Mondays at the refugee centre, by Ilana

Every Monday morning I volunteer at the Joel Nafuma Refugee Center. I teach basic English, and the one thing that I have learned to build into every lesson plan is that the lesson will almost certainly not go as planned. Some days I have two students, other days 15. Some days everyone has arrived just ten…

A walk in Rome

Many years ago, a friend told me that whenever he had trouble falling asleep he’d close his eyes and imagine long walks through places he’d once lived. I loved this idea, and  I’ve tried it myself. And my complete inability to recall any of these night wanderings is proof, I take it,  that they put me straight to…

Five Scary Sabbatical Experiences by Tillie

Rome is a great place to live for a year, a truly wonderful experience that I will never forget, as I’m sure you know from this blog. But in this post I’m not going to talk about the amazing experiences that we have in Rome but rather the scary ones. I will now give you 5…

Going faster than a roller coaster…

The days are passing quickly now, in the ways days do once you’ve really settled into a rhythm. And while there’s pleasure in that rhythm, it’s bittersweet as well, because already, mid-February and spring in the air, our time in Rome is drawing to a close. It’s not that Rome feels familiar, exactly, or that…

Seven things we love about Rome: The Winter Edition, by Ilana

Tis the season to count your blessings and reflect on what is lovely in life. And so: an update framed as a list tied with a bow of some of our favourite (Roman) things. 1. Christmas Markets.  Who doesn’t love a good holiday craft market? Every year a sizeable selection of my kid’s Chanukah gifts are…

A Roman Adventure, by Eva Kate

Since I left school, I have been trying to keep in touch with this girl named Giulia. Giulia and I were in different classes at school, but we got together because our teachers sometimes would not come to class and when that happened I always went to her class and she went to mine. It…

Muddled thoughts, by Ilana

A few very long weeks ago, I was finishing up a blog post about our trip to Venice. It was about Venice, but also it was about the ways in which traveling with children- being with children, having children- enhances your life. Because: well, because there’s always those voices out there talking about all you…

Four things we love about Rome

1.The fancy way they wrap things here. Check out this lovely gift. Inside? Toothpaste, purchased from our local pharmacy. Such a class act! Other items whose fancy-wrappings we have enjoyed include sliced meats (a layer of brown butcher paper followed by a layer of monogrammed paper), sliced pizza (as above with the monogrammed paper, but placed…

Missing my dad in the Mercato Trionfale

Not too far from our place- a 15 minute walk, or, given traffic here, a 15 minute bus ride-is Rome’s biggest food market, Mercato Trionfale. It’s an indoor market – almost all of Rome’s markets have moved indoors- housed in an  ugly, unassuming building. But inside – well, inside it’s 273 (273!) stalls of this:…

New sneakers, by Ilana

This is gonna be a good, old-fashioned, update post. Tucked within a story of a sneaker shopping trip. I took Tillie to buy new sneakers the other day. Because, you know, she outgrew her sneakers on the plane ride over- or something like that. I really can’t keep up with how often my girls outgrow their…

Adventures with Avi, by Ilana

Tomorrow morning Avi will begin Scuola Materna – such a soft, full-of-vowels name that beats the pants off of “pre-school.”   It’s a milestone. And it has me reflecting on my little guy. The #1 justification I had for taking this sabbatical year was wanting more time with Avi. And we’ve been having time together. And it’s been…