Saying a slow goodbye to Italy…

Today we make our preparations for leaving Italy, heading south and making a slow passage back to Paros.  We will be in Rome for a couple of days, then Athens until next Saturday and then back on the island.  Personally I cannot wait. I have a lot of work to do that I have not been able to accomplish here.  This is the longest I have gone without access to a dark room, so I am looking forward to getting in there and developing film, making contact sheets and printing.

It has been an interesting experience living with 24 other people.  I have not been in this dynamic for many years, perhaps as far back as then end of boarding school (1984).  The constant compromises and diplomacies involved can be exhausting and I have been thankful for my single room at the top of the stairs.  Some of  the younger students have never experienced this and in fact have never experienced many issues revolving around living on their own.  Doing Laundry, cleaning up after themselves, sharing bathrooms and dividing up kitchen duties are all new to many and there has been a steep learning curve.  Some have not risen easily to the occasion, but risen they have and mostly due to necessity rather than any skill or learning.  This is also how I learn, usually.  When the need becomes too great, change will occur.    Some of the teachers have had to act as parents in small roles and I too have had to assume a more adult role, but not always.  I am still a student here and I must remember that.

We have seen so much in our three weeks here.  Museums, churches and architectural sites in Florence, Siena, Venice, Lucca and soon Rome.  The Athens leg will be mostly a repeat for me, having been there many times myself.  I will probably use that time to connect with friends in the city and decompress from the fast paced travel schedule.  The news from Greece is troublesome and makes me a bit nervous regarding our upcoming arrival.  The economic emergency is escalating and there are more transit strike planned for next week, including a 48-hour mass transit strike on Tuesday and Wednesday.  What this means is unclear, but the option of hiring a small bus to transport us en masse from the airport to the hotel in mid-town Athens is now on the list.

Today I’ll head into Pistoia and go to the ATM for travel cash, the farmacia for some odds and ends and then come back and pack my bags.  I have already mailed a box to Paros from here and hope for the best.  My bags should be more manageable, not they weren’t before, but I have accumulated a few things along the way.

Time to head into town.  I’ll post again from Rome with updates on the transit strikes.  For now the sun is shiny and a fresh day awaits.



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