¤ Today in itself has been quite an adventure. Our day has been yet another rich one full of learning, struggle, bond forming, and novel experience. Class did not commence until after siesta, at 4pm today. With this in mind the morning was open for each of us to use to our own discretion. I had a lovely start with a cappuccino at café Merendaria, but then in attempt to travel to Cappo Caccia with intentions to hike through the Parko Naturale Regionale di Porto Conte Park and see the magnificent views of the Mediterranean and various caves, we missed the bus for transport. This was a product of the oh so common miscommunication between our lacking ability to communicate in Italian and locals fluency only in their own local language. Despite this set back however, there was a street market occupying several street blocks we were fortunate enough to stumble upon. In the Sardinian heat of summer when shade only graces the streets for a couple hours in a day, the tents and awnings of the vendors provided temporary protection from the harsh rays of the sun. The streets were packed with bright white tents holding an overflowing amount of product. This cultural experience illustrated the composition of the Alghero demographic. We saw an eclectic mix of goods for sell by a wide range of people varying in age, gender, and tremendously in their respective country of origin. The available product ranged from treasured fresh meets and cheeses, local Alghero jewelers as well as migrant sellers, a plethora of clothing shops, African cloth tapestries, and the infamous selfie stick dotted along the way.
This week’s course material has begun picking up speed using the foundational material and exposures from the previous week/days. Our interview questions and scripts were completed enabling us to launch onto the streets to begin our next phase. Again, with cultural differences a couple stops we were hoping to make for interviews were unavailable do to the siesta time period. The group I am a part of, however, was able to capture the views of a boat owner/boat rental shop worker. Our interviews are made possible with the tremendous help and efforts of our translators. These wonderful members of our teams allow a (near) seamless flow of conversation branching between two languages. Our days filming and interviewing has just begun and will continue over the duration of the next few days.
To close the day we met at the beach outside of our apartments for reflections and bonding. Our program not only aims to encapsulate our educational endeavors and forge a greater bond of communion and comradery amoungst those we encounter, but also amoungst ourselves. With twenty-one students, most of whom did not know one another before the program (and pre-departure), there is much to learn. Activities began with peaceful a peaceful stretching circle to center our minds and bodies, then led into other activities of affirmation and spirit building. To close, we broke into small groups to discuss openly our thoughts and conceptualization of our experiences. This was truly a wonderful event—for one because us students recognized a felt need in our own small community and found a way to address it. Secondly, due to the intensity of the course and number of students, there had been a lag in our own connection as a group. This opportunity allowed each of us to speak freely about ourselves and forge further rich bonds of understanding and compassion.
The pieces of our puzzle are beginning to come together quite beautifully. ¤
Created by Emily Aleinikoff