Wednesday, February 14, 2007

L'ultimo Giorno

I'm spending my last day in Italy. Early tomorrow morning I leave for Chicago.

Right now it is sunny and 60 degrees. In Chicago it is ten degrees and snowing.

It will be good to get home, but I will miss my friends here and the nice weather.

I intend to get back to my regular schedule of frequent posts. I have one ready to post as soon as I get back and several ideas for other posts.

I wonder how long it will take my body to get used to the cold weather and my brain to get used to speaking English. Yesterday in one class (where I am supposed to be helping teach English), I was talking for a while when the teacher said, "Speak in English."

I find myself translating everything into Italian when I'm not thinking directly in Italian. That is not to say that I have achieved true fluency. I still have difficulty understanding every word that someone says when they are speaking at normal speed. But I usually understand enough to follow the conversation.

The students at the two middle schools have treated me like a celebrity. I told the mayor that I was coming back in 10 ten years to run for mayor myself.

This is my fourth time in Sicily. Altogether, I've spent more than three months here. I've started to understand this culture on a much deeper level. I will be making some posts in the near future about some of my observations.

For five weeks, I have been at the mercy of other people's schedules. I haven't driven a car. I've had limited Internet access. I've been to only one church service (and that was a special mass on a Saturday night to honor policemen who have died). I haven't played basketball or been to the gym. I haven't had a glass (of anything) with ice. I haven't seen my wife.

As you can imagine, I'm eager to get home.

But I also haven't shoveled snow. I haven't worn anything heavier than a light coat. I haven't eaten any overcooked pasta. I haven't seen a single McDonalds. I haven't had to buy a meal or much of anything else.

As you can imagine, it will be difficult to leave.

But it will be nice to get back home, to have my wireless Internet access and to take back control of the remote control to the TV.

Pastor Rod

"Helping You Become the Person God Created You to Be"

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