Saturday, February 28, 2009

Gorizia - Castello's, Catapults & Slovenia

Yesterday we went to Gorizia, a border town between Italy and Slovenia. The city is famous for it's castle, as well as it's extensive military history. It was the sight of major fighting in the first world war, and was mentioned for the first time in a document dated 1001 AD.

Borgo Castello:

There were these interested sundials all over the ramparts:

Heather and I went into the music room in the Castle. Here she is painstakingly deciphering the words in German. Afterwords, we found out that it was written in English on the other side....

Weapons in the Armory:

My favorite part - the massive siege weapons:

We hiked across the border into Slovenia, drank coffee, took a picture, and hiked back into Italy.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

PubblicitĂ ? - Street Evangelism In Udine

This week is ministry week; the time when we have no courses, and spend the time doing evangelism. I have to say going into it, I was dreading it a little, but now, with it almost over, I think I have to say that it was one of the best experiences I have had yet, and would not mind doing more of it. Our days start by going to a city and putting tracts in mailboxes (in Italy it is illegal to hand them to people unless you pay a "littering fee" with every tract - in the U.S. though, it is illegal to put them in mailboxes though... so it's a trade off I guess). We spend the later part of the afternoon either helping at ESL (English as a second language classes) or doing street evangelism with mimes and chalk talks and things. The Mime below is to the song everything by Life House:

At a bar in a break between skits:

Jonathan at the "Castle" above Udine)

Distributing tracts - the majority people here live in high rises and apartments and things. To get in you have to press names at the gate until someone answers, at which point you say "PubblicitĂ ?" meaning advertisement, but really has a connotation something more along the lines of junk mail:

Some Italian school children we passed in Casarsa this morning:

All for now!

- Andrew

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Carnevale in Venice

Today was Carnevale in Venice. It's basically the Italian equivalent of Mardi Gras, only with slightly more emphasis on history, and slightly less emphasis on drinking and nudity.

Connor and I:

Ryan, Connor, Loren and I:

We got to see the sunset over Venice for the first time (that we were there at least):

A sailing ship:

I thought this was rather dramatic:

Parents here seem to dress their kids up in costumes a lot here... even when it's not a festive occasion:

"The quintessential Italian street."

All for now.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What Are The Italians Up To?

These are out in the vineyards about half a mile from the school. I don't know what they are, but am assuming they are something from the cold war. At first we thought it was an active military base, but after finally getting the confidence to go up close to the fence I found that it was pretty deserted looking.

Here is the drain that our soccer ball went down... never to be seen again.

Here is a meter of pizza at a restaurant in Udine where we were waited on by who must have been the craziest waiter ever... Bryan (eating pizza) was livid and had to be restrained from killing him:

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Verona - The City of Romeo and Juliet

I didn't get to go to Austria this past week due to a train being ten minutes late, which caused us to miss our connection. After not being able to buy tickets we hopped a train and five hours later that night ended up in Venice in the most expensive room of one of the cities best hotels, but that is a long, stressful story that I don't feel like writing about....

Today was Valentines Day we went on our scheduled trip to Verona - home of Romeo and Juliet. That was cool, as long as you don't have a problem with big red hearts, strawberries, chocolate and lot's of couples going at it like you could never get away with back in the US...

A Colosseum:

Valentine's decorations:

Nicole, Bryan, Mary and me; we decided to get out of the town and walk up the side of a big hill that had a Catholic Shrine on top and a stunning view of Verona and the Alps.

Here is a Castle as seen from the Shrine:

A view of Verona:

Mary and Bryan after a long hike to the top:

Here is the Shrine: The last picture was taken on that platform that the building rests on.

Here is another view of Verona:

At the Castle....

Back down and the city, there was lots of pageantry going on:

Here is Dante, who was at the center of the festivities:

The streets at night: