My first month in Italy is already in the books. Actually the second month will be completed by the end of next week. Time has absolutely flown. It hasn't given me time to be homesick. Although with Christmas coming up I will have some down time to sit and wonder what my friends in the States and the Azores are doing.
Living in Italy is almost like living in the Azores. Everything is so compact over here in Europe. The roads are narrow because they were that way 1,000 years ago and that's the way they are always going to be. The houses are small for the same reason. Everything seems close. The major cities are separated by about 25 miles with half a dozen villages between them. It makes for enjoyable bicycle riding knowing you can stop at a cafe every couple miles if you need some fuel.
The hardest thing for me while I am here will be finding time to explore. The work schedule is going to be harsh. The base I am stationed at gets inspected a lot, which means everything has to be perfect all the time. I am working with the largest group of people I have ever worked with in my career. There are 29 people in my section and I am the number 2 guy in command. Most of the time the number 1 guy acts as a buffer between me and the flight chief and I run everything else. It was a little intimidating at first having 27 people depending on me to get them pointed in the right direction. It gets a little crazy at the beginning of the week when all the equipment we are inspecting for the week comes in. However, toward the end of the week I can step away from the desk and walk the shop floor and get a grasp of the people I work with.
I will be spending 2 years here in Italy. I have an idea of where I want to go after Italy. However, it is up to God about where He wants to take me. I'm just along for the ride. I need to call it a day and hang it up and get some rest before tomorrow.
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