Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Castelnuovo, Italy

Some of you may remember that my oldest daughter spent the fall semester (2007) of her junior year in college living in Rome right outside the Vatican walls and studying at Pontifical Urbaniana University within Vatican City (I think I have that name right).

The first three weeks that her study abroad group spent in Italy was in their advisor's hometown of Castelnuovo. While there, in addition to intense Italian language lessons, they explored the countryside, hiked a couple of mountains, and spent a day playing in the Aegean Sea.

The people of Castelnuovo and the surrounding towns like L'Aquila welcomed those kids with open arms and she will always have fond memories of her time there.

Right now, her professor is on personal leave in Italy (outside of the Castelnuovo area) to be with her dying mother. While everyone's prayers are with her during this time, it turns out that it also saved her and any new study abroad students from being in Castelnuovo during the earthquake that has killed so many and destroyed so much.

My daughter and every student that has been part of her college's Vatican studies program mourn with the residents there every time they hear of another death or see a picture showing the rubble of another building they became so familiar with, such as the apartment building they lived in and its adjacent restaurant, and the church where they attended Mass every week.

Most moving of all however, was the picture of Bianca, a neighbor's lovable pet whom they all spent time playing with, searching through the rubble for its missing owners.

Bianca, Castelnuovo, Italy Bianca, Castelnuovo, Italy

We humans are odd creatures, aren't we? All the human grief and loss, yet it is a picture of a forlorn pet that has the most emotional impact illustrating the losses in that devastated area.

Our hearts and prayers go out to the people of Castelnuovo and the surrounding areas.


azteclady said...

After going through something similar myself (Mexico City, September 19th 1985), I know just how a horrific thing the survivors are going through. My thoughts and prayers are with all the people in the affected area.

MB (Leah) said...

This is so devastating. It's so hard to see something like that and watch people and animals wondering around lost and looking for loved ones.

What's hard about earthquakes is there's no warning. They just happen and there's no way to prepare really.

One can only pray for those people and send money for help.

Bev(QB) said...

I'm hoping that the college and an affiliated seminarian college that also sends students with them, come up with some type of rescue/relief fundraising campaign through the Italian studies and/or Study Abroad departments.