First (week)

the farm to the south

It’s been almost exactly a week since we boarded the plane. As we plodded slowly toward the skyway, I looked at my passport again and noticed the expiration date: July 2013.  For a split second, before even fully realizing the impact of what this might mean, I thought:  “Should I tell Federica?  She’ll give me hell for this one for sure.”  (She is definitely the detail oriented one, continuing to pack into the night as I went to bed) My instantaneous judgement call made, I winced and divulged.  Her first reaction?

“E-van!….well, you must be a part of the family.  This is exactly what my dad did a few months ago.”

(Later we learned he was turned away because his passport had actually expired.)  At Ben Gurion Airport, the only place where my privilege has not waved me right through the line, they require passports valid for at least 6 months even for tourists. Foreshadowing?  I hope not.

15 hours and one very strange conversation with a Dutch passport control agent about WWII later, we arrived at the farm unscathed.  Up until now, this wrinkle has only been one more thing to add to the very long list of things to do.  We knew Mila had broken an ankle and tore a shoulder ligament several weeks ago, so I suppose I was preparing myself for the worst. We arrived to find Mila scooting around the house in a wheelchair, her cast foot covered in a knit neck warmer and magnetic therapy widget, wielding the widget controller with a somewhat subdued affect brought on by countless hours of Italian TV. (More on this to follow)  The farm seems pretty well in order, relatively speaking. In fact the downstairs reception room was fully decorated for Easter (and spotless), the animal stalls were free of manure, and many of the totally bootleg, critical (yet hidden) elements of the farm were holding together.

We’ve spent the last week flailing around a bit, putting out fires here and there, getting involved in the latest game shows, enjoying a chance to see a lot of folks for Easter. (There is no better way to celebrate the return of our Lord Jesus Christ than by gesticulating wildly, cursing in one’s regional tongue, and teaching one’s nephew about differences in animal poo. [and also watching a nation in shocked ambivalent admiration of their new Pope washing the feet of an incarcerated muslim women.]{probably a lesbian}) So far, this feels like the routine. We have definitely begun to talk about how to really get the ball rolling on the epic future we have in store for this place, but honestly at this point I am also enjoying the opportunity to bang on some things, cuddle the new kids, (Pictures and naming contest to follow!), and prepare for some visitors!  We’re looking forward to having a friend from Olympia come for several weeks at about the same time one of my oldest school buddies and his family arrive for a week.  My passport renewal excepted, I’ve got quite the list of things waiting for them.