Tuesday, December 2, 2008

News from Italia

A few years ago, when I graduated from Emory, I ran away to Italy. While I was there worked as an au pair for a family. I lived with Flavia and her three girls - Alice, Irene and Viriginia.

Alice was the oldest, in her first teenage rebellion against her mother. She was very attached to her scooter/moped and wanted to become a mechanic. I remember Alice being very sweet and welcoming to me. I could tell that beyond her tough, teenage facade she was a kind and gentle person.
Me and Alice
Irene was the middle child. She was very distant from me for most of my time there. I can't blame her since she'd seen au pairs come and go all of her life. She also had a closer attachment to the au pair just before me, Camia. She was very interested in fashion and wanted to have very little to do with speaking English. We did bond over the OC and I was glad that I got to celebrate her birthday before I came back home.

Camia and Irene

Virginia was the youngest and she was amazing. I spent the majority of my time taking care of and playing with Viriginia since the two older girls were pretty much self-sufficient. I noticed from the start that Virginia had a theatrical flare. We would sing and act out made-up operas together all of the time. She had a nack for being a clown. I remember her showing off by doing the Charlie Chaplan trick of trying to pick up a hat and kicking it at the same time. I did my best to encourage her in her natural talents in singing and clowning. She was a natural star and totally stole my heart.
A few months ago, I heard from a friend in Italy that Viriginia had been selected to be part of an annual international singing competition held in Italy called Zecchino d'Oro. I can't tell you how excited and proud I was. The competition was held at the end of November. At the bottom are two videos of her singing her song for the competition - "Giochi di parole." One she sings solo with the choir and the other she sings as a duet with an Italian singer named Francesca Alotta.

The children's RaiUno website (in Italian) has a section on the competition. It looks like Virginia got 2nd place! If you click on Personaggi on the side there are profiles for all the singers with photos. Virginia's the the 8th one. My Italian is pretty rough, but I know it says she likes Hilary Duff's singing and Ashley Tisdale's acting in High School Musical. She plays tennis and something about her parents. She likes pasta with tomato sauce and her favorite animal is the tiger. She dreams of singing when she grows up. Her favorite part of being in Bologna was sining with the other children.

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