Thursday, May 9, 2013

Student Life: Rising to the occasion outside of SAIS

Last week Martha Simms told us how she has discovered a world outside of SAIS Bologna this year. This week it's the turn of Caitlin Geraghty, who was surprised to find her own outlet in a familiar pastime.

Italy, and Bologna in particular, offers no shortage of world-class cuisine.

And while the pasta, pizza and vino rosso are great for your taste buds, they can take a toll on your waistline.

Caitlin's smashing
Personally, I find the lasagna at Drogheria della Rosa, the pizza at Beppe’s and the house wine at Trattoria Belle Arti just too good to resist. To balance my indulgent eating habits, I take runs through the park, do Jillian Michaels's work-out videos in my kitchen and -- my favorite -- play on an Italian volleyball team.

As a former college volleyball player, I thought I would have to give up playing my favorite sport during my year in Bologna. "I don’t speak the language," I surmised. "There’s no way I could play on a team when I can’t even communicate with the players."

As it turns out, I was wrong.

Sure, I’ve learned a bit of Italian along the way, but volleyball is volleyball; the rules are the same, the game is the same and the players still want to win. Your teammates still cheer for you when you get a game-winning block and get mad when you miss a serve.

These girls have become more than just teammates; they’ve become my new Italian friends. We have bonded during car rides to away games, gone to late-night bakeries (not helping the waist line) and celebrated together at their graduation parties -- even though my Italian is still sub par.
The Santa Maria di Fossolo squad
After playing twice a week for more than six months (with the exception of a few games I missed to travel all over Europe), my team, Santa Maria di Fossolo, has made the playoffs. The finals are the day before I leave Italy to return home to the U.S. of A., and one final victory would be a nice way to leave my stamp on Italia.

No comments: