Thursday, February 19, 2009

La Bettola

You are probably wondering why I am sharing this video with you. Well, first of all, it takes place in Curinga. La Bettola is a festival that takes place during the third Sunday in October, and I am thinking that I would like to travel to Curinga at this time.

This was the first video that I was able to find about Curinga. I watch it periodically, and I am amazed at how much more I understand since the first time I saw the video. I use the video as a benchmark for my progress with the Italian language.

I love the food in this video. I am not a great fan of tripe, but I would eat it just to be at the festival. The chickpeas and bacalao look delicious too. All typical food of Curinga. If you go to the Curinga Insieme website photo section, you can find pictures of this event. I love the pictures of the locale where the event takes place. Check out those pomegranates on the ceiling!

Enjoy the video.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

News! Notizie!

"News!", read the email I received today from Curinga, Italy.

What would the news be? That quickly? E. had just emailed me last week saying that she had been to the town hall in Curinga, and she expected that the process for researching my grandfather would be rather slow since there was only one clerk on staff to do the research.

My heart rate quickened and I opened the letter. It read,

"I have been successful in finding the first piece of news about the Orlando family. The real name of your grandfather, Carmelo Orlando, is Elia Carmelo Orlando, born July 13th, 1888 in Curinga, Catanzaro. Carmelo's father's name was Bruno Orlando (born around 1850), and Bruno was married to Lucia Gigantino, the mother of your grandfather."

E. proceeded to tell me that she found information about the great grandfather of her father. He was called Guiseppe Orlando, and he was born on November 8th, 1884. She suspects that since the dates of birth of Guiseppe and Carmelo are close, she thinks that perhaps Carmelo and Guiseppe were cousins.

"The research is not over. It continues. This is just some small news that I share with you! "

I sensed the excitement in the tone of her letter. Perhaps E. too would end up with the geneology bug. That itching desire to uncover the history of our past, our present, and the connection we have to other souls who have moved on to another dimension where they wait for us to come home.

E. concluded her letter by saying that she would let me know more in about a week or 10 days, as soon as the clerk has done more research.

* * * *

"Bruno e Lucia, Mi presento. Sono Jennifer, vostra pronipote femenina. Ho viaggiato molto lotano per conoscerli. Molto piacere."

"Bruno and Lucy, I introduce myself. My name is Jennifer, and I am your great granddaughter. I have traveled a long distance to meet you. It is such a pleasure to finally know you."

Monday, February 16, 2009

Waiting, and More Waiting...

I will be honest, I come home every day and I look in my mailbox for a letter from the USCIS. We have reached the six week point, and the website states that it takes 6-8 weeks to process orders. I suppose the fact that I submitted my request the day after Christmas probably slowed things down even more. Boy, it would be a nice birthday gift to receive that letter and know my fate. Italian citizenship or no Italian citizenship?

Keep in mind, this is only the first of two requests I must make to the USCIS. Once they have determined whether or not there are any documents on my nonni, I will have to request the specific documents, if they are available. We're looking at June to finish this stage of the research, if all goes well.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the puddle, as they say in Spain, I have been in touch with the Orlando family in Curinga. E. Orlando has gone to the town hall to for me. She reported back that because the documents are so old, and there is just one clerk, the search might take a while. Thank goodness I am requesting them now! Imagine if I get there in December and they tell me they need longer than two weeks (the length of my proposed trip) to find the documents. And yes, once again I will be dealing with the holidays, which might slow things down more.

My absence in this blog doesn't mean all this research has died. It's just an extremely slow process. Painstakingly slow for me at times. I think of grandpa daily, and yesterday I even did some imagery work while I was receiving a reiki treatment. To relax into my treatment, I thought of my grandpa giving me a tour of Curinga. He strolled with me up the cobblestone streets, and described his town and the villagers that populated it. Eventually we ended up in his modest little home, where my petite and round grandma was waiting with her apron and a smile. She kissed me and we sat down the three of us to eat a meal together.

Keep in mind that a scenario such as the one I imagined probably would have never taken place had my grandparents remained in Italy. These two people probably would have never met. My grandfather was calabrese, and my grandma was Sicilian. They had an arranged marriage of sorts, and they met as a result of being immigrants to this country. Chances are, my grandmother would have married a Sicilian had she stayed in her home town. And chances are, that Sicilian would have been from the town of Santo Stefano di Camastra, or a very nearby town. As life would have it though, Antoinette married a tall man from Calabria, from Curinga to be exact.

So, I was aware that what I imagined wasn't a likely possibility, but I said, "What the heck! It's my image, let me have fun with it!"

The other part of my image that was unlikely was the paucity of other family members in the home during meal time. It was just the three of us at the table. It was a special, intimate meal where they gave me all their attention because their children and other grandchildren were not present. Very unlikely, but not impossible. During my time in Italy, I don't remember one meal (except maybe breakfast once) when I sat at a table with just two people. There were always at least 4 or 5 with me at all times, and there was always at least one child.

So, while I don't have any documents to prove that my research has moved forward, I do have a very healthy imagination that seems to be getting me through those moments of waiting, and more waiting.


Circolo Calabrese