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🌋Volcano Exploring: M2’s Week

What were you grateful for this week? 

My host family making it possible to chase my volcanic summit dreams! 

What was the most difficult or challenging part of this week? The mean man at airport security for taking my precious 7€ jar of Sicilian pistachio creme 👿

Tell us about a "wow" moment you had this week. I offered to walk G to her friend’s house so that my host mom didn’t have to take time off of work to drive her there. Also, in an attempt to make the girls happy and excited to do something other than spending time inside I got their bikes and things out of the garage, which is much more complicated than it sounds. In this endeavor I somehow got myself locked in the garage... 

Tell us about your week!  Welcome to my second to last post :( Time in Italy is quickly ending, and I am so sad to be leaving. There is still so much to see, and more relationships to be cultivated and grown. Though, I’ve really felt this with the family. I feel like we are on the same wavelength, and putting out those same vibes. Things are flowing really nicely with the girls, and it’s just too bad it’s time for me to leave. It seems to always go like this in life, doesn’t it? As soon as you become comfortable and content, life switches up, you leave, and new opportunities come. I’ve thought a lot about what will happen once I get home. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m going through so much internally right now that I often become scared of what life will be like again at home. For the first time I will be starting my career, paying bills, moving out of my parents home (they are thrilled), and trying to navigate the life of a 20-something. It’s a scary, and complicated time, but I think I’m ready to start this next stage. As for this week, it has been great. It is the last week of summer vacation for the girls, and so we had our final r&r in Rome. They went back to Sardinia for the weekend, and I to Sicily. I spent a long weekend in Catania, with day trips to Syracuse and Taormina. Wow! These places are just gorgeous. The people are so warm and kind, and like Naples, you felt and saw so much life and tradition. The highlight of the weekend was hiking and summiting Mount Etna, Europe’s most active and largest volcano. It was truly breathtaking, and a once-in-a-lifetime experience! It was the most incredible feeling I’ve had at the top of a summit—and that’s saying a lot because I love hiking! Freezing volcanic smoke was blowing us away at a speed of 80 kmph. The smell of the sulphur in the air, my numb fingers from the windchill, and my warm feet from the lava beneath the surface put me in this daze I never wanted to come out of. I feel so grateful I got to make it to the top. It was only made possible because my host dad offered to pay the money to buy my ticket.

Backstory: I originally planned this trip to Catania solely to hike Mt. Etna. I then found out the trip up the mountain doesn’t come without a price...I.e. cable car, Jeep ride, and a bus to get to the mountain town itself. I didn’t realize this before booking my tickets, and then I was left with only a budget for food. My host family pulled through so quickly, and I didn’t even ask for it. Genuinely amazing people! That pretty much about sums up the week, and I’m about to fall asleep...so cheers to see what this upcoming week is all about. <3 ciao.  

China Teaching
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