Monday, August 30, 2010

Arrival, first day, and such.

So here I am, sitting in the fourth floor hallway of the building that houses the Linguaviva school and also the hotel where we are staying the next couple of days before we move in with our host families. I can only access the wireless connection from the hallway, so here I am.

Elizabeth and I left Kansas City on Saturday, and it already seems like a lifetime ago. The flights were pretty uneventful, and I figured the whole trip would be easy. Once we hit the trains though, that kind of changed. The train from the Rome airport to the Termini station in Rome was on time and uneventful, like the flights, but catching the train to Florence from Rome became another story entirely. Either the guy at the ticket booth back at the airport sold us the wrong tickets, or we got on the wrong train, but somehow we ended up on the regular train instead of the Eurostar. This put us behind schedule about two hours, and by the time we reached Florence, it was 7pm and time to meet with the rest of the group with no time to freshen up or anything. Thankfully we got a few minutes for that before dinner....

Dinner was interesting. We ate at a pizza place, and instead of ordering a pizza to split between three or four people, you order an entire pizza for yourself. My first thought was that I would hardly be able to eat any of it, but I actually ended up finishing more than half. The crust is thin and the toppings are a lot more thinly spaced than on American pizza. I'm hoping that the food I eat here will be healthier than the food at home.

We have some kind of orientation soon, so I should wrap this up... so quickly, here were my first thoughts of Florence: At first glance, it looks like Istanbul, which I visited this spring. The streets are narrow, the buildings are close together, and there are pedestrians EVERYWHERE. I've only seen the old part of the city so far (which is what I saw of Istanbul as well), but I think it's gorgeous. I wonder where my host family will live... I hope it's close enough where I can walk to school.

Anyway I'm off now. Will update again soon.

Peace, love, and all that :)


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Saying "arrivederci!"

17 days until takeoff... I think this is when I start to freak out a little bit.

I think I have everything I need for the semester: clothes, books, etc. Now all I have to do is enjoy the 2 1/2 weeks I have at home, and mentally gear up for this huge adventure.

It's going to be strange not being able to come home for three months straight. I mean, Monmouth College is about nine hours from where my family lives, and that's further from home than most people I know. Still, I'm able to come home at every major break, thanks to Amtrak. Not this semester though. I've got a feeling that I'll be too busy to be homesick anyway. I will miss my family and friends quite a bit though.

So, my goal for these last 17 days is to enjoy every last one of them.