Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Rainy Week

The second week here was characterized by rain.  Thankfully it was only rain.  Upper Italy, from what I hear, got snow!  “The Cave” feels like it could snow in here…  Not a whole lot happened due to the rain.  There was a huge storm on Monday and Tuesday that caused the sea to act violently:

Friday, we took a trip to Agrigento to see the ancient ruins there.  It was a marvelous experience.  Born and raised in a small town in New Hampshire and never traveling very far in my life, it was amazing to experience such things that I would only be able to Google Image in the past.  It goes tot show that Sicily is a melting pot of culture with Norman influences, Roman influences, and Arab influences.  I feel privileged to be able to study abroad and expose myself to such different cultures and history.

Us in front of the temple of Concordia

Because I can’t think of anything else that really happened, I will share some of the challenges faced so far.  First and foremost is the language barrier.  Sure some people speak English, but the majority of people only speak Italian or their English is spotty at best.  Therefore, I’ve had to study extra hard to even try to communicate with the local people here.  As mentioned in the previous post, I am trying to do some volunteer work with the locals, but it will be extremely hard if I cannot speak with them.  It just encourages me to try harder!  Secondly, there are foods here I would never have tried.  Carne di cavallo (horsemeat, again mentioned in my previous post), squid and octopus, and I guess in Palermo, spleen is a delicacy.  I’m really starting to miss good ol’ Vermont cheddar cheese.   Finally, the housing, again mentioned in a previous post, is difficult to adapt to.  The shower is barely big enough to stand in, the kitchen as well.  I just have to jump right in and make it normal or else come mid-April, I’ll still be frustrated about my inability to speak Italian or having to substitute horse for beef.

Hopefully there is more sun in the near future so I can share more experiences and pictures instead of complaining.  Ciao!

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