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O satisfy us in

the morning with

Your lovingkindness,

That we may sing

for joy and be glad

all our days.

Psalm 90:14

NASB

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Forum and Coliseum, Panini Talk

Hello. Well, Sunday morning we first went to look at a church, which turned out to be stressful because Dr. Schuetz leads the group so fast people get left behind. Then we went to the Forum and got a tour around by Andy Becker, who knows lots about all that stuff. I liked seeing the same roads and buildings and stuff the Romans did every day and imagining what a normal person’s life was like. Then we went up on Palatine Hill. This was great. The whole top of this hill, pretty large, is pretty much either garden or nice tame ruins. The garden parts were beautiful, with orange trees and little fence things and neat trees. I like Italian trees. There are several really cool types. The other parts were large, flat, grassy areas with low brick ruins, such that the old walls kind of looked like a low-key maze. Then on the far side of all this, there was a great lookout to trees and the city and grassy areas below. It was great. I really liked how peaceful it was. You can’t appreciate peace as much until you have navigated on foot through Rome. Really. It is madness. Some roads don’t even have lanes, and the ones that do, nobody worries about. :) The scooters and cars just go in a riverlike stream around corners and across intersections. After the Palatine hill, we went to the Coliseum. I liked it better at night, really. There were lots of people, and there is scaffolding and stuff inside and the regular floor is gone so you can see all the passageways and brick walls below. It gave more food for the imagination at night. Justin and I were feeling pretty stressed out, so we were really glad to be done with group activities and went to go find panini, which are sandwiches, for lunch. We found a vendor and bought something to share and sat down on the grass overlooking the Forum, and proceeded to have an excellent, couple-hours long talk that straightened out some of our recent issues and got us headed back in the right direction emotionally, relationally, spiritually, and grammatically. Then we found a gelateria, which is an ice cream shop—I HIGHLY recommend attendance at as many gelaterias as practical—and had just about the best cone of ice cream I’ve ever had. I would have to say the company really made it the most special, though the ice cream was really good. It was called “caldo gelato,” meaning hot ice cream. It wasn’t really hot, but was actually more like a whipped cream consistency and temperature. We shared a big cone and got it all over our faces, and took several pictures so sometime you’ll see them. :) Then we found this cool piazza where everyone had been going after lunch (it was built to be a racetrack for chariots), and looked around at the funky fountain and the people dressed up as statues, before heading back to the hotel for dinner. I had a nice chat with Pam and Stevie before they headed out for the evening. Yay.

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