lol these “punny” titles get worse and worse 😛 Anyways..
WHOOP WHOOP!!! The service project is complete and turned out far better than anyone had envisioned! I am so proud of all my fellow PCS members for consistently working hard every day and maintaining positive attitudes regardless of what they were doing or how significant they felt their role was. Even though many people were not feeling 100% healthy every day and were pretty tired due to the time change, no one complained or let those factors prevent them from completing their job well. We each signed one side of the wall and will forever have a permanent mark in that hospital.
However, our service project didn’t end when the painting ended. We then proceeded to pick weeds for the remainder of that morning at the archeology site, the Hill of Pionta in Arezzo, Italy. I’m sure that after completing the mural, some people were not too thrilled to be picking weeds and cleaning up what looked like an endless wall. However, everyone remained in good spirits and continued to work until the job was complete. I was very surprised with the results because when I approached the wall I did not think that picking the weeds would have a very significant effect. However, I could not have been more wrong and these pictures are proof that our hard work made a difference. I am humbled to write that as a group we were able to play a small role in the beginning stages of restoring the Hill of Pionta, which has monumental historical significance as the birthplace of Europe.
As a team, we completed both jobs to the best of our ability and should be very proud of the outcome. Plus we bonded the whole time 😀
After our successful morning, we were all rewarded with trips to either the vineyard or the pasta making class. My group had already been to the vineyard so we made our way to the restaurant. I was really excited for this part of our day because I have always enjoyed cooking. My mom began teaching me, at a young age, how to follow a recipe and which pots, pans and other utensils are necessary for the dinner-making process. I was eager to learn how to make different types of pastas so that when I am home I will be able to show her.
The first pasta we made was called fettuccine and the shape and size reminded me of long strands of ribbon. We began by placing flour onto the table and making a small circle in the middle of it. Then, we cracked our egg and began to slowly whisk the egg and flour in a smooth fashion so as to not allow the egg to spill over the sides. After thoroughly mixing the egg, we began to knead the dough with our palms by flattening and folding it over. Then, we took rollers and rolled the dough until it was so thin that when you picked it up you could see your hand through it. Next, we split our dough in two and folded one half in a specific fashion. We cut the pasta and used the knife to pick it up so it all hung down where we could see how long each strand was.
For our second pasta, we made ravioli. We took the second half of our dough and placed a spinach and cheese mixture evenly along the top. Then, we folded it over and took a rigged cutting utensil to cut our pieces of ravioli. This pasta was very simple to make since we used the same dough from the first pasta.
They prepared the dough for the final pasta, gnocchi, and we only had to roll and cut it into small circular pieces. I had never tried gnocchi until I got to Italy and it is now one of my favorite pastas. I really love the texture with the added potatoes. Just fantastic 😀
One of my favorite parts about pasta making was the very sweet older woman who would go around and help anyone who was struggling to knead their dough properly. She couldn’t speak any english so she would just smile and motion with her hands. She would give a loving pat on the back or thumbs up if our dough was good and always had a cheerful smile on her face. I love people who are so joyful that it is contagious. She did not allow the language barrier to prevent her from trying to communicate with us and you could see in her eyes how happy she was to have us there. I feel inspired to reach out and try to communicate with the locals because of the effort she made with us.
Solid day. Great project, great people and great food.