Whirlwind

DSCF2911DSCN0092Ciao tutti! Non preoccuparvi, sono viva! Mi dispiace che non ho scritto per qualche settimane ma forse è una bella cosa perche vuol dire che sto facendo molte cose e sto non restando a casa tutto giorno, vero? Io ho tante cose di scrivere, non ho niente di idea dove a iniziare! Ma, provo il mio migliore a dare una bella descrizione della mia bellissima vita qui in Italia. 🙂

Hey everyone! Don’t worry, I’m alive! I’m sorry I have not written for a few weeks but hey, maybe it’s a good thing because it means I’m doing a lot of things and I’m not staying at home all day, right? I have so many things to write, I have no idea where to start, but I’ll try my best to give a good description of my beautiful life here in Italy. 🙂

Alright. So. The last time I wrote I had just reached my two-month anniversary here and now I am quickly approaching the three-month mark, which is slightly frightening. I just cannot believe everything I have done, seen, and learned already. I am so appreciative for everything I have been given so far and for everything I will experience in the coming months. Maybe I’ve said this before and maybe it’s cheesy but exchange is the best thing that ever happened to me. Sometimes I just shake my head and think, “Is this really my life?” and I just feel so grateful and thankful.

So the day after I wrote my class went to Padova! Padova (Padua) is close to Venice and is known for its’ artistic history. We visited two famous churches and we all had to present little blurbs about what we were seeing so I presented in English which ended up being a hit! My highlight, however, was definitely seeing  one of the world’s most famous chapels, la Cappella degli Scrovegni. Walking into a place I’ve seen in movies (and didn’t even know was in Padua), full of so much history, just completely took my breath away. It’s a moment I hope I’ll remember forever.

That weekend we had an art show in a nearby town in which my sculpting class presented tapestries we had made for little kids in a gallery-setting. It was a very cool experience! The next week I met my host sister in Milan one night after my lesson and we waited in an absolutely insane crowd of screaming girls for hours until finally we were let in and got to see Mika! If you don’t recognize that name, maybe the song “Grace Kelly” rings a bell? He’s a judge on X Factor here even though he’s not Italian and therefore he’s super famous. He’s super tall too! That Friday there was a huge student protest so I didn’t end up going to school and had a nice day together with my host mom and sister. The next weekend I met up with the other students in Milan for a day on the town and it was really nice to get everybody together for the day. This past Saturday, after school, I went to Milan with my host mom and sister to another Mika meet-and-greet and after, did some shopping- it was a lovely day, although Italy is getting a bit cold now! Sunday our district took us to Cremona for  the Festa Del Torrone, which is a very famous festival in Italy. Torrone is Italian for nughet, which is basically almonds, honey, and other things which stick it all together. I think I liked it but it was a bit of an overload! It was really nice to be able to explore the city though. Cremona is a beautiful place. We ate lunch in a beautiful Palazzo which just shows how much culture is dripping from every wall of this country! Then on Tuesday (yesterday) a good friend of mine came to visit so we gave her and some other friends a tour of Milan. It was definitely a full day but nonetheless a great one!

So obviously it’s been a very full few weeks and I hope I can post more often but I doubt it. This weekend is full of plans, as is the next, and the next, and the next, and the next, and then it’s January! WHERE IS THE TIME GOING. Sometimes I just need to stop and take a breath. So, today’s message comes from the wise Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Wishing everyone well, wherever you are!

Ciao

L

TWO MONTHS

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Hello everyone, please excuse me if I make hideous typing mistakes as I am at home sick and completely exhausted and therefore I can’t even spell my name right, but I’m going to try my best!

So the past two weeks or so have been fuuuuuull of exciting things!! Went to my Italian lessons as usual, which I really enjoy, and I feel are definitely helping me improve! Of course there’s the added perk of going to Milan twice a week, but that’s just an added plus! Two Fridays ago I went to the mall with my host family because they were helping me find a winter coat and I finally did, yay! We also had some Japanese food for lunch, which by the way is absolutely delicious in Italy! They just do everything better here I guess ;). On Saturday I got to skip school and sleep in, and then headed to Milan! There I met with the other exchange students in my Rotary district and we went on a guided tour of the Duomo. We were also given the amazing opportunity of visiting the University library, which barely anyone is allowed into. There were books as old as 700AD, which absolutely baffled me. The amount of history here never ceases to shock me, and the opportunities we are given as exchange students are so unique and fantastic. We then proceed to go get lunch, where I had my first burger in two months and it was scrumptious! We also went to a theatre and saw an orchestral performance of the Jungle Book. Like most Saturday and Friday nights, we the evening consisted of hanging out with friends and watching movies. Great but tiring day!

The next day was my host sister’s birthday. so my host mom made her a beautiful pan-di-spagna cake covered with fruit and icing. We also had delicious pancakes for breakfast! We were going to go out for pizza but unfortunately couldn’t get a tables, so we hung out and had a little family party together that night. The next day we tried to go a movie for her but the theatre was closed, so we went on Tuesday. On Wednesday I was about a half an hour late for my lesson because the trains here are crazy, but I got there so that’s good! Then, our friends came over and we watched the Host. It was weird to see it for the first time in Italian, but I liked it nonetheless! Gotta say though, I also read the book here (in large print so it was about 1300 pages!) and fell in love with it, so nothing could have beat that for me.

The next day was Halloween! They don’t really celebrate it here, so I hope you all enjoyed yours! I did see a few pumpkins and trick-or-treaters so that was nice. However, the next two days are holidays and we didn’t have school so on Halloween (Thursday) we drove up to our house in the mountains. Our house is in Antagnod, which is in the Aosta valley. It is absolutely stunning! The next day we went for a four-hour hike (mom you would have loved it) and really got to see how gorgeous the valley is! The Alps (Monte Rosa) are at one end at at the other, sprawling hills. It was magical! The next day my host dad came up to meet us and along with some family friends, we went about an hour to the town of Aosta. It is a really medieval town with tons of beautiful streets and ruins of an ancient Roman Theatre, which were very cool to see! We also just happened to go on the day of a giant chocolate festival, so needless to say, I was in heaven. The next day we had a big lunch with our friends because it was the son’s birthday, which was of course delicious! We ate gnocchi, which is a very Italian dish consisting of little balls of flour, usually in a tomato sauce. At this time of year it is very popular to eat it with pumpkin, but I haven’t tried that yet! We then packed our bags and headed home. That was a very condensed version of what we did, but nevertheless it was an amazing weekend I know I’ll never forget.

Today I left school early and didn’t go to my lesson because I am feeling quite sick but hopefully I feel better by tomorrow because my class is going to Padua! I am really excited to go there for the day and experience the architecture and the city. It’ll be a great day. Also, it will be my TWO MONTH anniversary in Italy! It is almost impossible to believe I’ve been here for two months, but they have definitely some of the best times of my life. Can’t wait for what awaits me.

Until next time, ciao!

L