By Kaylee Hughes '19
Students traveled to Italy during break through our exchange with Instituto Champagnat in Genova (Genoa), Italy
My name is Kaylee Hughes and I was a grateful participant of the Italy trip for spring break 2018. We visited Milan, Rome, The Vatican, and then Genoa on our 10-day extravaganza. In Milan, we visited Il Duomo, Castello Sforzesco, and we even saw Michelangelo’s last unfinished sculpture! We were lucky enough to have Brother Massimo from Marist Genoa help us around Italy. He was a major help, even translating for those who did not speak Italian. In Rome, we went to the Trevi Fountain (and threw our coins in), saw the Colosseum, visited and went in ancient ruins from the fall of the Roman Empire, saw many different churches, and went to a mass on Easter in English. We also saw where Mussolini lived during his childhood and the Pantheon.
Then we traveled to Genoa, where we stayed with our host families for four days. I stayed with a girl named Valeria who was not too fond of English, but thankfully my Italian came in handy. She also spoke Spanish because her parents were from Peru, which also made life easier. We went to their Marist school and talked to students and answered questions about America, and the students were very smart. We also went to a pesto factory, which was delicious, and Camogli, a small town outside Genoa that was alongside a mountain and beach. We did all of this for the sole purpose of studying life in Italy and learning about a foreign place.
It was my first time out of the country and I am very happy I seized this opportunity Marist Chicago provided. From this experience, I understood how different life can actually be. I only knew life on the South Side of Chicago my whole life, and I finally got to see how other people see America, and how beautiful things can be...and all you have to do is put in a little effort and walking.
My dad passed away a little over a month ago and he made sure I had everything I needed before he left. He lives through me, and I am so happy I got out of my house to see that life isn’t just about staying at home all the time, and if I didn’t have this experience, I wouldn’t have the mindset I have right now.
Kaylee brought a prayer card from her dad Gary's wake to Italy. She says she looks forward to traveling more and bringing him with her.