Monday, January 31, 2011

Staying awake until 10 to fight the jetlag...

In order to fight the exhaustion from around 36 hours of being awake... I'm posting a blog.

Firstly!  I am in my dorm room in Arezzo.  I got here.  I am safe.  No problems whatsoever on the flight front.  Thank god for friendly Germans willing to help ignorant Americans navigate the ginormous maze that is the Frankfurt Airport.

Secondly!  I have money!  Got Euros no problem at an ATM in Frankfurt with no hassle.

Okay... Now to the fun stuff.  ADA sent two delightful young representatives of the school (Kira, director of student activities and Kevin, an intern who studied here two years ago) to pick our large load up from the Florence airport.  Introductions were made amongst us but it will definitely be a few days before I actually start remembering names, faces, and schools together.  There are, I believe, 49 participants in the program, about half in the dance track and half in the theatre track.  Only 6 of those 49 participants are male.  The somewhat discouraging thing is that mostly everyone here is with a large group of students from their school.  There are about 10 students from Boston University and about 13 from Muhlenberg College.  They are all kind of banding together right now with people they know but I'm sure as classes get started (Wednesday) we will all start to mesh more.

I was rather impressed with my packing job.  Everyone else I saw had to lug at least 2 giant suitcases up the hill to the villa.  I was very glad with my decision to pack light, though I hope I didn't forget anything!

On the bus from Florence my jaw was dropped open for the vast majority of the ride because of the spectacular views.  There are mountains here.  Huge mountains.  Beautiful mountains with a little bit of snow on top.  It was breath-taking.

Speaking of breath-taking... I'm living in a for-real Italian villa.  The entire complex is just a small couple of buildings right next to each other.  I'm rooming with one of the very few non-American students.  Her name is Kristiina and she is from Estonia.  I honestly didn't know there was such a country.  She was here last semester in the theatre track and is now taking the dance track, so she knows the ropes a bit.

Now... to the main event... FOOOD.  Real, delicious Italian food.  I honestly almost cried when I saw what they had cooked up for us after we settled into our rooms.  Delicious pasta... better than any I've ever had in the states, and a caprese salad that was more fresh mozzarella cheese than any other ingredients, though there were also fresh tomatoes, olives, and corn.  Those dishes were my highlights, and I'm assured this is not just a showing off for orientation meal.  This is how it always is at the ADA villa.  The chefs make everything fresh from scratch for every meal.  They grocery shop for fresh ingredients every other day.  I'm sensing that the majority of my blog posts from Italy may very well be heavy on the food compared to any other content.  It's just that good.

I've killed some time, but still not enough.  Unpacking certainly didn't take too long, since I hardly brought anything more than the bare minimum.  Tomorrow will be orientation all day then actual classes start on Wednesday.  I'm nervous for most of them-- they all appear to be very challenging.

Goodnight from the villa!  I will post again soon!

Love and miss you all.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

MJ Contact Information in Italy

Hey all!  I hope that you enjoy following my blog while I am abroad.  I have no idea how regularly or irregularly I will be posting things, but I will certainly try to keep you all entertained/updated on my endeavors!

That being said, I will be in this foreign, far-off place and would love to hear from you all every now and then beyond my regular facebook-stalking of each and every one of you.  As excited as I am to be traveling and adventuring and experiencing new things, I am quite a homebody and can always use a familiar face dropping me a line.

So, here are the ways you can contact me! (Keep in mind that I am 6 hours ahead of you east-coasters)
  • E-mail!  (I will be checking my HPU address as well, but this is my primary address)
  • Skype! (So as to see your wonderful faces!)
    • My screenname is JilboMaggins
  • Facebook.
  • Instant Messaging
    • I have the AIM/Facebook chat app on my phone that will allow me to instant message from my phone, but no texts or calling please
  • Mail (The classic, and leaves the most room for creativity!)
    • My address at the school: 
      • Maggie Jo Saylor
        c/o Accademia dell'Arte
        Villa Godiola
        Loc. San Fabiano 9
        52100 Arezzo
    • Please send me your mailing addresses or campus box numbers (HPU people) so that I can send cheesy postcards from Italia!
  • This blog.  Subscribe!  Check it!  Leave comments!
Thank you for all for supporting me and showing at least enough interest in my doings to read this post.  I will miss you all greatly!

Ciao!  See you in three months!

Maggie Jo