Sunday, September 6th, 2009
Dom, Rain, Rachel and I had originally planned go to a market on the other side of the river, leaving at 7:30am. I was exhausted and quite sunburned, so I already decided not to go when they woke me up at 10:30 (three hours later than planned) and asked if I was still going.
I couldn’t resist… so we walked the long way there in the sun to arrive at a “market” which was basically cheap random stuff ran by pushy vendors. And the super fun part about it is that the vendors seemed to repeat every 10 booths. It went on forever. Rachel and I split off from Dom and Rain and began to go on a quest to find the end of this eternal hell and find the tram to flee back to our apartments.
After finally finding a way out of the market, we started walking back along the river before discovering that the path was not open to the public the entire way, so we had to cut back *through* the market to thankfully run right into a tram line. Riding in air-conditioned splendour, we spent the rest of the day studying for class and preparing for a possible group interview the next day.
Monday, September 7th, 2009
Class with Walsh before going back to our apartment to hang out with Dominique and Rain before she left to explore part of Europe. Since she made us so many wonderful meals, we all helped make a 4-course dinner with tiramisu for the departure celebration(?)
Tuesday September 8th, 2009
Dominique was actually leaving this day, so after class we said our goodbye’s before she actually departed. This was also a pretty relaxing day as we were preparing for the rest of the week and were a little sad to see her go.
Wednesday, September 9th, 2009
Woke up at 7:00am to get ready for the Papal Audience. After leaving from the Rome Center at 8:20 and walking to the Rome Center, a group of us then walked the rest of the way to the Vatican City. Unsure of where we were go to actually go when we got there, we simply followed the large crowd which was not normally there. After the obligatory security check, we were guided by a lot of Swiss guards to the audience hall. Luckily we got a seat, and waited about an hour with a bunch of overexcited Catholics from all over the world.
The Pope finally showed up, and it was pretty meh. He talked for a while, then some bishops talked, and then they did it in another language, and etc. Eventually, after about 5 languages later, they finally finished and we were able to leave!
We had class with Professor Walsh at 3:00pm because of the audience, and we were doing a mock meeting of the European Council of Ministers, with each class member being a different country. We were going to discuss the predicted second failure of the Irish referendum to approve the Treaty of Lisbon.
The fun part of this is that when we were choosing countries on Monday, I decided on Sweden, not remembering that Sweden had just taken positition as council president. So I had to basically run the meeting with the professor sitting in the background listening and watching. It went pretty well, I kept calm while everyone was at each other’s throat over Ireland’s defense to their actions, and what to do with the failed Treaty of Lisbon.
Later, at 7:00, we had a reception in Professor Walsh’s rather large and amazing apartment for various lawyers, reporters, and other people who we were interviewing, trying to interview, or otherwise want to schmooze with. Thanks to Sabrina the food was quite excellent, and I think we had a fairly good time getting to know different people at the event.
We’re going to Florence on Friday, and spending the night there before going to Venice on Saturday and then spending the night there, so I might be out of internet contact for a while.