The idea of holding an inauguration party had been floating around in our minds ever since the inception of the Casa di l'Amuri project. However, the possibility of holding the party truly solidified several weeks ago when the crew decided it was finally time to tackle the grand task of cleaning up a large room on the ground floor of the house which held inside it an ancient wooden oven.
The oven had not been used for a very long time and the room had come to be utilized by the Garozzo family over the decades as a storage space.
Peppe Minniti came along to assist the cleanup operation, during which we found that the majority of the stored items were comprised of books, clothes and trinkets which the Garozzo family had no further use of. For the most part, the items were found to be in an acceptable condition and it was at this moment that an idea came up: our inauguration party could be combined with a Baratto/Sbaratto event where one of the aims would be to distribute the recovered items amongst friends who have need of them. A lengthy (and heated) discussion with Aureliano's father Salvadore took place.....
|Our public relations negotiator Peppe Minniti.|
.....with a few accidents occurring on the way:
Some horrors (which probably should not be posted here) were unearthed in the process but they were vastly outnumbered by the treasures. The gold which Carmelina sometimes mentions being hidden in this room was no-where to be seen, but we did find some things which more than made up for this, such as this rather beautiful old shelf.....
.....which we quickly reconstructed and began using to store our spices and herbs:
|The big spoon was traditionally used to|
stir tomato sauce, apparently.
It now proudly hangs next to our door-way to the kitchen:
This was followed by some beautifully preserved ancient containers......
.....and as if it had heard us planning for the party, the oven room in response miraculously presented us with a full set of spotless cutlery.....
|A small portion of all the cutlery we found, enough for|
all the guests, standing next to one of the several
awesomely medieval metal goblets which were also
.....and all the necessary shiny cooking utensils which we were looking for:
|Aureliano's nephew Dario and Manuela hanging up the utensils.|
Just one of the dozens of times I have witness this happen while arriving here. Almost every salvaged/donated carpet, curtain, table, marble slab, counter and piece of furniture which stands in our house has been put in its intended place and fit within a millimeter of perfection without needing any alteration. The right things and the right people turn up at exactly the moment when we need them most and random detours lead us to places, sought-out plants and unique individuals that all hold an integral place and specific function in our mission. An excerpt from "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho, found in the library of Aureliano (our guru on all things woo-woo) reads: "When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream". Or perhaps it really is all part of a string of convenient coincidences. Who truly knows?
Speaking of unique individuals, it was around this point in time that we had the grand pleasure of seeing a good friend coming all the way from France to visit us:
Me and Aureliano first met Marie-Annick during our studies in Djanbung Garden, Australia, where she and Aureliano took part in a Permaculture Design Course. Marie-Annick promptly came to visit us in Sicily upon Aureliano's invitation, and upon her arrival I truly began to realize just how immensely deep and varied her knowledge base is. From her experience in studies of sustainable arid-climate living in Spain to her intricate understanding of Holistic Management and its application to both project management and personal development, all the way to her interests in low impact/natural building, Eco-village living and her near-future plan of living with and recording the traditional knowledge of the nomadic Nenet tribes which roam the Northern depths of my homeland Siberia, all across the board I could sense that Marie-Annick had joyously crafted her vision of the world in celebration of various lores and saw life through a kaleidoscope-like collection of knowledge, experiences and ambitions which far outweighed my own. Needless to say, I was honored to be able to glimpse at the world through her mind, even if it was for a brief period of 10 days during which she managed to successfully steer and organize our energy so that we could most effectively execute the planned event. --|||||Sergie|||||
With Marie-Annick's help we began to prepare for the event with a massive cleanup of the garden area:
It should be noted at this point in time that the entire property has been poorly maintained in recent decades, and to put it bluntly, it had slowly been transforming into a private garbage dump. Hence the ground was riddled with plastic.....
.....and large metal pieces such as door frames and portions of roofing stood about providing nothing short of a hazardous eye-sore:
We did our best to collect as much plastic off the ground as possible.....
.....and turned our attention to a large pile of freshly pruned wood that someone had attempted to burn using plastic as a fire-starter:
Though this was not the doing of the Casa di l'Amuri crew, it was deemed obvious that visitors to a future community and environmentally-ethical-living and education center should not be confronted with such a ghastly view. We decided that the best course of action was to cut the wood into small portions and collect it for drying to be used as fuel in the future.
|Marie-Annick, Aureliano and our good friend Romina helping to sort out|
|.....which Aureliano and Marie-Annick had a lot of fun doing.|
|In the end, we decided to leave the pile half finished and put the wood to|
the side in order to demonstrate to visitors how we had taken what seemed
to be waste in someone's eyes and turned it into a usable resource.
After several days of working in the garden we felt that the space radiated an acceptable level of organization and was deemed presentable. Our attention turned to the main house:
|Romina helping Aureliano to clean up the front terrace.....|
|.....and make it look clean and presentable.|
|Manuela did a grand job of polishing up the bathroom.....|
|.....and kitchen areas.|
|Furniture in the main room was moved around to accommodate the guests.....|
|.....and Aureliano's brother generously let us use his projection system so that|
we could perform a presentation on the day of the event.
|Appropriate cups and glasses were arranged on the tables in the dining/office|
area for guests to pour themselves cups of tea/coffee/wine.
Once the house had been appropriately arranged for visitation by guests, the last task which remained was to sort out the recovered items from the oven room, which there were quite a lot of:
Working well into the late evening hours, Marie-Annick and Aureliano went through each container sorting out the treasures and discovering some more horrors (most of which fell upon Marie-Annick's hands).
Eventually, the clothes were sorted from the books and hung up on the clothesline to be aired out:
An old broken down car had been standing uselessly around close to our garden area and it was decided that the car's protective nature should be utilized to house the books in case of sudden rain:
The books and trinkets were presented in the car for the taking, the clothes were on display on the clothesline, the garden was more organized than before, necessary food and beverages were purchased, all rooms in the house had been made ready, the invitations had been sent out and the stage stood ready. Anxious and excited to see our efforts culminate into a joyous gathering we retired for the night to get a good rest before the grand day of the event.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of the coverage.