2 semesters with CIEE by Kim Biagini
Last night was our final dinner for the Spring 2011 semester, and Kimberly, who stayed with us for 2 consecutive semesters, sent us a few lines on her experience in Ferrara.
The last nine months have been amazing. I've met fabulous Americans and Italians, been a part of a wonderful family, traveled to breath-taking places, eaten far too much delicious food and not felt at all bad about it. I came here knowing how to say "I'm hungry," and "May I go to the bathroom?" Now I can converse with Italians about a variety of subjects, even if I can't express my thoughts as eloquently as I would like.
Tonight was my last dinner with my host family. As my host mother was praying before the meal, she made several genuinely sweet statements about being thankful that our paths had crossed and hoping they would do so again. It was all I could do to not cry right there at the table. I will miss this place so much. I will miss 20 minute bike rides to and from class every day. I'll miss going to Bar Tsunami on Tuesday nights and Bar Spisani every day. I'll miss pizza at Alice with gorgonzola and salame piccante. I'll miss Riccardo's incessant, inexplicable, unwavering love and devotion to the Ferrara soccer team SPAL. I'll miss gelato at Rivo Rena with flavors named for Ferrara history. I'll miss the castle and the cathedral and the cobblestone roads. I'll miss spritz frizzante with Aperol for aperitivo at Duca d'Este which is really Osteria Quattro Angeli. I'll miss cappellacci di zucca in butter and sage. I'll miss listening to my host sisters argue. I'll miss my host mother making amazing meals as 'experiments' and then spending the entire dinner talking about how she could make her delectable creations even better. I'll miss talking to Italians about new words I've just learned and seeing them laugh at me like I was a child. I can't say that I'll miss Ferrara bread because I still think it's terrible, but I'll miss how proud the Ferrarese are of it. Likewise I won't miss the nebbia (fog) that chills to the bone, but I will miss seeing the Italians in the piazza scatter like leaves in the wind when the nebbia descends. Even though Venice isn't my favorite city, I'll miss knowing that it's only an hour and half train ride away.
Most of all I'll miss the people I've met. The Americans who share my passion for learning the Italian language and way of life. The Italians who made me feel at home when I was a foreigner, thousands of miles away from my family and friends. I can't imagine having this experience anywhere else. I don't know if or when the course of my life will bring me back to Ferrara, but I feel truly blessed to have been able to call it home for a year.
No matter where I go, Ferrara will always have a special place in my heart.
Per sempre, FORZA SPAL