Our team was here this weekend. (My previous post was supposed to be posted Saturday. Apparently I got distracted, surprise surprise.)
Note to self - this would be better if I had pictures. :(
For our weekend together there really wasn't an agenda. It was simply a time to learn more about one another (you know - before we moved across an ocean together). We went to a Royals game, ice cream, church, a very American Italian festival, the Plaza, and some other random events. We shared a lot of meals and basked in air conditioning - trying to absorb what life will be like without central air.
Many hours were spent envisioning the life we'll have at this time next year. I'm pretty sure there were several times when everyone in the room was on some sort of ipad/iphone/ipod or macbook. (Apparently we are a team of Apple lovers.) The Italian version of Reece & Nichols, google maps streetview, and Ikea's Italian websites were our favorites.
Do they have driers? Answer - no. What about dishwashers? Answer - yes, and comparably priced to the US. What's the exchange rate? Answer - bad. Do three bedroom flats exist? Sure - as long as you don't want a dining room. How much do airlines charge for excess baggage? Answer - you don't want to know.
At any rate is was a great weekend of connecting and bonding, which will be good for culture stress - at least we'll 'like' these people we're fighting with :). Josh and I have come away rejuvenated and excited about serving in Italy. We remember why we're doing this. Our boldness and been encouraged and increased and I believe, with all myself, that a year from now, I'll be writing to your from thousands of miles away. (Unless of course you're reading in Spain, then I'll be right next door!)