Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy Birthday Laura!

     Last Friday we had our "group councelling" meeting (hanging out in the park, eating, shopping) and ended a little earlier than usual. Laurance (from Quebec) and I didn't quite feel like going home yet though and decided to join her host brother and his friend at the movies in a nearby town. We found out there was no room in the car for us, so jumped on a bus and headed to the ciniplex. The thing is, when the bus went up to that town, it took a different rought than what we were used to and also didn't pass directly by the ciniplex, so by the time we had asked the bus driver where it was, we had already past it long ago, so we got out and started walking. All I can say it that it's a good thing we're used to walking a lot now because we were out there for a long time, at least an hour (partly because we got a little lost, oops!). In the end I'm almost glad that happened though because even though we didn't see the movie, this was a lot more memorable and was an adventure!! When we reached the main road that takes us there and could finally see those golden arches (McDonalds sign) from right next to the movies, we started yelling Gooooaaalllll!! I even took a picture to remember xD
Can you see the tiny McDonals sign way
     I would also have gone to a Halloween party with Laurance the night after, but my host family and I spent the weekend at Nonno's house in beautiful Minori! Even though it was pouring rain almost the whole time, it's still one of the prettiest places I've seen here. Its just such a cute little village with old buildings and little tunnels going between and through them with a big beach at the front of it all. On a walk, Laura took me to see one of the gems in Minori, the Villa Romana. Its this ancient Roman villa that has been excavated like 3 times because of floods and cave-ins and is now is on display for the public. When we signed the visitors book I wasn't sure weather to put California or Avellino as my home.. I put Avellino and smiled.
Villa Romana and some buildings in
Minori. Btw not my picture :P its from

     And as the title of this post sais, it was Laura's birthday yesterday! We started the morning with me jumping on Laura, who was still in bed, and telling her happy birthday. xD Later in the day we got to sit in the freeeezing appartment stairwell because we accidentally got locked out and had to wait for her mom for half an hour. And ending the day with a party for her with 10 or so of her friends. We all put in money and got her a new phone that she's been dying for. Overall, I think it's been a pretty exciting last couple of days.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

There's Gunna Be Some Changes Around Here!

     Well hello there! So I'm going to try making shorter more frequent posts instead of procrastinating and bunching up all this information into giant, boring piles of words. But unfortunately that's exactly what I did.. again, so we have write a huge story today. Bare with me haha. Also I'm going to try posting pictures with these as well so those of you who are not friends with me on facebook can see what I'm talking about too. And we're going to be going a little our of order today, ok? ok!
     Allora, today at school we all got to leave after the 1st hour because there was an assembly that only people who want to go, go. They talk about problems with the school and I guess they have one like every month or so, so that's cool. Well Laura, her friend Lucia, her big sister, and I went to Napoli, which I was pretty excited about because everybody in Avellino it seems just loves it there. And they're right to, it's a beautiful city! but even still, the day turned out to be... less than expected. Not because of the city, but because I felt alone in it. The trip started just as I would have thought, as I'm used to and totally fine with, Laura and Lucia talking in Italian and me, next to them listening and seeing what I can understand. Va benne. Fine. That helps me learn, no problem. The thing is, after about an hour of listening to a conversation you can only understand about half of, you start to lose interest and just find day dreaming to be the more interesting option. With that, when you start to fall behind, it doesn't make much a difference, day dreaming right next to them, or a bit behind. The sister of Lucia (both of them are very nice btw) saw I wasn't really having a great time came over and taught me some more Italian (thank you!). Still, not my ideal day, but I did love getting to see the beautiful city, the ancient castle, and a building (i forget what its called) that is almost identical to its twin right next to the duomo in Milano. I know this is just part of the exchange and I'm sure that it will get better in time when I start being able to speak more of the language.
The Castle in Napoli
     One of the bad things about getting to day dream so much when you are homesick is that home is pretty much the only thing you think about. I kind of just miss having parents that are my parents. Like I definitely feel like Laura is my sister, but my host mom (as nice as she is) feels like the mom of a friend instead. I don't even call her mom like most of the other exchange students call their host parents. Plus, when she introduces me to people, she introduces me as "a friend of her daughter". That just gets me every time. Also all my life I have grown up with dogs around, just always had a dog or two, and the past few years, with my moms dog sitting business, had more than just a couple around the house. But here...niente. I mean, yeah, they have a cat, but he's like bi-polar friendly and he's just not all that cuddly or playful. So most of the days after school(which ends at 1 here don't forget) I have nothing to do! Some nights we do go out, but even then not till 8. Let me paint a picture, it's like 3 o'clock, Laura's sleeping and her mom is out somewhere. Been home for a few hours now, already eaten lunch, checked facebook and emails, what to do now?.. Oh I know! I could play fetch with.... noo. Or I could take for a walk the d-... darn! I guess there'll be something funny on youtube then. :/  (You'd think with all this spare time I'd blog more often, huh? ;) )
     I know I said that the other exchange girls and I would be going to Sorento in the last post but we ended up just going to school instead because we found out the morning of that they cancel the trains that go there when it rains...and it rained. Instead, last Saturday we went to the market in Avellino that's only open on Saturdays. It was great and a lot of fun, made that way mostly because of the awesome friends that were there, love you guys! I also brought back a little present for my host mom, some gorgeous bright yellow flowers and some white lilies, she loves them so that made me really happy.
     So sorry that I've been complaining a lot this post and thanks for putting up with my little vent. Lets end this post on a happy note. :) One of the most amazing, beautiful places in the world that I am absolutely in love with and am so happy we got to drive by is the Almafitan Coast. Because the nonno lives in Minori, the host mom and I drove all along there one day last week to pick him up and hes been staying here since then because it was his birthday yesterday. It was also great to go with someone (host mom) that knows the area so she was able to point out cool things that I might have missed otherwise.
Ok, so not Minori, but it's Salerno. :P Beautiful place!
     Ok, one last thing before I close this, something my sister (real sister) might enjoy hearing. So at one of the riding lessons they put me on this other horse Sara, because another girl was already riding Blu, the horse I usually ride. Now Sara is fine for beginners because shes very old and slow, but for me, not so much. For me, she walks half the track, then the other half when I finally get her to trot, she tries to gallop. So frustrating, but after that I decided to call her instead Ponita because the whole lesson in my head I kept saying, "Ponita is the silliest pony" xD
     Hope you enjoyed reading :) I'll try to post again soon. Ciao!
Laura, not so happily riding Ponita, the silliest pony.

Friday, October 12, 2012


     Today we had our first strike of the year! (apparently these happen a lot). Here is is called a "manifestazione" and what happens is that students protest for their rights and problems they want fixed and they do this by everyone not going to school. Well, almost everyone. Laura and I still had to go because I had missed school yesterday getting my Permisso de Sogiorno from the police station and Laura had missed 10 days just a little bit ago because of a fever. The teachers still go to school but just sit around and talk to each other, and the few students that do go do the same and watch movies. This manifestazione, they were protesting that students get in trouble a lot or miss school because the buses are late. I guess it's ok that i went today though, because tomorrow I am going to Sorento (a town in the Almafitan Coast that I heard is lovely) with some of the other girls here on exchange.
      All the girls here on exchange try to meet up once a week after school and just shop, eat lunch, and just hang out. There are a few girls from Australia, one from New Zealand, one from Germany, a few from Taiwan, and some more that I don't remember where they're from, but all of them are very nice and a lot of fun to be with. Two of the girls from Australia and the one from New Zealand though have been here almost a year already though so it will be sad to see them leave in about a month.
     So a few weeks ago I went to the school where my host mom teaches English at because her students all wanted to meet me. It was really funny seeing how their questions for me changed as I met each class from different grades. The second graders were very curious to know things like my favourite color and what animals I like, while the fifth graders were more interested in knowing if i had a boyfriend and what I do when I go out with friends on the weekends. One of the nice students from a lower grade brought me a grammar book for students in second grade and I have just finished reading it a few days ago. It was very helpful actually because it had a lot of short stories written in very simple words and in the back, a few exercises to help with grammar.
Snow was trying to help me learn Italian.
     Another thing I have done so far while I have been here is started horseback riding, and at the last lesson I got to go over a jump for the first time with an instructor! I love that I get to do this because a lot of the time here during the week, you sit home or eat, or at most just walk around but not much exercise. After a few lessons though we had to get our own helmets and the only store for that is in Salerno. So one night last week at almost 8:30 my host mom just said, "ok do you guys want to go to Salerno now?" and really I was surprised because we had school the next morning, even though I shouldn't have been because we always get out late here, everyone does. Unfortunately by the time we got there and had finished walking around, the store was closed, but I'm still happy we went because we got to walk through the old part of the city which is just beautiful, and also the coast! Bellissima! One thing I found out while there, all fountains here are safe to drink from, even the ones that we use only for decoration. I already knew they had certain fountains all over where people come to drink, fill up bottles for later, wash dishes and clothes, but really all of them here are for that.
     I guess that's the rest of it for now, sorry it took me so long to make this blog post. If there's anything you guys want to hear more about or have any questions for me you can leave a comment and I'll be sure to answer it in the next post. :)