Dear friends and family,
We are now just finishing the second of two 10-day Vipassana courses here at the Italian Vipassana centre near Lutirano, Italy. Our time in Italy has come to an end and we’re about to make our way back to Florence to fly on to Frankfurt and then home to Toronto. It’s been a challenging but wonderful and rich experience. But we are ready to return home and get back to a daily routine in Toronto. See our friends. And find jobs, hopefully. 🙂 For more than a year and a half, we have spent no more than 5 weeks in any one place. That’s a lot of moving and change.
As you know, we spent the week in between the Vipassana courses with Scott’s cousin Shannon and her family in Florence. Florence is an incredible place, made even more satisfying with the chance to spend quality time with family that we haven’t seen in 6 years.
We also got a private tour of Shannon’s current work which is currently on exhibit in the gallery at the Villa Romana.
We have immense gratitude to them for being able to stay in their beautiful Villa. It was a real treat. And, like most things in tourist season, the Villa guest rooms were totally booked up right through to the summer. At the last minute the beautiful room we stayed in became available during the dates of our visit. Amazing right?
Our last few days was in Florence included visits to the Ufizzi Museum (a must see when you are here), Il Duomo, and Dante’s museum (located on the site of his actual medieval home). Our favourite visit was to see the frescoes of Fra Angelico painted on the walls of the monk’s cells in the monastery of San Marco. These frescoes are awe-inspiring. Thanks to Gillian G’s recommendation we added San Marco at the last minute. A very special place.
Our friend Brian says everything is so civilized in Italy… Actually what he says is that we live like savages in North America. People in Italy have it right: Time for excellent espresso, and food made with so much care and attention. People make the effort to look fabulous. We spent a lot of time eating (gelato), and yes… we drank lots more coffee.
While our time in Florence was wonderful and fun, we really feel the most gratitude for the opportunity to give our time for the benefit of other people. Working in another language and culture is challenging at times. But the smiles on the faces of the students who successfully sat their first Vipassana course was the greatest reward. We feel strongly that our time in March was well spent. Much better than sitting around our apartment in Toronto, worrying about finding work.
We look forward to seeing you all again when we return to Toronto. We hear that spring is on its way?
with all our love and kindest thoughts,