Petra: December blues

Ciao!

Last year I wrote a blog post in which I wish to skip the next December holiday season. December when we all bake many types of cakes, buy, expect presents and experience over-exaggerated emotions. My wish came true because of unfortunate circumstances and my personal decisions. Although we celebrated cheerfully two birthdays of my fellow volunteers, Christmas, my birthday, and Capodanno I spent in a completely calm surrounding, avoiding big celebrations.

Coming back to the project, December was devoted to the Latvian culture. I did not know a lot about Latvia so having our Latvian colleagues here was an extraordinary opportunity to discover it. They introduced us to Latvian history and their hometowns through a series of videos, storytelling, games and food.. I discovered that the Croatian and Latvian alphabet are almost the same, therefore I could read Latvian with ease although I am not able to understand a single word of that peculiar language. What I found most interesting is the Ancient Latvian signs which Kris painted on the round pieces of wood. Kris wanted us to choose the sign that speaks to us, so I choose AKA – a double cross which is symbolizing the sun and earth, experience and knowledge, unity and world order, and the start of the agricultural year. Most signs have geometrical and abstract forms and represent ancient deities.

Handmade gifts made by Kris and Lucrezia

Besides that, I participated in a pizza baking class which we baked in a special pizza oven, so the result was extremely delicious pizza! Photo proofs below. 😊 Our project’s monthly magazine MAREzine has been printed and distributed around our commune of Massa Lubrense so the locals would have a better understanding of our volunteer work here. Here you can have a little sneak peek into it!

Moreover, we had an opportunity to present our ESC project to the president and staff of Marine park. Besides my personal presentation, I prepared Zlevka, a traditional pie from northern Croatia that consists of eggs, sugar, salt, oil, cornflour, milk, fresh cheese, and sour cream which are quite hard to find in Italy. It turned out pretty good, therefore I am happy that I didn’t embarrass my ancestors from Hrvatsko Zagorje. 😊

When it comes to food, in a shop in Napoli I came across Croatian products which I will use for the cultural and culinary presentation of my country in January. I was lucky to find a sour cabbage, a big pot of sour cream, pašteta Argeta, and ajvar! Find out what I prepared in my next post! 😊

P.S. sunny days are over, even here in the south of Italy. Days filled with dull rain, humidity, and since there is not a proper heating system in our house, wintertime is not so cosy.

Virtual hugs and best wishes for New Year!

Petra

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