Our Italian Life: It’s still raining here in Val Pellice, and we are seeing first hand the effect on the community. It’s as if an entire season has been missed and Spring just didn’t arrive. The days are long with no lack of sunshine, it gets dark around 10pm.

This morning I was woken by Mario’s herd of cows literally passing right by my window. What is it with men and the size of their ‘cowbells’…. Sam is out working with a friend of ours clearing wood for Winter and the kids are out in the borgata playing. The school year finishes next week and then the holidays start, our road will be filled with ‘city folk’ up for a day in the countryside.

Yesterday I walked down to Bobbio with Aldina to pick up her niece and nephew and meet the teachers (one speaks English phew) and was pleasantly surprised to see how well Luca will fit in here. We still don’t know which school Carina will attend and have a meeting on Monday to discuss it. She is picking up the language so quickly and the old people now look to her to translate to me LOL! I try to say everything in both Italian and English so Luca picks up some words.

Sam’s orto is growing nicely and we are bucking the system by not planting potatoes like everyone else. Reason being why grow such a cheap crop? Answer it’s always been that way! So we will swap our cherry tomatoes, cauliflower, aubergines, and beans for some potatoes hopefully if we can continue to outfox the snails!

Tomorrow morning our neighbors are coming for pancakes…they’ve never had them so we had to go and hunt down some maple syrup. They have been so generous and Sam has found a best friend to muck about with. He is in happy land, out in the ‘orto’, pottering about with Claudio or here at the house fixing the plumbing.

I have found a lady in Bobbio Pellice who is Canadian and we are meeting up for coffee with a friend of hers also from Australia. She and her husband are retired and here volunteering for two years. Having a social network of some kind makes all the difference when in a new country, especially one that speaks the same language. I must admit to being a bit down since not having the internet, I realize how much I relied on it for my socializing and connection to friends.

The Italian version of ‘facebook’ can be seen every day before or after meal times. Soaking up the sun in the town square. The elderly men on the comfortable park benches in the prime spot opposite the square where they can see the comings and goings.  The women gather outside the Comune chatting face to face, people at the cafe, parents watching the children playing in the park, or tourists eating gelato.

It’s the Italian version of the Social Network and it’s scary that we have lost this in only a few generations. The people here are always ‘doing’ something, I can’t imagine them on computers or in front of the TV, from first light till dark (about 9pm) we can hear daily life going on about us.

The cows come home with bells ringing loudly ready for milking, the cars beep at the sharp curve on the road just above our house, Carina wants to go and help with the cows and it’s still light outside at 9pm with the kids all out playing. And I seem to have found the prime time for trying our internet connection….lunchtime of course when everyone is home eating a meal together!

Life has certainly changed….I am slowly shifting my focus and learning to enjoy each moment as it comes…yes even minus Facebook. x