July 28, 2009
July 28th, 2009 |

Not the Same Experience Without the Locals

The time that I have spent here in Urbino has been unforgettable. Coming here as a journalism student with stories to report and produce has been hard and, at times, seemingly, almost  impossible. Despite all the hard work it’s been completely worth the drama and anguish.

The first week here I felt slightly like a tourist on vacation but at this point, because of my story, my group’s stories, and the stories of the rest of the class, I feel like I know Urbino and its people. I will leave here confident in knowing that I am not a tourist.

Looking back on my blogs,  the string that pulls them together are the Italian people. The people I have met on this trip have affected all my experiences.

My first blog about the “Bella Figura” was based on observance and I didn’t speak to any women I described. But what I observed of these self-confident Italian women has helped me to reflect on my life and the way I want to carry myself in public.

My second blog describing my excursion to Fermignano opened up my first interactive experience. I was on my own without an interpreter, experiencing the abundant generosity of the Italian people here. They were patient despite my ignorance of the Italian language and, in turn,  I trusted their generosity and felt their genuine nature.

Reflecting back on this journey I have been comparing how the locals view things versus how Americans or even I will view the same thing. The food, transportation, humor, even the weather have all been subjects that are so simple but have added to my learning experience because I have shared these moments with other Italians.

My experiences have not all been perfect but even the weird or upsetting moments have proven to be worth experiencing. Getting lost on a Saturday night with Nancy, Pauline ,and Father Claudio was strange the night that it happened, but it helped me to realize how small Urbino is and how everyone here knows one another. Initially I didn’t want to go to the party because I thought I wasn’t going to know anyone.  However, running into my source at the party drove home the rhetorical question “what a small world?”

My most exciting experience here was learning how to cook “melanzane” from “nonna” Gina.

If I had come on this trip as a tourist my experience would be completely different and it would not have been as fulfilling. Apart from the scenery, the art, and the food, the people here are half of this rich experience.

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