This week at PGL I have been a group leader for 63 Italians and their teachers. As with all groups it’s much easier when they listen, do what you ask and are generally polite, which this group was, but this week has extra fun. Even though I couldn’t get to know the young people really well because of the language barrier we have had some great moments playing games, singing (indoor campfire - it was too cold outside apparently), dancing (disco went on a long time), teaching them some English words and trying to learn some Italian. In the end I think my list of words stretches to:
and an Italian tongue twister that a couple of girls taught me, which goes like this:
Supra la panca la capra campa
Sutto la panca la capra crepa
which, translated into English, is something about goats and benches (I think like all tongue twisters it's nonsense, but they were struggling to explain it to me).
The strangest thing to get my head around is that they're basically the same as any other English group. They listen to the same music, wear similar clothes, play table tennis and table football, lose stuff on buses (like mobile phones and passports - we got them back) and laugh at you when you mispronounce their names. It's just that conversation is limited to a few words (they did get better over the week) and many hand gestures. Still I'll miss them, for a little while at least.