Okay, so I've been back nearly two weeks and still haven't posted anything about my crazy Milan adventure. It was a fantastic experience, one that I struggle to put into words, or rather I manage to put it into words but instantly become dissatisfied with my descriptions. However, I will endeavour to summarise the 7 days as eloquently as possible.

The DK guidebook describes the city as 'chic rather than attractive, a city of wealth as opposed to imagination'. This, for the most part, is a very fair description. Milan is not romantic, but it is elegant. It is proud, fashionable, uncompromising and especially honest (bordering on snobby). In September the tourists walk around in cut-offs and sandals, drowning in the humidity, whilst the locals are kitted out in slim feet jeans and heeled boots - not a drop of perspiration to be seen. I was a true victim of the climate. Me, a sweaty, fleshy white girl innocently wandering around in as few clothes as modesty would allow and consequently got refused entry into the Duomo!


We stick out like porcelain snowmen, with large cameras, loud voices and still hands, for the Milanese speak in hushed, dignified tones and gesticulate incessantly. Models are as common as tramps, hopping onto the Metro with their understated attire, long legs and clear plastic folders filled with beautiful, airbrushed photos. Dogs are everywhere and are often given better treatment than human beings. The children are like Prada clad Mowglis: mischievous and playful and despite their elegant attire look prone to scabby elbows and dirty knees. The teenagers are copper skinned, jean wearing, converse walking, backpack holding gangs, chattering excitedly and confidently striding around their city.


My time at the YWAM base, was a particular highlight. I had the opportunity to join in with their staff meetings and really feel like a part of their ministry. Every single person taught me something and inspired me to be more aware of God's daily whispers and to worship Him with more intergrity. My last night was spent dancing around to worship songs played by a large Italian builder on his guitar, whilst me and the other girls sang in a mixture of Italian, English and Russian. It was just gorgeous! I was also lucky enough to catch the backend of the Milan film festival, followed by 3 hours spent in a charismatic Catholic prayer meeting, which was enormously humbling and perspective changing. I spent a lot of time by myself, walking around the city or just reading quietly in the apartment. What I thought was going to be a crazy, manic week turned out to be a God-intitiated period of rest - just what I needed! That's the one thing I want to bring back to my life in England, as well as a passion for learning the Italian language. This year I need to prioritise rest (and language learning). I need to emulate the slightly more laid-back culture of the Italians and enjoy my surroundings without fretting that the time is flying by so quickly.

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