I may be wrong, but it seems that few times in life do you find yourself working on a goat farm that's hosting a travelling circus for a week. My keen instincts told me this will probably not happen again, and to enjoy every quirky moment of it. I did.
Circo Paniko is a troupe of twelve young performers who travel around Europe (and as far as India) with their show, a creative and musical sensory overload set within a yellow big-top. Like Cirque du Soleil, they started out as street performers and have slowly accumulated their sets and equipment over the past few years (although have yet to have permanent theatres in Vegas. I'll keep you posted). At our farm they were joined by many friends, including more performers from France and Spain and others who joined their camp to visit and help out over the weekend. Day after day new faces circulated through the house, each bringing a smile, kisses, music, and tricks. I often entered the living room to find someone standing on their hands or playing the guitar; these people possess more talent in their forearms than I have in my entire body.
I contributed to the festivities by helping to prepare food for the small concession/bar we setup between two hay bales. Each day we made sweets and sandwiches (with goat's cheese, of course) to serve with organic beer and vino brulee (mulled wine). On the second and third day a lady named Bianca taught me how to make Dolce di Pane, which translates as "Bread Cake." We made it by soaking chunks of day-old bread in milk and eggs, then adding spices, sugar, chopped fruit, and nuts until it turned into a batter. After baking, it sliced into thick and flavourful pieces of cake which I believe to be the culinary antithesis to the Atkin's diet. To top this off, friends of Elisa and Gabriele made pizza each night in the ancient wood-fired stone oven located just outside the front door. No hots dogs and potato chips at this concession stand, thank you very much.
After the final circus show on Sunday there was a big dance party in the tent with a ska/reggae band from Florence. They were amazing, and I jumped around like a crazy person on the hay-covered grass where I usually graze the goats each day.
The core group of Circo Paniko stayed most of the week, and last night we had a goodbye dinner with everyone (over seventeen of us) literally packed around the table. We ate rice, butternut squash soup, bread, tomatoes, cheese, and salad, and I listened to the constant roar of foreign conversation around me until a distinct "Whuuut do you theenk of Eeetaly?" popped up. Thus all attention turned to Lindsay-who-does-not-speak-Italian, and I answered that I love it and want badly to learn the language. This instigated many more questions and an Italian lession by a non-Italian-speaking Spaniard, which I muddled through until Elisa swung a cake in front of my face and asked "Leen-say, italianoitalianoitalianoitaliano?" Thank Zeus I actually knew this word. "Torta!" I yelled and everyone burst into applause.
There you have it, my finest moment.