The inevitable stories of passport abuse


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Italian Family

I know that I fail at life and have not blogged about any of my amazing trips for the last MONTH but I promise they will be coming soon.  After midterms I left straight for Barcelona and Croatia, got home and had house guests for over a week, so things are finally starting to settle down.  But before I get to my adventures in other countries I need to write about the one adventure that has single handedly made study abroad in florence worth it...the Zuppiroli family.

When first arriving in Florence I signed up for this club my school has called the Italian Family club.  The school finds Florentine families that are willing to adopt poor homesick American students for the semester.  After lots of paperwork, interviews and people thinking I was crazy for giving up my travel weekends to spend time with a family I didn't even know, I finally met my Italian family. To make many long stories short, they are beyond amazing.  I have only known Alfredo, Sandra, Margherita and Amit for a little over a month but I don't think I could ever explain to them how much they have impacted my life.

Tonight for example, Sandra invited me over for dinner. First, she is such a wonderful cook; if only my stomach could speak it would tell you. Second, these dinners that Italians have EVERY night, consist of at least four courses and last for a minimum of 2.5 hours.  At dinner tonight Sandra invited her niece for dinner, who is a little older than I am.  Little did I know (but I am positive Sandra did this on purpose); Sara not only speaks Italian, Spanish and English but is also a swim coach. I had told my Italian family last week how I coach 160 beautiful children and how( it may sound ridiculous) I miss them so much that I feel like part of me is missing when I am not at the Cunningham pool trying to squeeze 40 kids into 3 lanes, listening to Peter tell me some strange story and eating candy by the bucketful. Sara spoke in mostly Italian ( Sandra is working very proactively towards me being fluent and won't let anyone in the family speak english during dinner). And although the conversation was in a language that is still completely foreign to me, I had no trouble following.  The language of the swimming world transcended all language barriers and I felt like I could be talking to any of my coaches about what set to give the 11-12 year olds. Sara even invited me to her team's swim meet in a couple of weekends and I don't know if I have been more excited for anything since I have been here.

Needless to say dinner tonight made me appreciate being here in Italy and experiencing the language and culture first hand.  As I was walking away from their house, in the complete downpour that I have come to expect everyday in Florence, I couldn't help but close my umbrella and spin around in circles in the storm thinking of how blessed I am and how happy I am the the Zuppiroli family decided to adopt me.

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