Christmas Day: December 25, 2016
We got to Skype with David on Christmas Day! And there was much rejoicing. He is doing well, now 2 weeks into a new area: Torino. Here is Mom’s summary of a few highlights from the conversation.
ORANGE PEEL TRADITION. They spent Christmas Eve (4 missionaries) with an Italian family from the congregation. One of their Christmas traditions was to bring out a bag of oranges for dessert. “Save the peels,” they told the missionaries. (?!?!? Okay…) After the oranges were eaten or just peeled, they started the ORANGE PEEL FIGHT! Yes, that’s a tradition he might bring home with him.
People in Italy call Santa Clause “Babo Natale,” or Father Christmas in English.
COMPANION QUIRKS. David has had quite a few companions. One of them snored. David spent those 2 transfers (3 months) wearing ear plugs to bed.
Another one woke him up at night with “Click….click….click.” He couldn’t figure it out, got out a tiny flashlight and walked around the room…”Click…click…click.” It took him awhile, but it was his companion, biting his teeth together in his sleep.
Even the missionaries are doing it some.
David cuts his own hair. He had a frightening mishap in the beginning, since in Italy they measure the razor in millimeters. #3 razor, U.S., is about 9 millimeters, so when he asked for “#3” they thought he meant 3 millimeters. It was SOOOO short! Now he says 9 millimeters when somebody else does it, and if there's a razor in the apartment, he is actually comfortable trimming his own.
MEALTIME HABITS. In Italy they don’t spread butter on bread. They mix olive oil and kind of balsamic vinaigrette and dip the bread in. Yum!!
The missionaries eat dinner with church members once every 2 weeks or so. On a normal day, David eats a decent-sized breakfast, then the main meal is a big late lunch. They basically work 3p.m. to 10p.m. and have a smaller snack before bed.
Torino is fairly flat. This is a bus/train area for him, so he has a monthly pass. No bikes to worry about this time around! (He’s had a string of bike challenges lately, repair after repair, then a Grand Finale of the bike being stolen, for Pete’s sake! Taking the bus is probably a small relief.)
It was 46 degrees there (evening) when we talked.
PICTURES OF CHRIST. Interesting how even different Christian religions have their own images of Bible stories. We have pictures of John the Baptist standing in the River Jordan with Jesus, because in our church we baptize by immersion and both of them were standing in the river. David says the pictures he’s seen of Jesus’s baptism have John standing on a rock on the shore of the river, holding a cup. Jesus is standing near him, and the baptism is pouring a cup of water on him.
It was so good to see David! That definitely made it a Merry Christmas for us! :)