First thing is that I thought you might all like to see what a hotel key looks like in Italy. First, I will show you a picture of something you have all probably seen or used. A hotel key in the US:
|Typical Hotel Key from US and Around the World|
|Italian Hotel Key(s)|
The white clicker was for the gate. The longest key let you in the room and one of the normalish looking keys let you in the pedestrian gate. Other than that I have NO IDEA what the other keys are for! I laughed when I saw these keys the first time. I thought "WHAT IN THE WORLD?" And I also thought it must just be this hotel...NOPE! Guess what our house keys will look like. Not too unsimilar.
Also, every door in the house has a key in it like these. This is how they lock bedroom doors, bathroom doors. They are huge and they always fall out at some inopportune time.
Oh well, enough about the crazy keys...since we have lived here in the hotel, we have really grown close to the two men that live on-site that take care of all of the maintenance of the hotel and provide security.
Both are from Ghana, Africa. They both have families back in Ghana and they work here most of the year. One of them has talked to me about his family in detail. He has sons back home and a beautiful wife. He is hoping to bring his family here to Italy early next year to live with him.
They are Muslims, a culture I am fairly familiar with because I went to college with many Muslims...However, leave it to me to offer them a feast of food during Ramadan! They both have their opinions about Italy and remarkably they are very similar to ours. That there is good and there is bad here. They taught me a lot about how Naples "works" and the corruption here. They have been like uncles to our kids here all summer and into the fall. They help me take groceries upstairs, they walk our dogs when we aren't home, wash our cars for a nominal amount and they adore our kids since they are far away from theirs. I've been fortunate to have many lengthy discussions with them while I take the dogs out for walks. They are truly remarkable men that are doing the very best they can for their families. Occasionally they will ask us to buy them little things that are much too expensive in Italy or things that are "American" that they send home to their families. Also, we sometimes will surprise them with something special. For instance, one of the men really likes Mountain Dew soda that you cannot find here in Italy. :)
Tonight we had an issue with a new neighbor blaring his music at 1am (gotta love this apartment living!) and one of the men came to get him to quiet down and then stopped by. He saw that we were packing up our bags and he said, "Are you leaving tomorrow?" We said, "Yes" and the look on his face was that of such sadness. Watching him nearly brought me to tears.
When you move to a foreign country, you really learn to make friendships quickly. And these men have been such a great help and support to our family.
I am wrapping up my night praying for them and their families.
Today I am thankful for:
19. Our friends Omar and Hassan.
20. Our friends Kathy and Ciro who have done so much to help us since we arrived in Italy!
21. Our friends Bill and Chaz who introduced us to Avellino!
May God richly bless them all!