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December 13th 2011
Published: December 13th 2011
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Why hello everybody!

There aren’t many pictures that actually go with this blog, so I’ll add some from Italy and Spain 😊

My last day in Italy was relaxed and fun. Chiara and I slept in…again, haha, and then I got a bit more studying done for my finals this week. We stayed in our pajamas until about 3:00pm and finally had to put on real clothes to go over to her grandmother’s house.

Every Sunday Claudia and her three sisters, Luisa, Pierangela, and Silvana get together with their mother, Anastasia, and aunt Giuseppia; have tea and some cake and just catch up, which I think is really sweet. Chiara said she usually goes about twice a month. They are just a bunch of really sweet ladies. I had met one of Chiara’s aunts, Pierangela, Sunday before and we stopped at her house while we were in Como. She is so nice, she saw a scarf and she just thought I would enjoy it and I should have one because they are popular right now, so she got it for me. Chiara said she hasn’t had a particularly easy life, but she
I loved her patio!I loved her patio!I loved her patio!

I just wish it was warmer so I could have spent more time on it!
is still so outgoing and lively and she is very kind.

Chiara’s Aunt Luisa lives with her grandmother and speaks very great English. She is also a very talented artist/craftslady! Her house is full of her art work. She made all of her own Christmas decorations including ornaments, she also made dolls and her earrings; she is just super craftsy. I think I need to come back to Italy and have her teach me some crafty tricks. 😊 She has also been to New York to walk the New York Marathon! That’s a long time to walk, a very long time. Running is one thing, but walking 26 miles. Uhg. Chiara mentioned that Alberto trained for the Venice marathon and was in good shape but hurt is leg while he was training, he finished but not like he had wanted too. Don’t worry, all the girls still love Alberto. Haha! 😊

It was really fun getting to sit down with the ladies and see some old pictures of Chiara and Laura and their cousins. Chiara’s great aunt, Giuseppina, was a hoot. She speaks no English, and she also said she speaks no American, haha!

Nativity from Uganda!
She and Claudia were talking about cooking and what Claudia had made that week and such. Claudia stopped to tell me that she was the youngest of her sisters and she also has a brother, which with her accent kind of sounds like “brava.” Giuseppina said something in Italian and Chiara burst out laughing. Once she was able to gain her composure she told me that she and Claudia were talking about cooking and what Claudia had made that week and such and so since Giuseppina couldn’t understand the English she assumed that Claudia was still talking about food and saying that her cooking was “brava.” Giuseppina responded with something like, “Well, let’s not praise ourselves.” Haha! Claudia had to explain the difference between “brother” and “brava,” then we were all on the same page.

When we got home I was so tired, and my flight left yesterday morning at 6:25am and Bergamo is about an hour drive so I had to do the old wake up at 3:30am thing like I usually have to do when I am headed back to Clemson. Mom loves those early morning flights. It was the only option on Ryanair though.

Laura and had some friends coming over for apertivos so I opted to stay home so I could get things packed up and rest so I was ready to go in the morning. Chiara went out for a bit but not long, and I enjoyed meeting more of Laura’s friends. They are very, very funny. Similar to Quadro and his “Pimp my Ride” English lessons, Laura’s friends said they learned from “Jersey Shore.” No!! My response, “No! That is bad English, not good!” haha! Don’t worry, they too learn English from “Grand Theft Auto,” like Quadro. Oh dear.

One of her friends, Simon though has another outlet, “I learned some English from the NBA: ‘are you kidding me!?’” Haha, well that’s better, it doesn’t involve swear words. He was pretty eager to know if I had been to an NBA basketball game. I had to sadly explain that Nebraska doesn’t have an NBA team, and there isn’t really one nearby.

They all really like “Jersey Shore” though. Alex and Jenny like to watch that show and although I prefer “Keeping up with the Kardashians” when I am bored and there’s not

Just outside Chiara's High School!
much on TV, I watch “Jersey Shore” now and again. “Do you think Italian guys are like Jersey Shore?”

“No! No, you seem very normal, no different than American guys.”

“Good. Would you please go tell American that for us.”

Haha! And I thought it would be the opposite, us trying to convince the rest of the world that we do not fist pump and GTL through all of our days. No one wants to be associated with “Jersey Shore” apparently. (For “Jersey Shore” novice, GTL stand for Gym. Tan. Laundry.)

It was really fun hanging out with them, but I was really tired. I was in bed by nearly 9:45. I meant to write Chiara’s family a thank you letter but I fell asleep before I got the chance. I will have to send them one from Cádiz. Chiara could you send me your address?! 😊

They were really wonderful to me all week long. They are very kind and loving family and made me feel so at home. Even though being around a family made me miss mine a bit, it was still so comforting to be around them. It also made me very excited to go to see all of our family friends in Germany this Christmas. It should be a really great trip, if I live through finals 😊

Emilio was nice enough to drive me to the airport at 3:30am this morning and Chiara and Claudia woke up to say goodbye. It was an early morning, but I thought that at least I would be in Seville by 9:15am and be back to Cádiz no later than noon. Well, 3:30pm and I am sitting on a train writing this blog heading from Málaga, Spain to Sevilla to catch a train to get to Cádiz. Maybe I’ll be home by 6 or 7? Apparently there was fog in Sevilla and it was actually illegal for the Captain to land with such low visibility, so the next option was to fly to Málaga. Two American girls sitting in front of me who are studying in Sevilla thought they were so lucky to get the first flight out so they could spend an extra day in Italy and still get back to Sevilla in time to give their final presentation at 11:00am. Sitting in the Málaga airport their presentation was in 45 minutes and they were a 3 hour bus ride away. Whoops. Guess it could be worse, eh?

From the plane ride into the airport we had to fly out over the Mediterranean and turn around to come back in to land, so we actually got a really beautiful view of the Mediterranean Sea and the mountains on the coast of Africa coming up through the clouds. I wish my camera would have been handy, it was really beautiful.

Málaga is actually a really nice town too. My friend, Jocelyn, studied there last semester and loved it. It was also very warm there, a nice change. 😊 It sort of reminded me of Florida in an odd way. Lots of palm trees and sun! They have a really nice airport and train station too. I got to spend lots of time in both. I got to train station by 10:30 but the next train to Sevilla wasn’t until 2:00pm. I love my Starbucks and it was a pretty big train station…maybe? Maybe a Starbucks? Nope. But the next best thing, Dunkin’ Donuts, made me think of you, Alex, the second I saw it. I finished the movie I started on the plane and had a very large iced coffee.

I watched Warrior by the way. It’s actually about UFC fighting, which Conor loves, but I have never actually watched. It was a really good movie, but man, those guys are literally beastly animals. There were multiple times where I flinched watching some of the fights, and they weren’t even real…I don’t think. Either way, Tom Hardy is an absolute monster in that movie. Conor, you’ve probably seen it, but if you haven’t you’ll like it.

So, I will be back in Cádiz in a few hours and I just have to finish up this week and already my first semester here in Spain will be over. It’s amazing how fast the semester has gone. I’m actually not even halfway through my time here in Europe, but after this week I will be halfway through my time in Spain and halfway through my time as an undergraduate. It is really crazy how fast the last two-and-a-half years have gone. I can’t believe that after this year my friends and I will already be seniors in college. Even though I have two years left after I get back, I know they will really fly by. I’m pretty sure that my friends who are reading this are thinking “Devin! Please stop, I don’t want to think about what I have to do after graduation!” and the adults are thinking “No Devin! I still remember your first day of Kindergarten and I don’t want to think about my baby graduating from college.” Well that last one was mostly my Mom talking. Either way I’ll stop. 😊

So, now the Italy patch Chiara gave me a few years ago finally counts because I have been to Italy and I loved it there!!

Thank You so much to the Rizzi family and I will see you in June/July!

Love and miss everyone,

Love always,

Devin 😊

Additional photos below
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I thought this one was SO cute!

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