Going Out With Gusto

The past few days have seemed to fly right by and feel like a bit of a blur! Where to start?

This week of class was tough for me. As mentioned earlier, I don’t get the passato prossimo, and there are a couple other verb tenses I also have to really think about what they mean before using them, let alone interchanging them. Denny was so patient today with me as we were playing a game with the verb tenses and I just didn’t get it. He explained in English what to do and even then, I was still overwhelmed! All I could do was laugh (because it is funny) that something so elementary could be so challenging. Sometimes I feel in over my head, sometimes I look at it as one those moments that’ll pass because there are bigger fish to fry.

The whole experience of this reminds me of when I was a 2nd grade teacher in NC, and I’d have students come to my class just after having arrived from Mexico. They had no English background, didn’t have a clue what was ever going on, and some did not even know how to write their name, etc. I feel like one of them right now staring blankly sometimes and that I belong in the slower reading group! Hahahaha. Today was the last day for a couple people in my class, and all the seminary students will be leaving also. The school had a nice little goodbye gathering for them today with real Italian cookies and some beverages. Very kind of them! There will be myself and one other in my class….and I hear they’ll be getting some more students but don’t know how many. It’ll be interesting to see how it is.

Next week is my last week here already! I plan on going to Sicily next weekend. There is a slight problem with my housing accommodation as it’s not available the whole time I’ll be there as they said it would be on their website. They are being very kind at the school to look into other options for me, so we’ll see what happens!

I actually had the first stranger talk to me sometime this week also! I was at the internet café and the guy next to me actually started a conversation. I was proud I was able to carry on conversation with him for the time I did – maybe 15 min.? He was probably in his late 50’s and I didn’t know quite what to talk about but it all came together. Surprisingly, the other night he was riding by on his bicycle and said hello again! That was fun to see someone familiar who recognized me instead of staring at the red-headed American on the street. Also, I’m really looking forward to tomorrow night because Denny asked me to come out for coffee with he and his wife. It is more appropriate to do so at this point rather than chat after school (outside the school) where his boss sees us chatting, etc. I am interested in getting to know them – it’ll be really nice. I am happy it’s turning into a nice friendship.

Speaking of friendships, I am going to skip out on class on Wednesday and go to the East coast of Italy to Senigallia where I’m going to visit with Sara and Pindaro. Sara came to the US back in 1995 and was my exchange student. The year after I stayed with her and her family in Italy, and since then we’ve kept in touch over the years. Pindaro is a family friend and was the English professor to many Italian students studying the language, and he brought the students over to the US. It’s been 6 years since I’ve seen them last so it’ll be great catching up. It’s my understanding Sara just had her 2nd child. In fact, she was very pregnant with her first child when my sister and I saw her. It’ll be fun to catch up.

When I leave here next Saturday, I’ll travel to Naples where we have more family friends. The Aracri family came to the US with Pindaro as their tour guide back in ~2001 (?) and we got to know them then. They have 2 boys, Lorenzo and Marco, who are around my age and we get along well.  Karen and I saw the family 6 years ago during our trip, so I contacted Lorenzo again to let his family know I was here again. Last year we attempted to get together but timing didn’t work out. I’m going to stay with them on Saturday night and leave from the airport in Naples to fly to Catania on Sunday to start the next new chapter. Busy last week!

Last night I cooked with Alberta and we made a really yummy zucchini dish that reminded me a lot of a quiche, as it has cheese and eggs in it and is baked. I liked that. We also made panna cotta, and a fresh strawberry sauce. I got to take both things home with me, again! I’ll post pics soon. The good news is that I am realizing I’m making progress and am able to follow along with conversations much better than I could 2 weeks ago. It’s fun to realize that somewhere in there things are starting to click!

Otherwise, I’m finishing up the last bit of research of hotels for my trip with Ajith after all is said and done. It’s hard work finding cheap, decent hotels. Plus, we’re trying to go to a lot of places in 3 weeks which complicates things a little bit. Ajith has been busy getting together the ‘plan’ of what we’ll see, and how we’re getting there which isn’t an easy task at all. He’s done a great job so far on top of managing his own job which is really demanding at this time.  For the Turkey part, I’ve been able to rely a bit on Kerem, who’s a friend of mine in Seattle who’s from Turkey, to provide some more insight into where to go, transportation companies that are reputable, as long as a good website for hotels. Things have been a lot easier thanks to him for the Turkey portion – thank you!

I’ve been Skyping a bit more this week than normal. I got to talk to my parents for the first time in a couple weeks, which was great, and I also spent a couple hours talking to Stefani also. She and I can really talk for hours about everything and nothing and it’s great every time! I miss conversations like that (in fact, I miss conversations in general!) haha. It’s all good….

With this, back to doing more hotel research. I plan to finish it up this weekend, then I’ll be freeeee!  More to come soon….

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One Response to Going Out With Gusto

  1. Katie Ford says:

    As far as looking for places to stay- try airbnb (www.airbnb.com) we’ve had great success staying for cheep with people that actually live in the city and can tell us where to eat and what to see.

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