this weekend was very relaxing and wonderful. after a sushi date with angela friday night, we slept in late on saturday!!! which really means 9:00, but it was so needed. every night so far, i have said that i was going to bed at 10 and i haven't gone to bed until after 12.
saturday morning ryan went to the "saturday market" to browse, and i stayed at the bible school and cleaned and washed clothes (i wanted to...i like to clean). i also just had some good quality quiet time to sit outside and think and study alone; that always refreshes me. saturday afternoon a few of us went to the coop (most similar to wal-mart but much nicer) to get some groceries (my favorite being green apple yogurt and blood orange juice...yes they are as amazing as they sound) and our cell phone. after dropping off our groceries we went into florence to grab a quick dinner and just wander around. as often as we can and before we get too busy, we have been taking free time to just "get lost" in florence. it's such a good way for us to get to know the city and we find the coolest places off the beaten path. i've always liked walking away from the central areas and finding quaint little places to hang out, not to mention that the dense/noisy/sweaty crowds of tourists really make me want to scream and swing my arms around in a circle sometimes. after a while, it came a downpour so we made our way back to the bible school. andrea, angela, and i stayed up together painting our toenails and watching the sound of music. it was a great saturday.
this was our second sunday and we started off with a coffee at a nearby "bar" (coffee/pastry shop). then on to church for a wonderful service. the HUF students were there and some pepperdine students came so it was pleasantly full. i'm loving getting to know the italian church members. after service we greet each other, remind each other of our names, and play a game of charades/pictionary/broken english-italian word salad while we are trying to get to know everyone. it's really great to watch and be a part of, but the church members are all so welcoming and warm and they are always happy to try to communicate with us and let us practice our italian. even though they probably don't know what we're saying because of our accents or bad pronunciation, they all just smile and encourage us to keep trying. it's such a friendly and hospitable group of people. after church we ate left overs and studied our italian together. that evening we walked to the HUF villa for dinner, fellowship, and an amazing beatles cover band (jonathan shackelford and his friend samuele). we had so much fun and they are so talented.
the weather was wonderful, the company was unbeatable, and the food was indescribably good; the only thing missing was our family.
(for you, grandmother)
thank you all for your prayers and thoughts of love, family. you are in our hearts and minds constantly. know that you are with us! we love you