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Month: December 2016

Living as Romans

Living as Romans

I had packed my bags with care the night before, wondering if I had everything I needed to live for three weeks in a different country on the Shakespeare in Italy program. My mother had made me a small breakfast, knowing that I would have little appetite with all of the nerves and excitement. I was dropped off at the airport and a few hours later, I found myself in Irving, Texas meeting new friends from all over the country. We were all instructed to go into a conference room where we ate excellent food and listened to professors explain the traveling process. Dr. Hanssen gave a wonderful speech featuring questions we would only be able to answer upon our arrival in Rome. The one would echo through my mind during my travels was: “Why did Rome fall?” Along with this question, she used beautiful imagery to describe the odysseys of other ancient travelers sitting upon steps watching the sun sink below the ancient buildings. My newly found friends all looked at one another with questions in our eyes and visions of gelato in our heads as we boarded buses and planes to get to our destination. I remember gazing at the beautiful Roman country side on the way to the Due Santi campus without a clue as to what was in store for me. As we pulled up to the gates, an adult (quite frankly I do not recall which one) stood and told us “welcome to your new home.” None of us knew how much of a home that campus would become.
The days ahead consisted of exploring the campus and adopting our new way of life. It took us three days to become comfortable with one another and adjust to the superior food. We quickly became like family as we bonded over our unfamiliarity in this new land. We would sit and have late night discussions as we looked at the vineyards or Castel Gandolfo or the Roman skyline. The life of a Roman was luxurious. Our quick adaption did not repeat upon our return to the states as we shared photos and constantly kept in touch for at least a month before moving back into the American lifestyle. Life as Romans meant learning how to order gelato like a pro (which, by the way, I recommend coconut and lemon). Life as Romans meant swing dancing in the streets of Padua after walking miles through Venice. Life as Romans meant drinking espresso in the morning while discussing Shakespeare. Life as Romans meant exploring the vineyard. Life as Romans meant a lot to us during those three weeks and in some ways living as Romans never left our spirits.