Sunday, July 29, 2012

We're halfway there...

Friday marked the halfway point of my language class in Verona…one month down, one to go.  We took our final test of the month on Thursday (I did fine, mom) and then had the “CUM Olympics.”  (CUM stands for Centro Unitario Missionario and is the name of the organization that is offering the class.)  I am happy to say that I did Indiana proud by playing in the 3-on-3 basketball game, and our team won.  (I did Indiana proud by not messing up too much and letting the other two have the ball!)  On Friday, our class had a “festa” to celebrate the end of the first course and to say goodbye to a few students who were leaving.  It included a bit of wine, pizza, music and dancing.  Here’s some pictures from the celebration.

Religious going wild.

Celebrating Sisters.

Dancing Columbian style.

Dancing African Style.

With Sr. Sudeepa and Fr. Saji from India.

Our teacher, Giulio, is on the left.

Class photo.

Friday, July 27, 2012

O solo mio....

Imagine for a moment, if you will, a city where the streets are made of water.   There is a garbage boat and not a garbage truck.  You can dock your boat next to the church.  You can’t sleepwalk because the front door leads to a canal.  Well, stop imagining…you’re in Venice!

A few weeks ago, I went to Venice for the day with some school friends.  It is only about a two hour train ride from Verona.  The city is very interesting because it is built around a network of canals.  There are “streets” but no cars.  It is all pedestrian traffic in the city, which means everything needs to be brought in by boat and then transported with two-wheel carts.  It also means that there is a bridge at just about every “block.”  It is a beautiful and unique city best described by pictures. 

The Grand Canal of Venice.

I should explain why I’m wearing a pink shirt.  The day I went to Venice, there was a memorial “fun run” in Cincinnati for my friend Ali who passed away from cancer last year.  To be there in spirit, I wore Ali’s favorite color around the streets of Venice.

A typical canal in Venice.

With the Marianist Brothers: Gautier, Javier, and Bosco

St. Mark’s Basilica, a very famous church in Venice. 

Oooops, dead end.  Notice how the houses are right on the water.  I can’t believe people actually live here!

A famous bridge...don't remember the name.

Better watch your step in the morning

Yes, there are gondolas, but they are VERY expensive to rent.  To the tune of 120 euros for an hour.  We didn’t take a ride.


The narrow streets of Venice.

The group of students who made the trip, back at home now.

One of my favorite pictures from the day.