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Monday, December 17, 2007

To the Fall class of 2007,

Perugia is a lonely place right now. After your busses rumbled away last Friday night, something changed about our hilltop town; a certain excitement that had been so wonderfully present for the last 100 some odd days meandered down into the Umbrian valley, leaving cobblestone streets, cafés, all those little haunts, nooks, and tiny crannies bereft of your spectacular vitality. Not even the snowball fight that Mauro, Lindsey and Tyler had in Piazza Morlacchi later that night could lift their spirits (though admittedly, it was really funny when Lindsey hit Mauro in the face…)

Our classrooms are empty- Mauro doesn’t know what to do with his time (there’s not a computer in sight) and Zach’s been forced to try out his jokes on unsuspecting Italians (they laugh even less than you did at orientation). Parma is rejoicing because they don’t have to make any more panini, but understandably sad because they just lost 25% of their daily clientele. And if the steps could speak, they would surely miss the constant laughter you brought them every day, even when it was freezing outside. Indeed, if these walls could talk, if our arches and palaces, piazzas and fountains were given the gift of speech—but for the briefest of moments—they would no doubt wonder where you had gone, and when you would be coming back.

And when you do decide to come back (trust us, you will), remember that you’ll always have a home at the Umbra Institute. You’re part of a family now, a huge community of people who decided to take a risk and sail a little bit beyond the horizon line, into waters that tested you, made you laugh and made you cry, angered you and inspired you, but above all, waters that made you grow as a person. Hoping to see you soon…

Very Sincerely,
The Umbra Institute

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