Ah! I have been in Macerata for exactly one week, and I have to say, it has quickly become home.
Maybe I should tell you a little about where I'm living, so everyone can rest assured I am safe and happy :) Macerata is a walled city built on top of a hill, located in the region of Marche. It is about 30 minutes from Ancona and 20 minutes from Civitanova, two coastal towns with beautiful beaches. Over the years, Macerata has grown outside of its Roman walled beginnings and now spreads down and through the hills. There are little "super markets" around the city, which we have quickly found out are closed Sundays and Thursdays (we realized this when we wanted to make brunch Sunday but had no eggs. Cereal it was.) The super markets are more like the size of a 7-eleven but they have the necessities. There are also stores with farmer-market fruits and veggies you can buy, which we have also discovered is cheaper than the chair Coal grocery stores. Saturday, for our cross-cultural class, Filiberto (our program director) took us to the mall, a smaller version of the ones we have at home, but with a Walmart sized grocery and clothing stores as well. I know I am focusing a lot of the food aspect, but here at the Dollhouse (what we have named our apartment) we have realized the importance of not going hungry.
So on to our apartment! I have three wonderful roommates, three roommates who like to share non-stop laughter. I am so happy I got to room with Mary Pancakes, Evaa, and Kacie Grace and we have the perfect apartment for us. Two bedrooms, one with incredible closet space and one with a balcony, a living room, perfect for our movie nights, a kitchen, and a bathroom. The kitchen is where we decided to name this place our dollhouse. Everything is mini! The fridge is shorter than me, the cabinets not huge, and the cups are the usual Italian coffee cups (they look like something from my tea set when I was six). But it is perfect and works, and that's all we need. The view from our apartment is beyond incredible; in the morning you can see the mountains as clear as ever, ridges and peaks visible. Throughout the rest of the day though, as the humidity sets in, the mountains change to hues of pinks and purples and blues, looking like they were painted with watercolors. I feel so blessed to wake up every morning and see this!
I wish I could describe every part of my trip so far, but it would take me years. All I know, is that last week I met a group of about 30 strangers, and now they have become my family away from family. Filiberto and Angelica have made us feel at home here, in a city thousands of miles from my home in Valparaiso and I am so happy here. We have invested in a router for our apartment, so skyping with my family has eased the homesickness, and I can enjoy just being here, living every moment fully.
Well that is all for now, I'll give more details later about whatever else is going on here. I miss you all at home, chat/skype/tweet/message/email me whenever :)