FLORENCE. It's super cool to be here in Firenze (in English it's "Florence") these past few days. I've done some sightseeing as we walked around, so we ended up in the Centro area, by the Duomo once or twice, and from parts of the city I can see Tuscany countryside, which is beautiful. We also have a great view from the apartment.
I'm going tie shopping today, but I'm sure I'll go again while I'm here. What kind of tie should I get you, Dad? Any particular colors?
DIFFERENT DIALECT. The people here speak with an accent, where they replace hard 'c' sounds with an 'h.' So "Ciao" turns into "Shao," and "Come sta?" turns into "Home sta?" It's fun to try and talk with that accent.
So I'm typing this on the iPad right now, and it's not horrible. Once I found out how to type like texting, it's not so bad. So I can work without a keyboard...the initial impression was not entirely accurate. And I type well enough that the autocorrect is actually useful, rather than a hindrance. And as it turns out, we may do some email sessions from the church, which has real computers, so that helps too.
WHAT WE CAN DO WITH THE iPAD. We can use "Gospel Library," "Gospel Music App," "Duo Lingo," and a selection of other apps for missionary stuff and language stuff. For a lot of it, it works better if we're connected to the Internet, but most of it is useful regardless. I would recommend, though, just getting a laptop and a phone instead of a tablet, for home use.
UNWELCOME RESIDENTS. I have gotten a lot of sun these past few days. It is pretty hot down here, especially because Firenze is in a little divot that apparently traps heat. Some rain is coming next week, but other than that it's sunny. Also lots of mosquitoes. I probably have twenty or so bites. They're annoying, but I'll survive.
Oh, and one thing my last companion commented on about me...he said when I talk about my parents, I just say "Mom..." or "Dad..." where most people say "My mom..." or "My dad..." I say it in the way that people do when they are already talking to family, and don't need to specify whose parents.
My address: via degli Artisti 11/C
50132 Firenze (FI)
iPAD DETAILS. It's an iPad mini, but for now don't send a keyboard. I'll see what it's like without one. It's one iPad per person in the mission. American keyboards would be better (less confusing) than Italian, but I could put up with whatever. And yes, we have covers.
Love, Anziano Whitesell
P.S. About pictures...the second microSD, which I put into an adapter and then into the camera, got buggy. Stupid Internet points. So I lost a few pictures there. I'll take pictures and video with that new SD card you sent, but only send them to you from the church, or just keep it in the camera. Also, pictures on the iPad can be put directly into emails. So I'll experiment with that, doing the whole iPad camera thing.