Friday, December 22, 2006

Holiday Greetings for you all!

We hope you have a healthy and peaceful new year and that 2007 is filled with contact between friends! hint hint.
Danish - Glaedelig Jul og godt nyter
Dutch - Vrolijk Kerstfeest en een Gelukkig Nieuw Jaar
Dutch - Prettige kerstdagen en een gelukkig nieuw jaar

Egyptian - Colo sana wintom tiebeen
English - Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
Finnish - Hyvää joulua ja onnellista uutta vuotta!

Flemish - Zalig Kerstfeest en Gelukkig nieuw jaar
French - Joyeux Noel et Bonne Année!
German - Frohe Weihnachten und ein glückliches Neues Jahr!
Greek - Hronia polla kai eytyhismenos o kainourios hronos
Hebrew - Mo'adim Lesimkha. Shana Tova
Icelandic - Gledhileg jsl og farsflt komandi ar!
Irish Gaelic - Nollaig Shona
Irish Gaelic - Nollaig faoi shean agus faoi shonas duit agus bliain nua faoi mhaise dhuit!
Italian - Buon Natale e Felice Anno Nuovo!
Modern Greek - Kala Christougenna kai evtichismenos o kainourios chronos!
Norwegian - God Jul Og Godt Nytt Aar
Portuguese - Boas Festas
Portuguese - Feliz Natal e um Prospero Ano Novo
Swedish - God Jul Och Ett Gott Nytt Ar
Turkish - Noeliniz kutlu olsun ve yeni yilinis kutlu olsun!
Turkish - Noeliniz Ve Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun
Here's a picture of me, my husband, Bernhard and kids Leonardo and Annabella on our trip to Croatia this summer 2005.

Monday, December 18, 2006

My last night in Italy -- Alto Adige/Trentino

Here is what I wrote in my journal for August 4, 1986: "I slept fairly well in the big bed alone. Sandy should be home by now. I left the window completely open last night. No shutters. It was nice to get the fresh air. I woke up early but just stayed in bed thinking. I finally got up after 10! I took a shower and had some cookies and tea for breakfast. At 11 we are leaving for Trento. Last night the band in town played "ma la notte no" Wow how that reminded me of the camp. I can see Mr. Luigi dancing to it now. The trip to Trento was fantastic. What scenery! What history! What mountains! We met my cousin, his wife and kids. Then they said that we are going to dinner with them. First we saw a bit of Trento. We went to the top of a mountain on a cable car! That was scary. For dinner we drove to a town that is only 30 KM from the Austrian border. It is in Italy but the people speak German and the architecture already looks Austrian. I gave them my presents. What I did not expect is that they would give me presents to bring back to MY family. Oh, I was counting on that extra space. Oh we it will work out. We got home late and I went to bed. Tomorrow I must be up early to go to Milan for my flight home."

We met with my cousins and had a great time together. Maria Victoria stayed with me the whole time but I think it was not too bad for her. We saw a lot that day.There was a castle with a pit in front of it. Down in the pit lived 2 brown bears. That was strange. From there we took the cable car over the river and up the mountain to a great view of the area. It was spectacular, very different. I can't believe that I did not have any pictures of this day. I think that I ran out of film or something.So this picture is from our trip to Italy just before Easter 2005. It is of the right area, close to the Austrian border. It is good to have cousins in Northern Italy. One more reason to go there. Of course when I was there in August of 1986, there wasn't snow..but it was cold at night.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Johanna Lara Palsdottir --Iceland

The second girl from Iceland is Johanna Lara Palsdottir. She and Kristin were often together at camp although she is from Sauoarkroukur. Not close to Kristin's home town.
We too wrote to one another after the camp was over. She is a wonderful person. For the 10 year anniversary she told me that she was living in the Netherlands and going to the University to get her Master's in Spatial Science. Ok, I wrote that and then needed to answer just was are "spatial sciences"? Well Johanna started out with a degree in Geography. Then moved to spatial science. She can tell you for example, the location of a city by citing the longitude and latitude. She can tell you what type of soil is located there. She can tell you how the geological environment of the area effects that city and also shows how the size and lay of that city compares to others in the world. She is certainly involved in GIS (Geographic Information Systems) which is a computer system that takes geographical information and can make associations depending on your needs. It manipulates a collection of data to create maps that are more detailed than before. Ok, what does that have to do with Campo Italia? Nothing. Just very cutting edge and interesting. Johanna Lara, who now goes by Lara. Where are you? I did find you from the info you gave me 10 years ago. But we lost touch again. Once this is posted I will write to you again. I don't know anything about what has happened in the last 10 years. A lot I am sure. In this picture she is with Mika (Finland), Johanna is in the middle and Kristin (Iceland) is on the right. They are in the parking area of Castelnuovo.

Sunday August 3, 1986 Good-bye Miss Canada!

Here is my journal entry for August 3, 1986. "Her plane left at 8:30 am. We were supposed to wake up at 4:30 to get there in time. We woke up at 6:30!!!!!! Oh no. We thought we would miss the plane for sure. I stuffed her last minute things into her suitcase while she dressed. We all jumped in the car. Maria Victoria drove so fast. She was whizzing through the little towns along Lake Garda. Luckily it was early in the morning on a Sunday and there was no traffic. Sandy was flying from Verona airport. We got there at 7:25 and checked her in. As soon as she got there, they started to board. We cried and said good-bye. There was no time for anything drawn out. The plane was already boarding! So all of a sudden she was gone. Enrica was with us and we drove her home. She has a lovely house and we sat in the garden and drank espresso. She claimed that this would be a real Italian coffee not like the kind in the USA. She was right! Erica was leaving for Las Vegas in a few days. That will be a real shocker for her. We went home. I drank some tea and had some pastries that were left over from last night. Then I layed in the sun and relaxed. I took a shower and made some spaghetti. It is very hot again today. I was waiting for Tarchizio to take me to visit his sister. Then Tar called and cancelled for the day. He said he "wasn't feeling well." So I went swimming and layed in the sun some more and read. Then I walked to town alone. I called Alain and we talked for a few minutes. I really need to get another job. Either one that pays better or a second one so that I can save enough to come back to Europe soon. Back home one of Maria's friends named Claudia came over with some friends. 4 guys. One was her fiancee. None of them spoke English so I didn't talk much. We are to meet Maria's parents at the restaurant Darsena. I am not hungry. I just ate some bread and good cheese. But it is early and we don't meet them until 8 pm. I am a little bored. I feel like going out. Tomorrow Maria is taking me to my cousin's in Trento. I don't think I will see Enzo and Tarchizio and the boys before I leave. I go to Trento all day tomorrow and the next day I fly home. That is too bad. They were fun. I am tired. My legs hurt because I exercised them in the pool this afternoon. I am laying here in bed. The music down in the town has started up again. It is sad. It is like we are just waiting for the next day to pass and then I will be on my way home too. I don't want to leave. Sandy is in the air on her way home right now. It is strange not having Sandy here. With the two of us together we always had someone to talk to.
Maria likes doing her own thing and was tired of English. I am sure she will be happy to have her life back to normal too. She was very kind but two strangers for two weeks of her summer holidays was a lot. Good night Sandy. You will be home in a few hours."

The pictures are of Sandy with the host family. Maria Victoria in her pink swim suit, Francesca (Frankie) the mom, Sandy and the Marsilio the dad. The other picture is of the steep path we climbed from the town to the house each day. We got nice leg muscles from that!

Iceland --Two Warm Hearted Girls

Next on our list come the two girls from Iceland. First in the address book is Kristin Vilhjalmsdottir from Vogar. Kristin and I have kept in contact off and on over the years. We were together a lot during the camp. We played cards in the bus on the long trips to different places. She is a lovely person not only to look at but also in personality. She is married now and just started a new job as the personal assistant to the mayor in Reykjavik. It has been a few years and we somehow lost one another but I hope that once the crazy holiday season is over, we can write to each other again. Ten years ago she was also a professional dancer in Latin American and Ballroom dancing. I don't know if she still pursues this. I don't have any real story about her but know that she is a friend even when years go by since we last talked.The pictures are 1) where she is holding a piece of white paper, that is from a group shot in Rovereto in front of the cannon. Then she is posing with some wine at a factory we visited. The last picture is from a group shot in La Spezia. She is standing with her sunglases on and Guido (Germany) is next to her. Kristin. I hope we find time to write. Love to you! Ciao.

August 2, 1986 Vacanza Romana

Here is my journal entry for August 2, 1986: "I woke up long before the others today. Once Sandy got up we went to town. Some friend of Maria Victoria's is staying with us too. I don't know her name. We went to the bar in town to make some phone calls. One to Alain--no one home. One to John DiGregorio's friend --no answer. One to my cousins -- nobody home. We need to be back home by 1 pm. We got some thing to eat and drink. I ordered a piece of that cake with all the fruit on top. Then who happens to be there but that cute Italian guy that we talked to before --Armando. He got a coffee and talked to us a while. We forgot the time and suddenly it was 12:30! Said quick good-byes. Oh he has beautiful eyes. When we got home the mom and dad were about to leave. The were going somewhere for the weekend. Sandy was returning to Canada before they got back so we took some pictures and then Sandy breaks out presents for them. My oh my. She had so many presents to give them. A bag full for each. Mine, that I will give them when I leave in a few days, will look pitiful in comparison. She had pins, T-shirts, baseball caps, ties, beads, collector spoons, decorative plate and little flags. Everything had Canadian symbols on them. Wow.
I cooked spaghetti with some sauce I made up. Then we layed in the sun for a while. It was very hot. Tomorrow I am supposed to go to Tarchizio's sister's house. I hope that he does not try anything romantic. I am not interested in anyone but one Frenchman right now. I think I would like to live on a boat. (Here I had sketched a picture of what the boat should look like.) When I get home I will make a cassette of music to remind me of the camp. I think the song "I honestly love you." and "The way we were" Then The Cure, Bronski Beat, The Communards and so on. Ok, the friend's name is Erica. For dinner we ordered pizzas. Maria and Erica went to pick them up. We stayed home tonight and watched TV. An old movie was on "Vacanza Romana", or in English "Roman Holiday". It was with Gregory Peck and Audry Hepburn. I have seen it lots of times and love that movie. We drank some wine. It was only ok tasting. We sat by the pool and drank wine and talked. There was a band playing down in the town. They played till midnight. we could hear it well at the top of the hill where we lived. It is Sandy's last night. She and I layed in bed and talked and talked. I told her to try to get some sleep and then she fell right asleep. It was a lovely evening. We watched a romantic movie, sat under the stars and drank wine. I think it was a nice end for Sandy's Italian vacation."

Once again our ignorance of wine shined brightly. We bought a big bottle of Lambrusco at the shop in town. We put in in the refrigerator to "chill". Our Italian host family must have thought we were crazy to chill a red wine. We drank it nonetheless. Lambrusco is a sweet cheap wine that should be slightly chilled 20 to 30 minutes, but we deep chilled it. It was warm enough that evening that it warmed up quickly. You can see the sweat on the bottle in the picture.

Stephen Cronly --Ireland

Stephen Cronly. When I googled him I got some surprising results. He won "escort of the year" in the Rose of Tralee International Festival. It is some kind of beauty pageant and the winner gets a handsome man to escort her to events. Stephen won in 2000. The most recent Offaly Independant Newspaper has a picture of Stephen, again involved in the Pageant. The small picture on the left is from 2002. The one here with lots of ladies show Stephen, wearing the dark suit, surrounded by this years' candidates for "The Rose". Here are a few pictures that I took at the camp. Most are from group shots where I had to enlarge the pictures so they are not so great
The one where you can see his whole body, is one of I took at "the richest man in Bagnone"'s house. I have not had any contact with Stephen over the years. I did get one letter from him right after the camp was over. I assume he still lives near his home town, so I will send a postcard
to the address that I have for his parents and see what happens. Anyone have any Stephen stories? You can see from all the pictures where he is laughing and smiling that he likes to enjoy life. Here he is as one of our stripping "ladies" at The Show. I guess he could have won the Title of Rose and Escort in one fell swoop!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

pictures from Nikki UPDATE

Nikki from the UK has sent me lots of pictures. Thank you so much!! I have inserted some of them in with the appropriate post. The rest I will use in future posts. For you who have read the blog already, I will place the link to the new pictures here.

the Show
the awards ceremony at Maria Dolens bell
The flag raising ceremony
Handsome Italian

August 1, 1986 Florida and steak

Here is the journal entry for August 1, 1986
" Got up early. I slept badly again. We took the bus to Salo. First we did not know where to get tickets, then we could not figure out how to make the bus stop. We observed the others and just off. It was a funny adventure. We walked a lot. Finally we found some shops to get the things we needed. I got some presents for people at home and then bought a black lace top and some black shoes. We had to climb the gate again when we got home. We layed in the sun and got really red. For lunch we ate spagheti with peppers and tomatoes. We were going to Enzo's for dinner tonight and then to a disco. We got dressed to go. I wore my hair up, my new black shirt and shoes and my pink silk skirt. Sandy wore a white skirt and her patterned turquoise shirt. Maria Victoria wore white pants with a tank top and a big jacket. We all looked great. We took pictures with Francesca, the mom. We bought some ice cream to bring to Enzo's a a present. We got lost on the way there. There were 8 people: Tarchizio, Enzo, Sergio (a different Sergio than before), Antonio with Linda, Sandy, Maria and me. We had white wine Pino something from Santa Margherita. Pasta with mushrooms that they called Panni. Then HUGE steaks that were first grilled then topped with that oil, garlic and parsley. YUM. And a salad. After dinner we went to a disco called Florida. It had 2 swimming pools and 2 dance floors inside and outside. Unfortunately it was in a farm area and the air smelled like fertilizer. I drove there with Tarchizio, Antonio and Linda. Unfortunately I think Tar has a crush on me. Ever since he found out I had a French boyfriend he has been angry towards me. Like tonight. He said "eat some pastries they are FRENCH" stressing the word. Then he asked if I liked his car.He said "you should it is FRENCH." He wants me to go with him to meet his sister tomorrow. Just me and him. Oh boy. I am not homesick but it is time to go. I feel like we have been here a long time. I could not help but compare the disco tonight to the ones we went to at camp. I know why it was not so much fun. Something was missing. Or I should say someone."

I was such a baby when it comes to wine. That was a pinot grigio Santa Margherita. One of my favorite wines. Then I had no idea about wine, since you are not allowed to drink any alcohol in the USA until you are 21 and I was only 19 then. I was naive in many ways.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Our girl from England -- Nikki Cooper.

As I began working on this Blog, I got out the letters people have sent me over the years. I have all the letters from Campo Members in a box. It has come with me over the years. In all the times we have moved. they have been across the USA twice and have gone across the Atlantic Ocean 4 times! (once when you sent it to me and then 3 times when we moved to Europe and back and then to Europe again). Anyway, I was looking to find people on the Internet. Sometimes when I put in a name, I got too many responses. So I looked in the old letters for clues to narrow the search. In the last letter I got from Nikki, she mentioned that she was starting at university and would be studying French. So when I Googled Nicola Cooper I added French to the search. I came up with a Doctor Nicola Cooper, associate professor of French at Bristol University, specializing in French Colonization. There were links to and other book sites. Then I found a site with her picture and knew this must be our Nikki. I sent an email and was very happily surprised to find that indeed, Dr. Copper is our Campo Italia Medallion Winner. She is in the picture with Beth(USA), Alain (France)and Nikki is in the pink and white. She sent me lots of photos and I am very happy to have found her again. Here are some pictures she sent. The first on is a recent photo of Nikki and her daughter,Ruby, who is now 3 and a half years old. She is good friends of Paulo and Luigi who were at the camp with us. They even visited her in England. This is a picture of them in England.

Here is one of Nikki and Paulo at the second disco we visited.
This picture is of Saskia (Netherlands, Nikki and Paulo (Italy) at the nature park near Pisa where we had a picnic lunch.

This is a picture from the flag raising day. She is in her signature hat and loop earrings and is standing next to Karl from Sweden. Nikki, you sent me lots of info in recent email but I will leave it to you to post any comments or memories. Baci!

July 31, 1986 the day is in ruins!

My journal from July 31, 1986 is as follows: "We slept until 11 am! Both the mom and the dad would be gone all day. Vicky called and we planned a spot to meet at the airport. We went to town and I called my mom to update her on the flight info. Then I called my cousins. I will go to Trento on Monday. We ate lunch at home. Zucchini with peppers, onions and tomatoes. Very good. We are going to Sirmione today. It is very humid since it rained a bit this morning, the first time in 2 weeks. Will write more later. Sirmione was very interesting. Old ruins from a Roman palace were on a peninsula. I took a ton of pictures. It rained very hard on the short ride home. I bought some presents for people back home. I am so hungry. Tomorrow Sandy and I are going to jump on a bus to Salo and get the presents she needs. We are going to Enzo's and to a disco tomorrow night. We watched Festibar '86 tonight. I had a nap after the ruins and suddenly I have a feeling that Alain and I will become those kind of friends who only send letters at Christmas, a card or a scribbled note. I did have a funny dream of a reunion. It was new years eve many years from now. I hope it doesn't come to that.
The water today was so incredible. The storm was coming so the lake was was shades of blue that I have never seen before. I hope that my pictures come out well but somehow I think they will never match what I really saw. Ciao. Have good dreams. "

I was able to go to Sirmione again when my son was just a baby. It must have been in 2000. It was just as wonderful as I had remembered. The path to the ruins is lined with a hedge of rosemary and olive trees. The ruins extend out into the water and so the views are fantastic. It is definitely worth a visit. Who knows? Maybe we can do that when we have our 25th reunion in Italy? Anyone willing to go?

Eriphili Tsovaltzi

Eri! I don't know why but there was some kind of joke that the boys would say the name "Eri" and then make a tweeting sound like a bird. Does anyone care to share what the joke was? I really don't know. Eri and Elizabeth and I spent a lot of time talking and listening to music at the camp. They were both much younger than me but we liked American oldies music and so had that in common. They were both very pretty and very sweet. Here is a picture of Eri from a group shot at La Spezia. Behind her to the left with the short dark hair, is Angie from the USA and to the right with the long dark hair is Hande from Turkey. She sent me this other picture of her for the 10 year anniversary book. At that time she was expecting her second baby. She is married to Steven Voudouns. Her son Koshs whose picture is here is now nearly 11 years old. He was 16 months old in the picture. In the memory book she mentioned the kindness that Francesco showed her and her sister. They picked them up from the train station when they arrived and also she wanted to buy some shoes but Mr. Grandi did not give them time so Francesco bought them later.
She had already changed her money from Lira back to Greek money so she could not pay him. Some friends heard this and collected some money for her. She was so impressed with everyone's kindness.

July 30th 1986 Milan by Autostrada

Here is my journal entry from July 30, 1986 "Sandy could not sleep again for the 3rd night in a row. We got up early today because we have to go to the airport in Milan to fix my ticket which has some kind of a mistake in it. I am writing in the car now. We are going 180 in this Fiat convertable so that is why my writing is so wobbly. We are heading straight to Linate airport. It took us a while to get things sorted out but WE GOT MY TICKET! It is confirmed and everything. Wow, I am so relieved that is finished. We got a Coke with lemon and then went to the car. Maria says "now we are going to to Lumezzane." Sandy is really angry but said nothing. She wanted to go to Milan to get souvenir T-shirts for her friends back home. Maria did not know this. We didn't dare ask to stop since she did not want to come here in the first place for my ticket. So onward we go. No Duomo, No shopping. Milan by autostrada, the only way to go.

My tan, little as it is, is already starting to fade. We washed clothes before we left and mine are still damp. I hope they don't make Sandy's wet too. Since we will be staying overnight in Lumezzane we packed one bag together.

Sandy is asleep in the car now. She has been sleeping badly. She had a problem with her tickets too. To fix them cost 95, 000 Lira! She still has to buy presents to take home and only has 80,000 for 4 days. I think this situation is worrying her. If we had stopped in Milan to shop she would have no money left. It is Danny, Eri, and Judith's birthdays today. I sent them all postcards. The Autostrada is really full today. There are a lot of Dutch cars on the road.

At Lumezzane we went to the dad's factory (something to do with copper pipes). It was a nice factory. We were treated like very important guests since we are staying with the owner. The Dad drove us to a restaurant of a man he knows. There were no menus, he just told us what we could have. I hade gnocchi with tomato sauce. Melon with proscuitto. Some very pink meat with oil on it. I think it is called carpaccio. Then a fillet of very thinly sliced meat. A salad with frizzy lettuce and onions in it. After we ate everything the dad asked us how we liked our meal. Then he got a big smile and told us that we just ate a little horse! Oh my!!!! Well it tasted very good but I am glad he told us after. We went to the house/flat. F@#$$ing gorgeous! 2 Living rooms with leather sofas, modular groups and oriental rugs.Paintings, chrystal, antiques. It was amazing. The chandelier in the dining room was unbelievable. Maria has her own apartment in the apartment. Hers has 3 rooms, a dressing room, bedroom and sitting room. She has a huge shower with jets all around the walls of it. I slept a little and then had a shower. We decided we are NOT spending the night which is fine with me. Tarchizio came over and we left with him in his BMW. We went for a drive. He drove up a narrow road in the mountains that had no guard rail and went straight down a cliff. He went fast. It was scary.We stopped and took pictures of the view. Then we went to Equador Bar and I had a negroni and some ice cream. We met another friend, Franco. I thought right away that he was going to be a big flirt..I was right. Sandy, Maria and I left the bar and went for a walk in the mountains. It was great. We met up with Maria's friends at a restaurant. Franco and Tarchizio came together. Enzo in a Jeep Wrangler. Amadeo in his Porche and then some more friends showed up. Sergio and two other guys. We ate! Pickles with cheese on top. Bread, risotto with mushrooms. Little tomatoes and lettuce and grilled chicken. The chicken had oil with garlic and herbs in it. Yum. Everything was delicious. I had already drank a negroni in the afternoon. Now I had 7 glasses of wine with dinner! I was very happy. Maria was trying to protect us from her friends because we all had been drinking. She told the guys that Sandy and I had boyfriends who were very jealous. The guys laughed and said "that is ok, when you are in Italy you must forget everyone else and concentrate on the Italian boys." We had coffee and left to go to Bar Ecuador again. I had a whiskey sour. It was just past midnight so I was really floating from all the alcohol. Sergio said he wanted to come visit me in the USA. I told him he can sleep in my brother's room with him and that made him shut up. The boys were flirting very much since we all had a lot to drink. Then we had a cafe corretto (espresso with brandy in it!) They asked where are boyfriends are from and Sandy said hers is from Austria and that mine is from France. They told me that I had made a good choice. That Austrian men were not known for romance.They only know how to drink beer. But French men know all about romance. I went home so tired and high as a kite." It was really a big ego boost for me to have so many men flirting. They were funny and we knew that they were not serious at all. Still it was fun to have so much attention. The picture is of Tarchizio and me.

Elizabeth Tsovaltsi

Well, I can't believe it but it finally happened. I have absolutely NO picture of Elizabeth from the time of the camp. I thought I would have at least one picture of everyone, but I was wrong. I find it so hard to believe because I spent a lot of time with Elizabeth and her sister, Eri, during the camp time. I have only one picture of Eri as well. She is next on the list. Elizabeth sent me this picture when I did the memory book for our 10th anniversary. Even in the group shots of the camp, she is not in them. So if anyone has a picture of Elizabeth from the camp please mail or email it to me. Thanks.

10 years ago she sent me a letter saying that she was engaged to be married to someone named Gregory who is an engineer. She works as a teacher. I will also send postcards to the last known address and see what happens.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

July 29, 1986

In this journal entry, I was just writing lots of things that were on my mind. I have edited it a lot because most of it is personal and boring for anyone but me. Here is what I wrote "Went to town to mail some letters. When I got home, Alain called from Francesco's house. He is on his way home today by train. He found out that he won some kind of award and has been accepted to college. He will find out what his award is when he gets home. It will take nearly 24 hours by train.

I cooked soup for lunch, a recipe I created myself. It was good. Mr. Pasotti called and said that he can't fix my ticket in Brescia and has to go to Milan to the airport to fix it. Great. I need to go soon because I am running out of time. I also need to go to my cousin's in Trento go get rid of all these presents for my cousins that I have been carrying around since I left the USA.

Well, I am just sitting in my room here in the house. I am nervous. I have alot on my mind. I have been thinking about the camp and relationships. This camp was a great lesson in life. Live and let live. You don't always have to agree on everything. Who said that life was basically 2 kinds of relationships? Buber. That's right. I-Thou and I -It. Which do we have? It is good to love and be loved back. I need to get going and learn some languages. It is terrible that the US does not push learning them. That is so egotistical. We are so sure that SOMEONE will know English.

Dinner was late tonight. Chicken, salad, wine, bread and butter, peaches and ice cream. After dinner, Mr. Pasotti forced Maria Victoria to take us to Luna Park. We rode the swings, played arcade games and I got a raspberry granita. We have to get up early tomorrow to go to Milan and fix my ticket.

Our Greek God -- Sotiris Papantonopoulos

We had three people from Greece at the camp. All from Thessaloniki. Sotiris was the only Greek male. He liked to be called Steve. That was typical of people whose names in their native tongues were difficult to pronounce for others. He was very funny. He had a very big ego. Once he told me he was going to come the the USA to give a series of lectures on how to become a Greek sex god. He liked to flirt with all the girls. We corresponded for a while. He was married for a while to a Spanish woman, if I remember correctly and lived in England as well. The last I heard he was back in Greece, but it has been years since I wrote to him. I will try sending a post card to his parents' house and see if we can find him. Anyone want to share some Sotiris stories?

In this picture from Rovereto, he is sitting next to Isabella who met up with our group late into the camp.

Then he is standing in Pisa near the Baptistry.

In one he is standing with Trine from Norway. They are in front of the chappel at the big rock formation, see the link in the month of February 2006.

Then in this last picture he is with Audney from Denmark, standing outside the Stelle Stone museum on one of our last days at the camp.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Venice July 28th, 1986

On July 28th, 1986 Maria Victoria, our host family's daughter took Sandy and me to Venice. We sat for what seemed like hours at the toll gate. That began our hot but interesting day. My journal entry for that day is as follows: "We Left at around 9 o'clock. Took the Autostrada. It took 1 and a half hours. Couldn't find any parking. We walked and walked and walked. It was beyond words. Took some but not many pictures.

We had lunch took in some museums and took the ferry boat. Oh la la those gondola drivers. I kept thinking of the Daphne Du Maurier's story. The place definitely has mystery, as if something is always lurking around the next corner. Tomorrow I will get my flight fixed. Then my worries about that are over. We are going to Lumezzane tomorrow. I liked Venice a lot. So old so many beautiful shops filled with glittering gold. We could not get into San Marcos because we wore shorts. That was disappointing. The Heat. Venice in late July. I really thought that the soles of my shoes were melting. We ate so much when we got home. Mini pizze, string beans, meat, peaches, breat proscuitto, melon, ice cream...We are dead tired."

Except for the picture of Maria Victoria and Sandy (Canada), these pictures are actually from my most recent trip to Venice. I have been there about 5 times now. I love it. I spent 3 days there with my mother and father-in-law. We took our time and explored the city and enjoyed it much more than other trips. There is too much to see and if you try to experience Venice in one day or one afternoon, it is a sensual overload.

Sascha Ledowski

Here is the last of our 3 German campo members, Sascha Ledowski. With the help of Guido, we have learned that he is a pilot with Lufthansa. He was a quiet guy at the camp but he did participate in the games we would play on the bus and was very likeable. Here are a few pictures of him mostly from group shots.
Sorry that the quality is so gritty. Anyone have any good Sascha stories? He was one of the fabulous 5 who got left behind in Florence (read that story from the archives in July). Thanks to his family the 5 got back to the camp.

So sorry

Hi! No, I did not give up on this blog. I just have been so very busy lately. Life has caught up to me. I have a lot of students for tutoring right now. It is the end of the semester. I also teach several groups plus the kids have after school activities and play dates with other kids and so on and so on. I have a huge garden which had lots of leaves to rake. That all added up to no time to blog. I miss it and hope to be able to blog more regularly. All that being said. Please enjoy a new blog or 2. Sign up to RSS feed to get updates sent to your email box!