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Date: 6/28/99

        The Star Hotel Ritz is a very modern and fancy hotel with all the latest > amenities. Even the phone plugs are "American-style." So why after 4 hours of trying was I never able to get the computer to sense a dial tone to > connect to AOL. We tried everything (including several other rooms and > direct line out of hotel) all to no avail and finally gave up. It wasn't my > setup up because when I tried it in the hotel across the street, it dialed perfectly (except AOL line was always busy.) So I put it away until the day we left.
The course went perfectly. Dimitrii did 5 beautiful PRL lens insertions with surgeons in the OR and watching on video wide screen. Lunch and lectures went great. That evening we had the gala dinner at the fancy ristorante in the La Scala Opera House building. It was a very nice party. On Sabato (Sat), the surgeons were able to examine both the eyes operated on the day before and also 25 eyes operated from 1 to 7 years ago. They also practiced implanting PRL lenses in the wet lab set up in the next room. After they filled out the course evaluation sheets, we gave each one a certificate of attendance and a video tape of the surgeries. By 1 PM Dimitrii and I were exhausted, relieved and very satisfied.
Sunday is the Baptismo of Dimitrii's 5 yo daughter, Anastasia in Arese. He and Tania grew up in Communist USSR and have no religion but decided it was best for Anastasia to become a Roman Catholic. In Seattle they had asked me if I would godfather (padrino). Dimitrii's colleague, Antonio, decided to meet me after Mass outside the Milan Duomo at 1:00. The Duomo is spectacular, the 3rd largest after Rome and Seville and begun in 1585. He had our friend Dr. Alex Hatsis (from NYC) with him. The walk from the Duoma to the hotel was less than 15 min but Antonio insisted that he drive us there. Anyone remember Mr. Toad's wild ride? Antonio had no idea how to get there, kept stopping to ask directions from anyone he could and we got lost for almost an hour. I finally recognized the Piazza Republica because I had run through it. I directed him finally to the hotel. We then get Marcia and all make a mad dash to Arese (half hour away). Because of Antonio, the entire church full of people (5 kids being baptized) are waiting for us (Russians & Americans).
The baptism went very nicely and while I am signing the book at the altar, the priest asks Dimitrii and I about surgery to get rid of his glasses. The party at their house that afternoon was a lot of fun and met many interesting people. Tomorrow we head to Lago di Como to relax. Dima wanted to take us to the famous Villa d'Este, but they raised their prices to $1000/night for smallest room. We decided to try someplace else.
Ken & Marcia

KJH
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Kenneth J. Hoffer, MD

KHofferMD@AOL.com            RETURN TO INDEX

Milano, Italia

Sent 6-28-99

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