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Buon Anno da Roma!

Buon Anno da Roma!

I can’t believe I got to spend my first day of the year in Rome! 2014 is off to a great start. My last moments of 2013 were spent drinking prosecco in front of the colosseum surrounded by new friends and hundreds of drunk Italians shooting off fireworks. To say it was amazing is an understatement. It was surreal to be ringing in the new year under the shadow of a 2,000 year old monument. Another highlight of the new year was the papal mass we attended in St. Peter’s Basilica inside the Vatican. I was literally 5 feet away from the pope; absolutely amazing!

We had a more serious day on New Year’s Eve though. On Tuesday morning we visited the Joel Nafuma Refugee Center. The Center helps recently arrived political refugees to develop and hone skills they can use in order to get a job. They also provide them with basic things like toiletry items and clothes. While we were there we actually talked to some of the men there and heard a little about their lives. It was heartbreaking to hear about some of their hardships and to know that these young men no longer have a home country and are not welcome in the one they are in. The most difficult aspect is to know that two of the men we met no longer have a place to sleep as of tonight because they were only allowed to stay at their shelter for one year. With that being said, everyone there was so full of hope. For the men there, the most important thing that we could do for them was to tell their story and raise awareness because so few people know about the refugee crisis in the world today.

Pictures won’t load so hopefully I’ll be able to put some up next time!


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