Sharing Hope and Treasure

Earthquake-destroyed home in the Italian village of AmatriceOur white nine-passenger Fiat van left Montanare with each seat occupied. Five adults and four kids, off to make good on a promise born last September at our dining room table in Redmond, WA, USA.

At 3:35AM on August 24th, 2016 a major earthquake shook the village of Amatrice. Even though we’d never been to this 800-year-old hill town three hours south of Montanare, Jill and I are very familiar with the name. Bucatini all’Amatriciana is a spicy pasta dish Rosy and Amedeo create for us at least a few times during our annual visit to Italy. Amatrice is the origin of this favorite dish. Following international news reports and the idea Rosy proposed in a WhatsApp message, we asked friends to come to our house and share treasure to benefit the people of Amatrice. With Ame and Rosy coaching on Skype that September day, Jill created the authentic Bucatini recipe for our guests.

Our original intent was to collect funds and wire them to Amatrice the following week. I’m grateful that banking process became overly complicated and the wire transfer never took place. Instead, we decided the most efficient way to get the money to the people of Amatrice was to fly to Italy and drive from Montanare to the mountain village to deliver the Euros personaly.

Other than TV coverage, I’d never seen earthquake damage with my own two eyes. There are few words for this kind of destruction. Media coverage cannot detail what we saw during our two hour visit. Although Rosy had secured a noon appointment with the Mayor, he’d been called to a more pressing issue. His aide, Teresa was there to welcome us in a temporary City Hall. After graciously receiving our collective stack of Euros, she allowed us into the Mayor’s office to view dozens of talisman’s from all over the world, signed with messages of hope, strength, and love. After a meaningful lunch in a temporary massive tent, we descended the hill with heavy hearts and grateful spirits for having the opportunity to be of some help. Thank you to all who contributed.

Group in the mayor's office in Amatrice, Italy
Among all the destruction were hundreds of locals working to bring their town back and a room full of messages of support from all over the world.

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