Another Week!?!

This morning we learned that our rebooked flight is scheduled for next Tuesday, April 27th.  This has become a real mess!  The longer this continues, the longer the line is to get a new flight.  If our flight is canceled next Tuesday, it could be a long while before we get another one…  And the volcano isn’t stopping!

I admit to being concerned about our students here.  They are doing very well considering what they’ve been through.  They aren’t getting much sympathy – they are hearing a lot of “it must be really rough to be stranded in Florence!”  Yes, Florence is a beautiful place, but when you’ve said your goodbyes and you start looking forward to going home, it makes it hard to have to stay.  One student threw away all his undershirts, underwear, and socks to get his suitcase under the 23kg limit.  Another gave all his loose change to a street musician.  Many students have run out of their disposable contact lenses.

Mount St. Mary’s University (through the generosity of Drs. David Rehm and Leona Sevick) offered each student $100 of meal vouchers to local restaurants to help boost morale!  And food definitely does the trick!  The students were extremely grateful!

I am trying to create opportunities for the students to get together.  Some of us met this morning over coffee and pastries to make plans for the rest of the week.  We are going to have at least one event planned each day.

I had a random encounter today with a local musician.  I’ve mentioned him in a previous post.  Ken Mercer (http://kenmercermusic.com/) plays guitar and sings american songs in front of the Uffizi every evening between 9:30 and 11.  Maria, of course, has gotten to know him – they are even Facebook friends!  I was walking out of our classroom building today, and he recognized me and stopped me to say hello.  Yes, we’ve been here so long, I do regularly bump into someone I know from Florence on the streets.

So I took him to the closest student apartment and had him play a few songs to lift their spirits.  He had just picked up his guitar from the shop, so he had to string the guitar before he started – I videotaped one of the songs he did today and uploaded it to YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ay65abXgew  Watch it – it will lift your spirit!

Tonight a group of us met at Piazza Michelangelo to see the sunset and to see the view of Florence at night.  We then walked to a restuarant to have some dinner.  And to end the day we went to see Ken Mercer playing outside the Uffizi of course! 

Here is a picture of Ken playing for the guys.

The sun setting on Florence this evening:

The beautiful city at dusk:

And finally, watching Ken play again at the Uffizi:

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