Busy week and Ravenna!

This past week has been quite busy and there is no slowing down this upcoming week either. On Tuesday I gave a presentation about Canada to the seniors at the senior’s center I visit in Trieste and I thought it went quite well. I described the regions and symbols of Canada (in Italian!) and was quite proud of myself for writing most of it myself. I also created a simple Canadian bingo game and shared some Canadian pins and flags with the seniors.

Then on Wednesday we had our first Peace and Conflict session. Two people, one from India and one from Pakistan, gave a presentation about the current Kashmir conflict outlining both the history leading up to the conflict as well as the current viewpoints and tensions. I learned quite a lot and after the presentation there was a brief discussion and time for questions. I look forward to attending more of these throughout the year.

On Friday I went hiking in the beautiful Val Rosandra near Trieste. It is quite a nice valley and extremely historic, on the sides of the path were ancient aqueducts and we saw a church from the middle ages. It is also quite close to the Slovenian border so I am happy to say that I have now been to Slovenia (even if it was just for a few meters!). It was windy but still quite sunny and warm so made for a beautiful day.

Then on Saturday I went to Ravenna. While initially not able to go on the trip due to a limited number of spaces, last minute I was able to take the spot of someone who had dropped out. I am so so glad that I went because it was a wonderful day (a very long one though, we left Duino at around 6:30 and did not return until close to 10:00). The trip was mainly focused on Early Christian Art – specifically mosaics which Ravenna has lots of! Ravenna is not just artistically significant, it was also a very politically important city as it was the capital of the Western Roman Empire. Even the street signs were decorated with some (more modern) mosaics. I visited the tomb of Galla Placidia, San Vitale, the Neonian Baptistry, the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo and in Classe and saw the Ivory Throne of Maximian at a museum. Many of these are UNESCO World Heritage Sites and are certainly worthy of that title. The mosaics were truly incredible and I was constantly blown away by the amount of detail in the buildings, the floors to the ceilings were covered in decoration. While the day in Ravenna was packed with activities, we had a bit of free time at lunch and I had a great time wandering around the streets and stopping in at a pizzeria.

Given how busy my week was, Sunday was spent mainly relaxing and catching up on homework. It was also on Sunday that I began to realize that this reality I am living is beginning to feel just a bit more “normal” and my mind is starting to accept that this is actually what my life is like now.

Anyways – I must cut my post short here as I have to head to math class!



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