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Restoration Field School in Italy – Some things are universal, others are not; not one scenery or outlook on life, nature or person is alike. I have gained lots of knowledge and practice about my trade while visiting Italy but the piece I want to share the most is how we are all snowflakes, (I know, a rather strange term to use for such a warm place) although I've always known this fact to be true I've never actually understood the concept, until now.


I remember calling my mom the first day panicking as I walked in circles in front of Milano Centrale looking for my hostel, very unsure of where to go and very unsure of when my clothes would arrive because they didn’t make the flight I was on, when I made it to the hostel I laid in bed and cried to my mother about how I wanted so badly to get back on a plane to come home. After a few moments of bathing in my tears I picked my sweaty self up out of bed, gathered what I had in my purse and walked to find new clothes and some food. I was hoping that people would be kind, hoping that they would be understanding; they were so much more than that. However, I had forgotten that I was in a place where my language was not the primary language. Isn’t it funny how humans understand different languages than one another? How you expect of them to know English because 400 million people seem to know the language. The difference is that I fell for that thought, at first, but then I began thinking; what if they were in my country? I don't think they'd expect of me to know their language. Why did I expect the same? We live in the same world, but that same world is different for each and everyone of us, in many ways than one. So I did what I knew best to do, I resorted to the universal game of charades and let me say that I was mighty fine at it! At the end of the day I went back to the hostel and fell asleep clean and full, with a different perspective and a different approach to the field school that I was about to embark on.


Living in Italy was easy, living in Italy with people you've not met, worked with everyday and shared a room with was a bit more challenging. What I know for sure, is that strangers become new people and then they become friends. There were many obstacles to overcome in my trip; feeling like I didn't fit in, homesickness, and when the group failed to work as a team. Each time I regrouped myself in a way that catered to the challenges. At the end of the day I reminded myself that it is inevitable; something will go wrong, someone will be missed but it's important to look around you. It's important to see and enjoy where you are and who you are at this point, this moment of your life and live in the moment. We are looking at the same sky, the same stars and the same clouds. We are human, we can do great things, every challenge we face we are given for a reason; life is a learning curve.

Sarah Thomas

Architectural Engineering Technology Student

NSCC Waterfront Campus



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