Being Present in Appreciation

About four weeks ago, I was in Auburn, Alabama, stressing about final projects and how much school work was on my plate. I was running around like a crazy woman not able to truly think about or appreciate what I was doing, just trying to get through it all. Sooner than I realized, I would be headed to Ariccia, Italy to take on a great adventure!!

As I have been here in Ariccia for almost three weeks now, it has been pretty surreal to me. There is so much culture and beauty around me I fear that I won’t be able to take it all in! Almost every single day I have learned something new. Whether that be about the beautiful church across the street, a painting in Rome, an Italian phrase spoken with partial accuracy, or a new discovery even about myself. Being in Italy has made me realize what a gift education is, especially when it is interesting and applicable! I appreciate the information that our Italian professors are giving us, especially because you can see the excitement and pride they hold in their hearts for what they are teaching. They love to share the beautiful nooks and crannies of their country and, seemingly, never grow weary of it. I want to bring this energy and motivation to learn back to Auburn with me when I return. We have already learned so much here in Italy, and there is still much time to learn even more! I hope that we can all soak in this gift to its full capacity.


Claire Darnall

Our first trip to the Ariccia market! Learning to appreciate the little things like fresh food and simple Italian phrases such as “cuanto costa?’ (how much does this cost?).