28 hours.

Holy cats.

I leave Italy in 28 hours.

28 hours!

I’ve been counting down the days for quite some time now, and now that it’s actually here…. I don’t wanna go! I’m not ready yet! I don’t want this chapter to end! What if I never get to come back!? What if I never have these experiences ever again!? Now I have to go to school?! In Iowa?! And work!? And can’t go do fun things like meet the Pope and sit on the steps of the Pantheon and take pictures of the Colosseum lit up at night and walk into churches and see Caravaggio paintings and Bernini sculptures and Michelangelo masterpieces!? I can’t do that anymore?!  You’ve got to be kidding me! I don’t like this at all!  The real world has responsibilities and deadlines, the Rome world has suggestions and gelato! And cobblestones! UGH.

I’m just having a minor anxiety attack, don’t worry about me.  Today I’ve been packing and re-packing everything I’ve accumulated over the last four months, and remembering where I got it all, and reminiscing of all the things I’ve done and seen and learned, and now I’m a little sad!  Last night we had our final exhibition at school where all of our semester’s work was displayed, and there was a slide show, and it made me realize how many great friends I’ve made in the last four months–people I never would have come across had I not come to live in and study in Rome.  Despite it’s many ups ad downs, this has been the best semester/best four months in general of my life.  I wish it didn’t have to end.  I wish I could pick up everyone I love back home and bring them to Europe and we could all experience it together.

I did something really cool today, though… One last hurrah, if you will.  A bunch of us students got tickets to and attended what’s called a Vespri mass at St. Peter’s Basilica, lead by none other than the Pope himself.  It was completely in Italian, but from what I gathered it was mostly for students studying in Rome–there were TONS of people there. Lots of pushy little nuns, too.  Here’s my prized photograph of the evening–I sure wish my granddad could see it–he’d be tickled pink to see how close I got to the Pope!!  I think I have him to thank for eating all that fish on Fridays in honor of the Pope, must have served as brownie points that got me this awesome picture!

The POPE himself! Blessing a little baby girl right next to me!

How cool is that!? I was close enough to touch him, and maybe would have if I didn’t think the Swiss Guard would tackle me to the ground if I tried it. Ha! Very cool way to end a very cool four months.

Jami, me, and Hayley--bubbling with excitement at the thought of seeing the Pope

So now I should continue unpacking and re-packing and throwing things away… Just wanted to share that little piece of my day with you.  Can’t believe I’m almost home!!  My flight leaves the Fiumicino airport at 6:50am Saturday, so we’ll need to leave the apartment around 3am, which means we won’t be sleeping Friday night, which means tonight is the last night I’ll be sleeping in this Italian twin sized bed! From Rome we fly to Zurich, have a four hour layover, then Zurich to Chicago (ten hour flight), and then Chicago, through customs, and on to Des Moines! I arrive in Des Moines a little after 8pm Saturday night, should the weather cooperate, so pray hard that it does!

Now the next countdown begins– 8 days until CHRISTMAS! So excited to spend it with the people I love!

Thanks for reading,

-J

p.s.-now only 27 hours…

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3 responses to “28 hours.

  1. Should have good weather all the way home! No real snow until next Wed. Dec. 23! Can’t wait to see you!

  2. 3 1/2 hrs late, but she made it!
    Thanks to all for your prayers!
    Life is good. d

  3. Oh I’m so sorry I didn’t get to wish you a bon voyage , but see you are home safe and sound. I know how you feel. A bittersweet goodbye to your wonderful time in Italy. I would so love to sit with you and hear all about it first hand. Maybe we can get you to Birmingham for a visit??? I am so very very thrilled you were able to have this fabulous experience.
    xx
    V

    I’m off to Paris in 7 janvier for a week. A place I’ve left my heart!

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