Hello, everyone. It has been a long time since my last post. Not that the holidays weren’t filled with tons of cookies, pies, cakes, and cinnamon rolls. They were. I’m surprised I didn’t double my weight in a matter of months. I was also busy getting ready for the adventure of a lifetime. I write this post from Fermo, Italy. I am participating in a type of exchange program. I will be tutoring middle schoolers in English at Instituto Comprensivo Leonardo da Vinci and living with the family of one of the students. It’s the real deal: a true Italian experience. The next few posts won’t have recipes, but, I promise, they will have pictures of food or the beauty of Italy.
International travel was something that I had not experienced before. What international trip would be complete without the hassle of lost baggage. I’ve been here since Friday and don’t have my own clothes yet. I could not have been placed with a better family though. They are so kind and generous. I live with Eleonora, her mother, Palmina, and her two daughters Asia and Sofia. They do not speak much English, so Google Translate has become my best friend. I hope to be able to speak just a little Italian by the end of these three months. It’s amazing how much Spanish I remember; it’s equally as amazing how little it actually helps.
Getting here was a trial. Anyone who knows me knows that a step like this, a step into an entirely unknown world, is not in my nature. I’m a stay at home, avoid change kind of girl. Now, I have traveled to a country to live with people I had never met and live in the midst a language that is totally unfamiliar. The first few days were hard, I will not lie. I cannot count the times I asked myself “What are you doing here? What on earth possessed you to think that this was a good idea?” But as I become more accustomed and more comfortable, shaking off the time zone fog and telling myself to adapt or die, I am realizing that this will be the great experience I thought it would be. I realize how lucky I am to be here, living in a place many people only ever dream of visiting.
This country is beautiful; the people I have met are so kind. The language–it’s gorgeous. During an hour break between classes at the school today, I took out my journal and began writing. but soon I was distracted by the sound of voices in the hall. I had no idea what they were saying, but the way they said it was a music all it’s own. I will have a separate post about my first week at this school, but the first day went well.
So far, the food has been amazing! For the first time in my American life, I have had pasta that was made fresh in an Italian shop—tortellini stuffed with meat. Let me preface this by saying that I’m not a stuff-things-with-ground-meat kind of girl. Eleonora put some kind of alfredo like sauce on the pasta that just lightly coated it. It was by far the best pasta I have ever had. I could eat it all day. Red wIne is pretty much on the table with every meal. I could get used to this.
Saturday is Valentine’s Day as well as Carnevale, which I think is associated with Mardi Gras. There is going to be a party that I’m pretty sure will be associated with good food. I’m looking forward to it! There’s so much more that I have written down in my journal about the past few days, but this is already a book. Just like me. More to come.
P.S. If you’re wondering, I did bring my Nikes. Once I get my clothes, I’m hoping I have enough drive to my myself run Italy.