update, part III

(The padlocks on the lamp post above have the names of couples written on them. Lovers lock their names onto chains and lampposts all over the city.)

When it comes to field trips, Europe has America completely busted. Along with my art class, I spent a week in Rome - wandering, taking pictures, and speaking a strange flow of Dutch, Spanish and English. Another exchange student in my school, Valeria, also came along. She's from a different program (Youth for Understanding) and comes from Ecuador, so she helped me brush up on my totally abandoned Spanish. Thinking in two languages is hard, but three is ridiculous - I have a lot of respect for kids who go on exchange to learn their third or fourth language!

The trip was fantastic, especially the first three days; We had flawless weather, in spite of the weathermens' claims of wind and rain. All that showed up on day four, when we went to the Vatican- it was like being in a hurricane! Luckily the rest of the week was milder, and we donned our zonnebril/sunglasses once again. The teachers kept us on our toes - we crossed the city time and again, past monuments, through ruins, in one cathedral door and out another. Our feet felt crippled by the end of the day, but everyone managed to walk to a little cafe for dinner every evening, a different one nearly every night. Pizza, pasta, more pasta, lots of meat... typical Italian fare. I felt no guilt eating so richly every night, with the amount of walking we were doing. Our rooms were on the fourth floor of our hotel, with eight flights of stairs leading up to them!

It really was an amazing week in all respects - I made a lot of new friends, got to see a lot of little corners of a hugely famous city, and of course see so many works of art and achitecture that I've seen pictures of all my life.


  1. Hi Maya--thanks for all the stories and photos--wow, what a year you are having! Glad you're having all of these adventures and have made such friends. Thinking of you and sending you our love, Jenny, Dan, Aidan, Katie, Lia and Zoe

  2. Hi Maya!
    Reading your blog has made me want to travel Europe again. Looks like you are having fun when time allows and absorbing lots. I loved Rome, just the architecture. Interesting about the hurricane hitting the Vatican...you don't suppose? Anyway, wanted you to know I appreciate being able to read what's going on in your life. I wanted to post a photo of the Dillingham harbor (but couldn't figure how to...) totally iced over, looking like there had been no life for eons when in fact, it is now melting and life is bursting forth. For that, I say, "Not a moment too soon." It has been a hard winter here in dillingham for middle-aged Celeste. I struggle with the dark and cold now more than ever and really had to rally myself a few times but good music and stimulating literature help me there. That and the fact that your mom is one of my best friends and I just love having her and Barb Wyatt to bounce my crazy thoughts off of...oh yeah. Friendly friends. So, I understand I will get the pleasure of your company even before Homer does...well, ha! I look forward to it and want you to know I will help you in any way I can when you arrive. If you need to sort through stuff and leave a box here, that's cool. If you need stuff sent out, don't hesitate to mail to me and I can have it at the house when you get here. Also, I will pick you up at the airport, you can shower/launder/eat at our house to prepare yourself for the fishing season. Until then, keep on doing whatever your doing, you look and sound fabulous. And BTW, that kinda teal-looking double-breasted coat you are wearing in one of your shots is YOUR COLOR! Stock up, cause it looks absolutely color-coded to you. Take care, Maya. I will look forward to seeing you here in Dilllingham Porkshire. love from ~celeste