Sunday, September 21, 2008

Carbonia thus far

So I have now been with my family for exactly 2 weeks. YAY. It has been a very good two weeks. I like my family a lot, they are very nice and we all get along really well. They are very helpful to me and they are just so sweet. I love them. So here is a run down of my life so far in Carbonia:

First few days:

My first night here me and the family didn't do much. We had a really yummy dinner and then we basically went to bed because I didn't get there until late so the day was pretty much over by the time that i got there. The next morning papà had taken off of work and he took me and Ele to get my residence permit and to get me a phone because my phone does not work here in Italy because of the SIM card. We came home and me and ele hung out for a little while then papà said that we were going to go to the beach so i got on my bikini and so did Ele and we got ready for the beach. The beach is only about 10 minutes from our house which is really nice. Me and Ele had a lot of fun at the beach. The next few days were really fun. We basically went to the beach every day and did a few errands. We went to the grocery store a lot lol. There grocery stores are exactly like ours are except you bag your own groceries and you have to pay for the bags. After the first few days they told me that we were going to go to Sant. Antioco to there other house for 4 days.

Sant. Antioco:

The first day we were there me and Ele went to the beach again which was a lot of fun and then that first night we were there a few of Ele's friends came over and there parents too. One of Ele's guy friends and Mary plus there parents. I have found that when Italian's go to each others houses it is usually after 930 which i find really strange because well in the states. at least in Monroe. The whole town is usually shut down by 930 so that was a bit of a shock to me. Her friends stayed until about 1100 except Mary who stayed longer then that. She stayed with us the whole weekend. Most of the days we were there we would go to the beach and then we would come home and stay home and just hang out there. it was a lot of fun but it did tend to get a little boring when they would all speak to each other in really fast Italian and I couldn't understand what was going on. Then on the Friday night that we were there mamma went to a party so me, Ele, and Mary went to out to get pizza. It was the first time that I had eaten out in Italy so I was excited. We went in to the restaurant at about 600 and it wasn't even open yet which really surprised me because in the states all the restaurants open at like 5 or at least they do in Wisconsin. Well we went back for dinner around 900 (it took a lot of getting used to get used to eating so late and having such big gaps between my meals) and we ordered our pizza. We all ordered our own pizza which seemed strange to me but i went along with it assuming they would like give us a slice of pizza or something. but no. when the pizza came out we each had our own full pizza! it was like a medium pizza from pizza hut all for one person. They both finished their's but I couldn't finish mine it was just to big. Then we hung out with all of there friends for a couple of hours and then we went home. We left Sant. antioco on Sunday. Sunday was the day before school started a week ago.


The first time that I went to the school was in the first few days that I was here in Carbonia. My mamma, me, Sara (more about her later), Ele, and Claudio all went to the school so that E could meet the principal and my "tutor" the lady to help me at school if I have any problems with classes and such. Then on Monday September 15, 2008 (15/9/2008) I went for my first day of my Italian school. Me and Ele woke up a little early that morning so we were ready a long time before we had to be up. We waited at the house for Sara to arrive so that she could introduce me to my class. I went in the school with my whole family (well Ele and Claudio) and Sara introduced me to my new class that I would have in Italy for a year. It was really small and almost all girls I noticed. There are only about 13 kids in my class including me. The class was really nice to me. I really like them. The first day they included me in everything that they did because for the first 2 days of school we really didn't have any classes so we just sat around in the classroom and talked for most of the day. It was alot of fun because I got to know my class and not have to take classes for the first couple days of school. After the first 2 days of school, when we did absolutely nothing, we started having classes and my class is really nice and helpful. they explain things in English when I don't understand the Italian which is really nice of them. for classes i have: English, Italian, French, Spanish, Latin, Art History, History, Philosophy, Algebra and Religion. I can really only participate in my Spanish and Algebra class. I would be able to do in my English class too but the professor does not speak English. My math class is really easy because I'm a head of my class in math. Like today they learned the quadratic formula soooo I think I can handle my math class. I really dislike my Philosophy teacher because she expects me to participate in that class and take notes and everything when I don't really understand what's going on in the class. sooo I don't know. The kids are all really nice so that's good. On Friday we Didn't have a class the first hour so they invited me to go to breakfast with them which was really nice. it was nice to be included. Plus I had a lot of fun at breakfast.

After school:

I really only have normal days after school on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays because of my Italian lessons (more on that later). on the days when I don't have Italian lessons me and Ele and Claudio usually just come home and play on the computer a little bit and then mamma and papà are home so we hang out with them for a while then we eat dinner and that's really all we do on those days because there's not much to do well not yet anyway. but its nice to just be home with them because we get along so well.

My Chapter in Sardinia:

So far my chapter has been AMAZING. I am in a double chapter of Cagliari-Igleases so for the meetings and such I have to ride the train to Cagliari which is about an hour away. Well for the chapter so far we have had one meeting. At that meeting we got to know rules again which was really boring because that was about the 4th time we had heard them in 1 week. Then they told us that we would be having Italian lessons starting the next week. We also found out that we had a trip to Roma in January if we are all good and we all go to school like we should. so that I'm really excited for because I haven't seen Roma yet and i really really want to see it. I want to see all the famous stuff that Italy is famous for. I want to take a ton of pictures. Just I'm very excited. Well we also found out about our exchange week. Which is in May and we have a week long exchange to another part of Italy when we stay with another family and live in another part of Italy for a week. So I'm really excited for that because I really want to see some sights of Italy before I leave. We also have a 4 day orientation on Sassari (a big city in northern Sardinia) on October 1st - October 4th at a really nice Resort. Then last night we had a welcome part for all of the kids on the south side of Sardinia. so that was really really fun because i got to see kids that I hadn't seen since orientation. They all get to see each other all the time but i don't because i'm the only student in Carbonia. Which i'm glad for because i will have to make alot of Italian friends and not rely on the other exchange students like they can. so the party was a lot of fun I cant wait until October to see all of the students.

Italian Lessons:

Our local chapter set up our Italian lessons for Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 330-630 every week for 5 weeks. Olivia, Nico, Cow-Cow and I all have to ride the train to Cagliari every day for that because the lessons are in Cagliari. Cagliari is an hour away so by the time we get home its really late. I know that the lessons are supposed to help us but for this last week which was my first week of lessons i didn't learn anything in the lessons because i already knew what the lady was teaching us. I know that when they will get harder they will be worth the hour long train ride to cagliari but this week they weren't worth it because i didn't learn anything. but i know in the end they will be because they will help me learn the basics of Italian faster. At least I hope they do or i wasted a lot of time in Cagliari.

Well everyone this is my life thus far in Italy if you would like me to write about something specific just comment on my blog and i will try to write about it. i have also put up more pictures on my sight so have a look.

ciao a tutti

Monday, September 15, 2008


This this post is going to be short and sweet. As blogger does not host pictures very well I have created a websight for my pictures while i'm in Italy. The link is in the LEFT side of the page under "My Italian Photos" or the link is:

Ciao a tutti

Sunday, September 14, 2008

my long journey to Italy

Wow ok its been along time!! well i'm in Carbonia :D and i'm about to tell you the LONG journey it took me to get here from Chicago finally to Carbonia!

Chicago --> NYC

This whole travel journey started on September 3rd in the O'Hare Airport me and Michelle had a 9 am flight from O'hare to New York . Me and my family went down to Chicago the night before because the flight was so early that we would have had to get up at 3 am to arrive in Chicago on time for my flight. Well we got to the airport about 1 hour earlier then we had to be so i got some breakfast and checked in my bag. That was surprisingly easy. it was underweight so i didn't have to pay extra and then we waited for Michelle's family to arrive at the airport. When they got there we stood around and talked for a bit then she checked in and then we waited some more because we got there early just in case. Then came the good bye.. it was well there are no words.. we were all very sad because we all knew that it was the last time we were going to see each other again for a very long time. me and Michelle proceeded through security surprisingly easy. we did not get stopped and neither did our bags so it only took like 5 minutes when we planned for like an hour. Me and Michelle just sat at the gate and waited for them to call our row in the plane. when that moment finally came we were both just soooo excited and a little sad at the same time. The plane ride was very uneventful and very short. we both just read our books the whole time and looked out the windows. When we arrived at the airport we found our way to the baggage claim area by our selves (YAY) and we waited the long wait to see if us and our bags ended up in the same place (a very agonizing wait) well Michelles bags came like first so then me being me over course started to spaz a little because my bags had not come yet lol... then the conveyer stopped and my bag still had not arrived.. but when all of the people moved i saw that someone else had taken my bag off of the conveyer belt thing and set it on the ground (i was jumping up and down in side). Then we had to find the AFS volunteers in Red shirts. so we were trying to secretly go up to every person in a red shirt without being to strange. but the volunteers seemed to know who we were so when they saw us they came up to us. then we were all (6 of us) loaded in to a van an taken to the double tree hotel.

NYC Orientation

I can sum up this orientation in just 3 words "Boring and Pointless" but I will tell you about it any ways. Well I arrived in Nyc at about 1130 and we got to the hotel at about 1200ish. When I got there I checked in the orientation and found out that I did not have a room yet. so i had to set my stuff down in the big conference room and wait until i was assigned a room. We had lunch of bad take out pizza and the actual orientation started at 2 pm. We did a few "get to know you" activities which were by definition very boring and not helpful at all because there was 120 people and there was no way to remember every ones name. Then they handed out the most useful thing of the whole orientation! color coded name tags!! Each country had there own colored dot on there name tag (Italy was Green) and they had your name and where in the USA you were from!! hahaha yes its sad but the most useful thing from orientation was the name tags lol.. We had a bad dinner of chicken and some kind of saladish type thing or what they call a salad. Basically the food was NASTY and we could not wait to get to our countries so we could have good food. Well I finally got a room at about 8 pm so I got to take all of my stuff up to my room and get settled in. the other good thing about the orientation was the BEDS they were SOOOOOOO comfy. Well we were done with orientation for the night so we got to hang out with the other students until 11 which was "Everybody in your own room time" So i hung out with Kayla and Zoe in Zoe's room until 11. We had alot of fun and took alot of really bad pictures. Then I went back to my room and fell right asleep. We had to be up insanely early 700 (ok not that early but it seemed like it) and we had more pointless activities untill 11 pm when we had to check out of our rooms!! then we just sat around and at a really stale lunch until 200pm when the Italy people (which was half of the orientation by the way: 120 total: 65 Italy: 40 Spain : 15 Portugal: 2 Ghana: 3 South Africa) Left for JFK airport

NYC --> Zurich, Switzerland

Well as you can imagine trying to keep track of 65 teenagers in one of the worlds busiest airports is no easy task so our flight was assigned a chaporene. She was a nice lady. So we all had to stand in the check in line with each of us having a years worth of luggage made for a VERY long line. I was one of the lucky ones that called first so I got through the line very quickly and went right through because my bag was underweight :D and went through to the first mini branch of security. Then just waited for everyone to get through the line. Then we went through security which went suprisingly well concedering we had 65 kids. No one got stopped by security so we went through security very quickly then we waited at our gate for about 30 minutes until they called coach seating for our international flight to Zurich, Switzerland. Well the flight was as boring as you can imagine sitting in one place for 8 hours can be. No it really wasn't that bad my seat mate wasn't very talkative so i talked to the people across the isle from me. I didn't sleep at all during the flight because in the USA the flight went from 6 PM - 2 AM so i wasn't tired but we were flying over Europe's night time so when we arrived it was 8 AM on September 5th (so basically i lost a whole nights sleep) But by far the best part of the flight was the yummy Swiss chocolate at the end of the flight!

Zurich, Switzerland --> Roma, Italia

We had a 4 hour layover in the Zurich Airport which was very boring. Basically me and a group of people just walked around for a while then we studied some italian. Oh the first weird thing we saw in switzerland was the bathrooms! they don't have stalls each toilet has its own little room and it has a heavy duty lock (like a bigger lock then the lock on my hotel in NYC) and the flusher is a big button on the wall or a little button on the floor. Basically half of our group passed out on the floor of the airport and slept the whole 4 hours (i was trying to avoid jet lag so i didn't sleep as much as i wanted to) Then we boarded our flight to ROMA which was very short but I don't remember any of it because i passed out and took an hour long nap. I remember take-off and landing and that's it. Well we got to the Airporti di Roma and all 65 got in line to get our passports stamped then we all bombarded customs at the same time so they kinda freaked out and just let us all pass because they didn't want to search 65 kids VERY fat suitcases! We were ushered in to this room with the German kids that were there. Then we were split in to 3 groups and given new name tags that we were to wear till we got to our families. Then we were put on giant buses and lead to a hotel out side of Roma. It was kind of disappointing that we didn't get to see any of Rome, but hopefully I will in January (more on that later).

Rome Orentation

When we finally got to the hotel we were told that we would not be able to get in to our big bags the whole stay only our carry-ones so we had to rearrange a little. Then we were all given rooms with 2 other people. My room mates were very nice. We all got along very well. Well for all of that day (we got there at like 2ish) we just got to mingle with all of the students that were placed in italy (400 in all with the USA being the biggest group) All of the kids were very nice. Ive decided that AFS kids or well exchange kids in general are the nicests/easiest to get along with/most accepting kids that there are. It was soo fun finding other kids that are placed close to me. Then we had our first meal Italian style and let me tell you it made me never want to go back to the usa. at oru NYC orientation we had bad take out and stale sandwichs for lunch /dinner every night and in Rome we had 3 course meals and fancy place settings for all 400 kids! and let me tell you the pasta was AMAZING!! The only thing that I didn't like about the meal was that they served bubbly water with the meal and i've decided that i detest bubbly water! After dinner more kids were arriving but i couldn't stay up any longer so i went to my room and crashed. The next morning we had breakfast (mom you know you said i cant have cake for breakfast well HA in italy cake is breakfast!!) then we had our orientation day where about 30 of us sat in a room all day with volunteers and talked about our "fears and expectations" sooo yeah as you can imagine it wasn't very fun. and the room was really hot. It was in a school ... i think... i wasn't totally sure lol. at about 5 o'clock we got out of the orientation and we were told we had till 8 o'clock to do what ever we wanted. most of the kids slept but i was trying to get a normal sleep schedule so i didn't sleep. then we had dinner which was amazing yet again and then we had our official "welcoming ceremony" It was fun but very hot. there were over 500 people in one tent. The president of AFS in Italy welcomed us and there were notes read from ambassadors from our countries. USA sent one which was nice yet very long. Then we went to bed. The next day was filled with good-byes as everyone left for there perspective host families at different times.

Roma --> Cagliari

I left for the airport at 130. We got all checked in and got on the plane from Roma --> Cagliari with about 30 other kids. That plane ride was filled with nerves as we all knew we were about to meet our host families for the very first time. We all picked up our suitcases from the flight (mine was last again) and we all headed as a group to meet the families. I was standing in frount of the group for a second and then my family found me (thank god because i didn't know what they looked like) and we all stood there hugging for a minute and we tried to talk a little bit then i had to go talk to the presidents of the Igleseas-Cagliari (they work together) chapters for about 5 minutes. Then we left the airport with our families.

Cagliari --> Carbonia

I had about an hour drive from Cagliari to Carbonia, my city, and for the most part we tried to speak in Italian but Claudio and Eleonora (Ele) translated for me alot so that i could talk English for a while cause i was really tired and my brain wasn't working very well. The ride was very interesting. My family was very sweet the whole way. Then we finally got to Carbonia and they showed me around the house.

And that was my journey from September 3rd to September 7th. Ok well this post is long enough I will tell you about my adventures in Carbonia thus far in another post

Ciao a tutti