Yesterday I came home and I was on duty. What does that mean? It means that if you live in one of the Damanhurian communities, once every two weeks or so, it’s your turn to clean and tidy up the evening. I confess that sometimes I don’t feel like doing it, but if you live with 24 other people, aged between 6 months and 96 years of age, this is the best way to ensure a high quality of life for everyone.

The evening ‘turn’ shift starts at 7 pm and ends when everyone has eaten, and the long table full of a truly varied sample of human foods is finally emptied. In my community, we have decided that people over 65 do not take turns on this roster for respect of their backs and joints, despite the fact that most of our cheerful sixty-five year olds have a lot more energy than those who are much younger than them!

Community of Dendera, a house built with bio architecture tecnology

Those who take turns in the evening also take care of the children and the elderly, even if in my house, given the presence of three small school-age dynamites, we decided that on returning from school there is always an extra adult to support the parents and help the children do their homework. “The turn” also deals with setting aside food for those who are absent, and for this they receive eternal gratitude from the ones who arrive late, considering that usually they are as hungry as wolves!

Tata is 96 years old and still singing with a memory that I never had even as a young girl. She lives at my house and the evening turn begins with a ritual; a kiss on Tata’s cheek and it ends with taking her a tea with 4 teaspoons of sugar. Although she should only take 3, no one can resist when she whispers “can you make it a little sweet please dear?”

In the Community of Dendera a birthday cake party

Those who take turns also take care of one very important thing, the boiler, which heats the house and keeps the water hot. I understand that for those who live in a city condominium it may be impossible to understand, but I can assure you that it is fundamental that someone especially in the winter, at the end of the evening, takes care of filling the wood fired boiler to the brim with wood so as to keep the temperature up during the night and ensure that the water is hot for the morning showers. I can guarantee that this is one of the most important things that must be remembered to do before going to bed so that at my house, 24 people wake up every morning with a smile!

Damanhur: a scene of the common works on our territories

Last night a beautiful thing happened, one of the children Isaac, who after eating a big piece of fennel, which I had deep fried and passed off as chicken breast, came up to me and said “I knew it wasn’t chicken, but it was good anyway “, and gave me a kiss on my cheek!

The life I was living before in Florence, on the fifth floor of a historic building where I lived alone, was very different from the life that I’m living today, but when I wake up in the summer with the singing of birds and the sounds of happy tree frogs, or when I’m buried cozily under my quilt in the winter, in the quiet countryside, I do not regret leaving my old Florentine life, not even for a second!

Formica Coriandolo

Formica Coriandolo