Austria Adventures: Italy and assorted updates

MICHELLE FORTUNATO
AUSTRIA CORRESPONDENT

I am writing this from a train to Rome. Specifically, I am writing this from the middle couchette in a sleeper cabin. A husband and wife have the beds above me; three others (in the beds next to me and below me) bounced at Florence at 6:30 this morning.

Roland is from Slovakia and is headed to Florence to visit his girlfriend for the weekend. Cathy, who goes to Mass because she likes the music and who doesn’t quite believe that any studying happens at our Austria Study Abroad program, is going to Florence to help her former student write a personal statement.

A kind man just brought me the “small breakfast” that is included in the couchette experience. It consists of two rolls, butter, strawberry jam, and coffee. I am so excited about the coffee. I fell asleep being excited about the coffee.

From Rome, Jim and I will take a train to Naples, where we will stay at Giorgio’s house. Who is Giorgio? Good question. He has good reviews on Airbnb.

As far as Austria, we’re reaching the home stretch. After our Rome and Assisi pilgrimage we will only have a few weekends left. The Kartause is already decorated with Christmas lights along the balconies. The weekend after Rome we will have our Thanksgiving ball.

This past week, we had parents’ week. I got to hang out with my parents in Austria which was so fun. We ate kebabs and schnitzel. We attended the talent show put on by Franciscan students, which was a blast. My dad bought me a pumpkin from the Spar.

In other news, Sr. Agnes Maria, TOR, and I are still ironing lots of purificators. This past week, I got to bake for Women’s Ministry with her as well as two other women. It was so fun! For anyone who is coming to Austria in the future, I totally recommend hanging out with the TOR sisters. They are the best.

Jim and I have arrived in Naples. Giorgio rocks. The Airbnb reviewers were not wrong. Tomorrow morning Giorgio is going to take us out for coffee, specifically, the best coffee in Naples. He even has a plug adaptor already plugged into the wall for us to use. If you are ever in Naples, stay with Giorgio.

After spending less than 24 hours in Naples, Jim and I will meet everyone in Rome for our Rome and Assisi 10-day pilgrimage. The weekend after this trip I will get to go on a silent retreat in Austria. The weekend after that I will get to to on mission to Lithuania with some of my Slovenia teammates, which I am so excited for.

I am also very excited to be home with my family for Christmas.

 

Praise God for all the good things!

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