Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Buon giorno da Roma

After 10 hours of traveling, Lynda, the professor that is with me, and I arrived in Roma safe and sound albeit a little worse for the wear. It was a nice flight except for the fact that our in-seat entertainment system didn't work nor were we able to turn on a light to read by and I did not sleep. At all. Needless to say, I was a bit tired upon our arrival, but of all the airlines that I have flown internationally Continental did a good job.

We navigated our way thru passport control and if I could just take a moment to say how much that process frightens me in Italy. In the US going through customs is a big deal and fairly intense. They scrutinize your travel documents and go through your luggage, etc. In Italy, the guy behind the glassed in booth doesn't even look at your passport as he stamps it. Hmm...homeland security at its finest.

Anywho, the drive into the city was uneventful and we made it to the convent. It's hot in Rome now. August is supposed to be fairly brutal. So much so that the city empties as its residents head for the beach or hill towns. Being from AZ, I figured that I would manage just fine. Ha! The difference between the dry desert and here is this: humidity is no joke here and there's no AC. Unless you are standing directly in front of a fan it is ridiculously hot inside the villa and to walk from my room to the bathroom produces sweat. It is 93 today w/ 50% humidity. Oy. I don't mean to complain, but this AZ girl was not prepared to deal with this. I knew it would be hot, but I guess I didn't put much stock in the fact that there isn't relief from the heat inside. It's hot all around.

Spent most of the day yesterday unpacking and attempting to stay awake until at least 8:30 to avoid killer jet lag. The nuns have been incredibly hospitable inviting us to join them for lunch and dinner yesterday. We accepted gratefully as I don't know how we would have made the trek to the store in our condition. Then, they gave us fruit, cheese, crackers, and coffee (God bless Italian espresso) for us to have in the morning so that we didn't need to feel pressured to get up at any certain time.

My room seems bigger than it was when I was here in Oct and for that I am thankful. It is also farther from the students' rooms than I remember so it affords me some privacy which I know will be most appreciated come Sept. Crawled into bed last night so excited for some rest and while I slept, it wasn't necessarily a restful sleep as I was vaguely aware of sweat on my face and in my hair. Still, it was better than nothing and know that my body will adjust.

All in all, it was a good first day that brought with it the realization that adjustments to my American mindset need to be made. I am not in the States and I shouldn't act as if I am and demand that this country, which has existed far longer than the US, behave as if it were America. I look forward to getting to work and getting settled here. It will take some time and some patience, but I still have no doubts that this is where I am supposed to be.

So, I will say for now that I am glad to be here and am in one piece...a sweaty piece, but safe and sound nonetheless. There is hope, though, as the sisters say the heat will last for only one more month....hurry up September and get here!

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