The Base of Mt. Aetna

Personal Writings

P1010018Catania After flying on four planes to JFK, then Zurich, then Milan, I finally arrived in Catania, the 2nd largest city of Sicily, around 8PM on Thursday.  Professor Ken Reardon from the University of Memphis and me turn out to be headliners at a conference Dal Locale al Globale:  Organizzare le comunita per lo sviluppo locale partecipato sponsored by the Associazione Vivisimeto.  I think that means we are talking about how to organize communities with the support of local participation.  Vivisemto is the group formed of communities along the Simeto River, the largest in Sicily, to bring these communities together for more sustainability.

I collapsed after 2 days of travel in the old farmhouse outside Catania where the special workshop we are doing will be held for a variety of organizers, but this was not until after I had enjoyed dinner with my hosts and the conference organizers that was almost iconic in its Italian representation.  In the evening air we sat on a patio in a family’s rural home and ate cheese, bread, olives, and tomatoes with wine topped off by mounds of spaghetti.  Beat that!P1010014

The sunset had been as pink as the western ones of my youth.  Clouds clustered over the peak of the still active Mt. Aetna dominate the dry countryside.  I work to thousands of birds and the smell of manure as I looked over giant bougainvillea at the fields.

The hard part will be the work, but the preamble has been something.