“Where is my cartel?”

So the title of the post is dedicated to my camp last week in Trieste. I had the smallest children – 6, 7 and 9 years old – and their english was not the best, as expected. One boy, in search of his folder, would always ask me “Maestra, where is my cartel?” when asking for his folder. He obviously didn’t know how to say folder so he English-ized the Italian word cartello into cartel and never changed, even after I taught him “folder.” I couldn’t help laughing a little every time knowing this little boy had no idea that he sounded like a drug lord looking for his cartel.

Trieste is a beautiful city, yet not very frequented by English or American tourists (my host family also was fantastic, which made my experience 10 times better). I highly recommend it for travelers looking for a quiet vacation in a place where there are both mountains and the sea side. After work, my fellow tutor and I would head to a very historic beach, il bagno Lanterna, which is a public beach where men bathe on one side and women on the other. During the day it costs one euro to enter, but after 5pm, it’s free, so it was the perfect after-work relaxation technique. We also went to the beach in Sistiana, where the water is always cold because of underground springs that are constantly emitting cold mountain water. Finally, we went to Slovenia one afternoon after camp to see the Škocjan caverns, which are enormous and stunning. The Reka river, which starts about 20 km west of the town of Škocjan, disappears underground after this giant hole in the ground in the middle of the town. It’s really impressive to look out over the designated points and see just a straight drop, where, at the bottom, the water continues its flows underground for another 30 km. If you’re interested in geology, check it out the next time you’re in Slovenia.

I’m now in a new city, Fiumicello, about 30 minutes west of Trieste. My host family has a lovely home, with a pool and a giant orto, a fruit and vegetable garden. Fiumicello is known for its peaches (I can attest to their deliciousness) and my family is planning to begin growing and distributing their home-grown, pesticide-free peaches. In ACLE-related news, I’m at a two week camp but I’m only assigned to stay for one week since the camp loses half its students the second week. However, this was not necessarily bad news for me – this week will be my 6th week of straight work and I think my voice (and my sanity) could do with a break. Additionally, the heat has not let up in Italy and camp with sluggish children is the hardest thing ever, so it takes twice the normal energy to motivate everyone.

That said, I’m looking forward to the first day of camp tomorrow. (And to relaxing in the pool after work!) alla prossima!

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