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Pepperdine Women's Basketball Player Jessica Ross Talks About Her Summer in Italy

June 19, 2007

Q: Give us a brief rundown of your travels so far.

A: Well... I've been to several different countries, and have seen a lot of Italy . I've traveled to Switzerland, Austria, Greece, and Germany . In Greece our group went on a three day cruise, which was amazing. I've been river rafting in freezing Swiss glacier water, toured Dachau, seen the ruins of ancient  Greece and Rome, swam in the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas, visited the locations of "The Sound of Music" movie, rode donkeys up to a city, rock jumped in Capri, hiked all over Italy, and have viewed all the art of the Renaissance that is here in Firenze.

 

Q:  What are your living conditions like?

A: We live in a villa in Firenze ( Florence ), that is really centrally located and close to many beautiful places in the city. It is a four story building, with a kitchen (and cook), game room, huge living room, library, computer lab, two courtyards, classrooms, and our rooms. It's a beautiful villa that after one week felt like home.  Last week we had a huge hide and seek game in our four level villa, and the winners were treated to dinner. I hid in Dr. Benton's flat in a cupboard above his closet for 45 minutes, and I won a steak dinner!

 

Q:  What are the classes like?

A: Classes are difficult, but great because we have Italian professors that really share the culture with us. Its awesome because a lot of what we're learning about- renaissance artwork and history- is here in the city.

 

Q:  What is the most unexpected part of your experience?

A: I'd have to say the Greek cruise. The original field trip was planned for Turkey, but because of the political situation in that country our director and Dr. Benton arranged a 4 day cruise of Greece instead. We had fun dinners, got to sunbathe on the deck of our boat, swim, and see all of Greece including the Parthenon and Acropolis, and the island where Paul wrote the book of Revelation.

 

Q:  What is the craziest thing that has happened?

A: We went to this beach that you could only reach by swimming to it.  Everyone got stung by jelly fish but three people. It was great.

 

Q:  What is your least favorite Italian word?

A: Hmmm..... maybe "schoparo". It means "strike" in Italian. Which means the trains aren't running, which means you'll need to re-plan the weekend you just spent hours organizing. 

 

Q:  What is the Italian word/phrase you like the most?

A: "No lo so" meaning "I don't know".

 

Q:  What is the most amazing thing you have seen?

A: Santorini, Greece . It is this beautiful city built on the cliffs where all the buildings are white and the roofs are blue. You have to take a donkey up to the city, where you get an incredible view of a volcano, the Aegean Sea, and the other islands. 

 

Q: What thing do you miss most about Malibu ?

A: My teammates, being able to drive my truck, and U.S. money.

 

Q: What food do you miss most?

A: Chipotle. Hands down.

 

Q: What Italian food do you like the most?

A: I love all of it!!! Our cook here at the villa is great, I've eaten pasta that I didn't even know existed. In Florence we ate at this restaurant that served a steak with blueberry sauce, and it was really good.

 

Q: If you grew up in Italy what would your name be?

A: Probably Rosella. That's my Italian teacher and I love her so I'd name myself after her.

 

Q: What is the crazy Italian fashion trend that with soon be hitting the states?

A: Hmmm... they have this mullet looking hair cut. I could see Taylor coming home with it actually. And men here wear capris.

 

Q: Where else in the world do you want to travel next?

A: Gilroy, California . I miss my brother.