Thursday, May 28, 2009


One day in Napoli. I arrived yesterday to a hot, humid, busy city. It caught me a bit off guard from the easy, laid back week I had in Puglia. I got to my hostel around 7 last evening and went for a walk, trying to avoid getting hit by the aggressive drivers. Beeping and yelling everwhere, mixed with a good amount of trash. At first I was a bit put off by this city, but I've since come to like it.

I've had great pizza here, which is a good thing since my expectations of the creators-of-pizza were pretty high. I've also been happily surprised my the art here. Decked out churches with great renaissance paintings and incredible sculptures. I didn't expect to see so many great pieces of art here. There are also really great piazzas here with tall towers topped with a protecting saint.

I crammed a bunch into the one day I've been here and now I'm off to the port to catch my 16 hour boat to Sardegna. Wish me luck with the seas.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Puglia has been great. For the past week I've been in Calimera/San Foca, two small towns in Puglia, the heel of Italy. I've been staying with a good friend of mine, Eugenio, who was one of my flatmates in Firenze. He, his family and friends have shown me true Italian hostpitality and I've really enjoyed my time here.

We've gone to the beach practically everyday, and if you know me you probably can tell how dark I've become. The sea is beautiful here, with long beaches and also low cliff areas where you can jump into cool, deep, water surrounded by history. It's very humbing to be surrounded by buildings left behind by various empires throughout history.

Yesterday we took a long drive down to Santa Maria di Leuca, a place they call finisterra (the end of land) because it is as far down Italy as you can go. This is also the point where th Ardiatic says hello to the Ionic.

Tomorrow I head to Napoli for a day before going to Sardegna. I was going to go to Napoli sooner, but I thought it was better to enjoy good friends than to wander around a mafia infested city. Sorry, not pics for a while (I'm gussing) but at the end of it all I'll have a long picture post.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Whats Next

A lot has changed recenly. The Israeli family left the farm to do a bit of traveling around Italy. It was really great getting to spend time with and get to know them. The day they left we had a nice send off for them with cake and presents.
Here's Reut, the six year old daughter nfully of spirit, taking a break from her energetic dancing.

The day after they left, Firday, I got to cook for everyone again. A big portion of the group from Sardegna was at the farm so I cooked for about 20 people. This time it was a Japanese/Hawaiian meal.

With the help of Adi, a fellow volunteer, I made a bunch of sushi for the gang.
It came out pretty good and I think everyone enjoyed it.

Then it was time for some Kalua Pig and Fried Rice. This also came out pretty tasty and as close to the real stuff as I could get. I ended the meal with some Haupia. Everyone seemed to really enjoy the food and I was pretty satisfied myself. I'm glad I got to share a piece of Hawaii with my Italian friends.
This past Sunday was the Festa di Primavera at the farm. It was to celebrate the completition of the reconstructed Mulino (mill). The architect of the building asked me to do a drawing for her and the farm of the Mulino.

Here's the final drawing. I'm pretty happy with how it came out and I think she was too. I gave it to her at dinner on Saturday night, following a big send off for me from the group. They gave gifts from the farm and named me the best volunteer they've ever had. It was a really special moment for me and I'm so happy I found this place.
But now I'm in Firenze again. I met up with Lexi and Bobby yesterday and since then we've been catching up and I've been showing them my city. We only have until tomorrow though as they depart for Venice and I depart for Puglia.
For the next few weeks I'll be off traveling. For now its Puglia, Napoli, Sardegna, Prague, Austria, Switzerland (more or less) and then back to Italy before heading to Ireland and then to SF. Not sure that I'll be able to post much, and probably not with pictures, but I'll be sure to do a big long post at the end of it all. Ciao.

Monday, May 11, 2009

I'm a Carpenter

For the last week I’ve been building a cabin.  Nahum, the father of the Israeli family here, has been showing me the ropes of carpentry.  The work has been great.  It pretty hard labor carrying all the lumber and going up and down the ladder and levels of the cabin, but now were getting to the point where we can actually see the building and it’s pretty gratifying.  

Yesterday we put up one side of the roof.  I had to face my fear of heights to put that up, but after a few planks of wood it felt pretty sturdy.  This being my day off, I’m assuming the roof will be done by the time I get back and the floor will be in progress.  I can’t wait to finish it!  I already feel pretty comfortable with building, so hopefully after I'm finished with the cabin I'll be a pro (at least at hammering nails)

On another project of mine, the strawberries are finally showing their color.  I think in a few days we might be able to taste some of them!  Just in time before I leave the farm.

I’m really feeling spring now.  All the flowers are in bloom and the trees are getting leafy again.  There’s one tree that I pass everyday that I just realized is full of flowers and leaves.  Seasons…who knew?

I also got to go back to Cinque Terra.  After a long hike with a new injury to the good ole knee, I came down to see this view.  The three days of limping was totally worth it (although a bit unnecessary).  I’m glad I got to go back to Cinque Terra though.  It really is one of the most beautiful places in Italy.

Monday, May 4, 2009

April Showers Bring May Flowers

The weather here is either been freezing cold and rainy or beautifully sunny.  For example, there was this hailstorm a few weeks ago.

I’ve seen hail before, but only a few pieces of hail, not a storm.  It was pretty amazing being inside and hearing the loud drops of ice hit the roof.  In the two minutes I went outside to take this picture, I got a good amount of hail in my boots.

The good thing about weather like this though is that we get to stay inside to work.  These are Fukuoka clay balls.  Fukuoka was a Japanese man that developed a specific to cultivate vegetable with the goal of bringing back how nature likes to farm.  The idea is to mix a bunch of different seeds together with clay and compost.  Then we throw them where we want them to grow and what needs to grow will. 

Always after a long stretch of horrible weather, we have really nice weather.  This is the stone path that I have been working on with another American/Danish volunteer.  I hope I get to finish it before I leave. 

Some other outdoor work I got to do was to transplant a bunch of strawberry plants.  This was a good day of walking up and down the hill, bring the plants to their new homes on the permaculture mounds. 

With such great weather, I got a chance to go to Porto Fino on one of my days off.  I made some friends who live in the city of Chiavari, so they took me around the area.  I guess Porto Fino is pretty famous (although I haven’t heard about it until then), with the rich of the rich inhabiting the fisherman town.  It was pretty beautiful.

Now that it is spring, everything is starting to grow, including the insects.  I’ve been noticing an increase in months. 

For the last two weeks there were three other volunteers here, besides myself and an Israeli family.  The mom and son are from Denmark, but have been living in the States for the last 10 years, and have been traveling with the mom’s boyfriend for the last three months.  They left the farm a few days ago and we had a really nice dinner and send off for them. 

Ok, kind of a scrambled post, but I finally got to put up some pics.  More to come soon!

Friday, May 1, 2009


Hey all, just a quick update. I couldn’t find the time on my last day off to post a blog so no pictures this time. Things are going well though. We had some really nice weather for a few days, but now its back to rain, wind and hail. Hopefully it will be nice nicer tomorrow.
In the past two weeks I’ve been doing a lot. Sowing a bunch of vegetables (which hopefully didn’t get washed away by the rain), transplanting strawberries, making Fukuoka clay balls with seeds inside and a bunch of random tasks. My big project however has been building a stone path. Things were going great when we had nice weather, but the past four days of rain has put it to the test and the soil, that didn’t get a chance to properly dry, is slowly turning to mud. So now, there’s a bunch of the path to finish and to fix. It’s good work though.
Alright, I’ll post pictures soon!