Betty Duffy

Monday, February 22, 2010

Bait and Switch

My religious reversion was not complete after my trip to Rome. Nor did I fall for my husband the first time I met him. The pilgrimage was the impetus for disengaging with 'Bob,' but I drifted around for a long time after that, having mountaintop religious experiences at retreats, then returning to a negative lifestyle.

And I’m not even sure if I can call my trip to Rome a pilgrimage. It was an accidental pilgrimage.

My parents had given me an address for a place to stay outside of Rome that would house me for ten dollars a day. They’d made some new friends while I was overseas, who had told them about it. Hostels in Rome were already booked because it happened to be Holy Week, so I had no choice if I wanted to stay in Rome between the Hilary and Trinity terms.

At the line of cabs outside of the train station, I showed a cab driver the address on my piece of paper and he dropped me off at a bus stop with some instructions in Italian that I didn’t understand. I took the first bus that stopped there, and looked around once inside for someone to help me translate. I showed several people the piece of paper with the address on it, and finally said out loud, “Villa Della Giustiniana?” Most people continued to stare straight ahead, but a large, older Italian woman smiled, “Giustiniana?” I nodded, and she came back to sit down next to me. A few stops later, she grabbed me by the arm and pulled me off the bus with her. We walked several blocks arm in arm while she talked. I didn’t understand a word, until she stopped in front of a gate, hugged and kissed me on the cheek and said “ciao.” I assumed that this was my destination, and sure enough, upon ringing the bell on the gate, I discovered that I had indeed arrived at Villa Della Giustiniana, otherwise known as the House of Formation for the Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi.

Parents are smart.


Gardenia said...

and that woman was your guardian angel. :)

Dawn Farias said...

Love it!