The letters of our thoughts are the ideas present in our mind before they come to realization . . . Thoughts that are, yet not felt . . . The words of the subconscious . . . of the soul . . .


Monday, August 13, 2007

A Lithuanian Summer In Italy I

Sunrise on Miramare di Rimini beach

After an extended, but necessary, blogging break . . . I'm back.

This is the first of, G-d willing, several posts packed with interesting anecdotes, amazing pictures, and that special Letters of Thought touch.
Click on the link to follow the journey . . . Our story begins where we last left our intrepid Mottel . . . .

As I mentioned in my last normal post, I've spent the last two weeks doing Gan Yisroel Lithuania -Italy.
The flight on British Airways landed without trouble in London's Heathrow airport, where I promptly spent my next few hours doing close to nothing on a bench.

From London I connected to to Milan Malpensa Airport, took the the Five Euro bus to the Central Train Station and took the the three hour train to Rimini -home of Camp Gan Yisroel Lithuania!

Essential Rimini Facts and Numbers at a Glance:
Rimini . . .
  • was founded in approx 268 C.E. as the Roman town of Ariminum
  • Piazza Tre Martiri (formerly Piazza Giulio Cesare) is by tradition the place where Julius Caesar famously made his decision to march on Rome, having crossed the nearby Rubicon
  • was the birthplace of famous film director Federico Fellini
  • has aprox. 40,000 Sun Umbrellas on its beachfront
  • has an all year round population of 100,000 - which, during the summer months, rises to aprox. one million!
  • was visited by Mottel summer of 5764/2004 to meet the Russian Jewish campers from Germany in the camp run by Israeli counselors in Italy (Almost as complicated as this year's camp: Jewish campers from Lithuania with American and Ukrainian counselors (from Israel) in Italy)
  • Italian food is about 1000 times better then Russian-Lithuanian food (This doesn't have much to do with Rimini, nor is it a really a fact . . . but it had to be said)
After fighting with the Taxi driver who insisted that one adult and three children with a total of six bags plus carry-on bags would require two taxis to get to our hotel and threatening to take public transportation instead, I arrived via two taxis with three children and six bags, plus carry-on at our hotel.

By this hour (around 1:30 a.m. local time) I was thoroughly exhausted. I went to my room to take a shower, only to discover that our camp hotel was big on multi tasking -the bathroom was approximately the size of a coach airplane seat, and consisted of a sink, facillities, bidet (the extra European 'sink' that we Americans can not make heads or tales of), mirror and shower head . . . all located in one place -there was a drain in the middle of the floor -but, as I was soon to find out, wasn't neccasery, as all the water from the shower drained into my room giving me my own private Italian beach . . .

But we shall not dwell on unpleasantnesses.

The next day, Eruv Shabbos, the forty camp kids arrived with the remaining counselors . . . and camp began.

The start of camp . . .

Little Boruch

Tzitzis are handed out.

Shabbos came and went, and Motzei Shabbos we went to a nearby park for Kiddush Levana (the sanctification of the moon)
and a marshmallow roast.

Vaxtang vs. Pasha

Vaxtang vs. Mottel

The next day camp ran as it would for the next two weeks: line up, davening, breakfast, learning class (which was named by the department of redundancy department), sports, lunch, tichi chas (rest hour) , activity, sports, mincha, dinner, sports . . .

The first Sunday night we went to a well illuminated Soccer field, only to find it already used by several Italian youths - decked out in proper soccer uniforms and doing all kinds of fancy tricks. We asked them to leave, but they wanted to play against us . . . We agreed, but it took some coaxing to get our campers, who lacked uniforms and fancy moves, to play. Vaxtang ran to get some of the bigger campers (the seventeen/eighteen year olds), but in the end it proved to be unnecessary -our Jewboys could hold more then their own against the locals!

A paper clip hunt in the park.


Kickball -none of the kids new the rules of baseball, so it was not until after much confusion that they learned how to play.

Two of my Campers -Richardas and Arturas

Big Boruch

Joe having a heart to heart talk with two of the older campers, 25 year old Yerachmiel (one of my long time Lithuanian friends) and Sergei, 22.

A Letters of Thought cloud classic (stay tuned for many more)

The beach at night.

Stay tuned for much more!

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,


Yossi ! said...

hey great post!

welcome back!!

A Simple Jew said...

Welcome back!

Mottel said...

Glad you liked and glad to be back!

e. said...

Nice to read you!

Mottel said...

I'm not sure exactly what you mean, but thanks.

chanie said...

lol.....welcome back, great post!

e. said...

lol, it wasn't grammatically correct, I meant nice to read you post :)