after another breakfast feast, i say to mama pina that i will get fat if i stay here any longer. she says, yes, you are a little fatter than when you came. then you were pale and thin, but now you are fatter and have color in your face! she sounds pleased. and instead of wanting to rush off to the nearest gym (there are none), i settle into my new "fatness" with appreciation for my plumped out lines and the joyous abundance of life - mangia!
conversing with the locals has been ill-fated from the start in this village that has no need for english. even a weak attempt on my part to go beyond "buon giorno", such as "come stai?" are met with a lengthy response in speed-italian that leaves me open mouthed with nothing to say. such basic communication should be easy, but with few words in common, smiling and nodding are the universal language. fortunately, my hosts - susanna, pina and rafaelle - speak english very well, but despite their efforts to school me in basic italian, i will have to settle for buon giorno, ciao and grazie~
my morning ritual now includes a walk into pollino national park, one of the largest in europe, in which this little village sits moored in it's natural beauty. from across the deep valley, i get a perfect framed view of noepoli, and what i see is a fairy tale mountain hamlet, so picturesque that i rub my eyes and look again. of course, the distant view is idyllic, but i suspect that the local politics and goings-on are the same the world over - gossip and squabbles and laughter and love. this i know, people are people wherever you go ~