Saturday, April 13, 2013

Honor Bound, and How I Apply That to My Own Foreign Adventures

I have a confession: I'm a tiny bit obsessed with the whole Amanda Knox thing.  The case just sticks in my head. 

(I'm sorry if my conviction of their innocence bothers you.  This website, while graphic, is extremely enlightening.)

Okay, so I'm not obsessed enough to actually purchase either her or Sollecito's book, but I did just borrow his book from the library and I have hers on hold.  I also read The Fatal Gift of Beauty by Nina Burleigh, about the case. 

Sollecito's book was well-written enough that it only took me four days to finish. (I have four kids and homeschool, remember, and this has been a hard week because a)Rhoda had a UTI w/fevers over 104 for four days, b)Liesl had some crazy allergic reaction the day she and Mira picked almost 1000 dandelions for money, and she had swollen eyes for three days; c)I have four kids and my husband's in the Philippines-- this three weeks has almost been more difficult than his deployment.)  I enjoyed the book, though I don't doubt his view of his own situation is understandably a little rosier than say the British or Perugian view that he and Amanda are guilty.

I came away from both of these books with these lessons:
  1. Don't do drugs. The biggest reason people still think he and Amanda are guilty is because they couldn't remember things clearly at first because they'd just been smoking hash or pot.  Amanda was the first at the crime scene, but she didn't recognize it as a crime scene because her brain was fuzzy. *facepalm*
  2. Don't assume your innocence is apparent.  To some people your innocence seems more like guilt. 
  3. Lawyer up.  I never realized how important getting a lawyer first thing when you're involved or associated with a crime.  Amanda and Raffaele thought their innocence would protect them, but they really, really needed someone to tell them to sit up and shut up.  (Update: I just watched Amanda's interview with Diane Sawyer, and she still needs a lawyer to tell her to shut up.  Even I was doubting her innocence, and I really believe the evidence proclaims her innocent!)
  4. Some people will hate you no matter what you do.
  5. Thanks to CSI, I know more about forensic investigation than Raffaele claims the Perugian police know.
  6. The American justice system is pretty great. 
I remember my visit to Switzerland nigh a dozen years ago.  I remember deciding before I went that I would keep the Word of Wisdom.  When I was a junior in high school, Aline lived with my mom and me as a foreign exchange student.  I call her my Swiss Sister.  While planning my trip to visit her after my graduation, we were on the phone, and she mentioned that she wanted me to try wine.  The idea briefly excited me before a voice in my head recited a particular line from my patriarchal blessing, one that encouraged me to keep the Word of Wisdom.  It came so strongly that I knew what I had to do, and I let her know it.  You might say I was honor bound.  *snarf*

My three weeks there were delightful, but they weren't without obstacles.  I felt rude many times, when I refused what someone offered me. And many nights, I was bored to death as I waited for Al's parents to finish the bottle of wine they were sharing with some friends.  One night, a particularly fun one, we were at a local . . . bar, I guess?  It was a small little place near her home where kids gathered, with a small arcade, music, and a cafe.  The cutest boy I met my entire trip was there, and he conspired with the bar tender to buy me a "lemonade".  What that cute boy didn't know what that I have awesome powers of observation, and I recognized it for what it was: Smirnoff Ice.  This boy knew I didn't want to drink or smoke, and he was teasing me. I saw through it plain and clear, and for his treachery, I kicked him in the shin.  Yeah, it was a little immature, but it got my point across in a way I don't think he'd ever experienced.  He took it well, but he never flirted with me again.  Al drank the "lemonade" for me, and I drank a virgin Diablo.

I wonder what my experience in Switzerland would have been like had I not decided to heed the counsel to keep the Word of Wisdom?  Would I have gotten into trouble, like Amanda and Raffaele?  Probably not, especially since Switzerland is not Italy.  But no doubt, God protected me then, and he  protects and preserves me still as I have kept the Word of Wisdom.


  1. Very proud of you. Mine stresses that I and my family follow the WOW as well and I'm always so grateful that I have and will continue to do so. I have seen the unhappiness that comes from drugs and alcohol...even when it isn't abused. No matter it's form, it is dangerous.

  2. p.s. have i ever told you that my mother and i got lost hiking in the alps? scary.