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Entry 1: May 22, 2002

You gotta love tourists. I mean, I have a soft spot for ’em since we’re assuming their role for basically the next two weeks. Take this cute old foreign guy in Chicago — classic case of tourism: broken English, slightly confused and asking (Director of Basketball Operations) Heather Clay if she needs help in taking our picture. “No,” she responds, “but thank you.” So what does the guy do, but pull out his OWN camera and star photographing. Weird. But the sad part is he probably makes us look bad. Of course, a few in the group, most notably Coach McGraw, have employed our team’s favorite Italian phrase — “Basta!” (which means STOP!). Thankfully, no one’s “basta!” has been followed with a wallet chase … ha ha!

You gotta hand it to the Italian men — our radars have already detected a few foreign hunks. Katy (Flecky) was the first to spot one, with all the Italian features: dark, wavy hair, chiseled face and brown eyes. But although Katy had first dibs, Le’Tania (Severe) had the guts to talk to him. If I remember correctly, Le’ boldly said “Hi … is that your newspaper?” The team nearly deemed her bold performance worthy of monetary compensation (i.e. she almost won our bet about striking up a convo with him for $5), but he only responded with one word, so we voided the bet!

Today, our team toured the Colosseum — a testament to Roman heritage and glory. Of course, being Americans, we failed to act as Romans, although we are in Rome, and we re-enacted scenes from “Gladiator”. Karen (Swanson) and Teresa (Borton) battled (obviously the most evenly-matched duel!) and Jackie (Batteast), Jill (Krause) and Jeneka (Joyce) decided their fate. Fortunately, no one was fed to the lions.

The only hard part about the day was how long it was. We had to stay up for roughly 30 hours straight. It’s taken its toll on everyone, most notably Alicia (Ratay), who didn’t quite make it ’til outside of South Bend before she began cat-napping.

We finished our day with a visit to an American university here in Rome and with our very first full-course Italian meal — my favorite part, of course!

Ciao,

Kelsey Wicks and the world-traveling Notre Dame b-ballers