Here I am in Rome, the city of all cities, and it’s far better than I could possibly have imagined, if I had imagined anything at all; to be honest, I formed very few expectations, so the fact that it’s already far exceeding them doesn’t say as much as it should.
I’ve been having the longest day of my life, as it was two days morphed into one, with seven hours extracted somewhere in the middle. My flights went well, and I met several other American students. I couldn’t get internet access until well after I arrived, since the Detroit airport didn’t have free wireless.
My host family, Roberta and her daughter Aurelia, is warm and welcoming. Roberta speaks quite a bit of English and understands it if we (my roommate Jade and I) speak slowly. She puts so much effort into forming English sentences that I feel awful for not being able to reciprocate yet. Jade has had a couple years of Italian, so she tries to converse with it, but what little I learned this summer goes out of my head whenever it might be useful. “Grazie” and “prego” are the extent of the vocabulary I’ve used so far.
I expected Jade and I to share a room, and since Roberta was only expecting one student she had a room all set up for me. However, she agreed to take on a second homestay guest, and moved her office and library out of the room that I’m in to get it set up. I arrived about ten minutes before Jade, and picked the larger room, which Jade says she’s fine with (since my room currently has a curtain instead of a door, for now we’re even, but Roberta apologized profusely and says that a door should be installed in a few days).
It was over 80 degrees Fahrenheit here when we arrived this morning. I wasn’t expecting this kind of heat! I’ve been sweating all day. We ate a very late dinner at 9:15 pm, after Jade and I went for a walk and saw the Tiber river.
We start orientation tomorrow morning. I slept for a few hours earlier today but I'm now quite ready for bed (it's nearly midnight here). More updates soon!