Monday, September 17, 2007

First Week Has Ended (sort of)

The Team (still waiting on Kanda) at our first home-cooked dinner.

It is the end of the (almost) first full week in Rome and life has been... interesting. My team and I have settled in, for the most part, and are starting to figure out what the next week or so will contain. To be honest, I dont really have too good of a grasp of what life will look like beyond that but I am ok living with that uncertainty right now. I guess life is interesting enough with the mundane; I went to the grocery store by myself, am trying to figure out a monthly budget, and still wishing I had actually studied and practiced Italian over the summer.

Some fun stories from this last week... the grocery store. We were walking back from I dont know where and I needed to p
ick up groceries, so I split off and decided to give it a go. The one thing I was warned about was that you can't touch the fruit with your hands, but use gloves, bag it, weigh it, and print out a sticker with the cost. Grocery stores have always been fascinating for me; I guess it comes from growing up in a family of seven kids, where a four item grocery list could turn into a $300 dollar order in a matter of 15 minutes. I wandered, couldn't read the names of anything, and depended on pictures/the actual look of the food to figure out what I was buying. When I got to the checkout lane, the man who was checking out had a HUGE order and his credit card wouldnt work. So the lady standing in front of me in line turns and starts talking to me. In Italian. I didn't understand a word and simply smiled... and finally sheepishly said "Me despiache, io non capisco litaliano (I'm sorry I dont understand Italian)". I don't she understood me because she kept talking. She was great.

Another fun lost in translation moment; this morning I went to Trastevere Baptist, an evangelical church here in Rome. The sermon was a guest speaker speaking in Portuguese, being translated into Italian, of which I understood neither. I checked out mentally and read the Bible passage the sermon was on instead. The night before at the same church, a Canadian group came and sang in English, which the sermon was translated into Italian. Talk about international. The group was really good actually and you can check them out at www.myspace.com/themacgregors . And the older girl was kind of cute, so that helped too :)

Some last random quick hits before I go. I got to hang out with a couple Italian students who are part of the Agape Italia movement here; Ana, Daniele (a guy) and Lisa are all pretty sweet but it just makes me want to learn Italian even more. They spoke English, but its more fun in Italian. It was my teammate Matt Reis's birthday today. I got the first picture with him as a 25 year old. We cooked out first meal here in the apartment... some pasta and veggies and chicken dish. They/we eat a lot of pizza here. Not really like American pizza... thinner, less sauce, funkier vegetables.

And oh yea, if you read thi
s, post a reply. I would love to know at least one person looks at this (thanks to Kevin for responding to the last one).


8 comments:

Sarah said...

I read them Chris! Good luck with the unknown! I know a lot about that, the whole waiting to start a nursing program thing has definately been wearing me down BUT, I do not give up easily. Anyways, as a cute old man at my friends church in Pennsylvania told me, perservere! And he just happened to be a nurse as well, and did missions work which is what I want to do someday as a nurse! Anyways, Ciao!
P.S. - do you guys have an address to send care packages to? ANd yes, I know International packages cost a lot...so you'll probably just get one hehe, at Christmas :).

Jeremiah said...

somehow i knew something would be said about that older MacGregor girl...

Greg said...

chris, it sounds like the adventure has begun. I'm amazed (old guys get amazed like this) by the fact that you can post a video and send it instantly back to the states. I remember going to church when I was in Jamaica on a missions trip and being overwhelmed by the reality that my God was their God. There was such huge comfort for me in realizing the presence of His Spirit--even when I was far away from everything familiar.

Kurt said...

Don Melvin, Im glad to hear the learning italian cds are coming in handy... using them to say "i dont speak italian" i think might defeat their purpose though.

Rich & Joyce said...

We loved the apartment tour and we are amazed that you can send all of this stuff here to us to enjoy with you. (Just read Greg's post, so I guess we are not the only old folks amazed) I am sharing the site with Mr. A so he is chewing and reading over my shoulder. We love you!

Tyler said...

Only Chris would go to Italy to get a Canadian girlfriend...

How does your average day go? wake up at noon, eat a bag of cheetos, watch a little miami vice, evangelize on the beach for 15 minutes, then crack open that first bottle of wine...isn't that how Billy Graham does it?

No, but seriously, I hope you are adjusting to life as an Italian just fine, and I will definitely be praying for you...

Kevin said...

Hahahaha heck yea, you gave me a shout out! I loved grocery shopping when I studied in Prague. I felt it was one of the few times where I could share in the same task as the locals: finding food to eat. I thoroughly enjoyed it because I'd be zipping around this tesco with my little shopping cart, rocking out to some good American top 40, and having no idea what any of the food was because it was all in freakin Czech. The music made me feel slightly at home but then the obviously language barrier did not. I liked that tension because it was symbolic of us as humans. Torn between living here and right now and being forever unsettled until we are with Christ again.

Man, that memory seems so distant now.

Well, I thought I'd just give you another holler as I lay here in my bed in Portland. I gotta wake up early, find a different place to go to Mass at, then work at the Apple store at 11. Craziness.

As cool foreigners say, "Cheers mate!"

Kevin

Curtis said...

I am a random reader, Chris. I surfed in from The Rabbit Room. I hope we have the pleasure of regular visits from you.

I enjoyed reading about your grocery store experience. I picked up cooking as a hobby several years ago. Good luck in Italy.