Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Adventures of Unky

It's been about a week and half since I departed the States, and it's about time I let KofC know what I've been up to and how I'm doing. Never before have I read such a lengthy discussion of website formatting and design, nor do I ever want politics to be a regular component of our blog, so I am forced to give a brief recap before I can post any pictures.

After a 17 hour trip with layovers in Chicago and D.C. our plane landed in the Rome airport. We flied United, which is much better than Northwest, and even SB might have found their service and promptness sufficient to his liking.

The first 3 days in Rome were pretty much a blur. We went on an unorganized tour the first day to various sites within the city, the next day we went to some ruins, the Colliseum, and churches, and the last day was exclusively a tour of churches, ranging from the 4th century up til the 17th century. Everything we saw was definitely interesting individually, but doing it so rapidly really wore us all out.

The food alone was worth the trip though (movie anyone?). I had some of the best lasagne and pizza I have ever had and there was a chocolate ice cream that rivaled a dessert from the kitchen of Unky Deb. I don't think it could compare to the baked confections of Mr. and Mrs. Squatting Bear, though.

After departing Rome we flew to Malta on what was the most pleasant airline experience of my life. Perhaps it had something to do with being on a half-full plane or on a brief 1 hour flight, but either way it was great. We were served the beer of choice is Malta, Cisk (a lighter, Michelob type beer), and a deli sandwich with fresh meat and cheese.

Since then I've been staying in Malta and Gozo and having a wonderful time. Within two blocks of our flat you can find the Mediterranean Harbor, a bakery with fresh bread, a fruit stand, a pastizzi (ready-to-serve pizza, pastas, and other Mediterranean dishes for hard-to-beat prices), or even a Pizza Hut or McDonalds. Sorry Puyo, no Culver's.

My days have been filled with daily runs along the sea in the morning (is it too late to join the weight loss challenge?), afternoons exploring the area in 60 degree weather, and nights at the local pub, which has been a tradition for 14 years.

Classes started this week, and usually we have 1 or 2, 2 hour classes each day, either in Valetta (the capital) or at the University. By the end of the semester we need to turn in a total of 6 papers, so it shouldn't be too strenuous.

And today, for the first time we went to the refugee center, where males from Northern African stay after they have either been "rescued" from their capsized, make-shift rafts, or mistakenly thought Malta was Italy, and not a tiny island with virtually zero work opportunities. If anyone would like to know more about these people, their situation, and what Malta is doing about it, I'd be happy to tell more.

We are going to go there once a week for 3 hours to teach them English so they can more easily get jobs and hopefully get access to Europe or the United States. It's really an interesting and unique place. In some ways it presents a dismal and discouraging picture of the world in which we live, but in other ways it shows how well people can work together and cooperate to improve their conditions. Again, I don't want to be too specific, but if you'd like to know more or my view on things, just ask.

I suppose that's about it. I don't miss too much from home. Some things that I do miss are video games, regular access to red meat (I had not had any until tonight, when I was treated to a delicious Sudanese dish that had steak in it), and routine, but other than that I'm doing quite well.

I hope to have some pictures of where I'm living and the general atmosphere of Malta as soon as I get access to the universities internet, but until then, this will have to suffice.


Josey WaIes said...

Almost Heroes

Unky Warthog said...

right on.

Anonymous said...

I name this here fork pittsburg nelly... a welsh whore who could do things with her good arm that made you forget about that thing on her neck!

Posted by Eternal

(haven't posted anything in a while, and forgot my password)

Unky Eternal said...

I name this here fork pittsburg nelly... a welsh whore who could do things with her good arm that made you forget about that thing on her neck!

unky eternal said...

im a blogging nub

Dammer said...

This particular event happened last summer on my uncle's farm in Virginia. My brother and I had just finished cutting a field of hay, and were enjoying our evening meal under the shade of an elm. He went down for water by the creek, and while he was away, I took a bowl that was filled with DELICIOUS plum pudding and placed into it not one, but TWO LARGE PIECES OF SHEEP SHIT!

When he returned I encouraged him to taste the pudding, and sure as I'm sitting here before you HE DID! HE ATE IT ALL! SHIT PUDDING!