Sunday, October 18, 2015

Napoli Sundays

This week has been primarily focused on settling in...and by that, I mean that Marty has been bravely assembling furniture while I unpack box after box (after box after box). We're finally making a dent in the piles of cardboard. And the best part- we finished the nursery! And I love it. The living room is still a work in progress. The 8 "some assembly required" bookshelves still sit un-assembled in a corner, surrounded by the 500 lbs of books that we brought with us. The bedroom is sparse at best. And all my beautiful wall hangings lie piled in the guest bedroom. We're saving those for last, ostensibly because you should always wait to decorate until all of the furniture is assembled. But mainly because our walls are plaster and Marty needs time to prepare his heart for the arduous task of putting up anything on the walls. But our apartment is starting to feel like a home and we finally feel a bit more ready for this baby to arrive.

We haven't had too many Italian adventures this week, but Sundays are our Napoli day since we've decided to attend a church in the city. This means that every Sunday finds us driving 45 minutes from our home to downtown Naples, where the beautiful Christ Church Naples is located. The church was built in 1863 and is the largest Anglican church in Italy (although like any non-Catholic church in this beautiful country, large takes on a different meaning with about 35 attendees). We've really enjoyed it thus far, and are settling into the slightly different "feel" of the Church of England versus our Rwandan-affiliated churches back home.

One of my favorite parts of Napoli Sundays is the drive. We've been experimenting with different routes into the city. Our biggest issue? Cobblestone streets. It doesn't sound like a major problem, but driving over those paths makes for a bone jarring teeth clacking labor inducing trip. So our new goal is not to find the quickest path or the shortest path, it is to find the path with the least cobblestone. Potholes are acceptable...otherwise we wouldn't be able to drive anywhere. But smooth roads are the goal. Today was fairly successful, although I did almost get into my first Napoli accident. As we learn our way around, we've found that me driving and Marty navigating is the best process (since I have zero sense of direction). So Marty puts a lot of faith in me as I navigate the beautiful chaos of these roads (my Kuwaiti driving experience comes in handy here!). In our area orientation, we received several hours of lecture on how to drive here...I like to call the course "the many ways to die in Naples." But a lecture and practical application are two different things, and the only way to learn is to try! I've done a pretty good job if I do say so myself, but today I got caught between two trying to merge off the freeway from the middle lane, and one trying to merge into the middle lane from the on ramp. Where was I? In the right hand lane exactly where I belonged, but we still almost went crunch. Luckily Marty's sharp intake of breath and the view of two vehicles inches from our car saved us from our first mishap. Success! So this week marks the start of our third full week here. It already feels a bit like home. I'm eager to continue exploring and to start learning Italian, but as Marty wisely reminds me, we can't do it all at once especially this close to baby time. Step by step!

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