Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Destination Roma!!

So I have been in Rome for 3 weeks now. I can't believe that I am in Rome, it's almost like a dream right now. The volunteer house I am staying in is on the property of the Canossian Daughters of Charity and is a 15 minute walk to St. Peter's Basilica and a 5 minute bus ride. I can see St. Peter's from the roof top patio; me and St. Peter are pretty good buddies these days. I am very much inspired sitting on the roof and looking out at the city of Rome and thinking about all the history that has happened here. It is also really powerful to be here where the roots of the Church started and where so many holy people have walked, as well as many tyrrants. Behind the house there is a farm with sheep and horses so when I look towards St. Peter's I feel as though I am in a different era. The property here used to be owned by a Countess and the volunteer house actually used to be the stable, hahah, it's a pretty nice stable. There are a few problems with the house though: #1 people back then in Italy were very short; every doorway I have to duck under, and I have definitely smashed my head a few times early in the morning; #2 the oven needs to be lit by putting a match underneath the tray on the bottom while we hold down the gas lever, the stove needs to be lit with a lighter, and to keep the oven door closed we have wire wrapped around it that is then tied to the leg of a table beside the oven which is used to tighten it. It just adds to the whole cooking experience and gives us practice for Africa...actually that is a lie, in the Congo we are going to be using a wood burning stove so it's going to be even more interesting!! In regards to cooking, I am slowly learning. Here are a few things I HAVE succeeded in making: fresh pesto (we crushed the pine nuts from our trees, peeled them, used our fresh basil and crushed this all together with olive oil and salt and ta da! pesto), apple chestnut stuffing, roasted chicken, and pumpkin pie from a pumpkin in our garden. I have burnt many things, made many mistakes but the people I live with are very patient. Starting next week Rossa, the Italian cook at the convent is going to teach us how to cook. I am really looking forward to learning from a true Italian!
So...maybe I will give you a little picture of how my days work here at VOICA (Voluntariato Internazionale Canossiano):
7:00am mass (optional)
8:30-9:30am chores (could be anything, but lately has been involving sweeping the numerous pine needles that accumulate in the entrance way)
9:30-11am: session (so far we have learnt about the history of VOICA and the Canossians- started by St. Magdalene of Canossa, different forms of prayer, personality and character development, church documents, looking through the 4 pillars of VOICA which are: spirituality, community, formation, and service)
lunch and then time for ourselves
3-5pm: nous apprenons le francais parce que dans le Democratic Republic de Congo ils parlent le francais. Le langue c'est tres important!
dinner and then time for ourselves and then we always pray together in the evening as a community. A few fun things we've done so far: play frisbee in the dark (my frisbee I brought from home lights up!), play ping pong, watch some funny movies, eat gelato in St. Peter's Square, have picnics in the park. Oh yes, the park across from where we live is the biggest in Rome and has huge umbrella pine trees and a lake with fish...I go running there often and I simply love it, so much so that I have started to paint it! Bellisima! It looks better in person though, my painting isn't very good. I have a lot of practice to do.

So our saturday mornings are for cleaning the entire house. This is a change for me who cleans my house about once a month hahah. I am learning how to actually clean which actually is more difficult than one would think. After we clean we are always invited to the convent for lunch prepared by Rossa the lovely cook. The sisters here are so sweet and each of them has their own special personality. Sister Katherina is from the DRC and looks about 25 years old with the most beautiful eyes and smile. We practice speaking French together...I love her French it is so beautiful. She wants me to teach her Canadian history in exchange for drum lessons.


  1. Did you really clean your room once a month?

  2. well a thorough clean every month, but I would clean it a few times a month. Now I will be better at staying clean after all the chores I've learnt to do :)