Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Venice, Fufu, and Christian Rock


This week was, once again, pretty busy (aren't they all).  I've had a few appointments, did a lot of tracting, have had a few bike problems...  Here is a picture from our apartment. and also photos after it rained one day in Udine.
View from Udine apartment

Beautiful (GINORMOUS) rainbow

Double rainbow after it rained all day

Anziani Anderson and Whitesell
TRACTING.  We have 3-4 usual routes for tracting, where we can walk and talk to a lot of people.  One is next to a river, one is in a city, one is by a park, which usually ends up with us doing the city loop, and one is a huge 3-hour loop that involves all of those places.  I didn't see how they all connected at first, but now that I know the area better I can walk around knowing where these places are relative to each other, and know the general area where the train station is, where some members are, where the church is, etc.

BIKE PROBLEMS.  I was biking along one day, and the tire felt iffy -- I felt the bumps more than usual.  Then we did tracting, and when we got back, all the air was out of it.  It wasn't slashed or anything.  Just flat I guess from a rock or glass.  So I rode the flat home that day, and we walked to church on Sunday (about a half-hour walk). I walked my bike back into town on Monday, but the main bike shop was still closed for Feria.  So we left the bikes in the city and walked home (20-30 minutes).  Tuesday we walked back, walked the bikes to a different bike shop, and left them there.  So I'm actually going to pick it up after I finish emailing today.

VENIZIA = VENICE.  We went to Venizia today...that was our P-Day activity.  It's about 2 hours away by train, so it's at the far limit of where we can visit.  But we went, and it was pretty cool.  It's a beautiful city, and the waterways just make it really unique.
Venice canals

We got off the train in Venizia and started walking around the city.  Of course the main areas and entrance had tons of tourist shops.  They sold masquerade masks, glass figurines, tshirts, jackets, tons of touristy stuff.
Can you just hear that gondolier guy singing in the background?
And there are loads of restaurants.  But the streets are really close and it looks Italian, with cobblestone, open shutters on windows, shingled roofs, and alleyways where I could reach out and touch both sides with my hands at the same time.
Thin alleyways

So we wandered around Venizia for about an hour and a half, walking across bridges and watching some gondoliers pass by, and mingled with the thousands of tourists.

The restaurants were pretty pricey, so we just ate at a cafeteria by the train station: paninis, pizzas, and such.  The drinks are either water, fizzy water (nasty stuff), Aranciata (orange soda -- tons and tons of that here -- Fanta and other brands) or beers or wines.

INVESTIGATORS.  On a side note, whenever we meet an investigator at a bar, we'll sit outside or inside at the nice tables.  Someone comes out and asks what we want. They inevitably get coffee, and we inevitably get water.  For one fizzy water I got, they added mint flavoring.  It tasted better, but it tasted like mouthwash, so only marginally better.

FUFU.  This is fufu, a dish served to us by one of the church members from Africa (I don't know which country).  It's a play-dough-like substance without much flavor, so you break off pieces and dip it in a hot chicken-based sauce.  It was a weird consistency, but the missionaries in Italy all know it.
Fufu, you read it right

This particular member also has us drink an entire bottle of Aranciata with each meal, between the 3 of us.  Fortunately, I like sugary drinks.  As you can see from the partly-eaten-fufu picture, I didn't eat much of it.  My companion loves it, so he ate the entire thing and half of mine.  It was disgusting to think of that lump of stuff sitting in his stomach.
At the end of the meal I had only eaten this much

WEATHER.  It's not very hot, in fact it rains every other day.  It's not sticky, thank goodness, but kind of chilly.  I carry water with me on my bike.
Tower in Venice

MUSIC.  Many Elders have music on their SD cards or portable hard drives, not sure which.  We listen to hymns, or sort of Christian-rock stuff?  It's not rock, but specifically Mormon writers singing about gospel principles.  It's weird and missionaries are probably the only ones who listen to it, but it's good enough to listen to.

I think that's about it.  Letters are cool.  I can check my mailbox daily.

I love you!
Anziano Whitesell

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