So here’s the deal, I’ve been trying for a while now to write about the first day we spent riding through the Swiss and Italian Alps. But I’m stuck in some embarrassingly pretentious place where I want it to sound like some epic narrative with deep philosophical undertones. Sadly this is somewhat challenging due to the short blocks of writing time I find myself with, and the limitations of my intellect. I’m hoping to get over this hang up fairly soon.
In a bid to stop this place from stagnating completely in the mean time, though, I thought I would throw out some thoughts on where I find myself right now. I’m working in a new area this year, leading a team of 7 with an amazing girl called Lucy. We’re an eclectic mix; two English, three Romanians, a Swede and an American speaking German.The A-team. Four days a week we drive to the nearest city, going to work in a Roma community living on the edge of a waste dumping ground, people scraping a living from the scrap iron they can find in the wasteland. We have a small plot of land on the edge of the community where we have two container buildings, one set up as our school building and the other a small office. It isn’t easy and you can’t always tell if what you are doing is having a positive effect, but we are doing our best to build relationship with these people and improve their lot in someway.
And a few lines about the place I live. Picture a small house in the centre of a vineyard, set part way up the ridge of hills bordering the village. We have to walk past some occasionally aggressive dogs half way up the track to the house, drive all our drinking water up from the village in jerry cans and we are currently fighting off an infestation of mice and rats. Rats make a lot of noise at 4am! But it’s worth it. The sun setting over the plains to the west is a sight to behold almost every evening, I pray I never tire of it. Add to that the strength of the community we get to live in and you get a very special place. It’s often not a comfortable life, but it is a beautiful one.