Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Settimana di scambio: Cagliari

I already had my exchange week in Trento, Italy but as of 2 weeks ago there were still plenty of kids that had not yet had there exchange week. This is because they were going to have there exchange week in Cagliari. Cagliari has one of the latest exchange weeks of all of Italy because in that time period of the year (April 24th through May 2nd) there are lots of holidays in Cagliari and there is one of the biggest holidays of the year in Cagliari on May 1st. AFS organizes the week exchange this way so that the kids get to see some of Cagliari when there are lots of people here and when its in "party mode" or "festival mode" which is much more interesting then it is normally and plus there is more things to do in Cagliari during these holidays.

The first thing that was on the schedule to do with the new exchange kids was to go to the Mines/Caves of Iglesias. well the night before was the birthday party of Mateo (the Colombian boy= and almost all of the kids in my local chapter had spent the night at his house so we all arrived to the first mine together and still half asleep and not wanting to go see a mine that we had already seen. we all got there before all of the new kids so we wanted for them (because they were coming from Cagliari) all I was thinking was wow were going to make a great first impression on them: half asleep, unshowered , not well put together, and really not wanting to be here at all. maybe a party the night before something big wasn’t a good idea.. but it was fun!

When they finally got there they all (about 20 of them) piled off the bus. There were about 3 boys and the rest were girls. They were all Germans!!! There were like 10 Germans in the group. there were a few kids that I recognized from Rome and 2 that I recognized from Trento but most of the others ones I did not know because they were semester kids or I just didn’t meet them in Rome or I didn’t remember them from Rome. We all introduced our selves to some people but not everyone but in reality we pretty much stuck to our groups of Cagliari-Iglesias kids and “settimana di scambio" kids. Except of maybe 1 or 2 kids who went back and forth.

But it was the first day so I guess you can’t really expect much more then that. We were split in to two groups to go into the mines which, I didn’t know about for the new kids, for us from Cagliari was really boring because we had already seen this mine and we were all really tired. After the mine (we were all really hungry because no one bothered to tell us Cagliari kids that we needed a sack lunch) we all went to the beach of Iglesias so that we could eat. The weather was really crappy so no one wanted to swim but we did roll up our pants and put our feet into the water. It was cold. We all started eating (Andrea brought us food) and going into the water was fun but we got all sandy and wet which wasn’t very fun. Then we all had to go in cars up to the next cave we were going to. It was even more boring then the first one but this time I was in a fun group of new kids. A girl named Vivi from Paraguay, Rosie from Peru, Marie from Belgium, and Marte from Norway, they were all really fun!!

Well after the mine we were finally allowed to go home! a volunteer from a town close to mine took me home and I showered and went right to sleep because I knew that even though it was vacation from school I needed to get up and go to the train so I could go to Cagliari and do the tour of Cagliari with the new kids and Andrea the next day. I woke up to find out that the weather was going to suck that day too... I was just hoping that the rain would hold off until the end of the day so that we didn’t have to do the tour of Cagliari in the rain because that would suck A LOT!!! Well I got on to the train and went to Cagliari and as soon as I got there, I'm talking about the minute I stepped off the train it started to rain. I mean it didn’t start raining a little bit it started pouring down rain. I’m like OMG you have to be kidding me. Well I met up with Sofi, Marga, and Ami and we started walking to the meeting point. It was just our luck that the meeting point for the day was a good 20-30 minute walk from the train station.
The next good thing is we weren't totally 100% sure where we were going so we had to keep asking people. The people were helpful and we did eventually arrive. But we arrived soaking wet because between the 4 of us there were only 2 umbrellas so we were soaked from head to toe with water by the time that we got there.

All of the new kids were dry and happy because they had arrived in a car but we were already for the day to be over. Well we started the tour by going to the place in Cagliari where the Americans bombed it during WWII. There are still the markings of the bombs because they preserved some of the broken down apartment buildings. Of course me being the only American in the group they all looked at me this point and I just smiled… I had nothing to do with it I wasn’t even born yet… I mean my PARENTS weren’t even born yet so really people its not my fault we then went to see this REALLY beautiful church that is in Cagliari. Its one of the oldest roman churches that is in Cagliari. I am in love with that church. It took them 400 years to build it when they did build it. I love it a lot! Then when we left the church... yup it started raining AGAIN so we decided to go in to the bar at the top of the bastione. It was really nice but the bar was really touristy so that wasn’t that nice but still I liked the bar it was coolly decorated. When it stopped raining we went out side of the bar to look at the view from the bastione. Which all of the new kids liked a lot. I’m used to the view but I must say Cagliari is a really beautiful city. But you do start to forget about it after a while. After we were done with the bastione we really didn’t have anything else planned so we all went to McDonald's for lunch. And after lunch we all just hung out for a while and we then went shopping and planned for the next day about going to the beach.

I decided to come back to Cagliari again the next day so that we could all go to the beach again. All of us Cagliari kids got ready, which for us that means getting lunch (at an AMAZING sandwich shop in Cagliari, La Cantina) and then going to the supermarket to buy water and something for dessert. Then we meet up with all of the new kids so that we could take them to the beach that is close to Cagliari. I mean you can’t come to Sardegna with out going to the beach at least once can you? I mean really… it’s just not right. We got a group of about 8 of the new kids and we all got on a bus and when we finally arrived at the beach all of the new kids were in aww because it was so beautiful, when us kids from Sardegna knew that this was not the prettiest beach (not even close) in Sardegna. But they were all very happy so, so were we. We all opened our lunches (and the kids who didn’t have them bought their lunches there) and we spent an amazing (HOT) day at the beach. Then the only problem was is that we didn't know where we were supposed to get the bus to go back to Cagliari so we needed up missing the bus by like 2 minutes and we had to wait till the next bus came. I was nervous because I thought that I was going to miss my train but we ended up getting a bus not much later and I made it on my train to go home. Only with the plan on coming back again the NEXT day because we had to go to a school to listen to a presentation by the dad of Cornelia.

The next day I arrived in Cagliari to receive a phone call as I’m stepping off the train that said “Kendra where are you guys??? You were supposed to be here 30 minutes ago the appointment was at 900 not 1000 you guys need to get here NOW” well we had been told the day before that the appointment was going to be at 10:00 so we all planned to meet in Cagliari at 930 and all go there together. So I had to call all of the girls so that they could hurry up and get there so we could get a bus to go to this school. When we finally got there we walked in to this meeting room and there were about 300 people in there watching us as us 8 girls sat down. We walked in to the middle of the presentation and our vice president was looking at us like she was going to kill us because we were late. All I was thinking is “well if you had told us the right time we would be here at the right time” so it really wasn’t our fault.

The presentation was really nice. It turns out that the dad of Cornelia (who is Austrian and so is all of her family) is Jewish and was living in Austria during the time of WWII and he told us about his life and what he did to help stop the war. It turns out that all of his family (mom dad and siblings) were all captured and all of them died in concentration camps during the war and that he is the only one of his family that survived the war. He fought against the war in Spain with a group of other kids that were from Nazi countries. He fought against the war because he did not support the Nazis in WWII. He also helped fight the war in France with the same group of kids. He is the only one that is alive from that group now. He told us about his life after the war about how he volunteered in South America building houses for people who didn’t have homes. We were also allowed to ask him questions which were really nice. He spoke a lot of languages: German, Italian, French, Spanish, and English. The presentation was really really nice.

All of us kids decided that we were going to go the beach again so we all took the bus back in to central Cagliari and we gave the kids about 2 hours to go do what ever they wanted because Lilla had to go buy a swim suit and me and Sofi needed to go to the supermarket to buy water again and we all needed to buy sandwiches. Most of the new kids ate at La Cantina but we bought our sandwiches so that we could eat at the beach. Me and Sofi then went to the same supermarket so that we could buy water and cookies for dessert. While we were in the supermarket we found 2 American couples that were in Cagliari for the day because they were on a Mediterranean cruise that stopped in Cagliari for one day. They were completely lost so we decided that we would help them find the Bastione. And show them the shopping streets. They were really really nice. It was nice to help them some times tourists are not very nice but these couples really were. They really seemed glad that we were willing to help them and interested in AFS and our years.

We made it to the beach and it went pretty much like it did the day before except I went in to the water this time because I had my swim suit. It was REALLY REALLY REALLY cold!!!!!!!!!!! We knew where the bus was this time so I caught my train easily and had the only thought in my head was “damn I have to go to school tomorrow”

Well the next day I did go to school (the only time that week) but right after school I found out that I was going to be sleeping in Cagliari that day because I needed to be there the next morning early and because I wanted to go to the pizza party with the new kids for there last night. Me and Nicolas and Mateo caught the train together and while we were walking to the pizza restaurant we got totally lost for like 20 minutes. But we did eventually find it which was good but still we got really really lost until we did find it. They didn’t want to ask for directions. The party was fun but I noticed that even though it was the last day of there exchange week we were still separated in to groups “Cagliari kids” and “week exchange kids” It made me a little sad because I remembered my exchange week and that we were all together in one big group all the time. The pizza was really good but we didn’t get to do anything after wards because we had no way of getting to and from the places. I stayed the night at Bruna's house which was really fun. Her family is really really nice and I like them a lot.

The next day was SantEfisio which is the Saint of Cagliair so there was a HUGE parade. We all met up in Cagliari so that we could watch the procession. Basically the procession was all of the costumes of Sardegna that there are (every town has a different costume) walk down the streets so that everyone can see them. Then the horsemen go down the streets. They are really really good horsemen too!! The procession was really pretty but I was a bit disappointed that what we were waiting for in the end was about 200 priests and nuns to walk down the street then the police and military caring a wooden statue of SantEfisio. All I was thinking was “I waited all this time for that?” it was really pretty but honestly I think they make too big of a deal out of it! Well I had to say all of my good byes then because the host mom of Bruna was going to take me to the airport to meet my parents when they got there. So I said my goodbyes to all of the week exchange kids that I wouldn’t be seeing any more until Rome. Then we walked back to the car and by this time I was really nervous because my parents would be in Sardegna in just like 30 minutes. Well we got to the airport a little late but it wasn’t a big deal because there plane was delayed. Me and my host dad were waiting for a while but then it started to seem like they weren’t going to come because all of the people that were coming at this point were from the airplane that landed after my parents. They did eventually come. I ran through the doors to hug them. The guard got mad at me but it didn’t matter. It turns out that they didn’t know there baggage would be at the international terminal and not the national terminal so they waited at the national terminal until all the baggage had been claimed and then had to go to the other one to get their baggage.

My parent’s week here will be in the next blog all. This one was about my week exchange with Cagliari. I hope you enjoyed it. I’m so sorry that its taking me longer to blog now. My time is running really short and I don’t have much time these days. Ill try to update more often!!
Ciao a tutti!!


film izle said...

Thank you admin

Stephen Sherman said...

My Dad visited Cagliari in WW2, and got these interesting vintage postcards and photographs.