wish to watch the city disappear was not easily fulfilled. We took a towel from the room (more like paper towel) and dried off a portion so we could watch the stars and eat something (the prices on the boat were only a little better than those in Hawaii). We finally went back to write in journals and go to sleep. I, while writing, started to feel a bit strange. It wasn't sea-sickness, but I felt the movement of every part of the boat - every time we sped up or slowed down or turned even a hair I think I felt it. I think all my dance training helped me not get sick, but after a few hours in a room that shakes violently (the glass everywhere just rattled continuously) I felt like my whole body was the palms of my hands after mowing the lawn for a while - just totally overwhelmed. A man next door was talking about Sardegnian politics loudly and I decided that I needed to pray for him to be quiet somehow. Shortly thereafter a crewmember came and told him he needed to be quiet or move rooms (the boat was totally deserted as far as tourists go - I think the main cash influx is actually from cargo shipping). It seems that another person had complained (or maybe an angel assigned to answer missionary prayers) and the man went away. A few minutes later I turned the air conditioning valve (also making noise...) and was finally able to get to sleep. We arrived safely to the island without further adventure.
My new companion is a bit demanding. I seem to get companions that change off on type A and B personalities every other time. Oh well... He has his own way of thinking and doing things, and doesn't leave a lot of area for people to change the subject or anything else. We don't have the same relationship with the branch that I left in Ladispoli (if we ever go back as a family, there will be no problems finding meals or places to sleep :)). In fact, he said that the branch president was mad at him. I had the impression to ask him to apologize... but for what? It will be a bit of work here in Quartu, and we don't have any really progressing investigators. Fun to always get plunged into lukewarm water to cook the pasta. ...if you understood that... We went to get haircuts today and I think I will change barbers when my companion leaves - they charge a ton and the girls flirt a bit too much for my taste.
My camera isn't broken... just the memory disk. The camera still works (I assume). My problem is that it isn't very user-friendly and doesn't let me take many pictures (sometimes turns off if I don't take a picture fast enough, doesn't always focus, little things like that). I'll try to fix the disk, and my companion has a gadget that makes CD's from picture cards once I get it fixed.
I still haven't heard much except from hearsay about my brother at BYU-Hawaii (about as much as I heard about Mom & Dad's Hawaii trip until someone wrote me "Mom and Dad arrived safely!").
I think it is going to be a short and long transfer. I need to shape up already my companionship relationship (at least my part of it - I have learned that the only thing we can change in relationships is ourselves), a branch relationship, and find new ways to find people that work here in Quartu. Our apartment is a bit more bare than the last one - we have three baking pans that probably hold 4 gallons apiece, and our one functioning electronic gadget was a microwave. Ve bene. Hopefully our gas oven with a huge gask tank right next to it doesn't explode like everyone else's! (I've heard from different sources that it is a un/likely event) We maybe will go to the market to buy cooking supplies today.
Either way, here it is hot. The computer says 30 degrees, but that may be a bit pushing it. It says it was updated just now... We have a beautiful wind that rushes through our apartment, and underneath us is a Scuola Materna - a kindergarten/preschool. You can hear the little kids playing underneath and it is absolutely heaven. We have a view of Sant'Elena (the catholic church in the neighborhood), and it rings every 15 minutes (1 for :15, 2 for :30, 3 for :45, and it goes absolutely crazy on the hour). We have a Post Office across the street, and in our same palazzo a fresh fruit/vegetable store. A restaurant flanks our palazzo, and the grocery store is only a 1 or 2 minute walk away, as well as internet when it works. Also, there is a cartoleria (paper supply store) and a copy place nearby. The bus end of the line is at the end of our street, and the only thing we aren't close to is the Church (20 minute walk or a bus ride). We just have different blessings here.
Well, I love you all un sacco (an Italian expression - Ti voglio un sacco di bene!); go out and do missionary work!

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