Scratching the Surface

Posted on January 27th, 2011 by

Barely scratching the surface is a phrase that comes to mind today (Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011). So much has been seen and done and yet there’s even more unseen and undone in Italy (not to mention the rest of the world in which we live).

On the last day in Venice, the city of peace and justice as well as canals and “barche” (boats), one can’t help but ponder the past days and all that has been encountered.

Encounters of all kinds have been experienced – with various people (young, old, Italians, other Europeans, other Americans), in numerous locations (main squares, restaurants, cafes, shops, churches), not to mention the individual encounters with art, architecture, etc.

Gusties encounter Venice via gondola. (Photo by Stacia Vogel)

Before noon today we had seen the sun rising from the pigeon-filled Piazza San Marco, visited the mosaic-filled cathedral, toured the Doge Palace, visited a local glass-blowing shop for a demonstration, and had gondola rides. Each experience was unique and for some each one could have been dedicated to an entire day alone.

Back at home, Chaplain Brian Johnson had prepared the group for this type of experience — to encounter rather than to merely observe. He had taught that one who shaped how we think about encountering others was German philosopher’s Martin Buber in his book “I and Thou.”

Stay tuned for stories from individuals regarding personal encounters on this Italian tour.



  1. Elisabetta Amadi says:

    Please come back !!!! ( keep in touch!) baci Elisabetta

  2. Durant Imboden says:

    Great concert! (My wife and I learned about it from a poster near the Rialto Bridge.)

    I don’t want you to think w’re spamming your blog, but I thought you might be interested in our coverage of the concert at:

    And, a little more whimsically:

    Finally, we’ve featured a picture of the choir on the home page of our Venice travel-planning site, Venice for Visitors, which reaches about two million people a year:

    Congratulations to the choir for a first-rate performance, and we hope students, staff, and parents recover quickly from jet lag after the long trip home!