19 July 2005

Church Camp

The good news is Chiara and I got to go away this past weekend to camp in a National Park up in the montains of Abruzzo. The bad news is it was a Catholic camp, and it wasn't very fun. Now I suppose I should've known that by going away to a Catholic Camp run by nuns there'd be alot of God Talk, but i'd let the assurances of the nuns lull me into the false hope that I would be able top enjoy the time, the weather and the company of all the campers without having it totally dominated by God, Jesus, and Joy. Unfortunately, I was wrong. To explain...

Chiara's mom (not very churchy, but Catholic) has been friends with this order of nuns for a very long time. She was going up to help at this "Concilio di Givanio" (Council of the Young). She wanted me and Chiara to go and see the nuns and hang out in the park. She really wanted us to go, and she's very good to us, so why not? Also I was interested in meeting the nuns. Nuns maybe aren't very exotic to everybody, but to me, a guy who's never said anything to a nun in his whole life other than "excuse me" when he bumps into them in St. Peter's Square, well this seemed like a great idea. And the nuns, true to what i'd heard, were very cool. The problem was some of the overzealous "giovani" who couldn't stop to eat lunch without praising something or other. Case in Point: Lunch on Sunday Chiara and I staked a table that was then overrun by the fiercest most churchiest (and musical) giovani. Once the priest had said grace they launched into a pre-meditated rousing chorus of "hallelujahs"...done to the tune of Queen's "We Will Rock YOu."

As in... Halle! Halle!... Lujah! (clap) (bang bang clap) (Repeat)

It was more than I could stand really. Unsurprisingly, the most moderate, least overtly religously crazy were the priests and nuns. I managed to have a few nice conversations with some such as Sister Mary from New York, a gruff straitlaced nun in cargo pants, and Father Don Achille an unkempt gray haired man with a valiant broken english. Also of note was Maura who

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