Carlisle’s Day

And Indie film showing what Indie Films mean to me

Post Sundance

It would appear that we took some of the cold from Utah and brought it down to Florida with us. I find it ironic because the dark and stormy weather is perfect for movie watching; only now we have other obligations. Bits and pieces of each film play in the back of my head as […]

Highlights and Lowlights

What a trip. The Sundance Film Festival was an amazing experience and one that I will surely remember. Although, all parts of the festival were amazing there are some moments that stood out more than others. Highlights: While all the films were exceptional my experience there made it worthwhile. Maggie, Lexy and I met the […]

Sundance in a Nutshell

Parting is such sweet sorrow. So in attmepts to be clever here is a ficticious submission to my Diary that mentions just about all the films that I saw. Dear Diary, Today as I was walking to the box office I was listening to ‘Nothings Gonna Stop Us Now’ by Starship, which is a great […]

Selfies with Chelsea

Duck faces and peace signs; the two main components of a ‘Selfie’ and while it may seem stupid taking a picture of yourself it can be quite entertaining. The idea wasn’t original, being a part of the “Me Generation” we kind of coined the term so to mock the culture that I am currently a […]

(Indie)cisive at the Sundance Film Festival

So, it’s finally done and here is the video blog that Maggie and I have been working on. Hope you all enjoy. Thank you to everyone that helped out.

I Play With the Phrase Each Other – A Slamdance Film

I Play with the Phrase Each Other is done entirely on a cellphone, with people on cell phones. Filmed in black and white with an iPhone and a 35mm lens, the film tracks a few key characters, the awkward and nervous Jake, his attractive ex-girlfriend in turmoil Erin, the wheeler-dealer Sean, and friend-to-all Zane, all […]

Sundance Wrap-Up

I did have a great time at Sundance. As I texted Nate, our professor, on our way back from the airport, my life is now pre-sundance and post-sundance. I saw a lot of great films, I met a lot of great people, and I slept very little. After seeing such incredible films and speaking to […]

Infinitely Polar Bear: An Insult to the Sundance Film Festival

Infinitely Polar Bear is the appropriately terribly named movie that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this past week. It is, and I say this with great conviction, absolutely awful. It is the worst film I’ve seen since M.Night Shamalamadingdong’s The Happening. In fact, those two films share so much that I wonder if director […]

Museo Della Civilta Romana

Today we went to the Museo della Civilta Romana. Here we got to see many plaster casts and replicas of sites and statues we had heard about and seen throughout the trip. The most interesting thing in this museum was a cast of Trajan’s Column. The column is broken up into pieces and placed in order around a room in the museum. This allows people to walk around and actually see what the story on the column is. A majority of the column is about Trajan’s victories against the Dacians. It also shows the fruitfulness, fertility and richness of Rome at the time. 

Deana Furman and Anthony Arico

Because there were 126 separate casts, I will spare the reader a play-by-play
of the Dacian wars and instead provide this shoddy recreation of the column:

(A scale model showing the main forum in Pompeii.)

(The Temple of Ceres in the middle of the Piazzale delle Corporazioni at Ostia.)

(Adjacent to the room with the column casts was this plethora of models.)

(The grandest model of all was this replica of the entirety of ancient Rome.)

(A detailed Baths of Caracalla reconstruction to make up for the earlier post.)

(This is what the Mausoleum of Augustus would have looked like.)

(Outside the museum was an obelisk from the 1960 Olympics dedicated to Guglielmo Marconi and an installation by Seward Johnson titled, “Awakening.”)

William Skinner

Villa Poppaea

The Villa Poppaea was a home of Emperor Nero. It was buried in the 79AD eruption of Vesuvius.

Nero was known for his decadence and flair and didn’t cut any corners when building this retreat. It had a large kitchen, personal baths, an Olympic sized pool, beautiful gardens, and much more.

The most impressive thing about the Villa Poppaea is its frescoes. These beautiful paintings have remained colorful and bright. The frescoes are painted in the 2nd and 3rd styles; the 3rd style probably painted after the damage from the earthquake of 62AD.



Herculaneum was a city that, along with Pompeii, was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD.

The city was covered by 20 meters of lava. (The difference in ground level can be seen in the figure above). Originally, it was thought that the people of Herculaneum evacuated the town and escaped death, but in the 1990’s 300+ bodies were found in/or near the boat houses. It is presumed that the population swarmed to the boats but were unable to leave because of the rough sea.

One amazing thing that sets Herculaneum’s ruins apart from Pompeii’s is the petrification of wood. This is because the ash that buried Pompeii was extremely hot, thus burning the wood; while the muddy lava that covered Herculaneum was cooler. Pompeii was buried from top to bottom; the weight of the ash collapsing the roofs of it’s buildings. Herculaneum was covered from the ground up; the lava filled the houses, preserving the wooden structures.

The mosaics in Herculaneum are breathtaking. Made up of thousands of tiny pieces they are extremely complex and intricate, often depicting aquatic scenes. (The mosaic above is of Neptune and Amphitrite).


The Baths of Caracalla, the Circus Maximus, and the Coliseum

Today the class visited the Baths of Caracalla. Will Skinner presented on the baths. We were there for a while and got to walk around the ruins, although some portions had been blocked off. Will explained in detail the way in which a Roman bathhouse would have worked. Women had hours in the morning and men had hours in the afternoon to take their daily bath. They would first go into the caldarium (hot bath) and end with the frigidarium (cold bath). Not only were the Romans able to heat the bathhouse; they could also heat the stone floor so that people could walk comfortably from one room to another. At one point in time, mosaics would have decorated the floors of the baths, and a large statue of Hercules (now in the museum at Naples) would have stood in the center of the baths. Will also told the class about the waterfalls that would have been around the baths. These waterfalls would have brought water from the hot baths to the cold and vice versa.

Next we went to the Circus Maximus where Aundra Miller presented. She explained the Circus Maximus was more like a bloody version of NASCAR than what we would think of a modern circus. Chariots in four colors (representing the four seasons) would race around the track. Aundra also talked about the gladiatorial fights at the Coliseum. She explained that there were different types of gladiators. Gladiators were sorted based on the type of armor they wore and the weapons that they carried. Previously on the trip, we went to the Coliseum. We took a tour and learned that there was an intricate web of tunnels under the stage which allowed for trap doors in the floor to bring up wild animals and different scenery. They had many types of fights that lasted throughout the day. There were fights between men and animals, as well as men against one another, and there were plays in which prisoners would be killed to make the stories seem more realistic.

Deana Furman and Anthony Arico

Being as I was presenting on them, I only have a few pictures from a prior
night during which I attempted to scope out the baths from their perimeter:

(Here you can see straight through to the natatio, or swimming pool, room.)

(This was the western palaestra, an open courtyard for gymnastics and wrestling.)

(This was one of two main entrances which Roman bathers would have used; from here they would have passed on to the apodyterium, a changing room with lockers.)

(All that remains of the Circus Maximus is this track made up of loose gravel; a lap around this and my legs were on fire as I could barely stand. I clocked 3:30 though.)

(I presume you’ve all seen this picture before. Nevertheless, the Coliseum.)

(Here you can see through the floor to the below-ground passageways.)

William Skinner

Hadrian's Villa

Today we took an hour bus ride to Tivoli where we visited Hadrian’s Villa. Hadrian succeeded Trajan in 117 AD, and work started on the villa in 118 AD. It includes elements of Greek and Egyptian influence as a testament to the various cultures of the Roman Empire during Hadrian’s reign. The villa is spread over about 120 hectares and includes many buildings that served different functions. We saw the Poikile (Pecile), which was a large courtyard designed for after lunch strolls; the Building with Three Exedras, which may have served as a dining room; the Baths, with intact mosaics and complex heating systems; the Canopus, where many marble statues were unearthed and where parties and social gatherings were held; the Piazza d'Oro, which still includes many examples of polychrome mosaic and latrines that once had running water; and the Maritime Theater, which was not a theater but rather a private getaway for the emperor.

Hadrian’s villa once had over 500 statues and ornate frescoes and mosaics, but throughout the Middle Ages and the Renaissance it was stripped of most of its artwork which is now in museums.

Chelsea and Rosie

Apologies for the glut of photos:

(We walked through a large arch in this nine meter high wall to enter the Poikele.)

(Originally there would have been a portico on either side of the wall.)

(It was certainly a nice place for an after lunch stroll, or a stroll at any time of day;
walking around the perimeter seven times was equal to walking two Roman miles.)

(At the center of the Poikele was a vast and magnificent pool.)

(The pool was home to several fish and fowl who were excited by our presence.)

(The Poikele was actually built on a raised platform above underground rooms.)

(Our next stop was the Building with Three Exedrae; this is the Eastern exedra.)

(The Western exedra would have had a rectangular niche with a large window.)

(The Southern exedra, facing the atrium and Poikele, would have had large statue.)

(The Winter Palace was so named because of heating systems on the top floors.)

(In front of the Winter Palace was a small stadium believed to be a nymphaeum.)

(Above and below: the small bath complex was, well, small.)

(This is, of course, as compared to the large bath complex directly to the south.)

(The large baths, despite their size were not as well decorated as the small baths.)

(Above and below: When I said large, I meant large.)

(On the side of a hill behind the baths was the praetorium.)

(It was perhaps a residential area for praetorian guards of the emperor.)

(There was some original stucco decoration at the base of the praetorium walls.)

(Above and below: more stucco decoration preserved on a vault in the baths.)

(Nick walks atop the hill into which the praetorium was inset, next to the Canopus.)

(A woman collects fallen fruits from the olive trees on the hilltop.)

(The Canopus lay at the base of a valley and was a place for social gatherings.)

(At the northen end was a colonnade of Corinthian columns.)

(At the southern end was an apsical temple dedicated to Serapis.)

(On the western side was a row of caryatids.)

(On the eastern side was a crocodile fountain piece.)

(This statue at the northern end is believed to be a depiction of Antinous, a man whom Hadrian was smitten with and who drowned in the Canopus canal in Egypt.)

(Above and below: yet another bath complex called the Heliocaminus.)

(We finally made our way into the ruins of the Imperial Palace.)

(There we found some well-preserved monocrome geometric tile mosaics.)

(Above and below: the main room of the Imperial Palace.)

(Just next door was the appropriately named Building with Doric Columns.)

(Behind the Imperial Palace was the Piazza d'Oro, or Golden Square.)

(There were several private latrines around the circumference of the court.)

(There was also a good example of a polycrome mosaic floor in a rhombus pattern.)

(This structure was at the southeastern corner of the Piazza d'Oro.)

(This was the Latin library to the north of the Imperial Palace.)

(This was the so-called Philosopher’s Hall, thought to be a library or audience hall.)

(Finally, we visited the Maritime Theatre, a retreat only reached by swing bridge.)

William Skinner

The pyramid tomb of Gaius Cestius, the Ara Pacis, and the Mausoleum of Augustus

Today we visited the pyramid tomb of Gaius Cestius and the Ara Pacis of Augustus. We were granted special permission to go into the pyramid and see the third style frescoes on the interior. The third style incorporates domestic details, such as the candle sticks that are in this tomb.

After the pyramid, we visited the Ara Pacis. Augustus had the Ara Pacis built between 13 and 9 BCE. The Ara Pacis, literally “Altar of Augustan Peace,” was a tribute to Augustus’ reign. It depicts scenes that link Augustus to the two founding myths of Rome. It has a repeated theme of fertility and growth that Augustus sought to promote within his empire. It is the most important Augustan monument.

The Mausoleum of Augustus was a very opulent tomb, begun in 28 BCE. On either side of the entrance, there were two inscribed pillars that were a copy of the Res Gestae Divi Augusti, which was Augustus’ own account of his feats in battle and his accomplishments as emperor.

Chelsea and Rosie 

(The pyramid was an unlikely sight, rising above the streets of modern Rome.)

(The interior of the pyramid was surprisingly small given the monument’s size;
for the record, I must say that Sam is a professional photobomber.)

(Oddly, the tomb of Cestius shared the same address as a cat sanctuary.)

(The front two panels of the Ara Pacis show the two foundation myths of Rome, with that of Romulus and Remus on the left and that of Aeneas on the right.)

(The best preserved panel depicted Augustus’ vision of prosperity for Rome.)

(Unfortunately we were unable to access the Mausoleum of Augustus.)

William Skinner

Avignon - By: E. Diffee

Avignon - By: E. Diffee

The Theater of Marcellus, the Capitoline Museum, and Palatine Hill

Today we visited the Theater of Marcellus, the Capitoline Museum, and Palatine Hill. The Theater of Marcellus was the largest theater in Rome at the time of its construction.

At the Capitoline Museum each of us had to find an artifact that contained elements related to what we had learned on Etruscan and Roman history. During class that night, we were able to hear from each other about the various artifacts we had found. This was a great way for us to apply what we had learned thus far on the trip.

After the Capitoline Museum, we visited Palatine Hill, the most important hill in Rome where the emperors resided, with the University of California’s Professor Crispin Corrado, a specialist in Roman history. Since the founding of Rome, the Palatine Hill was where the most important people lived. We visited Augustus’ house on the Hill and the imperial palace that was built by Tiberius but expanded by Caligula and Claudius. During Nero’s reign, work began on a new and larger palace which was destroyed in the fire of 64 AD. Nero later built the Domus Aurea on top of previous Republican period houses. We also saw the palace of the Flavian dynasty which at one time had a black marble walkway that functioned as a mirror for the paranoid Domitian; it enabled him to see any approaching possible threat.

After Professor Corrado’s tour of Palatine Hill, we went to overlook the city. 

Chelsea and Rosie

A few pictures from Palatine Hill:

(The so-called “hut of Romulus” is identified by these post holes in the stone; whether the mythic founder of Rome actually lived there is a matter of debate.)

(Inside the House of Augustus, a well-preserved late second style wall painting)

(Also in the House of Augustus, stucco reliefs on the underside of a vault)

(Above and below: the ruins of the Flavian palace)

(Above and below: the ruins of the Hippodrome, or stadium, of Domitian)

William Skinner

Avignon - By: E. Diffee

Avignon - By: E. Diffee

Avignon - By: E. Diffee

Avignon - By: E. Diffee

The Catacombs of San Callisto and the Tomb of Caecilia Metella

This was by far the largest of the catacombs found, and although we could only visit a small portion of the complex, it was nevertheless impressive. At one point the catacombs contained the remains of 16 popes until the remains were moved to the Vatican by Pope Paschal in 821 CE. There were 4 floors in the structure, with the deepest at 75 meters. Many Christians were buried in the walls, including many children since the child mortality rate in the earlier centuries was so high. Even though most of the catacombs have yet to be excavated, and even less of what has been excavated is open to the public, we saw enough to know that these catacombs were something special. After the catacombs, Caroline did her student-led presentation on the Tomb of Caecilia Metella, which is one of the best-preserved funeral monuments in Rome.

Alicia, Dylan, Mitchell, Scott

(Our walk to the catacombs was at once scenic and pleasant.)

(Photographs were not permitted inside the catacombs.)

(That did not stop this intrepid photographer from snapping one.)

(The size of Caecilia Metella’s tomb was not a reflection of accomplishments during her lifetime, but rather solely of her family’s wealth and status.)

(The tomb measured twenty-nine meters in diameter; her sarcophagus once rested at the bottom of this immense cylinder; it is now in the Farnese Palace.)

(It was here, on the tomb’s exterior, that we were first introduced to the advent of the Roman architectural motif of the bucranium, or ox skull, and garland.)

(The tomb was converted into the Caetani fortress during the medieval era.)

(As with most ruins in Rome, it is now the home of many a “love bird.”)

William Skinner

Cerveteri, cont’d. (May not work in 64-bit browsers. Also,...

Cerveteri, cont’d.

(May not work in 64-bit browsers. Also, apologies for YouTube’s horrid quality.)

William Skinner

Tarquinia and Cerveteri

Tarquinia and Cerveteri were next, both having formally been cities of the dead (necropoleis) to the Etruscan people. Located about an hour outside of Rome, both of these burial grounds housed different classes of people. Tarquinia held the remains of over 50 underground tombs until it was discovered in 1922 and the remains were moved to other locations. Each tomb held entire families and contained both male and female remains. We were in tombs that could hold upwards of 8 people in one tomb. Cerveteri on the other hand, held more extravagant tombs. Many of these tombs were created in mounds of earth that rose approximately 20-25 feet from the ground. Over 1000 tombs were found just within Cerveteri, complete with Etruscan artifacts in good condition that had been relatively protected from the elements. The structure of these tombs contained a central hallway and several rooms.

Alicia, Dylan, Mitchell, Scott

(Our travels took us first to Tarquinia.)

(With the exception of a few above-ground cremation vessels, we ventured down into the earth to explore this necropolis.)

(These cremation urns predate the below-ground interment sites of a later Etruscan period; the phallic-shaped urns indicated a deceased male, whereas a female’s cremation urn was denoted by a distinct hut-like shape.)

(Each tomb was reached by a stairwell dug into the earth; the tombs were separated by a pane of glass and lit with a press of a switch.)

(The Tomb of the Leopards is perhaps the most iconic of the Tarquinia tombs.)

(The Tomb of Hunting and Fishing is a close second.)

(This was an example of a more expansive tomb for a large family.)

(In between Tarquinia and Cerveteri we paid a visit to the Museo Nazionale in the Palazzo Vitelleschi, which housed many wonderful Etruscan artifacts.)

(Pictures were forbidden, so photos of actual artifacts were a no-go.)

(As we arrived at Cerveteri, we found it to be guarded by feline sentinels.)

(Unlike Tarquinia, these tombs were above ground, and boy were they huge.)

(A veritable city of the dead, it had two-story real estate.)

(The only inhabitants who showed themselves were the cats and this fellow.)

(Not sure what to expect, we delved into the dark hillside entryways.)

(And there we found this, the appropriately named Tomb of the Capitals.)

(Funeral beds ran along the base of the walls of the burial chambers.)

(No proper necropolis would be complete without roads for its dead citizens.)

(The most spectacular tomb was not within a mound, but hidden underground.)

(The Tomb of the Reliefs illustrated beautifully the Etruscans’ everyday life.)

(For many of us, the site proved to be a fantastical exercise in exploration.)

(We ardently climbed over and through the mounds, trying to absorb it all.)

(In Cerveteri, being king of the hill was an accomplishment with its rewards.)

(To survey the ancient site from such a height was phenomenal.)

(Unfortunately, every day must draw to a close. Every exciting, blessed day.)

William Skinner

Aigues Mortes - By: E. Diffee

Aigues Mortes - By: E. Diffee

Aigues Mortes - By: E. Diffee

Aigues Mortes - By: E. Diffee

Aigues Mortes et La Grande Motte

Aigues Mortes et La Grande Motte

"Hakuna Matata"

“Hakuna Matata”

- “There are no worries”. - Swahili saying/The Lion King

The Villa Giulia

To further our education on ancient Rome, our group visited the Villa Giulia museum. The Villa Giulia was originally built as a papal estate by Pope Julius III from 1550-1555, and became a museum in 1889. It is known for its gardens and its structure, as well as for some of the most important artifacts, pottery, and sculptures found in tombs and graves that date back to the Etruscan period. Since the founding of the museum, the remains of Villa Giulia have been reconstructed, and even excluding the Etruscan relics, its mosaics, fountains, and frescoes make it a worthwhile destination.

Alicia, Dylan, Mitchell, Scott

(Regrettably, photos were not allowed inside the Villa Giulia.)

(Alicia strolls through the courtyard.)

William Skinner

The Roman Forum

The first site we visited in Rome was the Roman Forum, which was the heart of ancient Rome. The ruins of the Basilica Aemelia, the Comitium, and the Curia are located here. The Basilica Aemelia dates back to 179 BCE, and was restored several times by the Aemilian family. This Basilica became a monument dedicated to the family for their contribution to its restoration. Its ultimate destruction came at the hands of Alaric The Goth when he sacked the city in 410 CE. The extent of the destruction caused by this event can be seen in the copper coins that have been melted into the remains of the marble flooring of the forum.

Located at each end of the Roman Forum, there are two arches, dedicated to Septimius Severus, which was presented on by attending student Ray “Scott” Smith, and Titus, respectively.  These arches represented the wealth during the Augustan period, and depict the conquering of various enemy nations, the capture of enemy soldiers, and the triumphant return to Rome.

Alicia, Dylan, Mitchell, Scott

(The ruins of the Basilica Aemelia; the Curia Julia is the building to the left.)

(Roman coins melted into the marble floor by the fires of the 410 invasion.)

(The relative location of the first two Curias, Hostilia and Cornelia, from the Republican era; it was also the location of the Comitium and the site of the lapis niger, a black stone that has one of the earliest known Latin inscriptions and may predate the Republic, as it may refer to a rex, or king, of early Rome.)

(The Curia Julia; it was rebuilt in the late 3rd century CE by Diocletian.)

(The Arch of Septimius Severus; it commemorates the Parthian victories at the end of the 2nd century CE by Severus and his sons, Caracalla and Geta; Geta's likeness and inscriptions were removed by Caracalla after Geta was assasinated by Caracalla in a plot to acheive singular reign.)

(Students gather around the Arch of Titus; the arch was built by Domitian in honor of his brother Titus’ victories, namely the sacking of Jerusalem in 70 CE; below, the coffered underside of the arch shows Titus’ apotheosis.)

William Skinner

Montpellier - By: E. Diffee

Montpellier - By: E. Diffee

Montpellier - By: E. Diffee

Montpellier - By: E. Diffee

Music class…

Music class…

First assignment: visit the town. (Niiiice, Erik!)

First assignment: visit the town. (Niiiice, Erik!)

Last Day in Sicily: National Museum and Ferry to Napoli

Our last educational endeavor on the beautiful island of Sicily was a visit to the National Museum. There were tombs, statues, and plenty of pottery to go around. The museum featured metopes from the temples at Selinunte, providing a good look back on our trip to the ancient town.

After the museum, we were all told to go off on our own and do something unique. Some climbed mountains, some ate wonderful gelato, and some got accosted by gypsies. Overall, it was a great afternoon as we prepared to leave our first Italian destination.

It was time to leave. We all made it over to the port in Palermo to catch an overnight ferry to the city of Napoli (Naples), and we would then take a two or so hour bus ride north to Roma (Rome).  

This was one of the rooms we stayed in on the ferry. They had bunk beds! Unfortunately, we were not allowed to use them. The temperature on the ship was on the warm side, to say the least, but we still had fun being on a boat. And of course, we were all excited to be on the way to what would be our next location for a week and a half: Rome.

Caroline, Sam, Aundra, Maria

Here is the team ready for Tanzania! We have since arrived in...

Here is the team ready for Tanzania! We have since arrived in Iringa Town after many days. We look a little weary from travel, but we are all excited to start teaching teachers tomorrow!!! More photo updates coming soon!


We arrived in Montpellier on Saturday…The trip went smoothly and all the students were greeted at the airport by their host families. The adventures begin tomorrow!

Christina Chabrier


An early-morning, one-and-a-half-hour bus ride brought us to the beautiful ancient archeological site of Selinunte, located on the south coast of Sicily. The name of the ancient town comes from a celery-like plant called selinon which they used to treat malaria.

The first temple we viewed was Temple E (background). The temples at the site did not have names because experts are still unsure who the temples were dedicated to, though there has been much speculation. This particular temple (E) is believed to be dedicated to Hera. In the foreground is Temple F, a massive temple which was mostly in ruins.

Pictured is the main road of the acropolis in Selinunte, which could have at one point been home to at least 80,000 total residents, if not more. Around the acropolis were all the temples (A, B, C, E, F, G, and O), though A and B are not visible today. Acropolis is a Greek word literally meaning “city on the extremity,” or highest city.

The acropolis at Selinunte was built on a hill with breathtaking views of the Mediterranean. This was one of those views.

Caroline, Sam, Aundra, Maria

Agrigento and the Valle Dei Templi

Today, we visited the town of Agrigento. It was established in the 6th century BCE by the Greeks, who called it Akragas. We saw this temple on the road on our way to the town, which is located on the southern coast of Sicily, 100 miles north of Tunisia.

The main attraction in Agrigento is the Valle dei Templi, an archeological site which includes remains of seven Doric temples. The temples of Hercules, Concordia, and Hera are remarkably located directly in a row. The temple pictured above is the Temple of Hera, and was built in the 5th century BCE.

Above is the Temple of Concordia, an extremely well-preserved temple built in the 5th century BCE. It has six columns on the front and 13 on each side.

Above is the Temple of Heracles, which was destroyed by an earthquake and only has eight columns standing today. It was built in the 5th century BCE and was originally six columns by 15.

Pictured is the phenomenal Temple of Zeus, the largest Doric temple ever constructed. The image provided does not do it justice; we could have walked around in the remains for a while. It was built to celebrate the city-states’ victory over Carthage. The temple is characterized by Telamons, gargantuan stone statues holding up the temple. There were eight of them in total.

Caroline, Sam, Aundra, Maria

First Day: Mozia and Segesta

Our first full day in Sicily began with an early morning drive along the coast on our way towards the westernmost town in Sicily: Marsala. Before we arrived in Marsala, we stopped in a small town to take a ferry to the private island of Mozia. The island’s history may date back to as early as the 8th century BCE, and was originally a colony of the Phoenicians.

On this small island our first experience was visiting the museum, named Casa Whitaker. Joseph Whitaker, an amateur archeologist and member of a famous wine merchant family, owned the island from 1888 until his death. Upon his death, he gave ownership of the island to his daughter, and she owned the land until 1971. She had no heir and created a foundation to own and maintain the island while honoring her father.

In the first room of the museum, stands the statue of Il Giovane di Marzia. The head and body of the statue are depicted in two different styles. The style of the head is an older style, in opposition to the body, which is depicted in the Classical Greek style and characterized by the body position called contrapposto.

On the island there was a small man-made cothon, a small basin along the coast. There were multiple hypotheses as to its uses including as a possible shipyard for repairing ships and a boat docking area, but no one was really sure.


There were excavation sites throughout the island. The wall shown above was one of many different examples.

After our visit to Mozia, we visited the ancient temple at Segesta. The temple is a Doric-styled building in the six plus one fashion. The six plus one method determines how many columns are on the side of the temple: double the amount of columns on the front and add one. Because the temple at Segesta had six columns on the front, each side had 13.

Caroline, Sam, Aundra, Maria


After three flights, three delays, one lost bag, and 22 hours of traveling, we finally arrived at our destination: Palermo, Sicily. Though most of us were too jetlagged to truly understand where we were, we were able to appreciate our beautiful hotel right away: the Politeama.

Caroline, Sam, Aundra, and Maria

Finding the Internet in Ghana

The amount of content on this blog will depend on the availability of an Internet connection in the areas we will be visiting. We will do our best to post as often as possible, but finding an Internet connection (and computers for that matter) will be a challenge.

Thanks for your patience!


Professor Vincent and her 17 students are enroute to Italy. First stop: Palermo, Sicily. Stay tuned!

About This Trip

WTI-9G Teaching in Tanzania
Professor Nancy Janus

Nancy JanusEducation is the key to development for women and children throughout the world. This course in Tanzania will allow Eckerd students with an interest in teaching to work directly in the training of Tanzanian teachers and secondary students in the use of computer technology. Students will work with teachers in Iringa, Tanzania, helping them to use the Internet for research, activities, illustrations, etc., as they bring their teaching into the 21st century. Students will also work directly with middle and high school students in their classrooms to develop skills of computer literacy. You will work closely with Tanzanians, getting direct and intimate exposure to African culture. You will also have the opportunity of experiencing the beauty of a country filled with the best that nature has to offer in her wilderness game parks. As a break from teaching, we will experience a two-day safari. A high level of physical fitness is required.

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WTI-2G French Language and Culture in the South of France
Professor Christina Chabrier

In this course, we explore the south of France while learning French at an accelerated rate. Montpellier is ideal for combining language study with an experience of French culture and history. Its numerous universities contribute to the vibrancy and youth of the population, while its foundations remind one of the oldness of the city itself. It is also a melting pot of cultures, combining French traditions with influences from other countries. In this program, morning language study precedes afternoons of casual conversation or cultural activities. Weekends provide opportunities for longer group excursions to nearby attractions. This course, completed with a passing grade, may be used as part of the Language Requirement or as credit towards the major or minor. No previous French experience required.

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Abiquiu: Ghost Ranch Conference Center
Leader Elizabeth Shannon

Ghost Ranch is a working ranch located in the uniquely beautiful high desert of northern New Mexico. Students in this course participate in a regional orientation program and enroll in one individual study project.

Courses Include:

  • Black & White Landscape Photography
  • Painting Intensive
  • Introduction to Silversmithing in the Southwest Tradition
  • Southwest Pottery
  • Contemporary Illustration in a Cartooning Style
  • Museum Studies
  • Weaving in the Southwest Tradition
  • Service Learning in the Southwest

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WT-1A Exploring the Arts in London and Paris
Professor Marion Smith

This course will immerse you into the bustling cultural life of London, one of the most exciting and diverse cities in Europe. From your home away from home at 35 Gower Street, an advantageously located, 227-year old townhouse, you will strike out and explore some of the world’s best museums, learn about art, architecture, the history of this great city, and see, first hand, many of the world’s cultural treasures. Evening theatrical, musical and dance performances will round out your visit to this city. A weekend trip to Paris will provide you an opportunity to tour the Louvre, the Musee d'Orsay, visit the Eiffel Tower, hang out at a café, and walk down the nave of Notre Dame. All the while you will learn how to hone your skills in making sense of and evaluating visual culture and share your ideas with your housemates.

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WTI-6G Service Learning in Ghana
Professor Olivier Debure

Olivier DebureHave you ever wanted to immerse yourself in the rich culture of Africa and soak in the sights, sounds and food? Have you ever been curious about whether Africa really fits the image portrayed by Western media? Have you ever wondered why Ghana seems to be one of the few countries in Western Africa where democracy actually works? Have you wanted to travel to Africa by making a difference by engaging yourself in a service project? If yes, this trip is the perfect culmination to Eckerd College’s Africa initiative and your chance to see firsthand Ghana, the Gold Coast.

The program begins with a short stay in Ghana’s capital, Accra, where we will be taught about democracy and power transition, colonization and the slave trade the emergence of the Ashanti Kingdom plus the integration of ECOWAS fair trade and the move towards a single monetary unit called the “ECO”. We will also profile the country’s health and education systems, as well as gender perceptions and the role of adolescent girls in society, all while sampling the unique character of the metropolis. The spectrum of lectures including government officials, university professors, businessmen and activists.

We will then travel eastward to the Volta region where we will contribute our time and effort in improving a community’s infrastructure particularly by constructing latrines for public use. For two weeks student teams of two will live in local home stays in the village of Tafi Atome. This promises to be physically challenging, but also fun under the leadership of a current Eckerd student from Ghana who will introduce us to daily life in his country.

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WTI-4G Discovering Italy: Iron Age to Roman Empire
Professor Heather Vincent

Heather VincentLearn about the history and material culture of Italy from the secrets of the Pre-Roman civilizations to the decadence of the later Empire. Investigate Etruscan “cities of the dead” in Tarquinia and Cerveteri. Visit the island of Sicily to explore the vast and mysterious “Valley of the Temples”. Study the technological innovations of the Roman baths, aqueducts, roads, and sewer systems. Discover Pompeii and Herculaneum, cities frozen in time. Experience the daily life of the Roman elite by walking through Pompeiian villas, taverns, and brothels.