03 June 2007

A complete language Overload!!!

The morning started out pretty crazy..now when I say morning I kid you not...My body woke me up at 4 am!! I was wide awake and could not fall asleep!! It was awful so I got one of my books and went into the bathroom to read...it was the only light I could find...I finally fell asleep about 6 this moring and slept until about eleven. It was nice and think my body is finally on a 'normal' sleeping schedule. We will find out tomorrow. But this moring we were woken up be these crazy people dressed up in red and white outfits kinda like what you would were if you were on the drum line of a marching band..and they were pounding on their drums!! All morning long this happened!! We finally found out what it was later today...So this is what happens: In Siena there are 17 districts and each of them are represented by differnt animals, dragons, horses, snakes and the like. Twice a year ten of them are selected to compete in what is called the Palio...It's were each district picks one person to ride a horse, bareback, around this place that is known as the...ya I can't think of the name right now...but they race their horses around this little area in a cirlce and which ever horse crosses the finish line first wins the Palio and all the 'rights' as it were!! I don't know too much about it yet, but I plan on attending it on July 2 so I will wright more about it later! But it seems crazy enough!!! So Vicki and I went into the kitchen for breakfast this morning to find a table full of everything you could ever want for breakfast that your mom would never let you eat! Roberta had made more crepe's, which I was not opposed to because I can't turn down a delicious meal of chocolate goodness...coco puffs, what looked like cookies but were breakfast style treats and whole milk!!! Nothing expect for the red orange juice was actually good for us, and even then it probably had a lot of added sugar!!! Roberta had to leave early this morning so she was gone when we woke up. She was so nice and packed us a yummy lunch of rice and veggies, fresh picked cherries and peach juice. This juice was serious. It tasted like I had poked a straw into a pear and just started drinking!! It was pretty intense and I couldn't really finish it... But it was tastey anyway! So while we were getting ready this morning, me blow drying my and hair and vicki in the shower, all the power in the house went off!! I had no idea what had happened and I just figure that I blew the fuse with my ghetto hair dryer plug adapter...Vicki came out of the shower covered in suds...cause the shower is apparently connected with the electricity!!! So the two of us were alone in a house we haven't even been in for 24 hours with suds and crazy hair trying to find our way to the front door!! What a silly sight that must have been!! So I finally found to fuse box, which was right by the front door and switched over the fuse back to on!! Good thing my dad had taught me that long ago for all those times the power went off!! I pretty much saved to day!!! :) We were finally ready to go and decided to leave Roberta a note in our chicken scratch Italian...it seemed to work because she wrote us back when we arrived home tonight...We are so good!! After about 2 minutes of trying to figure out how to open the door and lock it behind us so we could leave...we made our way into the busy streets of Siena! It was a lot less busy than yesterday, but then again it is Sunday...we were kind of turned around but we just kept walking straight trying to find to school...Luckily we ran into one of the guys who is in the program with us so we hung out with him for a while. His name is Errol just in case I choice to reference him in a story later..which I probably will... Before I go on...Vic and I had made it about 5 minutes away from our flat when it started to rain!! Ya it's kind of like New Mexico, didn't look like it was going to rain until we left then the clouds moved in. So we had to walk/speed walk/run back to our flat and grab an umbrella. Made for a nice little detour, but now we know most of the reference points along the road near our flat so hopefully we won't get to lost again... Anyways, so we had a meeting at our school today at 3...kind of like an orientation of the who what where when and why's for the next three weeks. It was awesome and I'm a little freaked out right about now. The courses are going to be pretty intense since we only have three weeks. We will be learning Italian, Italian Sign (LIS), LIS history and culture as well as Italian culture, some cooking lessons (HAHA mom really funny huh??!!), and taking weekend tours to differnt cities nearby. Don't ge me wrong, I'm stoked!!! Just a little nervous because that is a lot to learn in such a short time!! But I'm so excited to get started!! We met the people in our group...which consists of me, Vicki, Errol, Shelley, and Scottie. There aren't very many because we are the pilot group..the future of LIS and American exchange!! I think we will all do pretty well though. So after we had our little meeting we took a tour of Siena...which I have seen most of thus far since Vic and I came a day early. After the de ja vu tour, we met up with the group of students from Gallaudet...the only Deaf University in the World...They are doing a program that is along the same lines as ours, but different in the respect that they are deaf. Their classes take place at a different school than our which is called the Villa. There are about 10 or so of them and they are all so awesome!! We meet up with them at the Campo..which is were the palio is...and chatted with them for quite some time. After the entire meet and greet process we made our way back around to the school which took forever!! Why? Well if you can imagine a group of people who's only source of communication is sign...it's kind of hard to sign and walk around the narrow streets of Siena at the same time!! The people who drive on the street don't care about the pedestrians!!! They just assume you will move, and if you don't.... o wel!!! You just have to dart out of the way! So this is where my language overload began. I haven't been around sign in almost a month, since school has been out. So I haven't signed in a while, not really rusty but not prepared to be signing for the next 8 hours non stop...and that wasn't all! When we finally made it back to the Siena School, I had meet at least 8 of the people and talked with each of them...I was able to get to know them because on our way to the school our entire enterouge of people would walk a bit, stop to talke more clearly, then move on again. More than once our huge group was seperated because we all had to stop and talk all the time!! But it was a real experience!! Now we are back at the school because the deaf students haven't had a chance to check it out yet. We were not there very long, just a moment to get a drink and head back out into the streets. We were on our way to a little shanty to have drinks. I thought that we were having drinks with the group we were currently with, but I was wrong!! It took us a while to get to the location...same reasons as before...but we finally made it!! It was a really nice hotel that our instructor from America was staying at. When we walked up to the front door, there was another group, twice as big as ours, standing infront of the entrance signing away!! I had no idea that we were meeting up with some of the native Italian deaf people!! This is were is got really complicated!! I know English and ASL...now I had to figure out what the Italian people were first of all saying in Italian as well as in LIS!!! O man if that doesn't drain you I don't know what will!! The experience was awesome and extremely challenging. All of the dead Italians, mostly older adults, talked with us...we played of game of sherades (i don't know how to spell that). I would sign a word they didn't know and had to explain it to the person...they finally would figure out what I was trying to say and they would show me the sign in Italian!! And vise versa. Can you see the language overload!! O MAN!!! When someone got up to speak, there was someone talking in Italian, someone interpreting the Italian in LIS...another person iterpreting LIS into English sign...and anothe person interpreting from English into ASL....A mad amount of language going on here! But it was truly amazing!!! So we had drinks at this hotel and hung around for a while talking with all the deaf people from ITaly...it was a blasty. After drinks we headed back down to the Campo for dinner..which wasn't until almost 8:30...Italians eat pretty late I guess. I had my first real Italian pizza...which was quite tasty, ate the rest of Vicki's pasta and had about 5 glasses of wine!! But here at sea level it doesn't have the same effect as in the states so don't be worried!! I can't wait until tomorrow whe we get to start the real stuff..learning LIS and Italian...it's gonna be hard but in the end...amazing... I'm pretty tire from all the walking around so I am going to go to bed...it's almost one in the morning here. Hope you are all enjoying the tales of Siena and livin it up for me in the states!! CIAO BELA!

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