Nunnery Meets Sorority

ACLE students snuggle up to a couple resident nuns

We have been in Salerno, Italy for four days. The scenery is mixed: by day we work at a nunnery, and by night we play in a sorority.

Neither are literal terms, to be fair. We are working at a Catholic school that is inhabited and partially run by nuns, and we are doing it as part of the nonreligious ACLE organization. As it turns out, the kids don’t attend Mass every morning, grace is not said before meals and we didn’t have to take the butt-shaking out of any of our camp songs. (“Hip hop English rocks, let me see your bottom drop” remains on the docket…don’t fret.)
The nuns are kind and quiet. They don’t speak English, although one of them summoned up a “’Bye” at the end of Day Two. They are a presence on the premises but they don’t participate in ACLE activities. From my limited observations, they spend the day reading and keep the bathroom impeccably clean. I know now that if I leave a pack of tic-tacs in the bathroom, those mints will be removed bomb-squad style by the time I return two minutes later. Lesson: Do not litter a nun’s bathroom.

As for the sorority life, there was no hazing process, but we have been initiated into a disheveled house of young adult beer drinkers, including 10 tutors, a “friend of the family,“ and a cameraman. Our cabinet features canned goods and our bathroom features Southern Italian mud and clogged drains. It is a direct departure from our last week at the B&B-style cottage in Lanuvio.

Our beautiful kitchen...actually looks like a fraternity

Sarah, Bogden and I are loving it. We would not trade our new drinking buddies and the freedom of apartment life for a real bed (read: not a cot) or a piece of steak. Well…I’ll have to think about the steak. Depends what kind of steak.

We are surviving just fine.


About sistersbailey

We are Perrin and Sarah Bailey, collectively known as “The Sisters Bailey”. The moniker was born out of a crazy weekend at the 2009 New Orleans Jazz Fest and it was the first time we had ever been referred to as one unit. We grew up in Alexandria, VA together and then separated for college - Perrin to The University of Pennsylvania and Sarah to Northwestern University – and somehow landed together in New York after graduation. It was in the midst of the hustle of Manhattan that we became friends for the first time in years. Somehow we landed jobs in the same industry - Sarah worked in marketing at HBO and Perrin managed creative digital promotions for her media agency’s main client, Disney - just three blocks from one another. One day we decided to leave our jobs, sell our belongings and travel abroad with a backpack and a collective savings of $10K. The stories of our continuing adventures and those of other fearless travelers are here to inspire you.
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