incredible how fast a week can pass

Ciao tutti!

It’s been about a week and I think I’m pretty close to “settled in” here. I spent 2 hours yesterday in the Florence Hospital, so if any emergencies come up, I’m ready!! I’m fine, but I went as a sort-of translator for a friend who thought she broke her ankle. We have some great pictures of her on a radiology table (when I can figure out what’s going wrong with my picture site, I’ll post them), and we were informed (entirely in Italian, mind you!) on the full history of California and its spanish-speaking citizens. The doctor was really nice, really funny, and talked incessantly. It was a good lesson in our Italian!

But anyways, Firenze is absolutely wonderful, and it’s a shame I’m not a writer so I could bring you here with me. The language is intoxicating and the food is unbelievable. It’s amazing what a difference it makes when things are fresh and not full of preservatives. It’s sad, but I think I’m on my way to becoming what I used to call a “food snob.”

I’m getting used to my apartment. It certainly isn’t getting any prettier, but at least we now have water and heat (for those of you who didn’t hear…we were without both for the first 3 days). I have one roommate, Melissa, who one of the sweetest girls I know. It’s a little dissapointing not having more people to cook for/with, but if I had to pick just one, she’s fantastic. We live just off a beautiful piazza (like a square) for a church called Santa Croce (it happens to be where Michelangelo, Machiavelli, Ghiberti, and Galileo are all buried…it’s mind-blowing to me!)

Right at the corner of the piazza there’s a wonderful cafe, Cafe Mario, where I stop most every morning for caffelatte on my way to class. I pass through Piazza della Signoria (which seems to be nearly an outdoor scuplture gallery displaying, among others, a replica of Michelangelo’s David and The Rape of the Sabine Women). Then I walk north through Piazza di San Giovanni (by the Duomo and Baptistry with Ghiberti’s North doors – often called the “Gate of Paradise”). What a walk to school! It’s a wonder I ever even make it. I’ve only been to two classes thus far, but I’ve really enjoyed them. I had to take placement exams for painting and drawing, so hopefully I’ll remain in the levels I’m registered for!

I’ve met several very nice italian friends. It’s very interesting getting used to the culture here. I’ve had to learn how to walk down a street NOT smiling and making eye contact with everyone I see. You can’t imagine how much trouble you can get yourself into by being what we consider “friendly”! I think I’ve finally got the hang of it, though.

I’ve found a group of young missionaries who have a weekly gathering in their apartment (they don’t call it a church yet because it’s kinda still the trial period). I met some really cool students and families.

Well, this weekend I’m taking a train to Pisa and then flying to Frankfurt, Germany. I’ll be meeting a friend from Belmont who’s road managing for a band touring in Europe. I’m excited for a familiar face and another new place. It’s almost overwhelming how new every day is here. Everything is so fresh and full of life. I could stay in Italy for a lifetime.

Ci vediamo,
Calais

Some did and some didn’t recieve Giacomo’s correction that the prefix for my number, 3481510027, is 01139, NOT 01136. Sorry about that!

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lenticular?

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Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children.
-Kahlil Gibran

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