I am pleased, and very thankful to say that I am now in Italy.
On Thursday my parents drove me to JFK in NY. I had a couple of road blocks. First my checked suit case was four pounds overweight, and in order to avoid the incursion of a $150 fee, I had to take out my backpack and check it as well (which was really kind of dumb if you think about it... they ended up taking all the same stuff anyways).
At this point I said goodbye to my parents and went through security, without any terribly serious problems.
I made it to the gate that I had been assigned and to and sat down to wait. After about twenty minutes, I heard over the intercom that a flight was about to leave for Venice at gate 12. I started to wonder how many flights to Venice there could possibly be that evening, so I asked the girl I was sitting next to where they were headed "London" She said. At this point I started put it together and decided that I would go and check out what was happening at gate 12. As I was making my way across the terminal I they started calling out names of people were missing from the flight to Venice, and 'Wilber' was on it. I made it there though, and ended up getting there just about in time to board the plane. I still can't believe that no one had changed my flight pass or really told me that the gate had changed... anyhow, all's well that ends well.
My flight went well. It was cool taxying out of JFK, because at points you actually go one overpasses with cars driving under you, which is a really strange sensation at night in a plane. The guy I sat next to was an older/middle-aged man who spoke nothing but Italian, so I got to try out the little bit that I know. I'm not sure anymore if this is wise, because I was able to answer his first to or three questions pretty well, at which point he figured that I had a reasonable grasp of the language, and after that it was hard to explain that I really don't.
I couldn't sleep much on the plane, and all the movies were stupid... there was some sob story about this woman and a Doctor and then just tv shows the rest of the time.
I did sleep for an hour or two and woke up to them serving breakfast. The sun was just rising, which was beautiful, and and soon revealed that we were over the French Alps. I looked on the display that showed the flight info, and at one point it was -70 degrees F!
We landed in Venice at Marco Polo more than an hour early due to a tail wind and after claiming my baggage I and getting some money in Euro, I was set about waiting for someone to pick me up. Just as I was starting to wonder if we had given them the wrong info, Samual Spatola showed up. He's really cool, and a lot younger than I expected. We went up stairs to a caffe and got some water.
It turns out I was the first one there, so I had to wait at the airport with Samuel until 2:00pm. about 17 others came. 11 from Bryan College, many of whom happened to know Pat and Abram Roberts, which was cool. One girl's flight came in from Istanbul. We couldn't figure out if she lived there or had the craziest flight ever. As it turned out though, she had been in Syria visiting her sister, who was married to a man there... and was thus flying from that direction.
Finally someone else came from the school to watch for arrivals and we were able to go back on a bus that they had chartered. The country side here looks much like a painting, with the exeption of telephone lines and industrial complexes dropped here and there. Most of the villas (many of which look somewhat abandoned) are spread in a very different way from America... the are surrounded by several acres of farm land, but then, instead of having another field, or buffer of some sort in between them, there is just another, and another, as far as the eye can see.
The school itself is really cool. It is more in a town. The buildings really look about the same but they are closer together. The school itself is about three buildings, one that holds the lounge and girl's dormitory, one with the dining room men's dorm and class rooms and another that's more of a barn, garage thing. There is a courtyard with palm trees (which seems strange for the temperature). There's a soccer field next door that belongs to the city (which we can use, but aren't allow to play anything but soccer on - it's true!). Today two other guys and I went and passed a soccerball around on it for a while. I think it was the best I have felt since I got off the plane (I've had some jet lag).
So that's it for now, we had orientation today, but not much else to say.
All for now,