Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Political Science in Naples, Italy: Ciao!

Io mi chiamo Emily Harmon, sono Americana, di Charleston. Sono in Italia da un mese. Ho 23 anni e io sono in scuola specialzazzione a The Citadel.
My name is Emily Harmon, I am American, from Charleston. I am in Italy for one month. I am 23 years old and I am in graduate school at The Citadel. 

Pizza from Del Presidente
 This is a small taste of our first week in Italy. It has definitely been one of adventure and a lot of adjustment. The first few days were spent exploring the city of Naples with our new friend, Ivan Fadini, the co-founder of INN (Internacional Napoli Network) and our go-to guy for just about anything. He has shown us around the Quartieri Spagnoli (Spanish Quarter) where we live, as well as Garabaldi, where we volunteer. One of our favorite local spots is Del Presidente, where Ivan took a few of us out to lunch. Practically unnoticeable from the street, this restaurant has attracted many celebrities from around the world, including Ronald Reagan and Justin Timberlake. Not only does it have delicious pizza, but also we were able to taste a maccheroni fritti e formaggio (fried macaroni and cheese). 

Of course the cuisine is perfecto, but that is not the only enjoyable aspect of Napoli culture. Neapolitans are naturally very friendly and helpful, willing to encourage our speaking Italian (slowly, but surely in my case). Their expressive nature is sometimes a surprising contrast to my reserved attitude, however I have been able to adjust, and perhaps even enjoy their enthusiasm. In addition to our good friend, Ivan, we sometimes enjoy the company of Sara, the other co-founder of INN. Sara and Ivan have been the epitome of hospitable to us since we arrived.

Street view from the INN (Internacional Napoli Network)
The volunteers in our team have been split up to work with different volunteer sites. My classmate, Tucker, and I have been assigned to a site called Virtus. This organization helps refugees adjust to Italian life as they wait to receive asylum from the government, a process that can take up to two years! So far, our work includes sitting in on Italian language classes and assisting the students with their work, or even helping them practice their English. Angelo is the primary Italian teacher, and one of my favorite people here. He is an excellent teacher, and the students really enjoy his lessons. Our other friend at Virtus is Marta, who helps keep the organization running. Both of these people have made our experience more enjoyable, and we look forward to becoming more involved in the coming weeks.

-Emily Harmon

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