Sunday, May 30, 2010

countdown continued

hey charles,

i'm about to pack up the computer to ship to ukraine so this may be the last blog post for awhile. we leave at dawn on tuesday 1 june. i'll have my cell which will work as long as we're in italia: +39.346.232.2156 thanks so much for the great job you did setting up the blog and your willingness to keep it going during the trip. i finished reading 'what is art' but i'm shipping it to ukraine for reference during the winter there. i'll get it back to you eventually.

a big hug to all, liam

in december 2008 Valentina showed me a book given to her by her life-long friend Roman. a book very well read and with more than 100 years of age it was in pieces. she began reading it and recounting the story to me in Italian from the original Russian. ‘happy families are all happy in a similar way. unhappy families are each unhappy in their own way.’ thus begins Lev Tolstoj’s Anna Karenina. within a few days I bought a copy in Italian and we began reading it aloud as Valentina continued with the original Russian edition of 1903 providing commentary for the discrepancies. I entered into the thoughts of the characters he so vividly brings to life and each one became real and intimate to me. this event initiated the pilgrimage on which we will embark this Tuesday morning, 1 June.

a couple months later, my sister Patricia Dreame told me that her daughter Bonnie Dreame had also begun reading Anna Karenina. for her as well it sparked a life-changing passion for Russian literature, language and culture. following is the eloquent email she sent us this week to wish us well on our trip.

Dear Liam and Valentina,

Hi, it's Bonnie. I just wanted to make sure I sent you an email before you embarked on your journey. I can't wait to read the updates of your progress on the blog, which I have bookmarked on my computer. I know you will carry with you the richness of the life you have built together in Siracusa, through all the countries you visit on your trip. Looking forward to lots of stories of kind people, beautiful sights and sounds, and interesting wildlife.

I also wanted to clarify that even though my tutor is from Georgia, I am learning Russian, not Georgian. My tutor teaches me about the history and culture of Russia as well as the language, and it's delightful to get such a varied education about another country's way of life. I'm also going to a two-week immersion camp for Russian language this summer, so after that, maybe you'll even get an email in Russian.

My love and good wishes are with you through this wonderful new step in your lives.



  1. May love and light follow you as you take the "House of Joy", once again, on the road. Wishing you good fortune, peace, happiness, and restful nights.

    With love,

  2. I LOVE THIS BLOG!!! Wishing you magic and great fortune on your journey. Very inspiring! Thankyouforyou!

  3. Ciao Liam e Valentina, sono Salvatore vi ricordate di me? Ci siamo conosciuti a Palmi Calabria, vi ho ospitati nel mio Parco.
    Spero che ci sentiamo per un saluto.
    Ciao Salvatore