Volunteer Adventure ’18 | … Italy |

A volunteer adventure to Italy makes perfect sense. Consider my recent stream of thoughts: I should really learn to speak Italian (beyond the basics acquired over the years); it is now my responsibility to honour our Italian heritage; and perhaps it’s time to re-visit Italy.

Some background for you … There is a small seaside village in Italy called Porto San Giorgio (at the calf of the boot) on the Adriatic Sea. Current population 16,000 people. Ironically my mother’s ancestors originated from that area as did those of both of Joe’s parents. Do the math and you too might arrive at the same realization as I did when Joe and I first visited the area together in 1983. “Joe, if we don’t soon get outta here, we’re going to find out we’re related.” The jury’s still out.

In January I started researching potential Volunteer Adventures for me to enjoy. To satisfy my previously mentioned ‘Italian Itch’ I started Googling ‘Volunteering in Italy.’ Not satisfied with my findings (I have certain criteria for the right match), on a whim I tried ‘Volunteering in Porto San Giorgio.’ What happened next struck me as being weirdly suspicious. I wondered about the power of Google in tracking both our online behaviour and thought process. It made me nervous. But it also spiked my curiosity about just how much ‘pull’ Joe has from his perch. My findings were oddly  coincidental.

A volunteer organization www.volunteerworld.com site immediately appeared. Although a worldwide provider of volunteer opportunities, they have only two programs in Italy. One advertised ‘Marine Experience in Naples’ and the other ‘Teach English in a school in Porto San Giorgio and live with an Italian host family.’ Upon reading those words I gingerly peered over my shoulders to check how I was being spied on.

I read the blurb and it intrigued me enough to message the organization. Although they required a 4 -12 week commitment I figured it was worth a try to ask if a 2-3 week stint might be possible. An immediate response from them assured me it would not be possible.

     “Just because the door is closed, it doesn’t mean it’s locked.”

Over the next few weeks I occasionally went back to the site. Since I live by the notion “just because the door is closed, it doesn’t mean it’s locked,” I reached out once more. This time the response was “Let me look into that for you.” Aha. The door was not locked. Plans were soon being made for my visit to Porto San Giorgio.

I did however remain both cautious and suspicious of the coincidence of the upcoming adventure right up until my contact with the host family. My concern over the legitimacy of the offering was valid. The likelihood of the opportunity being available to me was remote … a worldwide organization with only 2 programs in Italy and one just happened to be in the home town. HMMM.

In the meantime I am working daily to improve my Italian skills using an online program called DuoLingo. I’m currently at 53% fluency but with my loud voice and active body parts I am confident I will make myself both understood and able to understand.

But one thing I am having trouble understanding … how Joe continues to orchestrate for us. He must be exhausted.

PS One outing I do look forward to, is a visit to the local cemetery to investigate our family histories. It just might explain a few things ~!!~


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