I've been home from Italy for a week now, and I've been working on this blog post for just as long. There is so much I want to say, but the words have been elusive. A simple chronology of our adventures just wouldn't do it justice. Instead, I want to try to capture the Italy I saw through 17 sets of young eyes.
After a very uneventful flight and a smooth trip and settling in to Sansepolcro, we made our first outing to the historical archives of the town itself. A ridiculously kind librarian took ancient books off the shelves and thumbed through the history dating back to around the eleventh century. She traced the ancestors of Piero della Francesca, the discoverer of perspective and an amazing fresco artist, and Poco, the founder of double-entry bookkeeping and a geometry scholar, two of Sansepolcro's most famous residents. When she pulled Poco's Suma with some of his original proofs in his own hand my math people lit up:
Very quickly, we became a part of each other's daily lives. Later that afternoon, Jennifer and my doorbell rang, and a couple students asked if we could point them in the direction of the river. We had a couple of things to finish, so we invited them to wait in our living room and then we would walk with them. They asked to get the rest of the group, and that's when we learned we could fit 11 girls in our living room. We walked down to the river, and I will never forget this group skipping stones and teaching those who couldn't do it how:
For many of our students, this trip abroad was a major step out of their comfort zones, and we were there to support and watch and learn:
And this lady:
Florence was the first big city we ventured into, and it was quite the adventure. Jennifer lead, and I brought up the end. Bless their hearts. These teachers want to go everywhere in a single file line:
If nothing else, I hope these girls always remember this feeling of community--and not just with each other. Sansepolcro embraced us with open arms, and we embraced them:
After all of the hustle and bustle, we drove to Ostia: