Thursday, September 16, 2010

Week one: check!

The first week with students has come and gone. Whew! What a week....and what a difference a year makes.

Again, it's amazing to me what a difference having one year under my belt makes. I know what to expect, what to do, how to use my Italian, and more. Not having to set up systems, withdraw money from my own account, etc. has freed me to do what I love to do: get to know students and journey with them in Rome and Italy.

I've really enjoyed getting to know the students that are here this semester. It's a pretty diverse group in terms of personalities and that makes things around here fun. I've laughed a lot this week and am thankful for everyone here. I trust that the Lord has great things in store for us this semester. And if this week is any indication to how this semester's going to go...well, it's going to whiz on by.....I'd better enjoy the ride.
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Friday, September 3, 2010

I'm baaccckkkkk

It's hard to believe that I am about to say this, but....I'm back in Rome and getting ready for year 2. WOW! Where has the time gone? (I feel like that's a common question I ask myself and the blog abyss)

Anywho, I arrived back in bella Roma on Wednesday after a great flight on British Airways. I flew directly from Phoenix to London and then after a 2 hour layover made my way from London to Rome. I have to say that of all the international flights I have ever flown that was by far the easiest and most enjoyable flight....well, as enjoyable as a 9 hour and 45 minute flight can be! I was blessed with a seat behind the bulk head which afforded me lots of extra leg room. You can never have too much leg room on international flights!! There was a moment of concern when I realized that I would need to go through security in London. After my last experience with UK officials, let's just say that I wasn't too thrilled at the prospect. But! God is good and there were no delays or banning from the UK for me! I even had time to get an iced latte from Starbucks.

When I arrived back at 'home' Lynda was waiting for me...with dinner! God Bless that woman! She so graciously made us dinner and went to the store for necessities earlier in the day. I am truly blessed to work with such an amazing woman and even more blessed in that I get to call her friend.

I slept great the first night and awoke at the 'early' hour of 12:45 p.m. After a quick shower and a quick lunch, Lynda and I were off to Termini to accomplish two things: 1) pick up the postal kit for her permesso, and 2) buy the monthly bus passes for us and our students. Oh Italy. How I forgot your love of ridiculously long lines and red tape! After waiting for 1.5 hours (yes, one and a half hours!!!!) in the post office, we found out that we could no longer obtain the kit at that particular branch. Instead, we could pick it up at the branch just down the street from us....of course. So, we made our way to the ATAC office and purchased our bus passes. What a difference after last year's debacle!

We decided to reward our efforts with a dinner out at our local pizzeria where we were greeted with an enthusiastic "Ciao!" and "Come stai??" followed by a warm handshake by the owner. It's good to be loved! We scarfed down delicious salsiccia (sausage) pizza, drank some vino rosso, and then delighted in the decadence that is tiramisu. Mama mia! It's good to be back!

All in all, the first two days that I've been back have been far different from last year. The weather is gorgeous and I actually feel somewhat competent! Granted, the language is coming back slowly, but what can I expect? I haven't spoken any Italian in 2.5 months! Show yourself some grace already.

Students arrive in a week and there's much to be done. I am grateful for the opportunity to be here and for what God has in store for us this semester. Please pray for me and my students as we get ready to embark on what can only be an amazing adventure. Grazie mille!
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