Restoration Field School in Italy – As I sit down to write this I find it hard to believe that my trip to Italy is finally coming to an end. The past two weeks have really been quite the journey. Unlike some of the participants in this group, this has been my first time flying outside of Canada. For me personally, just making it here in one piece was a great accomplishment. I would suggest to any future attendees that if it is your first time traveling abroad, try your best to schedule your flights the same time as another participant. It just makes it a little easier.
As for the actual field school, I don't even know where to begin! This year we had an amazing group of individuals from both Willowbank and NSCC come together for the project. Even though everyone was here to accomplish the same task, each person brought their own skill sets to the table and helped out in their own little way each day. The work we did wasn't easy. Lifting massive stones all day in the hot summer sun was alot harder than I first imagined. However, at no point did I feel as if I was being forced to work harder or faster. At the field school you are able to work at your own pace.
Aside from the field work there is also a small design portion. This is when you sit down with your paper and pencil and document and draw the structures around you. It had been a long time since I have sketched so it was nice to get back in the groove. During our trip I wish that we would have done more designing and sketching. I say this because, for me, this was the time when I really became engaged in the way the structures were put together.
During this trip we also went on various trips around northern Italy and Milano. If you are like myself and really enjoy driving, I would suggest offering to drive one of the rental cars. Driving in Italy during this trip was definitely one of my highlights! I still regret not having the time to rent one of the motorcycles or scooters.
On a final note, I'd just like to mention to anyone thinking of attending the field school to have an open mind. Don't come here with crazy expectations thinking that you will be able to build an entire stone village. Come here with the idea of meeting new friends, trying new food and learning about a new culture. For me, it was the little things about this trip that really brought it all together.
Civil Engineering Technology Student
NSCC Waterfront Campus