Thursday, February 22, 2007

Pass the Plate

A few months back I went on a *gita* with some of the local townsfolk to visit Nicosia the birthplace of Sicily's newest saint, Santo Fratello Felice. Often folks get together and go by bus to parts of Sicily for the day. Normally, it is a religious based trip but you get to sight see and hang out together for the day. These trips are usually Sunday outings. Nicosia is up into the mountains and in the area bordering Nebrodi. Nebrodi is about as forest looking as you can get.

I always enjoy myself on these trips. It pushes me into Sicilian dialect and the Italian language. I put the dialect first as that is the language mostly spoken.

After visiting the monastery where Brother Felice had lived we hopped back onto the bus and were taken to the Seminario Vescovile for lunch. This is where the Vesco lives and this seminary is a retreat. (I did see a Marriage Encounter symbol on the wall.) They fed us lunch which was very nice. After lunch, I approached one of the men who were waiting on the tables and asked if I could purchase one of the plates. I like to collect something memorable on each trip. He told me that that would be impossible. OK! I went with that and thanked him for his time...ugh!
The whole trip and meal cost around €20...a bargain.
We did more sightseeing around Nicosia and then boarded the bus for the trip home. After an hour into the ride home a young woman came to me with a sack in her hand and said she had a little something for me. I opened the sack and there was the plate I'd wanted to buy. I was surprised. I was happy. I had the plate. I don't care that it was slipped out. Those Sicilians....know things.

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