Saturday, February 4, 2012

Herta's Flat

Meals are taken at Herta’s Flat, which is actually nobody’s flat at the moment, but which will become the Carsons’ flat when they arrive on Monday. It’s a short walk up a baby hill, into a courtyard where the dogs bark at you or sleep in the sun, and up a short flight of outdoor steps. Two gates and one sliding glass door later, you’re in. It’s a lot warmer in Herta’s kitchen (once we turn the heat up) than any room in Forterocca I’ve been in, so there is mercy and grace in the Siberian cold.

Why are we walking up to Herta's Flat, you ask? The kitchen at Forterocca is under repair to accommodate the students; because of the snow and cold, repairs are delayed and there is some hope all will be finished before the leadership team arrives and training begins next Wednesday, but it will certainly be done in time for the school.

To which I can only think, with just a slight touch of skepticism, “But this is Italy…” 

The muffling of the snow is punctuated by a jackhammer in the kitchen (which is in the basement of Forterocca by the way, until the real facility is renovated in no one knows what time frame), wielded by our new friend Benjamin until he accidentally drilled into a finger and had to go to the ER Thursday night. 

So in the meantime, we’re crunching up the snow-filled path (avoiding the icy middle) to get meals in Herta’s kitchen.  Pesto pasta, minestrone, pork chops and potatoes, kiwi.  Staring out at the winter wonderland.  More mercy and grace in the beauty.   

When they're not guarding the compound ferociously against us foreign interlopers, here’s how the dogs are handling the cold front, smooched up against a sun-blasted wall. This morning one wouldn't let me pass for a full 10 minutes. This afternoon, they didn’t even stir…

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