Sunday, October 11, 2009


After an extremely busy week of work for transfer week, we played with the Burt’s by driving to Napoli and on to Pompeii.
The city of Pompeii was originally built about 600 BC and was located near modern Naples. Pompeii was destroyed, and completely buried, during a long catastrophic eruption of the volcano Mount Vesuvius spanning two days in AD 79. Pompeii was buried under 60 feet of ash and it was lost for nearly 1,700 years before its accidental rediscovery in 1748.
Interestingly: It seems to be well known fact that Pompeii was a very wicked city.

The sights we saw and the facts we enjoyed the most were:
When people were living in Pompeii, the streets had water running down them with raw sewage in the water. Large stepping stones were placed across the street so the people didn’t have to step in the water. (Here's the Burt's crossing the street on the stepping-stones.)

Original lead pipes exposed.

2-3 inch deep ruts made from chariot wheels in the stones of the streets.

30 brothels in a town of 20,000 people

Eating establishments which offered pots filled with hot soup to purchase. The holes where the pots were placed in kind of a hot table.

The remains of some of the people who were covered with molten volcanic ash. Some of the bones are still visible.

Mosaic and original painted murals and walls still visible.

Nice homes.

Egyptian Temple of Isis

Will felt bad he was one of over 2,000,000 people a year who paid an admission to see Pompeii. He did love seeing the Amalfi coastline afterwards though.

A funny aside that happened during transfer week:
During the week, President and Sister Acerson were hosting a large group of youth at the Villa. Sister Mandala was returning home after completing a successful mission and her mother was here in Rome to meet her. We were asked if they could stay at our apartment overnight and then if we would take them to the airport in the morning. Of course we said yes even though Sister Mandala speaks very little English and her mother speaks none at all. It actually turned out to be a delightful evening. I cooked dinner for all of us and then we played Rummy Cube and with poor English on their part and horrible Italian on our part, we seemed to communicate and even enjoy one another.
Two of the elders who were being transferred out of our district stopped by briefly and we dropped water over the balcony in front of them (this is almost a tradition in the Sommerfeldt apartment), with Sister Mandala and her mom watching and enjoying every minute of it.
Then the sisters who were being transferred stopped by so I could repair Sister Tramacchi’s skirt. (She had one whole side seam safety pinned shut and the hem was coming out.) When they rang the buzzer to come into our gate, Mandala’s wanted us to go throw water over the balcony at them. We brushed that off, saying we didn’t do that to the sisters. Unbeknown to us, they had a scheme hatched up to come into the apartment while Will was out on the balcony and throw water on him. It didn’t play out exactly as they planned, but Sister Skabelund did douse him with water,

so the sisters felt the evening had been a success. I guess that is what happens when you always play jokes on others. Sister Marangoni had even brought her umbrella so that they could safely walk under our balcony.