Throughout the fall term, Dartmouth women's lacrosse players will be sending in updates from their travels around the globe. Team members are currently studying, interning and volunteering abroad in a variety of countries thanks to the flexibility provided by the College's four-quarter Dartmouth-Plan system. Each student-athlete will provide at least one blog entry about her experiences.
Erin Massimi (Westwood, Mass.) • JR, A
Conegliano, Italy • Au Pair
Ciao from Italia!
The past month I've been living in Italy, working as an au pair for a family in a town called Conegliano, north of Venice. So far everything has been a dream! The area where I live is full of vineyards, hills, and the Pre-Alps, which are mid-height mountains. The family is comprised of the mother and father as well as a daughter, Margherita, who I watch. The mom is fluent in Italian, English and French but her husband and Margherita can't speak any English, which makes communication tricky at times. Luckly, during the past five weeks, Margherita has learned some English phrases, such as "come on", "oh gosh", and "very good". We mostly communicate with our hands, which isn't so foreign for Italians.
During the week, I have down a daily routine: riding my bike to the gym, going to town, going to the park to check my email (only place I can get
wifi), and riding around the hills taking pictures. Then, once four o'clock hits, I pick up Margherita and we either go to the park, ride our bikes, or I take her to gymastics class. The schedule is great as it allows me plenty of free time to enjoy Italian culture!
Being an au pair has given me the oppurtunity to really understand and appreciate the Italian culture, since I have family in Italy I've always wanted to come here and discover a new part of myself. Living with a true Italian family has so far been everything I've hoped for and more. This past Sunday, after we all went into town to check out the local artists and markets, we came back home and roasted chestnuts on an open fire. At that moment, I really felt like Italy had become my second home.