Two days ago marked 2 weeks of being here in Verona, Italy. It seems as if we have been here longer than that, however, because we have been able to see and learn so much already!
Day 1/2 ( it all seems like it happened in a matter of couple hours to be honest)
Our trip began the way most things do…not as we planned. We took a plane from O’Hare airport in Chicago to Frankfurt, Germany. There we had a small layover, which then took us to Verona, Italy. The trip over here went pretty smoothly, not counting all the babies crying throughout the flight to Frankfurt or the fact the Frankfurt airport is absolutely nothing less than a maze. The real adventure began once we arrived in Verona. We were all so excited about meeting our host families; all that was left to do was to pick up our checked bags. We waited for them…and waited for them. Bag after bag came out Gate B … but I never so mine. Then a little woman came towards our group and said “ No more bags from Frankfurt”. At first I thought “ Wow, she’s so funny. She will probably say to just be patient and they’ll be here soon…”. Slowly I began to realize that she truly meant there were no more bags. This is probably the right moment to mention that at the beginning of the trip I had One big bag that I checked in at the beginning of the trip, a small carry on suit case, and my other carryon bag. However… back in Chicago they has asked me to check in my small carry on because the flight was full…There I stood with just my black Jansport backpack…which contained my computer, phone, passport, credit cards and cash, some toiletries, and one clean change of undies and PJs. At least I have what’s really important with me I thought. Everyone ran towards the lost & claim window and began demanding for their bags. Most of our group didn’t move and just stood there staring at each other. One by one we moved towards what seemed to be an everlasting line of pissed people. While in line I looked down at my phone and saw that by some miracle I had WIFI. I saw that my host mom, Chiara, had send me a message through FB saying that she would be waiting for me at 1:15 pm… I looked at the time…it was 2:30 pm. Dear God, she had already been waiting for me for an hour and now she’d have to wait even longer because of this baggage mishap. After what felt like forever, we were able to fill our a “report” describing our bags and giving personal information to the poor airport workers who seemed to have been dealing with this for far too long. As soon as the last person in our group filled his report, we all ran out. Everything happened so fast, I looked for my host mom ( I had seen pictures of her on FB so I had some sort of idea of what she looked like). Little petite woman with dirty blonde hair. There she was waiting for me and welcoming me with a bigole’ Italian hug and kiss on the cheek. Everything happened so fast we said hello, then said goodbye to everyone in the group, and then headed over to what would be my new home for the next 4 months.
– Pia Gomez
ANSC Class of 2016