Day One – San Patrignano Experience

As much as you expect a transatlantic trip to be a grueling experience, you are nevertheless surprised at how much sitting in a cramped plane for hours can take out of you. We arrived in Bologna exhausted and feeling pretty grimy but anxious to get to the final destination in Rimini. The last leg of the trip would require a bus trip (about 2 hours) from the airport to downtown Rimini.

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A quick aside about that bus trip. The bus driver spoke almost no English but a few passengers seemed to have some English. He must have been driving buses for some time because he had no problem maneuvering that big bus in traffic and through narrow streets. I must admit that sometimes he came within inches of cars, abutments or people but there were no incidents or fatalities along the way. He was quite comical on the highway too; he was periodically cursing out some slow moving vehicle and leaning on the horn quite often. His choice in music, however, was the crowning moment. We were expecting some Italian music but instead were treated to Johnny Paycheck, Elvis, Ringo Starr and Charlie Pride. Kate and I had a good chuckle about that.

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We arrived in Rimini and were enthusiastically greeted by Matteo, our driver, who took us to the San Patrignano compound. We met other participants for the workshop – Stephanie (a Californian who now calls UK her home), Tatiana (a Canadian who hails from Croatia and speaks a little Italian), Sonia (a Californian in the process of building and establishing a San Pa model community in Napa/Sonoma) and Don (a Canadian who is in the process of starting up a community based solution to addiction). We expect there will be more participants but we have not met them yet. We met our respective “guides” for our stay (Alessandro, Kyra, Rachele and Laura) here at San Pa and we got settled into our respective “cassettas” or cabins for the length of our stay. We will get together later for dinner with the staff and administration and get to know each other better.

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A hot shower and a hot meal and good conversation never felt so good.

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