Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Jona and Me
My dear friend Jona (http://jona-sunnydays.blogspot.com/) and I have been corresponding for a couple of years. Jona lives in a small country near Venice - SLOVENIA: Slovenia /sloʊˈviːniə/ (help·info), officially the Republic of Slovenia (Slovene: Republika Slovenija, listen (help·info)), is a country in Central Europe bordering Italy to the west, the Adriatic Sea to the southwest, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north. The capital of Slovenia is Ljubljana (from Wikipedia). Last year, she kindly sent me hundreds of her photos from Venice so I could practice painting for this trip.
When the dates of my visit to Venice were firm, we emailed Karlyn who agreed to have Jona join our group for THREE DAYS! And what a JOY it was!
Jona arrived early and met me at our hotel. We found our group for introductions to Karlyn and Douglass, and we sat in a square attempting to sketch one of the doorways and restaurants. We dined on the square, and immediately Jona was helping with all the translations! Everywhere we went -- from directions to gelatos to reading signs in storefronts and churches, Jona helped us with her fluent Italian! What a marvel! Just think of the mental gymnastics! Her native tongue is Slovenian, her second language is Italian, and she was translating it all into English!!! WHAT A GIFT!
But more than that, Jona was sheer energy and FUN! She has been to Venice many many times, and so my painting pal Judy, Barb, Jona and I set off on our own adventures -- exploring, shopping, taking dozens of photos, and of course, eating at some of the 'less touristy' trattorias! (Jona has been working on my Italian -- thank God! Lol)
What was amazing to me too what the instant bond we felt. It was like refinding a sister! Our days were filled with laughter, excitement and sheer joy!
Mercy, I miss her already!