March 1st, 2012
So I have now been in Rome 1 full day which was spent grocery shopping and just generally trying to get settled in my new home. I received a map from the ICCROM staff in my package that I picked up at the front desk when I checked in. So now what??? I am in the Eternal City, it is time to step out into the world, hoping not to be hit by a car as I try and figure out the rules for crossing the road and figure out how to get to the ICCROM offices. I load up my back pack with 3 maps; you can never be to prepared, camera, dictionary and a whole lot of courage. I stop at the front desk to get a general idea of which way I should be heading in and off I go. It is a beautiful warm day. I am trying to fit in and have a jacket on. I get to the a few blocks down the road and the jacket really must go. I get to the corner where I am supposed to take the Tram, but haven’t figured that out yet, now what. So since I really have no idea which way to go so I head up the street to the right. I have my map out looking like all of the lost soul that I am. I am reading the street signs on the side of buildings trying to determine where I am. Finally I stop and nice lady on the street, succie how do I get here as I point to the location I am supposed to be heading. Guess what wrong way, so I turn around and head back to way I just came from. Oh well it is about 10 am the sun is shining and it truly is a great day to be alive. I navigate through the streets of Rome past roadside shrines and finally find my way into ICCROM. I go through a security check point in the entrance to the building and ask for Anna Stewart the wonderful lady who has had the task of arranging accommodation for all of the participants and so many other things that I can’t even begin to list them all. We head up stairs to have a cappuccino and get a bit aquainted. While there a young man from Nigeria arrives this is Anthony. He has just arrived in the country and needs a guide to get home to the Ponte Bianco. I am feeling rather courageous so I volunteer to get him back to what will become our home for the next 2 months. I have to stop at a tobaccui for Tram tickets or a bar will do. I buy a 1 month pass and get Anthony a 1 trip pass and off we go. Now please keep in mind this is the first time I am riding the Tram and Anthony has just tried to drag his luggage across cobble stone streets to get to the Tram stop. We are both sweating and I am hoping that this will all work out. Long story short we get off at the correct stop and I get him home to the Ponte Bianco. All is right with the world. I head to my room to take another inventory of my grocery shopping excursion yesterday and determine I still need some general staples, sugar, tea, etc. Again I head out to the grocery, but I am feeling pretty confident now. There are no mishaps in the store an very nice lady helps me find the sugar and back to my room I head to now try cooking in my tiny kitchen. It has been an amazing day and tomorrow I get to meet all of the participants. I am incredibly nervous, but also feeling very exhilarated.