As much as I enjoy travel days, I have to say that the trip from Annecy to Asti was a challenge. Three trains were involved, and the middle one was one hour late, leading to a domino effect. Also, it just stopped running for about 45 minutes, “because of the snow.” About half way through the trip, I started to feel ill and my nose would not turn itself off, while my brain went into fog mode. I finally got onto the last train, sank into my seat and closed my eyes - only to realize half an hour later that I was on the wrong train.
I got out at the next stop - interestingly enough a town called Bra - contacted my Workaway host Silvana to let her know that I would be late, and found out that I had to go back to Torino to take the correct train. And buy a new ticket. With the cash I didn’t have. And the local ATM out of order. And my warm hat on its way to somewhere else on the last train. I suspected that there was something funny lurking about being in Bra and having left my Hat on the train, but I felt too sick to connect with it.
I arrived in Asti around 6 pm, just in time to collapse into my new home.
Silvana was, and is, lovely. Her home is a large and modernly renovated old house lathered in warm oranges and buttery yellows. She just got back from Morocco (well, her feet did, I am not so sure about her heart) and there was this instant recognition thing going on. She cooked us a lovely meal and I headed to my fluffy dark orange bed, feeling like a terrible guest.
Yesterday, while she was at work, I managed to clean her kitchen a bit before going back to bed for most of the day. We were supposed to go out last night, but there was no way I could even walk out of the house. She brought me Italian medicine, Kleenexes and tried to put me at ease by telling me how she had been sick for three days (plus one in the hospital) at her last Workaway stay, in Morocco, and how much her hosts had cared for her. “I am just giving back what was given to me,” she says.
Here I am. In her beautiful home, with full access to whatever food I may want, as well as her company when she gets home. My contribution: make her life easier and maybe give her a bit of inspiration.
This morning, as I was dusting the living room and filling the dishwasher, I was marveling at how crazy good it feels to be taking care of someone’s home so that they may come back from work and feel some ease, feel as though there is less for them to carry. I love, love, love that. And I look forward to being 100% energized in order to do more of it.
At the same time, I suspect that I may have gotten sick at exactly the right place.
Here’s to giving and receiving, losing hats and borrowing new ones, flowing with travel days and taking care of each other’s lives.
And I absolutely want to get my immune system strengthened before I head down to Lesvos in January.
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Essential Happiness Retreat
January 10 to 20, 2019
Guadeloupe, French Caribbean
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