Wow it's been far too long since I have updated this! I apologize! For those that have facebook I am sure you have been tracking my adventures through my pictures. Well I have much to recap so I will be posting a couple blog posts all at once!
Last weekend, my good friend Hope visited for the weekend! She is studying in London so she flew in to enjoy a Roman weekend with us! It was great to have a reason to stay in Rome for the weekend and e a tourist again. We spent the entire weekend going to all the main sites around Rome again. Sometimes I forget how much I appreciate where I live right now because I am so caught up in wanting to see so much of the world. I need to remember to enjoy what is right around me.
Sunday is the day that I would like to write about...
I woke up on Sunday and decided I was going to go to the Roman Baptist Church that my friends, Tim and Janet Hall, had recommended to me. They know the pastor and he and his wife actually lived in Buena Vista before moving to Rome. Anyways, I really wanted to check this church out and see what it was like. On my way to the church, I have to walk down this long street Via del Corso. I'm not a big fan of going into new situations by myself especially if there is the possibility of me sitting alone (I HATE sitting alone). So on my walk there I was praying that God would give me someone to sit with. Well upon entering the church, much to my surprise, Tim and Janet were there! It wasn't God answering my prayer...He exceeded it! (He likes to do that!). It was so great to see them and talk with them. They told me that Dave (the pastor) had emailed them saying I had contacted him so they decided to come to church that morning on the off chance I would be there too. Talk about divine timing :)
So in my conversations with Tim and Janet they asked me what I missed and how my time in Rome was so far. Two things about our conversation will come into play later that day but keep in mind that they asked me if I missed my personal space yet and they warned me again to be careful about pick pocketers. Otherwise, it was a great morning and I was so thankful I was able to see Tim and Janet. :)
I headed back to my apartment so Hope, Emily, and I could go do a few other things before Hope had to fly back to London. We were planning on going back to Piazza Navona and to the Coliseum so Hope could see it in the daylight. Well...there is huge market that happens every Sunday on Trastevere so the tram was quite packed. Emily and I have gotten used to the tram being packed but it was unusually crowded this day. At one stop, it was very strange because a whole crowd (some gypsies) pushed their way on the tram. Usually the Romans just wait for the next tram if it is to crowded. They don't push their way on. I immediately was on guard because I felt like it was a weird situation. Well..we got off the tram and Hope's wallet had been stolen. I was so mad at myself because I felt like I had been keeping my eye on her. She was fine though and we were able to take care of everything and cancel her card. So..ironic situation #1..just that morning the Halls had cautioned me again about pick pocketers.
After we took care of the situation we had to get ready to take Hope to Termini so she could catch her shuttle to the airport. We waited for the H bus at the Trastevere station for about 30 minutes before we decided to just take the tram to the end and catch a bus there. We go over to the tram stop and to our utter disgust we see the gypsies from earlier and they actually were sitting there with their 2 kids going through stuff they had taken! We were staring to see if we saw Hope's wallet...but really what would we have done if we had? It really frustrated me.
We finally made it to the bus stop and again it was very crowded. It was like everyone in Rome needed to ride public transportation that evening. We finally made it on the bus and the Hall's second mention (me missing my personal space) came into play. The bus we were on was jammed back. Normally I do not care so much being so crammed up against people but it really bothers me when perverted Italian men use this situation to rub up all over me. I was so disgusted and irate by the end of the bus ride, I felt like screaming or hitting someone. Over the course of the ride, I had three men decide to invade my space and rub all their clothed anatomy against my body. Talk about feeling violated.
Finally after a stressful time at Termini we were able to get Hope on her shuttle and head back home. Of course, the day's excitement can't end there. On the bus ride home there was a creepy who was staring at Emily and I there whole time. Then when the bus emptied out some he has the audacity to come right next to where I was sitting, lean against me, and stare down at me. I just ignored him but I was so mad at that point.
When I finally got home, I had a good cry and took a shower. It was the first time since I'd been in Rome that I really did not like the Roman culture.
But I have to be thankful for a few things. I really think for one I experienced a spiritual attack that afternoon. I think Satan used my Jesus high that I was having from the previous night and from that morning and used it against me. However, I do think Jesus sent me the Halls that morning for comfort and as a warning. Why else would they mention the two exact things that I later experience that same day? I just have to be reminded how much I am dependent on Jesus and that I NEED him. I still feel safe here but I am definitely making sure I am no where near an Italian man when I am on a crowded bus. Basta! (enough!)