Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Today we spent a beautiful day in Florence...and even had an opportunity to see David at the Academia.  -Dr. Michel


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Coming at you from Italy, it's Jenna!!!

Coming at you from Italy, it's Jenna!!! Today we had a couple seminars at "the Casa". We started with Asha, a Doctoral student at UAB, who gave us a seminar about black women in the American and Italian cultures. It was interesting to listen to especially since our large group here is so diverse. The next seminar was presented to us by Dr. Ted Remley, the preofessor from ODU that put all this together. He generated discussion about things we have noticed in the Italian culture versus the American culture. He also shared with us of a couple other countries he has been to and the need for counseling around the world. We also heard from Rachel, a student that has been living in Bejing the past five years. She enlightened us to the Chineese culture and the needs for counseling in China.
We then had the option to go into town. I went to Reggello to the super marcado with another student, Lesley, from Virginia. Then, of course, we had gelato like we do pretty much every day we go into town!! Other people went to local outlet malls to shop at stores like Gucci, Prada, and Armani. We are about to play a game, "Italian gestures", which is supposed to be like cherades.

Monday, May 27, 2013


Today we took a day trip to Siena and Roberta led us on a tour of the city. We have included a few pictures below. - Dr. Michel


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Greetings from Italy!

Greetings from Italy!

Sunday was a jam-packed day….after hearing several speakers including our own beloved Dr. Michel and two speakers from an organization that work with women involved in a lifestyle of prostitution and sex trafficking. The speakers, one originally from Nigeria and one originally from Romania, though they both currently reside near Florence, Italy.

Each woman was employed by their organization to be a mediator for the women educating them on safe sex practices and if they wanted to get out of that particular lifestyle, making sure they were able to do so safely and how to navigate the legal system. It was mind-blowing hearing these speakers share their experiences working with these women. Their profession literally puts their lives in danger because they are a threat to criminal organizations that profit from controlling these women, but they continue to help and provide resources to these young women.

After the speakers and lunch, many of us took a trip to a nearby town, Valombrossa in which we hiked through the wood taking in the beautiful scenery at what seemed like a view from the clouds. Through whole this experience I find myself once again able to stop and appreciate the beauty in small things that you take for granted when you are in a continual rush. I find myself stopping and taking a deep breath every now and again, enjoying fresh, clean air. Moments in which I don’t have to do anything, but just sit and enjoy existing. About six days left (not that I’m counting or anything) and it still seems kind of surreal. Below are some pics. Enjoy and see you soon!



Saturday, May 25, 2013

Greve and San Gimignano

Hi everyone, it’s Dr. Michel checking in from Italy! I think everyone was happy when we had an extra hour to sleep in this morning after an amazing dinner last night at Ristorante Archimede. Although it was very rainy all day, we were still able to enjoy ourselves in Tuscany. We took a beautiful bus ride to Greve, located in the Chianti Region. On our way we passed by acres and acres of grape leaves which are grown for the famous Chianti wine.  Once we arrived in Greve we were able to take in a weekly market with fruit, kebobs, cheeses, and lots of fun Italian clothes!  After the market, I ate lunch with one of the workers from Casa Cares, Tony, to help celebrate his 60th birthday. Tony had been a police officer in New York city for a number of years. During a visit to Italy, he fell in love with the Italian way of life and eventually decided to leave America and move to Italy. It was a fascinating lunch followed by wine tasting. After Greve, we travelled to San Gimignano. It was like a dream to be driving through Tuscany listening to Andrea Bocelli music. In San Gimignano, we enjoyed gelato, took in museums, climbed towers, and shopped. By the end of the day, we were quite tired and wet. We watched a DVD about the Medici Family and enjoyed our relaxing bus ride back to Casa Cares.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Ristorante Archimede

As Dani mentioned, today we enjoyed an authentic Italian meal at Ristorante was fantastic!


Hey it's was a day filled with very interesting lecturers. Our lecturers today was Eugenio Bacchini, and Italian counselor who was one of the founding father's of one of the first counseling associations in Italy. He explained how the profession of counseling operates in Italy and where they are headed in terms of the different associations and how they have come together in order to join the European Counseling Association. Our next speaker, Amy Kleine was supervised by Eugenion Bacchini, who is an American, and works for Syracuse University in NJ. She was very warm and entertaining.  Her icebreaker included her informing all the women in the room where to shop in Italy...Yay!!!!! She told us about her job and how she helps students accumulate to the environment. After having a wonderful lunch with these two counselors, we then had a presentation by Dr. Larry Tyson from UAB. His presentation was very interesting in which addressed master's students having to seek professional counseling as a requirement of their program.  It raised a lot of thought provoking questions and discussions.  We then had a presentation by two of our doctorate students, Miranda and Crystal on cultural awareness.  We then had a break to get ready for dinner and took a group pic around 7:00 pm. We then headed to Ristorante Archimede and ate a real authentic five course Italian meal!!!!!