Saturday, June 29, 2013

Counting Down Towards Re-Entry

I leave on Monday to go home to San Diego.  This three months has flown by, and although I have missed Dr. C. and my friends, I will have a hard time leaving Italy.  There are so many things I have learned here, and it's hard to put into words just how much this trip has meant to me.  I've had the privilege of living in a small hill town in Umbria, learning Italian at a language school, and working alongside the awesome people at Enoteca Properzio here in Spello. I have been living my dream.

Here are the top things I've learned while in Italy

Do more with less:  this from a woman with every electric gadget known to man, from computers to Cuisinarts, I've got it all.  You can get along just fine in a rented apartment with a few odd pots and pans, and a fridge.

Don't be afraid to get lost:  Getting lost puts you on the road less traveled and can reveal things you'd never have seen traveling on the road everyone else has gone down.
Translation, the road of 1,000 lunatics
Don't be afraid:  fear is what keeps us from trying new things and discovering new places.  Be bold and step out in faith--take that trip, drive in Italy, get on a train, instead of wishing you could go.

Be Spontaneous:  One day at a cooking class at the enoteca, someone brought in a guitar because one of the students said he loved playing, by the time he got to playing, Roberto was dancing with his wife, while we were plating the food.

As the cook in the movie The Muppets Take Manhattan said, "People is peoples" the world over.  We may not speak the same language, agree on religion or politics, but we are human and that unites us all.

Big cities in many respects are the same all over the world--whether it's Rome, Milan, New York, Tokyo, Boston, Hong Kong or Berlin, they are big, noisy, crowded, filled with excitement, adventure and history, they just come in different flavors.

Take photos:  a digital journal is a great way to remember what you've seen, and above all what you've learned. The memories are there for you to enjoy for many years.  There was never a day here when I was without my camera or my cell phone to take photos.

I've learned that Italian is a beautiful, complicated language with grammar rules that defy logic and that Italian road signs can be difficult.

Make new friends:  Try out the language, and start a conversation with someone.  In the past months I've met my neighbors, new friends at the enoteca, and classmates at school from all over the world.  What separates us is geography. 

The treasure of Italy is the Italians!  Funny, smart, complicated, passionate people, they are crazy for calcio (soccer) their families, their food and their wine, and I'm crazy about them.

Thank you to the Three Wise Men of Spello:  Roberto, Luca and Carlo Angelini, Irene and Daniela Angelini, Camelia, Tanya, Kaoma and Chiara for making me feel so at home here in Spello.  Grazie Mille!

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