Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Morning routines with Horticulture

When we first arrived, Courtney and I were really excited to be settled in Santa Chiara, so the idea of a run the next morning was a great way to celebrate putting down roots in this new small town. We started a routine of jogging down in the valley below the walls of the city, where we can see the beautiful landscape and houses that fill the gorgeous view from Santa Chiara. One thing that I have noticed on these runs is that the yards of every house—both front and back—are filled with many of the plants that we have learned about and seen on our trip so far. We have noticed many an olive tree randomly planted in the corners of yards, as well as beautiful arrangements of bougainvillea, pansies, roses, and more. We have seen fields of poppies that fill the landscape with bright red color, along with wildflowers in the grasses that bring lots of other color to the landscape as we jog.
After our daily workouts, we usually end up at the same fruit shop at the top of the hill by the convent. We have somewhat made friends with the two sweet ladies who work there every day, and it has been cool to see the regional fruits that are sold there from local farmers. A wide selection of cherries, nectarines, figs, oranges, apples, pears, and much more are available, and it is always exciting to pick out our fruit of the day. Sometimes this proves to be a challenge with the language barrier, as the owners really do not know any English and many of the fruit names in Italian are completely foreign to us. After our fruit selections are made and paid for, we then travel down the main road to our favorite coffee bar, where we pick out pastries and order two cappuccinos. We like to think we are just like the locals, and that our accents and incredibly rough Italian are not a dead giveaway of our alien-status. One day Courtney accidentally ordered hot milk at the bar, thinking it was some sort of vanilla latte…so I think we might have blown our cover that day.
Courtney with her hot milk
            Regardless of our somewhat frequent language barrier, we both have fun identifying the plants and flowers along our runs, as well as the different vegetables, fruits, and drinks that we discussed in class before we came. It has been interesting to actually apply the information from class to our everyday lives and routines as we start each day here at Santa Chiara. 

Molly Mitchell

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