Newsletter 53a - October 2005
This newsletter is already overdue, but I have been waiting for some news on the family front before sending it. But nothing is happening – Pinuccia is now six days after the due date for the birth, so I thought to send this off now with the other news, and you can expect another newsletter in a week (or more?) with the birth announcement. In the meantime, Pinuccia is still feeling good, and is going to the hospital every three days or so for check-ups, where they keep sending her home again because the pregnancy is going so well (even if a bit longer than average).
Pinuccia has also already been offered work for this academic year. This is the first time she has had a job so early in the year (since she has more experience now and so risen in the waiting list), but of course can not take the job – legally, not until three months after the birth, although she might take a few extra weeks off as well. So currently there is another relief teacher substituting Pinuccia. The job itself worked out well, as it is for all of the school year (until the end of June), which will be a lot less stressful for Pinuccia than changing every couple of weeks or days as has usually been the case. It is for the after-school care, which means that it is part-time from 2pm until 4.30pm. It is actually better that way, as she (or we?) will be able to look after the baby in the morning, then she can go in the afternoon when I will do the parenting alone, and Pinuccia will not be away too long and so will not miss many feedings.
All of the activities of the church have restarted after the summer break. Or, in the case of the Youth Group, have started for the first time. It has been exciting for me to be involved in this group. I did not know well the four members of the group, but it was great and a bit surprisingly to see their enthusiasm to know God better. Already in our second meeting we had our first new person, as one of the members from the church (Jessica) brought a friend along. It does get a bit wild at times, even with just four of them (plus the three leaders) meeting in our house; I don't know you I used to cope with Youth Groups of 50 people or more meeting in a church hall! Unfortunately, after a good start we have had to have a bit of a slow down, due to the uncertainties over when Pinuccia will actually give birth. But Gloria will organise a meeting this Saturday in the building the church uses doing some craft, and then hopefully we can get back to the studies and other planned activities shortly, even if Pinuccia will have to be a bit less involved for a while.
The other part of the church activities that I am mostly involved in – the cell groups – have also started well. There are already problems in two of the three groups at Trento, in that there are more than 12 regular members, which is the maximum that I like to work with. There will probably be the usual decline in attendance in a couple of months' time due to the winter slow down, but in any case we will probably need to split at least one group sometime in the following months. This is of course a good situation to have, but the big problem is the lack of leadership for these cell groups. So I am working a lot with Carmelo in one of the groups, and we will be starting some monthly training meetings for our key people (current and prospective) to prepare them. On the other hand, the group at Rovereto has not restarted yet, partly because the people from there have not come to church too often lately, and partly because it has been hard for me to make commitments there whilst there are still uncertainties over the birth. But it has left me free to finish the series of studies from last year in the Valsugana group.
On a different note, before the end of the year we will have to change car. Partly because we will need something a bit larger to fit our growing family into, plus the people we often give lifts too. But partly also because there is a smog problem at Trento in winter, and so the traffic is regularly blocked. Last winter, older more polluting cars could never be used two days a week, and when the smog reached alarm levels more traffic blocks were added. Since our car is 15 years old, it was limited two days a week, often more. This is not so much a problem for me (as I use it mostly at night to go to the studies), but it does create difficulties for Pinuccia to go to work. And since the job she has received is fairly distant (about half an hour by car, or an hour catching two buses), having a useable car would be a big advantage for her. We will be able to pay for part of it using our savings, and the rest on instalments, but if you would like to contribute something to this end you can send your contribution to ECM in Australia, and they will put everything received together and send it to me.