Dear Parents et all,
We are off to a great start with the HUF Spring 2017 group. Thank you for sharing your children with us.
This is Me and Mona's 78th group, entering our 28th year at HUF! We love sharing this experience with them.
We have done a lot in the short time we have been together so far. Orientation, Scandicci and Florence visit highlighted by singing hymns together in the crypt of the San Miniato church. Church on Sunday with the Italian brethren.
Classes, onsite classes, cultural and language exchange classes, cooking classes: so much learning taking place! We also enjoyed a Italian premiere soccer game Florence vs Geneo!
Last night we divided the group up in random pairs and had our "English for Pasta" evening. Your children went home to have a meal and share time and English with Italian families!
I know some of you follow me on Instagram at @robertearlshack but if you don't, well you might want to because I post many photos of your children!
Our visiting teachers were my students in 1996! Ok, yes, I'm getting older. It is wonderful to have Shawn, Jennifer, Elizabeth and Rachel Fisher here this semester!
Our staff Silvia, Sandro, Paola, Leda, and Elisabetta are doing great! They serve all of us in so many ways and I am thankful to God for them.
Grant, our assistant is in his second full semester! He continues to do such a great job and has spent many hours already with your children.
On Sunday we had a potluck at the Florence church. HUF, Lipscomb, and Faulkner students were all our guests. It was a full church building!
Super bowl party later that night (actually early morning) and late classes the next day.
Keep us in your prayers. We're off for a three day trip to the Abetone mountains near the Apuan Alps!
God bless you!
Robbie, HUF Director
Traveling to Italy for a semester abroad has already been one of the best experiences of my life. Walking around the streets of Florence, eating gelato and finding dreamy photo opportunities have filled my days. One of the best, and definitely the most interesting, memories I’ve made on the trip so far has been “English for Pasta.” Every semester, local families open up their home and invite students over to eat a traditional Italian meal. Going into the evening I thought I would be able to easily converse with my family, but when I quickly learned that my family didn’t speak any English, I knew I was in for an interesting night. After a wonderful dinner, and a whole lot of smiling combined with “I don’t understand, we sat down for a round of board games. You might not always understand one another, but a riveting game of Italian Clue can bring people together better than words. By the end of the night everyone was laughing and having a good time. I could tell the family genuinely wanted to get to know us, even though the language barrier made it hard. I’ll never forget the kindness that a family of complete strangers showed me and how we might be different, but working to find our common interests created a memory I will never forget.
- Grace, HUF Student
Today was without a doubt my favorite day in Florence thus far! We woke up early this morning and took the tram in to town to climb the Duomo. Five hundred steps later we were at the top. Yes, my legs were burning!
The view from the top was truly awesome. Filippo Brunelleschi designed the dome and it was finished in 1426!! It's hard to wrap my mind around the fact that I climbed to the top of a building that is 591 years old... We had class this afternoon and then we went home with random strangers. Well, sort of.
For dinner we participated in a program called "English for Pasta." What's that you ask?? Families here in Scandicci open their homes up to us students and we have dinner together! Tonight, Maleah (fellow Harding student) and I went home with the Pecchioli family. We had dinner, played with their puppy, played games and went bowling. Want to know the best part? They hardly spoke any English! I never could have imagined having such a great time with people who barely spoke my language. The kids were so sweet and were overjoyed to have us in their home. When it was time for us to leave, you could tell they were so sad... So we reschedule and are going back next Sunday! Even though all we did was have dinner, I know that God is working through these encounters. I cannot wait to go back next week to reconnect and grow the relationship that was formed tonight.
-Austin, HUF Student
Happy birthday to Jacob and Austin!