Monday, June 29, 2009

Europe: People I Love

I am a different person for meeting these people. I wish there was a way I could paint a true representation of them, but I know that even at the end of a novel written about each one all I would want to say is, “Oh, you would have to meet them.”

Tori.

"...it was her habit to build up laughter out of inadequate materials."
- John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath)
  • I knew we would be friends when, during a meeting before leaving for Europe, she leaned over to me, introduced herself and said, “I have kind of a personal question…are you going to shower every day in Europe?” Together we embraced the filth of both Europe and ourselves.
  • One of those people that funny things just happen to.
  • Gave money to every homeless person she saw. Once, when she didn’t have any money she gave the man a gummy candy shark. She was giving it to him because she thought he would genuinely enjoy it.
  • Knows everything there was to know about furniture and architecture. When we would walk into a room full of paintings she would often comment on the seating in the room and its designer.
  • LOVES street performers and took pictures with all of the slightly creepy, but somehow charming street performers.
  • Gracefully honest.
  • Said things like, “freaky-tiki-tavi” instead of just saying scary.
  • Made funny observations about things that most others wouldn’t find humor in. We had the same goofy sense of humor and laughed when things really weren’t funny.

The Girls.

Tori, Brittany, Rachel, Melissa, Megan, Me

"I hate to hear you talk about all women as if they were fine ladies instead of rational creatures. None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives."
- Jane Austen

Megan.

  • Bought a shirt that says “Make Art, Not War” and wore peace sign earrings.
  • Loves Nutella and constantly asked if I would go get some more gelato with her.
  • Always happy.
  • Has a lot of expression.

Brittany.

  • Has a raspy voice. That is always saying kind things. I love it.
  • Was always cheerful. Not just happy, cheerful.
  • Wore pink almost daily.

Melissa.

  • Answered to “Marmy.”
  • Believed in “hand hugs”.
  • Taught Steven to braid hair.

Katie.

  • Doesn’t really like museums.
  • Snored.
  • Out-bought us all when it came to chocolate.
  • Couldn’t walk a straight line to save her life.

Steven.

"Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence."
- Robert Frost

  • Asked me to teach him to waltz on a rooftop in Bergamo, Italy at sunset.
  • Let all 44 of us girls tease him mercilessly about his man purse, among other things.
  • Has a great sense of direction and never got us lost.
  • The only person on our trip who had the foresight to bring a Book of Mormon in a language besides English with him. It was honestly one of the most humbling experiences, and one of the highlights of the trip, to watch him teach a man about the Gospel for over a half an hour in a cafĂ© in Vienna. He pulled out a Book of Mormon in German that had been waiting for an opportunity to emerge the entire trip. Steven just got an e-mail from the man.
  • Only lost a game of Egyptian Rat Screw once.
  • Never won a game of Speed.
  • Gave me bites of all of his food if I promised to do the same.
  • Let me talk, and talk, and talk to him about art and the things it made me think and feel. When we would be by a piece of artwork I knew something about he could always tell and would ask me to tell him about it, knowing it was about to burst out of me anyway. He always had great questions and comments and I learned a lot by talking and discussing things with him.

Brother Geddes. Brother G.

“It's hard not to like a man who not only notices colors, but speaks them." - Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)

  • Wore brown Crocks with brown socks.
  • Told me I laugh like an old French man.
  • Teased us all.
  • Speaks French and Italian.
  • Followed his wife to Hawaii, even though she was engaged to someone else at the time.
  • Moseyed in the back of the group with Tori and me and pointed out interesting details.
  • His face was a mass of wrinkles, until he smiled. Then it was a mass of creases around his mouth and eyes.

Brother Stephenson. Brother S.

"Teach the ignorant as much as you can; society is culpable in not providing a free education for all and it must answer for the night which it produces. If the soul is left in darkness sins will be committed. The guilty one is not he who commits the sin, but he who causes the darkness."
- Victor Hugo (Les Miserables)

  • Knows something about everything. Art. Music. Architecture. Literature. Theatre. Ducks. Everything. He literally has some sort of knowledge on anything you ask him.
  • Does great voice impressions. My favorites were Jimmy Stuart (both young and old), Darth Vader, Sister Wendy from the art videos, and the Italian guards at the Vatican.
  • Speaks French and Italian.
  • Wore socks with Teva sandals.
  • Encouraged us to learn and experience.

Brother Anderson. Brother A.

"Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one"
- Stella Adler

  • So, so, so very awkward. In a very endearing sort of way.
  • Hunches his shoulders and sways from side to side when he laughs.
  • Extremely knowledgeable about art. I became his shadow in museums, not only because of his extensive knowledge, but because he is honestly one of the kindest people I know.
  • Speaks German.
  • Put his arm around me in Paris when I was cold. Couldn’t figure out how to take it off without being awkward. I just let him struggle and giggled inside.

Semi-Group Picture.

…“Oh, you would have to meet them.”

4 comments:

Josslin said...

How awesome, Ande!! I'm so glad you had fun. It seems like we meet the most memorable people when we take the time to really live life, like your trip to Europe.

Don't ask me what all that means....

Rebecca said...

Brother Stephenson!!! Love that guy, he's totally on my top favorite teachers list. His tests were hard, but lectures rocked, because as you said, he knows something about everything and they were always entertaining with his personified voice! I have a twinge of regret that I didn't go on this same tour as you-but I'm serious about taking your book you'll be writing with me when I do go! p.s. you're getting some sweet air in that picture

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful picture you've painted with your words.

aunt Lynn

Alyson said...

all i can really say is...jealous!!