I arrived in Italy three days ago completely exhausted after 22 hours of travel. The trip itself was pretty much smooth sailing, although the airports could be made a little easier to get around in. The German one especially! I felt like I was walking in circles.
After arriving in Italy, and being introduced to the area and my new host family, I went straight to bed. When I woke up I was bombarded with all kinds of food imaginable, from fresh cheese to warm milk to pastries that look like clams. Italians are just as hospitable as everyone says they are.
I spent some time getting to know my two host sisters Alessandra and Matilde before I was introduced to Avery, another exchange student who has been here since September. The girls needed to finish homework so Avery, my host mother (Elisabetta) and I all went to the market to get groceries for lunch. Italians drive like maniacs! Honestly, it’s like every stop sign, traffic circle, or white dotted line is simply a suggestion. Even on the freeway they will drive right in the middle of the road, cutting people off and parking wherever they can fit their car.
Elisabetta is an unbelievable cook and she prepares, not one dish, but several for just one meal. It is magnificent. Alessandra emptied out part of her closet for all of my things so I am feeling right at home with the family.
Today, I had my first day of school and it is nothing like school in Canada. The students are free to get up and walk around the school and to shout and argue during the lessons. The teachers also seem to have a much deeper connection to their students, as though they’re friends. As soon as you walk into the building you can hear the hum of people talking and laughing. It’s a very refreshing perspective on education. The school itself is three stories and has an incredible view of the Naples coast. They go to school on Saturdays, but only from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. Mr. G, my program coordinator, says I don’t have to go to school on Saturdays and I am very grateful!
Alessandra tells me that Saturday is the best time to go shopping. Avery came over after school because our siblings “studiano siempre” (study always) so we keep each other company while they work. I love having another natural English speaker to talk with. Italian is a very difficult language to learn but I am having many small victories!