The last week has been a whirlwind of craziness, something that makes me sit back and say...wow, this truly is Italy. I am leaving in less than 10 hours for America for the summer and not quite ready for it and not sure how to adjust to being back. I love it in Italy, I love my family and friends and Day Camp in the States... It is hard to say goodbye to a STINT team that has become family this year and to friends I have made here, but it is good to know that it is not a goodbye forever. We will see each other again and I hope in that. Hopefully in the States, I will post more regularily here, but for now, please enjoy a photo journey through some of my friends from this year and the craziness that was our Team Debrief on Elba Island.
Daniele is the first guy I knew here, being friends with the STINT team last year. He is a solid friend, brilliant with languages, and someone who is growing in his relationship with Jesus. I enjoy hanging out with him and look forward to it next year.
Claudio and his g/f are some people I met at English Club this year and are so much fun to hang out with. He is massively improving his English and every time we hang out, he seems to bring up God, which is a lot of fun to talk about with him. I think he is in process, figuring out more and more who we are, who Jesus is, and what that means for him.
Le ragazze - Maria Teresa, Federica and Ana are some of my favorite girls here. Always so much fun, true friends and Ana is my first and only "sorella peruviana."
The Roma Tre crew, Cesare, Emiliano and Manuela, are such good guys. While Cesare doesn't believe the same as I, he is a good friend to talk to and the other two are checking out who Jesus is. Emiliano is one of the highlights of my year, just how genuine and solid a guy he is and how willing he is to seek to follow Jesus. I look forward to hanging out more with him next year.
Giorgio and Alessandro are "good people", as some other friends would say. They are solid Catholic believers, encourage me every time we hang out, and genuinely want Jesus to use their lives. And they are stinking smart at physics.
This picture perfectly captures my relationship with Marco and Andrea... a little wild, Andrea being the instigator and Marco chilling... They are good friends that I have known for the whole year; Andrea is a legend at campus, a parkour genius, and a guy who is interested in Jesus but never has time for him... pray for this crazy, fun friend.
Mark is the only Scotch-Italian I know, and a good guy at that. He speaks perfect English with a sweet Scottish accent and his Dad cooks some great sausage (he had me over for dinner). I look forward to more conversations with him.
Valmir (Amos always feels the need to sing out his name, opera-style)! An Albanian friend, Valmir is a believer who is an all-star; not only does he hook me up with cheap food, but he loves Jesus and wants to follow Him and help others do the same.
Me, Simone and Matt, after cooking dinner and enjoying an evening of food, wine and great conversation together. Simone is a guy that I look forward to hanging out more with next year, as we check out together if Jesus really is the only way.
My good friend David, an atheist and communist who I get along great with. He has a big heart and though he claims to be a "lost soul", I am thankful God is in the business of "seeking and saving the lost."
Welcome to Team Debrief, where we went to the Island of Elba, did important stuff like trying to process through a years experience in a couple days and other stuff, like ride scooters (or motorini) around the island. I rocked out on this classic Vespa for the first part, then switched with L for a more powerful one (so I could drive other people too).
We stopped at this lovely little lookout and enjoyed the beautiful weather, the absolutely stunning sea and terrain of Elba and God's creation and something that Italy has perfected: gelato.
And this is how my time at Debrief concluded... Amos breaking his leg, lots of time in the hospital and having our final team meeting at the hospital, praying and celebrating what God has done throughout the year. And it has been a good year... and I thank God I am coming back next year to see what amazing things He will do then.