Wednesday, 7 March 2012

March 2nd, 2012
OMG it is 7 am and I am up and trying to get ready for the day. I really thought I was ready for this, but now I am having second thoughts. My classmates have such amazing CV’s and are doing incredible work what was I thinking that a little carpenter could come to Rome and contribute at such a prestigious course. Oh well I am here so I have to do the best that I can and see what happens.
We had a message in our packages to meet in the lobby at 8:30 so that everyone can head to ICCROM together and we would all get there before the 9:30 start time. I am down early and there are a couple of ladies from Africa sitting on one of the couches obviously waiting for the same thing I am and looking as nervous as I am feeling. More people start to arrive, we are all chatting and I am trying desperately to keep track of everyone’s name… late I am in trouble as nerves have overtaken me and I just know the face. We all sit and wait for the rest of the participants staying at Ponte Bianco to come down to the lobby. I am sitting quietly waiting and I turn my head to the stairs as this familiar face comes down the stairs. OMG it is the lady from the grocery who helped me find the sugar last night. We laugh and she introduces herself. Her name is Emilia and she is from Bulgaria. We laugh and the mood immediately lightens. Finally at 8:45 the last straggler arrives and it is Anthony we can now head to the Tram and school. Oh how I wish it was that easy. Pretty well everyone did not know the way and had not purchased Tram passes. I am now a pro at this so I take the group under my Canadian wing and off we go. We are back on track and once again it is a bright sunny day. Wrong! All 13 of us get to the Tram, but it is packed and I mean tighter than sardines. What to do? Some of us push our way onto the tram, but the rest are left standing on the platform, me included, why, because I could not leave the 6 woman alone when they did not know how to get where we needed to be. Two Trams later we finally make it to school and of course we are 10 minutes late. We are excused as it appears that there was some type of problem with the Trams and there were not nearly as many running this morning and everyone was running late. I guess Murphy’s Law does apply even in Rome.
The day starts with general introductions of staff, procedures, Q & A’s, etc. The ICCROM staff put on a wonderful coffee break for everyone and we get to mingle and chat. What an interesting group of people this is going to be more than I could have ever dreamed of. The brain power and wealth of experiences is exciting and it will be a wonderful opportunity to share ideas. The day continues on with each of us introducing ourselves, more presentations and then lunch also hosted by ICCROM. The Director- General has spent the morning with us and is very excited to be with us as he has just filled the position and this is his very first class. The meal is made up of bunwiches, small panni’s, fruit drinks, and delicious desserts.
At the end of today’s introductions and lectures about ICCROM there is a cocktail party with Ambassadors from each of the participant’s countries. I was disappointed to note that the Canadian Embassy did not even respond to the invitation. It now almost 7 pm and I am exhausted and ready to head back to my home. Anthony is waiting to go with me. Magyda from Morocco and Rosilene from Brazil are also going to head back with us. It has been an incredible day. I have the weekend off to finish my first presentation and maybe even explore the city. I wonder what tomorrow will bring.

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