So I am getting used to my life here now and I really like it! I was having a hard time the first week, but now I feel a lot better! I think I was having trouble adjusting.. I don't really know what it was. Maybe too much was going on for me, too much was new. Now I am in more of a routine which I think is what I needed. I also understand more at this point (if people speak slowly of course.)
I was too preoccupied with my thoughts and sadness but now I have time to "stop and smell the roses" if you will. I can appreciate and take in everything now. Another reason I think I was sad is because everything did not meet my expectations. As much as I tried to not expect anything... I just couldn't help my day dreaming... but now I've realized that I can't change how things are right now. So some things may not have met my expectations? Oh well. I can't change these things, I can only change my attitude and try and enjoy what I have here, because before I know it, this exchange will be over and I will be wishing I had certain things once I am back in Minnesota.
So down to what I have been up to.
School started on the 13th! I thought it was supposed to start on the 17th (like everyone else's school in Sardinia), but I guess not. It's probably a good thing it started earlier though. I was feeling a little lonely. The social aspect of school is pretty good for me so far! I really like the people in my class and the girl who I sit next to speaks pretty much fluent english... So if I don't understand something she can help me. Actually, all of my classmates are very nice and always willing to help me if I need something. I have walked to school with some of my classmates as well. As far as the learning part of school goes... It's bad. I pretty much don't understand anything. In some classes (math, german, and of course english) I understand more, but still not everything. I know soon it will get better though. Many of my teachers are also really nice and willing to help me.
On Saturday I went to Stintino. My host dad is from Stintino and grew up there so my host family has a house there and my host dad also grows a lot of fruits and vegetables in the countryside of Stintino. We went to a very famous beach while we were there called "La Pelosa". It was so beautiful!
Yesterday I also went to Alghero with my host brother. We took a bus there after I finished school. I really liked it! Even though we didn't get to see all of it. We did some shopping (I've done way too much since I've been here) and he had some kind of meeting.
I've also found that since I've been here my other exchange student friends have been my main form of support. Me and my friend Rachael have skyped many times since we've gotten to our host families and I hang out with a girl named Karoline from Norway a lot. She lives right by me and she is also here with Intercultura. Other exchange students can relate to you and understand what you're going through.
Overall I am enjoying my time here a lot and I am getting used to everything. :)
This is the name of my city in Italy. It is on the island of Sardegna and has (from what i've read on the internet) about 130,000 inhabitants. I'm coming to like this city. last night my brother took me out to a place called "los cornetteros". A lot of young people go there, so once I make friends I might end up going there a lot. I really liked it. I've also walked around a lot. Whenever I have went out, that's all I've done. There are a lot of little stores, clothes stores, book stores, stores that sell meat, cheese, bread, there is a supermarket, there is a piazza I really like, pizzerias, and a lot of bars and cafes. Almost all of the streets are small and many of the sidewalks and streets have cobblestone.
It's windy a lot here. My host mom even told me "We have names for each kind of wind. The wind is life." Or something along those lines. :) Our apartment usually has a lot or all of the windows open. I always try and keep my window open but I can't right now because it's REALLY windy.
The weather has been very nice since I've gotten here. I don't know the exact temperatures but it's been nice. Kind of hot, but that's better than cold I suppose. A lot of parts of Sassari have many trees (the sidewalks I mean). So when I am walking in those parts it's a lot cooler.
I went out by myself the other day for the first time. My family made me my own set of keys so I just took a little maybe 15 minute walk. I have to admit I was a little scared (A 16-year-old blond american girl who doesn't speak english, doesn't know the city, and is an easy target doesn't sound good), but it went fine. I did get stared at. And honked at. But everything was fine. Now maybe I will go out again but for a longer period of time. I just have to know where I shouldn't go and my family said not to go to the centro storico (old part of the city) because there are a lot of drugs, etc.
I start school tomorrow so wish me luck!!
I have arrived.
I don't even know where to start.
There is so much to say.
I'm here in Sassari, Sardinia now. I met my family at the airport on Sunday evening. Just my host mom was there. My host brother was in the car. At the airport I also met like 3 other people. I don't remember who they were exactly though... This seems to be happening a lot. One of them gave me a piece of paper with her name, address, and email on it. I think it was my italian tutor or my volunteer person. It's probably bad that I don't know... Oh well haha.
So then we went to the car and I met my host brother and we drove home. There were a lot of pretty sights on our way home. I saw many mountains in the distance. I wish I had a picture but I didn't take any!
After I got to my host family I think I was just very overwhelmed with everything, scared, and homesick. So I cried...A lot. But it's okay now. I feel a lot better today.
I can't even remember everything that happened on Sunday night (when I got here) but we did have dinner. I didn't eat a lot and I felt bad but ever since I've been in Italy I just don't feel like eating for some reason. I'm not hungry when I'm nervous or anxious or I guess homesick. Lol. A side note: I think my host mom has been telling everyone we run into that I don't eat. I've met a lot of people since I've been here and when my host mom is introducing me the words "intercultura" "lei non capisce molto italiano" and something about me being like bea (their other exchange student from two years ago) because I don't eat much.
Yesterday was spent running errands all day. I am so glad I got to get out of the house (even though I had to get up early). We had to go to many places to get my residency permit (I think that's what it's called) and other things I needed (conditioner, face wash, contact lens solution, etc).
Okay if I keep writing like this, the post will never end.
Since I've been here
I've eaten gelato (molto buono!!)
Cried a lot
Skyped with different people
Walked around Sassari and drove around Sassari
Been really confused at times
Met at least 10 people
Taught my host family some english (so cute and funny)
Seen crazy italian driving
Watched tv in italian
Drank caffè italiano
So yeah some cool stuff. Also, everything is smaller here and I find it really amusing. My host mom and me were talking about this. The cars are smaller, the streets are narrower, the stores are smaller, the money is smaller, our house is smaller, the shower is smaller. I feel like a giant a little bit.
Okay that's all for now. There are a lot of random things I could say that are amusing/I've noticed but then this post would be even more unorganized than it already is. If anyone has questions or something you should comment with them on this post because then I can be more organized with my writing!
I leave tomorrow.
My emotions are constantly changes from nervous to sad to excited to terrified to so-happy-I-could-cry. Right now I feel happy. I almost have everything in order. I'm almost packed. I have my flight booked for 6:30am tomorrow to JFK. I finished a level of rosetta stone (finally). I have gifts for my host family. My host mom told me a few days ago that she was preparing my room. Almost everything's in order. Now maybe I have actually have time to think.
I can't believe how far I've come. I've been wanting this (Italy) for maybe a year and a half. I have been wanting to travel and see the world for much longer. I'm really proud of myself for making this happen. I can't wait to meet all the other exchange students at the orientations in Rome and New York. I can't wait to meet my host family and develop a bond with them. I can't wait to discover and live in Italy.
Well that's all I have for now. The next time you hear from me will probably be when I am in Sardinia! :D
Enjoy this song. It's called "On Top of the World" by a band I like called Imagine Dragons. It pretty much symbolizes how I feel right now.. :)