By: Ashley Iadanza
Like a majority of the world’s population, I watch the news. I’ve heard about the places that were devastated by natural disasters- Haiti, Hurricane Katrina, etc- but aside from Hurricane Sandy, I never actually witnessed destruction. Last Wednesday, our group walked around the city of L’Aquila, an area devastated by an earthquake seven years ago. One would think that progress would’ve been made by this point, but that’s far from what’s happening with this city. We walked by a dorm in complete shambles, with the start and end date to reconstruction long gone, and nothing had been done. A city with so much to offer was almost completely deserted, and almost no promise of a turnaround happening anytime soon. The experience was an emotional one, and I was thankful to be hiding behind a screen filming it so I wouldn’t have to deal with my feelings right then and there. We got to talk with a local, Giovanni Mangione, who showed us around along with some of the folks from the organization Shoot4Change. Shoot4Change has done so much to try and bring awareness to L’Aquila, so we’ve been trying to learn more about them to bring awareness to them.
Being one of five productions students on this trip, I’ve been involved in creating a video to showcase Shoot4Change and all that they are doing for L’Aquila. It’s been a very exciting experience being able to not only work with the professionals at Shoot4Change, but to work with my peers and be apart of something so special has been incredibly fulfilling.
As for the rest of the weekend, we had some time to relax and explore other cities in Italy. We visited Florence, Venice, and Tuscany which gave us the opportunity to live out the tourist life to the max. We got to barter for leather in Florence, explored Venice (with some more shopping), and got to learn about wine in Tuscany. Florence was definitely my favorite city out of the three as a place to possibly live for the rest of my life.
Another week filled with amazing opportunities. All of this is thanks to our wonderful leaders, Professor Hillebrand and Professor Morosoff, as well as the people at bus2alps (shoutout to Jordan and Shields!) for making the weekends so incredible. We have a week and a half left, and I don’t want to go. The separation anxiety will be real, but for now, I’m just going to enjoy every moment.