We're back from France and settling into life in Matera. Well, as settled as you can get in a vacation property for a short term stay. We love this city, and despite the nasty cold that has beset me and made itself at home, we are enjoying getting a more "insider's view" of the place.
By now you've surely seen the haunting and heartbreaking photos of the comunal funeral in L'Aquila. I could not stop the tears when I saw the small, white caskets of children perched upon their parents' caskets. Heart wrenching.
It is not too late to help. In fact, there are more ways to contribute. I have recently updated the How to Help page, so be sure to stop by and take a look. Even giving the equivalent of your morning cappuccino will be appreciated by the families living in tendopoli.
My "Italian brother" Valerio just returned from L'Aquila. He went for a couple of days to help construct temporary buildings, as part of a group from Green Peace. He said it is still getting very cold at night due to the high elevation, but reported that people seemed to be taking everything in stride and with the trademake Abruzzo resilience. There is so much to be done, he said, and much money is needed.
I asked him which organizations are best for getting the money to those most in need. He said the Croce Rossa and Caritas, as well as the Democratic Party of Italy. He also said the most bureaucracy-heavy outlet is the Protezione Civile, where little of the donated money will actually get to the victims and projects, especially in the immediate future, as is most needed.
From the volunteer's mouth.
On another note, I was just referred to this Survivor's Diary, written by a L'Aquila earthquake survivor. Do check it out.