Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Worst blogger award goes to...


It should go to me but at least I didn't abandon you guys forever right?
Well anyhow, I haven’t blogged in about 4 months or something but I’ll try to fill you in on everything.

School: school is same old same old. I haven’t really been doing anything for the past 6 months until about 2 weeks ago my Italian teacher told me I have to be interrogated on Dante’s 16th Canto because I’m starting to understand and speak Italian. So I studied my butt off for about a week and nailed it. But now that I did so well my teacher wants to start testing me more. :/ (Oh and pretty much Dante is like the Shakespeare of Italian. So for me to be studying it is like difficulty level: 523958)

And I have my next test in about a week.

My classmates are still hooligans, but they’re all really nice and I get along with them all really well

Language: pretty much I understand about 75% of all conversations and stuff. Watching Italian movies and the news is still pretty hard but I understand more or less everything but speaking wise not so much. Like everyday questions and short conversations and stuff I can speak, but telling stories and stuff like that is still hard because my vocabulary is so little. It’s a little awkward because I understand what they’re saying but I can’t respond so well so they sometimes think I don’t understand. But I try my best and that’s what counts right?

So what have I been up to?
February- Well I took a trip to the mountains for a week with just my friends. We snowboarded for pretty much 4 straight days and had a good time on our one week of vacation.
I also went to multiple 18th birthday parties. Hung out with my AFS friends and the newbies that got here.
 Carnevale at Ma Donna Di Campiglio
 Mountains with my friends
 Mountains
The 2 month people left. :( Ciao Rubia <3

March: I had a ski trip with my class to the mountains. I went to Sicily on exchange week. I also just came back from my vacation in Moneglia (the seaside) I also visited Pisa.

 AFS friends Bday party
 18esimo
 another 18th bday
 Ski trip with my class
 Pisa on pasqua
 pasqua vacation
first day of full sunshine in about 4 months:D

Exchange week: Honestly I can say that exchange week was one of the most memorable weeks I had here in Italy. I was placed in Agrigento Sicilia. My host family was amazing and I got along so well with my host sister. I also got closer to the other exchange students and everything. Every day we went around to different cities in Sicily and pretty much toured around for a week. I went to school for about 3 days but all I did was advertise AFS.

 SICILY




Leaving was like a pre-show of what was to come in July. I was halfway in tears when I had to say bye to all of the new friends I made there. And just thinking of what’s to come in July makes me all queasy. I honestly cannot imagine life without my host sister here in Milan. The past 6 months we’ve grown to become real sisters and she is easily one of my best friends now even though we’ve only known each other for 6 months. 

My life here has been amazing and I seriously cannot believe how fast has been FLYING by these past 3 months. I’ve done so much and been to so many new places and met soooo sooo many awesome people. This experience has made me realize so much about myself, and has made me so much more conscious of my surroundings.
The weather is finally starting to become warmer and spring is halfway here. (Not exactly yet)
Well I’ll try to update as much as I can with only 3 more months to go. But until then,
Ciao <3

Sunday, January 20, 2013

2013! Because it's a New Year


Ciao raga! 
Okay so pretty much I only update like once a month but ya know what? Better than not updating right?
So a lot has been going on and I'll try to update you on what's been going on.

So starting with Christmas I guess. Christmas was spent quietly with family and friends here in Italy. I went to my Italian grandparent’s homes and pretty much stuffed my face with delicious food for about 2 days.

blurry but my host brother sister and cousin :)

The night of Christmas we drove up to the mountains in Vall’e de Aosta. We stayed there for pretty much 11 days and the vacation was spent snowboarding for almost 11 days straight. This might sound bad to you but for me it was PERFECT.
The snow was beautiful and the weather wasn’t so bad. I even went free ride boarding right next to the glaciers. It might have been the most tiring thing I have ever done in my entire life but it was worth the view. It was absolutely breathtaking.  
 the view from the top of the world
 patinaggio 
 Il Hobbit e Jack Reacher in Italiano

 The church in front of the house

For New Years, I went to the valley over in a place called Champoluc where my sisters friends were all staying. We had dinner at her friend’s house and then for the countdown we went to the city plaza. It was absolute chaos. Everyone had fireworks going off and there was a DJ in the middle of the plaza. Oh and to add all of the drunk Italians. Guess you can say it was a pretty festive night. Haha

January- Nothing really new has been going on. Tomorrow is the last Corso di Italiano and I’m kind of sad about it cause then now I won’t be seeing my AFS’ers every week.

Last week was one of my Turkish friends Can’s Birthday so people from out of Milano came and we went to a local bar and celebrated. The day after, all of Lombardia Region came to Milano and we had to give them a tour of all of the important buildings in the city. I prepared a speech on the Palazzo Reale but I’m pretty sure no one was listening to me so yeah. It was fun though because I got to see everyone again.
 18 Can <3
and his Turkish Bros
Beatrice's 18th Birthday

School has been the usual (not really doing anything but fooling around in class) routine. Next week I’m taking a class trip to a blind museum. So that’s new. Oh and that I beat my classmates at basketball. Yayy! Well not me, but my team haha so that was fun. And I also got yelled at by my teacher for standing on top of the table but I had no idea what she was saying. LOL it was okay though cause my classmates defended me. Hahah

For future AFS’ers  (if you guys are actually reading my damn blog) haha
I can’t point this out enough. But while you are on exchange, literally don’t waste a minute doing nothing. Honestly, time goes by incredibly insanely fast. Today I was flipping out when I looked at the calendar and realized that it was January 20, 2013. Yes, its almost been 5 months. Like really? That’s ridiculous. So really. Don’t take a single day for granted. And when you want to do something, do it. Don’t be like oh yeahhh we should do thattt, but really you’re just saying it. You get what I mean? Haha so yeah.

Oh and for more advice. Don’t compare your experience with others. This is also very important. I learned this like the first month I was here so it wasn’t bad, but before I would use to compare my time here with all the stories that my sister told me. And I was like this isn’t really like how she said it would be. (This was like the first 2 weeks ish that I was here) But since then I realized my experience will be completely and entirely different then hers. You have to appreciate everything you have in your own way.

So this has been kind of a boring post but yeah thanks for reading goiiis. I’ll update soon again (meaning in a month more or less)
But until then
Ci vediamo
-Marine

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Better then nothing


So pretty much I skipped a whole month of blogging but I’ve been having a lot going on and never find the time to commit to write a whole post
But I’ll try to catch you up on things haha

Well first things first
Language:  it’s been 3 months since I’ve gotten here and my Italian is improving a lot every day. I still can’t speak as well but I understand most of the conversations. One problem is that I only understand when someone’s talking directly to me but if I’m trying to listen in on a conversation in a group it’s harder for me to comprehend everything. And even if I understand I can’t respond in Italian so I’m still working on the speaking part.
I started attending math tutor because in class I really don’t learn anything. My grandpa drives me to the place where the lessons are held (it’s about a 25 min drive) and he always speaks to me in Italian. The first day he took me I finally realized how much Italian I actually do understand and I was just speaking to him pretty much amazed with myself and how far I’ve come in the past 3 months language wise. Even though I may not be learning as fast as my other exchange student friends, I’m slowly making progress and that’s all I really need. I’ll get it down sooner or laterJ

School: Honestly, school for me is really fun. Well besides the actual learning part. I may have said this in one of my previous posts but I think I’m so lucky to have the class that I do. We’re all kind of like one big family and even though I’m new in the class everyone treats me like I’ve been there forever. The girls I hang out with are so sweet and kind and they’re some of my closest friends here in Italy. Regardless of the language barrier I still get along with them so so well. I love all my classmates.
The other day we had our annual Festa di Natale and holy s..t it was crazy. Pretty much there was food everywhere, a punk rock band playing, a ping pong competition, and just a bunch of Italian students going crazy because there was no class. I wish I’ve taken a picture because it was just absolute chaos.

But on another note, since my last post I’ve actually been doing a lot. I went on a Ski trip to a mountain called Gressonney during the 4 day Sant'Ambrogio Holiday. The mountains were beautiful and the snow was in perfect condition to snowboard in.



Weekends here are pretty routine but always a lot of fun. Probably what I look forward to the most. I either go out with my classmates or intercultura friends to a bar or restaurant. Sometime I go to discos with my sister or classmates but yeah. I can’t get enough of the nightlife here in Milan.

We also had our festa di natale for intercultura last week and all the families came and it was pretty much like one big baking party. I made chocolate chip cookies to represent America. Haha but all the food everyone made was absolutely delicious.
Festa di Natale con Intercultura
 Ciao tre mesi raga <3
 Making brownies with my classmates
 Making gingerbread cookies with AFS friends
(so much baking involved everywhere...)
Thanksgiving spent with my American sista
discotec

This year during thanksgiving I realized I have so so many things to be thankful for. The past 3 months have been literally a life changing experience for me. Being  away from my family, in a completely new environment it is slowly starting to change the person I am whether it’s for the better or for the worse. I have learned so much these past couple of months and I know all of this sounds super corny but its true so yeah. I just can’t believe that it’s been 3 months. I don’t feel the presence of time here and I feel myself trying to take in every moment that I’m here but it’s still not enough. I know it’s too early to be thinking about this but I can’t even imagine what it’s going to be like the day that I leave.

Ugh, okay well I’m spending the Christmas and new year’s holiday in the mountains so I won’t be able to update until the new year comes!
Boune Feste ragazzi! <3 Happy Holdiays and have a great new year!!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

More Pictures

I just realized a skipped a whole week but its okay. Ill fill it with pictures!
yayyyy

This is my Birthday week.

 17
Sushi with some friends 
 out in the city 
 Everyone who came to my birthday, thank you <3
 there the best 
 birthday after party? haha

 A day out in the city 
My classmates got me some cupcakes and what not <3

Maybe I look too foreign

Milan is a city with over 2 million people in it. It's pretty diverse compared to other parts of Italy. Egyptians, Turkish, Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, and more. There are many foreigners living in this small yet big city. But when I go out, people come up to me and ask me if i'm foreign. It's weird though cause this never happens to any of my other exchange student friends and they all look as foreign as I do. And not to mention, there are a lot of Asians in Milan, and I'm sure I look the part and fit right into the group of Asians in the city, so why me? But I actually meet many interesting people because of this. Although most of the people that come talk to me are grandpas and grandmas, it's always fun to have a chat with some locals. The other day I was waiting for the tram and I got up to offer my seat to an old grandpa. He thanked me and started speaking really fast in Italian so I was just like "uhhh io no parlo italiano" and he was like ohh english? and we started talking and he was telling me a story about how one time when he went to California, and he went to a Mexican Restaurant and there was a hold up while he was eating there with his wife. It was pretty interesting and funny. The elderly are always so intriguing haha They're so much more wise and lived so much more then everyone so you just have this automatic gratitude and respect towards them. I know this is a really random story but yeah I thought I'd share it.

I'm beginning to become one of those lazy bloggers but I'm sure non of you care cause not so many people read my posts. Lol
but yeahhh I guess its time for an update?
Last week I had Halloween break. By far the best Halloween I've had probably. I went to a disco with some of my friends on the day of Halloween. There was about 10,000 people there and all of my classmates and friends also went so it was a lot of fun... Until the time we had to go home. My host sister called for a 2 taxis because there was 6 of us there and we all couldn't fit into one so we waited for about 30 minutes until the first taxi FINALLY came but my host sisters friends took it first. Then we waited another 30 minutes and the taxi still wouldn't come. Oh and not to mention, it was pouring rain and I was in a skirt. So the taxi ended up not coming so we had to call my host dad to come pick us up in the middle of the night. So pretty much we waited for nothing but we got home safely.
 Halloween

Then on Thursday, the first day of vacation, my family and I went to the Seaside in Lavagna. The weather wasn't very good but the seaside was still beautiful. I spent 2 nights on the boat that my host parents have.  During the day when the sun was out, I sat on the boat and read some books, biked around the port and played cards with my host brother Andrea. At night we went to a little village by the coast and did some shopping in the cute little Italian stores. The first night we went to Nonna and Nonno's house not far and had dinner there.
Lavagna
On Saturday we left the boat and went to Genova. Andrea had a swim meet so my host mom, sister, and I went to an aquarium in Genova then took a walk through the city. Genova was beautiful. All of the buildings were really old and all the streets were cobble stoned. After we went to see the final race for Andrea's swim match and he got 2nd place. It was pretty exciting. Haha Italians are loud no matter what sport they are watching. We got back home to Milan later that night.
Cappucino e toast per colazione

The aquarium 

Genova
On Sunday I just went out with some friends and relaxed at home. Spend the last day of the weekend quietly sleeping off all of my tiredness.

School has been going pretty well. Although I get frusturated with Italian these days because I feel like I'm speaking too much English and I'm not learning fast enough but I'll get there.
I'm starting to take tests now but its not the same thing the rest of the class does. It's not very hard (for now) so everythings going great :)
Oh and my English teacher is making me go around to the other classrooms and tell the students about my life in California. Its kind of fun, and I get to see everyone in the school so yeah.

Two weeks ago the AFS MI chapter had to give presentations in Italian for a meeting about AFS at this University where 200 people were going to be attending. When we got there, there were about 12 people there and me and my friends were like "200 people my BUTT". 5 minutes later, there was really 200 people there. LOL
I was so nervous but my speech went fine. I had to do the same thing this Monday but it was only about 50 people and my Italian has gotten a little better since then so it wasn't bad at all.

I've been pretty lazy updating my blog these days and idk if I'm going to be updating as much. butttt yeaaahhhhhhhh thats it for now

Ciao <3
Marine,

Sunday, October 21, 2012

AFS Campo etc.

So this is probably going to be a long post but yeah here it goes.

So last week (10/11/12) I skipped school on Thursday and Friday to go to Campo in Masino with 68 other exchange students all from the region of Lombardia. We all met at Centrale Station and took a two hour bus ride to get to the mountains. The weather was cold and foggy so the mountains looked extra beautiful. Once we arrived we all got our rooms and I was stuck in a room with 20 beds. It was kind of like a hospital or concentration camp sorta room and it only had one shower. But it wasn't THAT bad I guess.
Then we seperated into groups of about 15 and talked about problems, school, host families, sterotypes, etc. Honestly, for me the orientation part of the camp is sooo boring. It might be useful to other students that have problems within their schools or families but I don't so I kinda just sit there and listen to everyone talk for about 3 hours.
And the volunteers give advice that's like common sense sometimes. Or they give you advice that would put you in an awkward position with things so, I don't know, it doesn't seem very helpful to me. But that's just my opinion I guess.

I'm kind of too lazy to go over every specific detail we did at camp so I'm just going to write all the general things we did.
We played alot of camp games. A lot of them we're very italian and touchy haha. It was sorta weird and awkward but fun. This one game we played was like you had to pretty much wrestle someone down and try to kiss them and try to stop them from kissing the other person? It sounds absurd and confusing but it was actually pretty funny.
We sang a lot of songs. A few of the students brought their guitars and what not so every night everyone will just gather around outside and sing together. It was cute. haha
The food at camp was actually really good. One day we all made torta di mele (apple cake) and we cut about 5 buckets of apples. It was one girls birthday during the camp so we sang happy birthday to her in every language. It was cool to hear how "happy birthday" sounds in about 20 other languages.
On the last night we had a talent show and everyone had to contribute and do something. Amalia, Yareli, Eveline, and I choreographed a dance to "Party in the USA" by Miley Cyrus to represent the US. I thought it would be embarrassing and awkward but everyone was actually really pumped up when they heard the song come on.
At night after the volunteers told us to go to sleep, we would all just sit by the balcony and talk until about 2 in he morning.
I met so many amazing people during this 4 day camp. I would go back to it anytime just so I can see everyone again.
It's crazy cause at dinner everyone will just sit together and then you think, wow, there are 15 different people from 15 different countries all sitting at the same table. I don't know, maybe it doesn't sound that amazing, but when you're sitting there thinking about it, it kinda is. This is going to sound super corny but AFS really does connect other cultures and countries together. During these 4 days I learned so much about other countries that I didn't know about. Before I probably wouldn't have been able to comment about a country but now I'm pretty confident that I can say something about every country.
To sum it up, camp was amazing.

Here are some pictures,
 AFS LOMBARDIA <3
 Russia&New Zealand& USA
 View from the balcony
 At night when everyone sits by the balcony
 My USA sista <3
Tutti

So that was last week and I had the usual routine of school, italian lessons, hanging out with some friends after school etc. And then the weekend. It was a long weekend

On Friday my close friend Katrin and I went out and shopped around the city and then went to a pizzeria for dinner.
On Saturday I hung out with some friends and we went to the Duomo. Later we all went to the park and sat around talking at the bar for some hours. When it began to get dark we all went to eat and sat at a different park until about 23:00.
After that everyone had to go home cause the last train was around 23:00 so I went home once and then met up with some of my classmates at Arco Della Pace. I ended up going home pretty late.
On Sunday I thought I wasn't doing anything so I slept until 11 and when I woke up my host parents were like, okaay lets go to lake como! So my host dad, mom, my friend Katrin and I ended up spending the day in Como. We went to a place called Bellagio and it was beautiful! The little narrow Italian streets were everywhere, and the weather was really nice so we ate at this cute pizzeria right by the lake. I hope I get to go back there soon. It was breathtaking.

This weeks my birthday week so yayy! I'm finally turning 17 soon!
I'm still trying to plan my party but the next post probably won't be until after that, so ciao for now
<3

 Yup I finished it all
 Bosnia&Montenegro
 My girls <3
 Lake Como
 Bellagio
Lake Como