Tag Archives: moving

Wrapping Up: Part II

16 May

On Friday I had two gelati within two hours of each other (rose and pomegranate (Colin: Fail) and watermelon and lemon).

Mom and the gang left that afternoon. Everyone seemed to have a really nice time. They took with them one of my suitcases to ease my journey. I worried briefly about not having enough left to fill my remaining backpack, but somehow I’ve managed.

Venezia, my favorite.

On Friday night I threw Colin a surprise birthday party. I’m missing his actual birthday next week, and I’m racked with guilt about it, so this was a way to make up for that. He was totally surprised, and super pleased that so many of his friends came in the middle of paper-writing season.

I think at this point, with six hours left inBologna, I’ve said all the farewells I’m going to—some of them twice. It feels so epic, but it’s just summer vacation. See you later! HAGS!

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Wrapping things up: Part I

2 May

My time left in Italy has dwindled to two weeks. It’s actually a fair chunk of time if you’re talking about being in Italy for a vacation or waiting for the results of a fellowship application. And though, in a way, I’m doing both of those things, ultimately I’m moving away from this temporary home that I’ve come to really love.

Some family are on their way here and will likely arrive before many of my West Coast readers find this post. I had time to tell them that the forecast says rain, but not the time to say the last day and a half have been absolutely beautiful.

As a result of their visit, Colin has been telling everyone that even though I’m not actually leaving for two weeks, it’s really as though I’m leaving the moment my family arrives. I feel as though I have some affliction: Well, she’ll be here, but it’s the time of year she turns into a werewolf. Maybe it’s true (not the werewolf bit—definitely not true), but I hope not; though I do realize it will be difficult to be present in any aspect of the SAIS social scene while showing off Venice to the fam.

And the fellowship application? Before I leave, Colin will know if he’s received the Boren to go study in Morocco next year, and I’ll have to figure out my plan.

There are some people I really won’t see again. I said goodbye to my Italian teachers and my language exchange partner, as well as to the kids I tutor. I worked my last shift as a nanny, though they’ve had such an important role in my time here that my family will meet them. Everyone’s curious about the other.

Making chocolate zucchini cake with Mati.

The father of the girl I tutor gave me a lift home, as usual, but for the first time it was on his scooter—my first time being on one in Italy! I know it’s cliché, but it really is a totally different way of seeing the city. I quite liked it.

At this very moment, I’m waiting to go meet my friend Leah for maybe the last time in Bologna, since she leaves even sooner than I do. Then we’ll go together to yoga; then I’ll rush over to the train station to meet Mom, Craig, Uncle Rick, and Cousin Melissa. As I wait, though, two beautiful loaves of oat-wheat bread are baking away (adapted from Radishes and Rhubarb, I added about a cup of oats), and the smell is absolutely marvelous.

Silence on the blog waves

12 Mar

Apologies for the extreme dearth of posts recently. I got myself a bit of a grown-up job last week and have been spending most of my free computer hours working on that. It’s definitely what I should be doing now, but I’ve missed you.

My new project is editing a book manuscript about the military history of Garibaldi. The typical response from people when I tell them that is laughter, some confusion. The Italians I’ve told have been utterly baffled.

I’m only 25 pages in, but already I think I know more about Giuseppe Garibaldi than I do about any other figure in history. (But I still had to look up how to spell his first name.)

As I toil through the roughly translated paragraphs (only 200 pages to go!), occasionally throwing up my hands in frustration, reaching for the thesaurus or my style guides or Colin’s better understanding of what an Italian might have actually intended, the weather gets nicer, Noel’s and my family’s arrivals get closer, our time here gets shorter.

This job is making my English better at least.

I’m no more sure about where we’ll be next fall, but I am sure that I’ll be arriving in the San Diego airport the evening of May 17. I am so excited to be going home, but there is a twinge of sadness that I will be leaving before everything wraps up here, plus that load of anxiousness about getting all my stuff into just a few suitcases. There will be casualties.

And I’m OK with that. Our vibrant-blue couch throw, purchased in Yonghe’s night market at a jacked-up price, will not make the cut; I know that. The next tenants of our lovely apartment will get to use it. Pass it on. Purge the baggage.

But I know when it comes down to it, I’m going to want to keep this stuff, my stuff. My name is Valerie, and I am a packrat.