Saturday, February 27, 2010


We hit up the Roma vs. Panathinaikos soccer game on Thursday night. This was the second game I've been to since my arrival in Rome in August. Last semester we went to a game and while it was fun, it was pretty chill. There wasn't a very large crowd and we were able to navigate our way thru the stadium easily. Not this time.

Roma lost to Panathinaikos in Athens earlier in the season, so this was a very important game for Roma. The stadium was packed! The noise level was insane and the people were going nuts. We got to the stadium late thanks to traffic and a mix-up with a change in the game time. When we got there we found that they'd closed our section so we had to find our own seats elsewhere. Trying to figure this out in the another culture and one that goes insane over soccer wasn't exactly easy. Finally during halftime we were able to secure seats. So, we sat down and soaked up the culture. The Curve Sud (where season ticket holders sit) was boisterous and lively. Flags were flying, songs were was crazy. The energy in the stadium was like nothing I'd ever seen. On the opposite end of the stadium was the other team's supporters. Despite being smaller in number they still managed to make their presence known.

Sadly, Roma lost the game. The fans were not happy, but it was fun nonetheless.

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pinch me

This morning I made the trek from campus to the Center to go to the bank. The Center is what most people think of when they think of Rome...Piazza di Spagna, Fontana di Trevi...all the tourist sights.

So there I was on the 60...passing by Bernini's fountain at Piazza Repubblica, passing Piazza Venezia where Moussolini used to address the masses, passing by the Capitoline museum where none other than Michelangelo designed the stairs, passing by the Colosseum and the Forum and it hit me...I live in Rome. Italy. I live in a city that has existed for thousands of years....where art, politics, and civilization flourished. I live here. Wow. Pinch must be a dream.
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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Putting myself out there...

So, I've come to realize that one of the things lacking for me here in Rome is a social life. Friends. People who are over 22 and have graduated from college. I'm used to having lots of friends to do things with, to talk to, and just to know are there. I knew it would take some time to meet people here, but I think I underestimated my own need for friendship. I guess I also thought that I would find a lot of support from people at home that would tide me over until I met people, but thus far that's been a lot more scarce than I thought it would be. So, I'm putting myself out there!

Last week I had a girl over whom I'd socialized with before to hang out. Lynda joined us for the evening and we had such a good time. It was great just to be able to laugh and share and be women. I'd almost forgotten what that feels like! I've also decided to start checking out expat groups as a way to meet people. This freaks me out a bit. Most people who know me think that I am fairly outgoing. While I am outgoing to a certain extent, I'm also very shy and situations like going to a meeting where I don't know anyone scares me. But. I have to do this. I need an outlet. I need people. This is the way I was created. I've been praying for a friend and thus far God is answering my prayers in the form of the new friend who came over last week, but I'm continuing to pray because it's always nice to have a group of people  you can be with.

For those who live abroad or who have ever lived abroad, any advice?
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Monday, February 15, 2010

Snow!!! (and Pompeii)

We're into week 3 here in Rome and things have been hopping.

We've been settling into routines and students have been out and about exploring Rome. Thus far it's been a good semester and I've enjoyed getting to know the students. They seem to be a fun bunch and they keep me on my toes.

Last Friday we went to Pompeii. The morning was frigid and rain was falling as we made our way to the train station. As we were walking from the bus into the station one of the students commented: "This rain actually looks like snow." I laughed because typically Rome only sees snow every 10 years, but hasn't seen any in 24 years. I told her that it wasn't snow more likely just really big rain drops. Imagine my, shock, when we were outside waiting for the train and large flakes of white stuff began to fall from the sky above. Snow. It was wild! In no way was I prepared to deal with snow or snow-producing temperatures. I was worried.

As the train sped thru the Italian countryside I marveled at the snow-covered terrain. It really was beautiful. I was quite relieved, though, that the more south we went the less snow appeared. Thankfully, Napoli and Pompeii were snow free!

We spent the day amid the ancient ruins of Pompeii and again I was struck by the horror that it must have been. These were real people...with real lives. What must they have felt as they heard and saw the great volcano erupt? There must have been suck terror, hopelessness.

All in all, it was a good day. Long, but good. Of course, I came home with more than just good pictures and memories...I came down with a cold that kept me in bed for two days!

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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Small moments

We had one of those 'in between' moments I talked about in an earlier post last night.

My RA is a musician and because music is so important to him he brought his guitar with him to Rome. We benefit from this as a community. So, last night he and another one of the students decided to give an impromptu concert. What ensued was many of us gathered together in the TV room while they serenaded us with parts of requests, music they'd previously written, and on-the-spot creations. It's been a long time since I laughed so hard. I took a step back and watched the group and was once again overwhelmed by what God is allowing me to do. This is why I do what I do....because I get to do life with these young people and be a part of what God is doing in them thru the gifts that He's given them.

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