|My daughter (center) with her host family|
in San Sebastiano, Italy.
She's home! My daughter's Italy group arrived home near midnight last night after spending practically the entire day in transit in Paris. There was much hugging and crying among the teenagers at the airport during the leavetaking, although my daughter told me later that when she saw us, her parents, and when I held her, her tears were from happiness at seeing us. She swears this is true! She says five weeks of traveling with the same 11 people was just long enough to be ready to come home, despite the fact that the entire social, cultural and culinary adventure was, by all accounts, an unqualified success.
The absolute highlight for my girl was her 18-day stay with her host family in a village in Napoli. This is a photo they took in the courtyard of their home. I am struck by how happy my girl looks, and by the loving way the family encircles her. I am very moved that on the other side of the world, people I do not know took such good care of my daughter, making her feel welcome and cherished and fully at home. Thank you, Montella family, for seeing, really seeing my daughter. Our home is open to you should you ever wish to visit New York.