WOW! When I came to my blog today I found that the flag of a country that I have been to had been added to my visitors counter. ITALY. I am always excited when I see that I have had more visitors, especially visitors from other countries. :)
I lived in Italy for just over a year and a half back in 1982-1984. It is the only place I have ever been outside of this continent. I was there for my church. Rome, Naples, Pisa, Florence were the cities that I was in, for a few months at a time. It is a very different place than the USA. The culture is different. And they have a lot of art. The buildings are older of course, and the architecture is amazing. I went to and climbed up the leaning tower of Pisa. The Vatican dome is fun to climb up to also. And we drove past the Colosseum. With only one day a week off it is hard to see all there is to see, what with doing laundry, shopping and writing letters home. I was there for my church and really didn't have time to see much. But that was ok because I loved what I was doing. :) Talking to people about the Lord. About His plan of salvation for us. And about His great love for each of us. :)
The people of Italy are so sweet and friendly. Most of the people in the southern areas only speak Italian. It is a different dialect than what I learned before going there. A lot of the people in the north speak English as well. I went to an open market in Florence I think it was and heard many different languages. Everywhere I went the people were very sweet and giving. You've heard of Southern Hospitality. Well the people in Italy are just like that.
While I was reading this over, I remembered something that happened. :) It was Sunday, we were at church in Naples. The church is up on a hill and is built on stilts in the back because the back of it hangs off the cliff. I think it happened the Sunday I was to give a talk at church. We were all just minding our own business having a nice church service, and then... the ground moved. THE GROUND MOVED?!?!? Yep, it did. Oh, I forgot to say that the church was just a ways away from a volcano, like almost across the street. Well, everyone took off out of the church, faster than Superman changes his clothes in the phone booth. This was not the first time I had been in an earthquake. So I was relatively calm. Unaware that unlike Seattle earthquakes, Naples earthquakes do major damage.
Naples, has BIG earthquakes and volcanos erupting and it is very scary for those who live there. They had just been through one the year before that had devastated the area. Buildings falling, ceilings caving in. They are close to several major volcanoes. We, my companion and I, spoke to a family who lived just a few blocks from our apartment ,on the top floor of a building. They had lost their ceiling in the earthquake of '81 and it wasn't repaired. So we could see the roof of the building while in their home. :( An older lady we visited hardly ever left her apartment anymore. She lived a few floors up. The elevator did not work anymore, and the building was being supported in the middle by tall logs like our power poles. It was sad. She would let down a basket from her window each day and buy food from the vendors when they came by.
Anyway, it was a very interesting and enlightening experience to live there and to visit with the Italian people. :) I learned a lot during that time. There were also some interesting and funny times there too. I may tell you about them sometime. :) Gotta run, take care.
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