Part I (Departure)
Ahhh, the wonders of travel... and oh how it has its pros and cons. On the 17th (this past Thursday), I arrived at the airport totally prepared (physically, not so much emotionally) with all my papers, suitcases, et al. only to find my flight canceled and the impending doom of bad weather whispers all around the airport. So, after being rerouted twice (I got to visit the lovely city of Amsterdam from 6:45 to 9:45 a.m.) and being chosen, of course, for extra special screening at the security check, I settled as comfortably as possible in one of those faux leather chairs at Gate 5, and waited for my flight to board. Even before leaving the states I learned a valuable lesson: expect the unexpected. No matter how prepared I think I am, it will never be enough.
Part II (Arrival)
So, three days, 4,298 miles, and about 150 euros later, here I am in Rome, which is indeed "forever and a day." I've only been here for a little while, but it already is starting to feel like home. As soon as I arrived (late, of course) to our campus on Aventine Hill I was barraged with loads of information, directions and wonderful food ... needless to say, it was intimidating but great.
Our group is made up of about 65 students in all, and everyone seems like a lot of fun. Half of us live in the convent and the other half, myself included, live in a quaint little hotel about four minutes away. My roommate, Emily, and I get along swimmingly (she is also an Art History geek)...
We've already had our fair share of memorable moments, and I'm sure there will be plenty more the come. We've spent most of the past few days touring Rome in the wake of our program leaders Livio and Francesco, doing our best to keep up and take it all in. I'm still attempting to come to terms with the fact that we'll be living here for four months --s o much history, so much art, so much to learn! The city is our playground, and I for one can't wait to get out and see what it has in store for me.
Classes begin tomorrow and I can already tell that it's not going to be too tough to get into the swing of things. I'm especially excited to begin learning Italian and to assimilate myself a bit more. My schedule is pretty intense (I'm taking five classes), but I'm sure it'll be worth it.
So while I was initially really nervous about getting here (which I'm told is completely normal), now I'm absolutely brimming with excitement. Granted, I am going to have to master our tricky European tub/shower/sprinkler situation and acquire a love for "nun buns" (these very crispy hollow rolls that the nuns serve us at every meal) while making a sincere effort to not get bogged down with work, but I know that it's going to be magnificent.
Stay tuned for more updates, and thanks again for reading. Ciao!