Yesterday, the group endured a lot. It was an incredibly long day of travel. We said goodbye to Sergio (the head of our hostel in Cortona) and quite a character himself around 9 yesterday morning and began a long day of travel. The 3-hour ride down to Rome was uneventful. The station was hot as hot could be. Miserable.
Then, we found out that there was a fire on the line between two stations outside of Rome. As a result all trains were delayed by at least 45 minutes and in most cases an hour. Finally got onto our train about 45 minutes late and began the ride down to Cosenza and the homestay. My car on the train was funny. We had a collection of characters directly out of a mystery story. First, the Italian couple who was coming back from a week of cooking school in Bologna. The lady who did not really know how to use thecell phone but tried anyway. Then, the emo college student who was reading manga and coming back home to the south after attending school up North. The youdng mother, her son, and her sister who had two seats purchased in the car but refused to sit in one. Lastly, superwoman. She was a woman from right outside of Cosenza who spoke in such heavy dialect that no one else in the car could understand her. When the windows wouldn’t open for anyone else, she moved and with one swipe of her mighty arms had opened both of them.
The ride was long and especially hot! My kids were miserable. One was panicking a bit, and I came into check on a group of them and found them in various amounts of undress. Another curveball. Two of my kids had to get off the train about 1 hour before the others. They then couldn’t find their families (even though I was assured they were there), A couple of frantic phone calls and I saw a mother scream across the line. They had finally been reunited.
We finally arrived in Cosenza to a mob of families waiting down the platform for us. I met up with Maria (the local rep) who took me to my familly. They live in this splendid villa in the suburbs of Cosenza. The house is huge and beautiful. This morning we had people come by and cut the lawn. There is a dryer for clothes. It’s not unlike my house at home. Alfredo and Sara (my host mom and dad) are wonderful people and Gisuppe (their son) is a hoot. I really like the scene down here and am quite excited for what the next couple of weeks will bring.
Today is the day of rest and tomorrow we’ll begin our visits to the homes of the students. It’s hot here, but I can’t imagine being anywhere else on Earth. Ci sentiamo presto!