Hope all is well. Lots of exciting developments with the project to launch the Community Kitchen here in Sicily, thank you once again for your support. The renovation work was due to start this month, however, we have had some challenges which has meant that the project is delayed by a few weeks. The first one is the fact that we discovered that the water tank in the house is made of asbestos and this has to be removed by a Government approved company here in Sicily, the wheels are in motion to get this done. The other reason why there is a delay is a positive one as my architect Nicola has applied for a Government grant to offset some of the costs to renovate the house. This is part of a Italian initiative where grants are available to ensure that old buildings are made more sustainable. If we are successful with the application then it will mean that the costs of the renovation will be significantly reduced. This is great news as it means that there will be more funds available to run the project. We are also in the Red Zone here in the town for the next two weeks which means we are in lock down and therefore no building works can be carried out in the town. On the positive side it means though that I can work remotely with Nicola on the final plans for the renovation.
I also have some good news as a local lawyer here in Mussomeli has volunteered to set the Community Kitchen up as an Italian charity and he is offering his services for free. Everyone in the town has been so kind and welcoming and offering me help since the day I arrived. There has also been a great deal of press about the Community Kitchen. I was interviewed by 2 Italian journalists and as a result of this the story was picked up by other journalists across the globe. At one stage the story was trending on MSN! As a result of this I was filmed for BBC Reels that airs in the States and also Arte in Germany are filming a half hour documentary on my story to establish the Community Kitchen here in Mussomeli.
Aside from working on the plans to launch the Community Kitchen I have also been taking Italian classes three times a week with the wonderful team at Acri Strauss This is a fantastic foundation here in Mussomeli that runs many community based initiatives. We will be collaborating on the Community Kitchen and it is so incredibly kind and generous of the team to run free Italian lessons for us. Looking forward to updating you all on any new developments soon and sending you all the best from Mussomeli.