Sunday, September 19, 2010

Tour of Scandicci

It is officially the end of day two in Italy. Today I woke up this morning at 7:30 am to a FREEZING room and the wonderful thought that I was waking up in Scandicci, Italy. After thawing out and getting ready, breakfast was served. Actually, we served breakfast because the assistant, Kyle, did not wake up to his alarm, so we set out breakfast by ourselves. Breakfast consisted of cereal, milk, orange juice, carrot-lemon-orange juice, espresso,cappuccino AND Kyle redeemed himself by bringing pastries. After breakfast, we all cleaned up and then met in the classroom for orientation a la Robbie and then more orientation a la Kyle. After Kyle went through all of our paperwork and such, Mona came in and taught us some Italian to get us through our walk in Scandicci. After orientation was complete, we went to lunch. Lunch consisted of pasta with an alfredo type sauce, pork roast, steamed vegetables, salad, bread, and NUTELLA! After lunch we had free time. Of course, we all went around the villa and took pictures and then updated all of our Facebooks. At 2:30 pm we met in front of the villa for the start to our Scandicci walk. As we walked through Scandicci, Robbie stopped a few times to point out certain interesting/historical facts about whatever was surrounding us. Our first stop was the gelato shop! Robbie and Mona paid for our first gelato. I got a cone with chocolate and yogurt. I officially have decided that gelato is definitely better than ice cream. It just makes you feel like you are eating less calories. The next stop was the Avanti Italia Bible School. This is where the students like Allen Cochran (son to my "parents" here at HUF), and Emily Woodruff (an old co-worker of Linzi's). We are told that we will visit the school more and actually do some service projects with the students at the school as well. The third stop was Caffe Mario's. This is where all the famous cappuccino cup pictures are taken. Because I had had a cappuccino this morning at breakfast, I decided to venture out and taste Robbie's favorite drink. His favorite drink is una spuma bionda. This is a ginger ale and orange flavored beverage. It was very tasty, but definitely a lot of sugar. The way I asked for the drink was, "Vorrei una spuma bionda?" Which in English is, "May I have one spuma bionda?".  Caffe Mario's is located in the center square of Scandicci. So, we got to see a lot of Italians walking around. It was a very interesting spectacle. I thought that Italians would be significantly different than Americans, but honestly, the only difference, besides the language barrier, is that they have dark hair and dark eyes. Nothing really else is different. (Oh Dad, you were right, all European men wear tight pants.) After we stopped at all three places that Robbie had planned, Kyle took us to the shopping section or the market section of Scandicci. There we saw lots of Italains, Italian families, Italians walking their dogs; just Italians everywhere! It was great. When we had seen all of the market section, Kyle told us our first assignment. We were to go to an Italian supermarket called Superal and discover three things that were different at an Italian supermarket compared to an American supermarket. The people that were in my group were Andrew, Emily, Alex, and Taylor. We discovered that Italian supermarkets have gates that you have to enter and gates you have to use to exit after you enter the doors. Also, we discovered that Italians package their 2 liters and do not sell them single. The third thing we discovered was that instead of being ahead in fashion, they were behind in fashion and still selling Dragon Ball Z merchandise. All in all, it was a great experience! After the Superal scavenger hunt, we walked back to the villa instead of taking the bus. It was about a 35 minute walk, but it was definitely worth the adventure. Andrew was an Eagle Scout and he mainly led us the way back to the villa. When we returned to the villa, we discovered we were the first ones to arrive. Kyle had decorated the villa gate and walkway with Italian flags to celebrate our "Welcome Party". But before the party and while we waited on everyone else to return to the villa, my group went and played Ping Pong in the basement. The basement is filled with murals from HUF groups, their own design, their year, and their names all around it. Needless to say, it is a COLORFUL basement. When everyone returned, we ate dinner and then started our "Welcome Party" at 8:30. There we played ice breaker games and Mona did her famous "Little Bunny Foo Foo" rendition. After our "Welcome Party" we had snacks and then everyone went their separate ways to Skype, journal, devo, shower, etc. So, day two in Italy is complete and it was a great success! I am STILL loving every second of it! Well, until tomorrow, be blessed and have a great day!

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