23 July 2009

International Evening

It was a simple invitation- "come to dinner" from a couple that we had met at our friends house and liked immediately. You know the kind- warm, friendly and interesting. So we went. Dinner was served outside since the weather has been warm (hot during the day!). Their garden was lovely and fragrant and the night air soft. Their hospitality was gracious- focused but fun.
What was amazing was the mix of people there. 2 Germans married to Italians, 5 native born Italians either spouses or boy/girlfriends of people of other nationalities, an Italian born and brought up in South Africa but now living here and married to an Italian, their 2 young adult children born in South Africa and now living in Italy, an adult child of the host couple who is Italian living in England and trilingual (Italian, German, English), his English girlfriend, his 2 teenage children who live in England, 2 Americans (John and me) and 1 little boy who spoke to his mother and our hostess in German and his father and everyone else in Italian!
What a fabulous evening we spent! The travels, languages, perspectives, experiences of those present made for fascinating exchanges. The conversation was stimulating, of course, and good natured sharing and laughter ruled the night. It was one of those evenings I so enjoyed that I didn't want it to end (and, indeed, it was almost midnight before we left). As we talked and marveled afterwards, I realized that this sort of experience was one of the dreams I had in moving to Italy. I hoped for the mix of people and cultures present this evening, inspiring and enriching all. Surely this inter-nationality is the future of our species if we are to survive and we had a tantalizing taste now. It was good, deeply nourishing.

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