University of Wisconsin–Madison

Arrival

The 5th largest blizzard in recorded Chicago history hit the city in the early am and carried throughout the day. Thankfully, I was one of about 3 flights that was not cancelled out of Chicago’s Midway airport. I made my connecting flight on time in Atlanta and after a nine hour and thirty minute flight, I arrived in Rome at 8 am today, Monday February 2nd. It is now about 7pm in Rome. There is a 7 hour time difference Rome to central time in the States.

When I got off the plane at FCO airport in Rome, I took a train from the airport to the downtown Roma Termini Station. This is a major hub of public transportation for Rome, trans-city, and trans-national. I was given very good directions from Laura, the lady I am sharing an apartment with in Rome. I took the 92 bus next. Not knowing I was supposed to buy a ticket before boarding, a kind lady from Verona who was visiting Rome gave me one of her bus tickets. I also had no idea what the stop “Piazza Acilia” looked like. This is where Laura told me to go, but the bus doesn’t announce stops. So, the same lady gave me directions and saw me off at the required stop. When I got off, Laura was waiting there.

Laura (who is fantastic by the way) then showed me around the apartment. Once I settled in, she gave me directions to where I was in relation to the necessities (markets, bus stops, etc.), and I was off. Today was really just a transitioning day, arrived this morning, got a few things done like getting a local phone, and now I am relaxing.

This Wednesday begins the next step in my time here in Rome. I am here as a political and economic intern with the U.S. Department of State. I am stationed at the U.S. Embassy and U.S. mission to the United Nations, where I am responsible for work in the World Food Program, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Developmental Law Organization, and the International Fund for Agriculture Development. Excited is not enough to express how I feel for what is in store and serving the U.S. and the United Nations. I don’t have all the logistics on what I am doing as of yet, but I start Wednesday off with a few meetings, a full on security briefing Thursday, and then the full work schedule starts after the briefing on Thursday.

Ciao for now. I will update soon and of course have pics to share.

Jeremy