Friday, November 23, 2007

Giro di Vittoria

I coined the title-phrase Giro di Vittoria, meaning "tour of victory" and we proceeded in appropriate spirit.

We completed a 26 day trip to Italia, about which, I will post more detail and photos. Stay tuned!!

To begin the epic sory, here is an excerpt from an email that we sent to our Italian friends on September 5, 2007, before we left on our trip.
We arrive in Italia on 10, ottobre. We will be staying at a Bed and Breakfast called
Parteno .
The address is Lungomare Partenope 1
The phone # is (+39)
We remain there until 18, ottobre

We hope to visit with all our friends in Napoli during the 9 days we are there. We will have access to the internet while we are at the B&B. I have an old Italian cell phone and I hope to have that working while we are in Italy. I'm not sure if the old number will work. We will let you know.

We continue on to Minori, on the Amalfi coast for the weekend (19-21, ottobre)
We will then drive to Foggia on Monday, 22,ottobre and stay until Wednesday,
24, ottobre. It would be great to visit Joe's friends at Alenia while we are there.

We continue our journey to Chieti on 24, ottobre until Friday, 26 and we will stay with Lillian and Ernesto Orsini, who own the farmhouse that Paul and I stayed at while Joe was in the hospital at Villa Pini.

We then travel to Volterra and arrive on Saturday 27 and stay at our friend's Massimo and Inger, who own a farmhouse called Podere Fraggina, where we have stayed many times in the past.

Thursday, 1 novembre , we drive to Finale Ligure to visit Antonio Assereto and his family. His father, Roberto, hired Joe to work in Italy in 2004.

Monday, 5 novembre, we drive back to Roma and fly back to the USA on the 6th.

Ciao tutti, a presto!
Lynn and Joe

We saw our good friends, Oreste and Cristiana who live(d) below us in our home (palazzo) for the 2 years that we lived in Napoli. They live(d) on the ground floor (which, in Italia, they refer to as “piano terra” and we lived on what the Italians refer to as “piano quattro”). They have 2 daughters, Giulia, who is now 4, and Laura, who is now 2. I had never before met Laura. Oreste is an engineer, who has begun his own firm, designing wind generators, to economically produce energy. Oreste just patented the design of his wind generators.

We also met Rosario, who I knew as a manager at the train-producer, Ansaldo Breda, which was one of my clients, and his wife, MariStella, and their sons, Rafaello and Marcello. Rosario had recently been promoted to the manufacturing chief (capo) of the Napoli factory.

To sum up the trip in a single word, BITTERSWEET. It was a VERY emotional experience, to say the least.

At the last minute, our son, Paul, also, was able to join us, too. Paul needed closure from his massive task of caring for me. Lynn and I seriously needed closure to this chapter of our lives.

We enjoyed a very relaxing stay recently at the Parteno B&B, along the bay in Napoli. We reserved the front (sea-side) room and we could easily walk or take the local city bus to nearly any Napoli location. Here is a wonderful photo (by my sweetheart, Lynn Damon) of a fresh-delivered morning capucino & breakfast (cafe e prima colazione pronto nel mattino) to make your mouth drool, with a view of the Bay of Napoli in the background.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Saul Raisin also suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury

If you know me personally or based on the content of my BLOG, such as the photo of me and Lappie riding my exercise bike in my basement, or from my BLOG posting “About Me”, or from the photo of me on my FatWheels training wheels, I am, obviously, a bicycling enthusiast. I am captivated by the story of Saul Raisin, featured in the October 2007 issue of Bicycling magazine, entitled "Yes, You are looking at a Miracle".

Saul was a 26 year old identified as a hopeful bicycling future-professional, but he endured a terrible crash and suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury. First, I strongly suggest that you find a copy of the Bicycling magazine and article noted above and read it. Second, I highly recommend that you visit Saul's website and read about how the TBI affected his life. The magazine is a one-time snapshot of his accident and his recovery. However, his website is an ongoing chronicle of the events of his life.

Or look at Dave shields website for Dave and Saul's book, Tour de Life. I received a Dave Shields' autographed copy of Tour de Life and a "Celebration of Life" bracelet (like the ones popularized by Lance Armstrong) as Christmas presents from dear friends of mine.

I've been reading Tour de Life and I've learned some astounding information about brain injury. Here is an excerpt that demonstrates this:

"Slow down Saul. Your manners are embarrassing," Yvonne said.
"The brain uses huge amounts of energy," Pat explained. "Repairing it requires lots of fuel. Metabolism can more than double for brain-injured patients. It's good that his appetite is so big."
Metabolism doubles? Saul normally ate three to four thousand calories a day. Could he really start putting away eight thousand calories every twenty-four hours. She put her hand on Pat's. "I can't tell you how refreshing it is to have someone explain simple things to me. For weeks I've been confused and terrified by my son's behavior. It makes a huge difference to know he's doing what should be expected."