Heather in Rome

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page. - St. Augustine

Thursday, August 18

St. Peter's Basilica and Square. The largest church in the world. I can't believe I will be here in less than two months!

Friday, August 12

ESM address and updates

The address where I will be staying is Domus Aurelia; Via Aurelia, 218; 00165 Roma. It is a hotel and the ESM participants live on the top three floors. One floor is the communial living area, another the bedrooms (we each get our own room!), and the last is the chapel. I'm not sure if the Emmanuel Community owns the whole hotel and rents rooms to visiting missionaries or if they only rent the floors we occupy.

If you want to get an idea of where it is located in relation to St. Peter's, mapquest.com will place it on a map. The hotel is pretty close to the edge of Vatican City, but on the opposite end as St. Peter's. It turns out that on Fridays, the group will be having Mass somewhere either in or near St. Peter's and then we will go out into the Square and strike up conversations with people. Every Friday walking around the Square. Amazing!

On a separate topic, my friend Monty (trumpet player from the 9 am Mass) got into the ESM too. He found out today. We're planning on flying over together, which will be nice since it's such a long flight and we have to get from the airport to the hotel by ourselves. Once I get a plane ticket, I can get started on the VISA process, which looks complicated to me. I've never needed a VISA for any of my travels and the application form is asking for information that I haven't worked out yet, like which country will I be departing from when I travel back to the US, how many entries to Italy do I want, do I have an entry permit to my final country of destination. I didn't realize I needed one with the EU set up and everything. So there are lots of small details that I have to figure out, when I would much prefer to go with the flow and have the flexibility to change my plans for next summer as the summer approaches and I can judge my income and desires. Oh well. I'm going to visit the Italian Consulate next week to ask them lots of questions about what I need before I can get a VISA.

Monday, August 8

The First Entry

I'm not much of a blogger. Actually, I'm not one at all. But I figured this would be a good way of letting anyone interested know what I'm up to when I'm over in Rome.

As of right now, I still have to buy my plane ticket, get the visa (at least I now have the letter explaining why I should be allowed to be in Italy for a year), and purchase health insurance for while I'm over there. My friend Monty probably will be going to Rome for the same program so I'm waiting to buy the plane ticket so we can fly together. If he doesn't get in, it could be a long, boring flight. Is there a "Learn Italian in 14 hours while flying to the country" CD set?

Actually, I have CDs and a book from the library and when I was housesitting, I was doing really well with the studying. Since moving back home, I've been less disciplined. As much as I hate to admit it, I've been partly sucked in by the TV and computer. That, and trying to organize/clean my bedroom since moving back into my parents' home. My room was taken over by my family when I moved out a year ago (think treadmill, exercise bike, fooseball table, etc.) so there is a lot less space for my possessions, even after donating items to charity and recycling tons of school paper. Oh well. Soon I'll be finding a way to transport 9 months worth of living supplies in a suitcase and backpacking pack. Talk about simplification.

For not being a blogger, I sure have written a lot. It must be because I have a topic to write about that I'm excited about. Stay tuned for future progress towards my trip.

To my sponsors, thanks so much for supporting me in this endeavor. We're not related so there is no familial expectation for you to open your pocketbooks for my program, and yet you still do. That is amazing to me and humbling for me all at the same time. Thank you.