WWOOF Italy: Journal Entry 5

The next day the sun came out and everything changed. It was warm and beautiful. We could finally work outside on the dog pin.

Right outside our front door

Right outside our front door

Vitto had identified a plot of land for the project so we took some measurements and placed some pieces of wood on the ground to begin laying down the outline of the pin for Nero. I may have gone over this, but he was hosting 13ish yogis in August for a getaway retreat, but he has this dog that will basically kill you if he doesn’t like you. His name is Nero and he loves me, but that is because I walk him every day. He took a liking to me early on, but I had seen him transform into a werewolf when there were other visitors. Nero has some scary teeth and a viscous bark.

Vitto decided that keeping him on a leash next to the house was not going to suffice, so that is why he wanted to make a livable pin where Nero could stay. Vitto called it Dogshwitz. I did not know that Nazi jokes flew here, but Vitto is like 75 years old so he can basically say or do whatever he wants. You can’t cancel Vitto, sorry y’all. We decided 3x6 meters would be ample room for Nero on a plot that was about 10x10. The plot was on a pretty serious gradient, so there would be a day or so dedicated to trying to flatten it out. I weed-wacked the area and we decided the plot of land would work.

Then we went into town and ran errands. First, we grabbed a cappuccino and a sports newspaper at a cute little cafe. Then we met Francesco, who was a 28-35 year old man who was a builder. Vitto told me that this guy was a jack of all trades and had many useful skill sets. Fran was going to help us build the pin. He was young, skinny, balding and had some very trendy looking seeing glasses. He took us to a Home Depot looking place and they did Sicily stuff for like an hour. What I mean by that is that I can never tell what they spend so much time discussing. We already knew what we needed but I swear, anytime we are about to buy something, from a nuclear reactor to a piece of bread, it is a 45 minute ordeal. Honestly, it is kind of nice. I mean, I have nowhere to be and it is fun listen to people speak such a beautiful language. In addition to some lumber, Vitto bought three grape vines for the heck of it and ten metal poles for the pin.

Then we went to another Home Depot looking place on a hill. It was beautiful, I’d say ridiculously clean for a lumber yard. There were three very Italian/Lebanese looking brothers that were running the place. We bought some rebar so that the dog could not dig a tunnel and escape the concentration camp. We then followed Fran back into town. Evidently, we also needed someone to cut one of these poles short for reasons I did not know at the time. During this process, Roberto, his lawyer evidently, came down and had Vitto sign some papers so that he didn’t have to pay taxes for having a TV… because… well he didn’t have a TV. It was becoming evident that Vitto ran quite the operation around these parts.

We went back to the house in the valley and I started digging about a 20 centimeter ditch measuring 6x3 meters square. Fran came over and welded together a door, which was quite the boss move to just bring that gear and skill set to the table. We dug four of the metal poles in the corners and supported them, using an ax as a hammer. It started to come together, but it was pretty Sicilian. I think a good description would be “semi-pro.” Everyone seems to be an expert here and everyone acts as such, but I was slowly losing confidence in everyone’s ability to build this pin.

The next day another guy came named Reno. He was evidently a master fence maker. He was a shorter and, well, lets be honest, my best description is quintessential Mario looking guy. He helped me reinforce the corners and put some parameter wire up. This guy couldn’t speak a lick of English and neither could Fran.

Reno and I laying down poles

Reno and I laying down poles

Side note: I’m straight up eating grilled artichokes by hand as we speak. Vitto is cooking and I’ve been weed-wacking the valley all day, so we are taking a lunch/siesta break.

Anyways, he was pretty nifty with wire, I’ll give him that. The reoccurring theme is that everyone has their own idea on how to do things. People show up periodically and judge you and judge you hard. First, they tell you what you’ve been doing wrong in like a 30 minute Italian rant that could probably be like a poor man’s opera. Then… they get to work. It is quite the ordeal, but its our ordeal and I like it.