Life in the Village

I saw a little slice of life the other day.  It was touching, heartwarming, and as universal as happy children and doting fathers – with an Italian twist.

In the very early afternoon, a school bus roared up to one of the houses just outside our village gate.  A happy little schoolgirl wearing a dress and a pink backpack jumped off the bus and practically into the arms of her father, who had emerged as the bus climbed the hill.

They could have been advertising familial contentment.

The twist?  It was Saturday.  Italian schoolchildren attend class on Saturday mornings!


5 Comments on “Life in the Village

  1. Great story, Karen. Keep the glimpses of life in the town coming. How do the people in town earn a living? What is the town like at night? Where is the school? Your faithful reader, David

    • You ask many good questions, my friend. I have few good answers, except to the question about what the town is like at night. It’s quiet. Very, very quiet. I seem to be the only one that goes out in the evenings. (I often go out for dinner.) I had a chat with my close neighbor out one evening as she was going between her front door and her lower level where her laundry room seems to be.

      Rather than guessing at answers to your other questions, I’ll report on some of the progress I’ve made in my first week of Italian class. I’m learning a variety of new and nifty ways to say, “I don’t know.” Of course there’s the universal averted eyes or shrug, but I knew those coming in. There’s also the basic “non so” or “non lo so,” the apologetic “mi dispiace,” and the sometimes useful “non lo dice” (it only works when she has asked a trick question and the answer really isn’t in the text – “non lo dice” means “it doesn’t say”). My newest addition to this all-important repertoire is “capisco il senso”, or “I think I know what you’re saying … generally.” When I use it, it usually means, “Move on. I really haven’t a clue, but there’s a chance I’ll get it if you keep going.”

  2. Large parts of the world have kids attend school on Saturday (I know it’s the norm in China & Japan too). I’m not saying I wish we did, but it’s moot. There’s no way the US would fund education to that extent. In Hawaii, I heard they’re not even sending kids to school on Friday!

    Sigh … a discouraged resident of a state ranked near the bottom in spending. 😦

  3. Another Italian twist: the last time anyone checked, about half of Italian elementary schoolchildren still go home to have lunch with their parents. Very civilized, dontcha think?

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