Wednesday, December 29

O Dio! Dicembre!

Well by looking at everyone else's blogs I can tell i'm not the only one that's been having trouble keeping up but I am not one bit sorry HA :) December just flew by and it's starting to scare me how fast the weeks are going. So here's what's been going on this month...

1. ROMA: Oh goodness grazie..Rome is just as absolutely beautiful as everyone has always told me.  I can't describe the feeling of seeing and touching some amazing piece of history that you've seen so many millions of films and pictures of.  I spent 4 packed days, with my host mother, touring through every important site in Rome, I saw tons of ruins and Piazzas and I know I will go back other times in my life but I truly feel like I've seen everything that a person needs to see.  It was an amazing adventure..and my feet are still recovering from all of the walking. 

2.  Switched Host Families:  My year in Italy is divided pretty much into three equal parts with three different host families, so I kind of look at this experience in three different phases.  I would name my first phase: "Getting to Know ME".  Because of the people and location in my first host family, I spent more time alone in those first three months here that I probably have in my entire life.  Although it was really, really difficult at times I wouldn't trade it for anything. I grew up in those three months and learned so many things about myself. I learned the things that I like about myself, like how I can even make myself laugh, and the things that I definitely need to work on, like my patience with myself and with other people.  I was able to rely on myself for strength and comfort and I know that I am a better and more confident person because of that time.  I am also very thankful for my first host mom and host brother, they will always hold a special place in my heart...I'll never forget how hard Gabriele (host brother) and I would jam to Eminem in the car. :)  HOWEVER I have moved into the center of Cremona with the lovely Dal Bianco family and I am loving it there. They are so present in my life, and they're constantly teaching me new words and phrases in Italian.  It really feels like a completely new experience and I can't wait to see how the rest of it goes.

3.  Christmas:  Christmas time started out with some Rotary events which are always really fun because I love our little American family we've made here. Note our "family Chirstmas card picture".  I learned that not every country takes Christmas as seriously as we do in the good old US and A.  I missed the Christmas tree, music and movies.  It really didn't ever feel like Christmas to me, because it was missing all of the most important things..the people I love.  It was definitely a difficult  couple of days, but they're past me and it is a great feeling to know that the hardest times, I hope, are past me.

The day before Christmas Eve, which is the day that I usually have my traditional family Christmas celebration, I went out to a dinner with my class here.  I had such a great time chatting with them and we ended up staying at the restaurant until it closed singing songs all together, some in English and some in Italian it was a great night but it reminded me of the people I've met and all of the new experiences I've had here so far.  It was the best Christmas present I could've asked for.. I had the realization that I love it here.  I miss my family and my friends back home terribly but I don't count down the days until I go home anymore, and I'm really just starting to LIVE.

So buon natale and buon anno nuovo from Italy. Ci vediamo in 2011 :)

Baci **

Saturday, December 4

4. Decembre. 2010 "For Future Exchange Students of Northfield!"

One Year Ago with Inbounds 2009-2010
It's crazy and a little scary for me to think that it was an entire year ago that we all had our Rotary interviews.  I remember my interviewers and the classroom we were in perfectly.  I remember the Brazilians capturing my mom..and me having to later remind her, to her dismay, that I was applying..not her. :)  I remember driving home afterwards with Maria Estenson, and us talking constantly about all of the possibilities of our future. We were so excited we couldn't seem to think about anything else!  Even though I am loving my experience here, I find myself a little jealous of you new student who are, and should be, brimming with this initial excitement.  My advice for the interviews, if it's not too late, is be yourself and go in with an open mind.  You never know which countries might end up interesting you. hint  hint italy hint. :P However I would say is take the time to enjoy the excitement because this is just the beginning of an amazing and life-changing process! So take it all in. I can't wait to hear where you all are headed!!

In bocca al lupo!  

(This phrase means good luck in italian..even though it's directly translated to in the mouth of the wolf.....oh italians :) ) 

Baci a tutti!