|The flight to Frankfurt went well and I arrived the next morning in Europe. I changed planes and took a quick flight to Milan where my friends, Salvatore and Caterina Ginolfi met me at the airport. They visited me in the US 8 years ago with their daughter, Micol.
We went back to their house and enjoyed a nice lunch of fusilli (cork screw shaped pasta) with a tomato "ragu" which is made with ham, onions and peas. Delizioso! She also made a mouth watering Eggplant Parmesan. Caterina's family is originally from Sicily, so they made many flavorful dishes from there while we were together.
I took a quick nap that afternoon (I was very tired after the trip) and then on Saturday evening we went to the Kingdom Hall to attend the special discourse presented in all Kingdom Halls around the world this weekend. They've been working in a Spanish congregation for 8 years and Caterina and Micol are both regular pioneers-they spend at least 70 hours each month teaching others about the Bible. There are many immigrants here in Italy from South America. Most of the brothers and sisters in this congregation were from Ecuador, Uruguay or Peru. It was very encouraging to talk with them. I was linguistically confused at this point-after flying on Lufthansa and speaking German to the crew, arriving in Italy and putting my "Italian" hat on, having to deal with Spanish-the language I know the least of-was tough, especially with jet lag. They said they "understood" my comments during the Watchtower Study, but I think they were being nice. :-)
It was very nice to start out my trip by experiencing the wonderful worldwide brotherhood and unity that we have as Jehovah's Witnesses. Here I am, thousands of miles from home, and I can go to the Kingdom Hall and hear the same information I hear each week in Florida. Everyone here greeted me with a hug and many kisses and called me their brother. Jehovah's Witnesses are the largest religion in Italy after Catholicism and they continue to see large increases each year in the number of interested ones who go to their weekly meetings.
After the meeting (they have 4 congregations in their Kingdom Hall so they can't meet on Sunday-they have their meeting on Saturdays from 7pm to 8:45), we went back home and had a wonderful dinner featuring my favorite dish from Sicily-Arancine-"Oranges". To make them, you boil Italian rice (in broth), add cheese and eggs and then form croquettes. You make a hole in the center and add some tomato ragu (tomato sauce with ham and peas) and then bread them and deep fry the croquettes. I liked them so much that I had two at dinner and one more for breakfast the next day!
I enjoyed talking with them and their family and getting caught up since the last time we were together.
By this time, it was past midnight, so it was time for bed!