Greetings from 7 hours into the future, our first day on campus and my attempt to blog via a cell phone. We shall see how this goes. Ciao, nonetheless!!!
I’m not sure how the passengers around us felt about a full rendition of Frozen, complete with song and dance, but to us, D & EG were rockstar travelers. They were so excited about their first airplane ride that they didn’t complain about it lasting 8.5 hours. EG’s favorite part was “the blast off” and D was amazed that “God made all this. He’s a smart dude. He’s 100% smart. My Daddy isn’t even that smart!”
As we made our approach to Rome, we were greeted by reports of a fire in baggage claim and the potential of being reroute to Milan, but thankfully, our plane and luggage arrived safely. Thank you for your prayers! The ease of travel with the children was a direct answer to prayer.
My initial reflections are as follows:
1. I am all of the sudden really good at Spanish which does absolutely nothing for anyone in this country. Also, I am responsible to keep two small humans alive in a city in which I can’t navigate any form of transportation nor can I communicate anything past “BAMBINO NECISITO POTTY NOWO”…we’re working on this one.
2. Speaking of the potty…we are also working on a few cultural norms.
3. The child you think will really struggle is having “the best day of his life” every day and the kid who could eat pasta and pizza every meal in America suddenly has an aversion. Also, meltdowns are universal and my children in Rome are the equivalent of Buddy the Elf in NYC.
4. My Fitbit hasn’t seen this much action since ever. And I wish it could track how many more calories I burn when I’m lugging 9 liters of acqua and trying to convince my children not to pet the stray dogs or pick all the trash up off the street. Bless them.
5. College students are amazinly resilient. But even they have jet lag. The kind that eerily resembles the stupor of a sleepless mother. It made me feel saddistically understood.
6. Italians don’t smile a lot. (Perhaps they are hangry bc they don’t eat dinner till 9 pm, that’s my best guess.) And we are those strange Southern people showing up for supper promptly at 5, wearing bright clothes and smiling at peoole like we are at Disney or something. But, in all seriousness, I thought it was shocking to see the wear and tear of city life combined with the hopelessness of spiritual depravity, economic struggle, a dying country and a culture of suspicion.
7. Italians use their hands very aggressively in conversation. Which explains why I got smacked in the face within an hour of being here. Funny how a casual stroll by some fierce “girl talk” can leave you with a busted lip.
8. The darkness and spiritual need here is great. Today, after Italians asked us, “Why are you here?” we were answered with responses such as, “I’m an atheist.” Or “Well, im not perfect.”
9. One must pace themselves on the amount of gelato one enjoys in one day. Regardless of how many badges one’s Fitbit is giving oneself.
10. Did I mention I have to keep two small humans alive? It’s a new found level of dependence and all I can say is “Christ within me, Christ before me, Christ behind me. Kids, HOLD HANDS AND QUIT LICKING THE HANDRAILS!!!”