From HUGer Annelise:
Let me start by saying that we all made it back, some of us later than others, to the comfort of our home away from home last night and went right back to having a full day of classes today.
On top of getting the opportunity to come and study in Greece for the summer we are given a small break from school work and we (the students) get to go on a “independent travel” trip that we all planned as groups. We split into different groups: we had 2 groups of 6 go to Italy and another group of 4 that went to Great Britain. I don’t know if you know this but we have been planning for this past weekend since we first arrived here in Porto Rafti. It took a lot of planning, and thanks to some people stepping up on doing the itinerary for our trip, my group was able to do and see more than I ever thought six people could do in such a small amount of time.
Although we have been working on the plans for this trip since we first arrived, I can say with all honesty that it didn’t really hit me that I was in Italy until we got off the Metro, walked up the steps and right in front of you was the Colosseum. Then you get back on the metro and another stop or two away is The Vatican and you can walk and see things like the Trevi Fountain and sit on the Spanish steps. Italy has always been one of the places that I wanted to visit and I can remember being extremely jealous when my brother got to go in High School and seeing his pictures and hearing his stories were really neat. Now we have our own pictures and our own stories to add to the many that have been there and walked the very same streets. Something I did constantly was wonder who else had been here and seen the same things and who else had something to do with why certain things are the way they are.
When we walked through the Roman Forum I can remember wondering if the path I took was the same as someone else whether or not they were famous, poor, rich, or were they a follower of God or were they trying to lead others away. Not everything will happen exactly how you want it too, whether it's the way we go in life or unexpected events during five days of independent travel. Like realizing you are at the wrong train station and then getting on the wrong train at the right station. Even if it did mess up our plans we still were able to see the magnificence that is the Duomo, walk around the streets, and even see from the top of the hill the beauty that is the city of Florence. I know that we all have grown in different ways from our trips; whether it was spiritually, culturally or just in feeling like an adult who plans big trips like this.
Lastly I want to say thank you to all of you (the parents) for helping us to get this opportunity and I know that each and every one of us will forever be grateful.
With Love from HUG,
ps To all the dad’s that are reading this Happy (early) Father’s Day!!
pss Hi! to my family and Happy Birthday Ash!!! I hope you are able to have a good day (even though I won't be there) and eat a slice of cake for me. Miss you guys and don't worry I didn't spend all of my money in Italy…